Commercial Carrier and Freight Forwarder Identification and Eligibility

CBSA Guidelines - Highway Carrier Code Application Process

Who are carrier codes issued to?

For the purpose of assessing carrier code eligibility, the CBSA defines a carrier as a person involved in international commercial transportation who operates a conveyance used to transport specified goods to or from Canada. To operate a conveyance means to have legal custody and control of the conveyance.  More information is provided in Customs Memorandum D3-1-1 “Policy Respecting the Importation and Transportation of Goods”.

The CBSA issues one carrier code per mode per legal entity. Should subsidiary companies be separate legal entities from parent companies, each subsidiary company can apply for a carrier code.

Reporting cargo and conveyance data to the CBSA

With the implementation of eManifest, highway carriers transporting goods into Canada will be required to transmit cargo and conveyance data electronically to the CBSA prior to arrival. Please refer to the Requirements for Commercial Clients page of the CBSA web site for more information.

The Internet-based eManifest Portal is one option for transmitting data. Highway carriers code applicants who wish to use the eManifest Portal should indicate “YES” in Field 14 of the carrier code application form. This will automatically request a Shared Secret (temporary access code) that a business requires to register for the eManifest Portal the first time.

What are the application requirements?

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) requires the following documents in order to process a highway carrier code application:

Check List:

  • Non-bonded:
    •  Form BSF 329-7 (including acceptable signature and complete vehicle listing)
    •  Company Ownership documents (photocopy)
    • Submission
    • Contact
  • Bonded:
    •  Form BSF 329-7 (including acceptable signature and complete vehicle listing)
    •  Company Ownership documents (photocopy)
    • Original D120 Customs Bond (must be free of errors – errors will result in the rejection of application)
    • Submission:
      • Canada Border Services Agency
        Commercial Registration Unit
        191 Laurier Avenue West, 12th Floor
        Ottawa, ON   K1A 0L8 Canada
    • Contact:

How to complete the application

The instructions are listed on the reverse side of Form BSF 329-7.
The following table contains explanations for fields that are often completed incorrectly.

Application to Transact Highway Carrier Operations with the Canada Border Services Agency – Form BSF329-7

  • Field 1 – Legal business name
    • This must match the name on the company ownership documents
  • Operating name
    • The name the company does business as (if different from the legal name). Leave it blank if the company does not have one.
  • Field 6 – Name and title of contact(s)
    • A contact is an employee who is authorized to contact the CBSA on behalf of the company for this application or issues regarding the assigned carrier code in the future. It must be an employee of the company, NOT an agent.
  • Field 11 - CRA Business Number (BN)
    • The BN is a 9 digit business identifier used in Canada.
      Foreign entities are not required to obtain a BN. Leave this field blank if it does not apply to you.
  • Field 14 – Shared Secret
    • A Shared Secret is a temporary access code that a business requires to register for the internet-based eManifest Portal the first time.   Highway carrier code applicants who wish to use the eManifest Portal should indicate “YES” in field 14.  This will automatically request a Shared Secret (temporary access code) to be sent to you.  More info on eManifest requirements.
  • Field 15 – Equipment/Vehicle Listing
    • List the vehicles the company currently operates that may come to Canada
  • (Fields 16-20) Bonded or Non-Bonded?
    • Bonded carriers are permitted to transport in-bond goods between points in Canada (e.g. to an inland destination for examination and/or release, or to move goods "in transit" through Canada). They must submit a Security Deposit with the CBSA in the form of a Customs Bond - Form D120 - or other method as listed in Customs Memorandum D1-7-1.
      Pages 4-6 include additional instructions on this process.
      For Bonded Applications Only - The original bond, plus the application form and supporting documents must be mailed to the CBSA - Photocopies of the bond are not accepted.
  • Field 21 – Signature
    • Signature must be from CEO, CFO, President, Vice President, Owner, Partner, Secretary Treasurer, Executive Director or Director or anyone within the corporation who has the authority and power to represent and legally bind a party to a written agreement. In the case of a sole proprietor, only the owner may sign.
      If the signatory possesses signing authority as defined above, but does not hold one of the acceptable titles, proof must be submitted.
  • Field 22 - Third Party Consent
    • A representative who acts on behalf of the applicant regarding application matters, NOT an agent for cargo/conveyance reporting.
  • Proof of company ownership (Photocopy) – Please provide documents for applicant company
    • Corporation
      • Articles of incorporation, business registration documents
    • Partnership
      • Certificate of formation, master business license
    • Sole proprietorships 
      • A photocopy of government issued photo ID
    • Supporting documents being submitted from outside Canada
      • The supporting document must be translated into either English or French and certified as to the authenticity of translation by the certified translator.
        A copy of the original documents (requiring translation) is to be notarized by a locally recognized lawyer or commissioner of oaths.
        Both documents must be submitted.

Processing and Approval Information

Upon receipt of a properly completed application (including proof of ownership documents), an applicant should expect to receive a carrier code within 10 business days. Errors in submission will cause delays as additional information and steps will be required. The CBSA will issue the carrier code to the email address indicated on the application. If no email address is provided, the information will be sent via fax or regular mail.

Customs Bond Instructions (For Bonded Applications Only)

The original bond, plus the application form and supporting documents must be mailed to the CBSA. Photocopies are not accepted. White-out and handwritten corrections are NOT acceptable. Erroneous bonds will be returned to the client unless they instruct us to send it to their third-party representative.

For a Customs Bond (Form D120) must be completed by the surety company securing the bond. The surety company must fall under one of the following categories:

The following step-by-step instructions should be used to review your Customs Bond prior to submission to the CBSA.

Section 1:

  • Activity to be secured:
    • Bonded Carrier Operations (Highway)
  • Relevant legislative authority
    • Transportation of goods regulations
  • Bond Amount
    • $5,000 per vehicle up to a maximum of $25,000

Section 3:

To perform bonded carrier operations, the Customs Bond must be a continuous bond or a bond for a specified period.

If a bond for a specified period is submitted, the bonded carrier code will expire upon the date of termination of the Customs Bond.

Section 4: All CBSA Offices in Canada

Section 7: (for principal/applicant)

Activity to be secured:

  • Principal name – must match the name on the company ownership documents and the application (Form BSF 329-7)
  • Address – must match the address on the application
  • Business number – Canadian companies must provide a CRA-assigned 9 digit identifier
  • Foreign companies can leave this blank
  • Signature must be from the Owner, President, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Executive Director or a similar highest ranking official.
  • In the case of a sole proprietor, only the owner may sign.  For a partnership, the signatures of two partners are required
  • Embossed seal of the principal (applicant)
    • Please note that the CBSA no longer requires corporate seals or notarization for the bond principal. Form D120 and Customs Memorandum D1-7-1 are being updated to reflect this change.

Section 7: (surety)

  • Surety company signatures – D120 must be signed by the surety company.
  • Embossed seal of surety company
    • Rubber stamps are NOT acceptable.
    • Characters on the seal have to be in English or French. Other languages are not acceptable.
    • If the surety company does not include an acceptable corporate seal, a commissioner of oath, notary public or lawyer must witness the signature(s) of the surety's authorized representative(s).
    • If a witness for the surety is required, the witness must sign in an area other than in Section 8, which is reserved for the principal's witness. The witness must include his or her seal, stamp, or licence number.

Section 8: (witness)

  • This section is for witnessing the principal's signatures (if no corporate seal is available).
    • A witness for the surety, if required, must sign elsewhere on the document (See Section 7 - surety).

Section 9: (date)

  • State the date the bond was signed and sealed.

Reference Materials

Release Options


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