• Workplace Type: On-site

Canadian Customs Brokerage

Importing into Canada

Customs complexity
is in our DNA

Since 1958, Cole International’s customs brokers have been fulfilling the range of Canadian customs brokerage needs. Whether you are a major manufacturer, a national retailer or a local importer of specialized products, we’ve got your solution.

Our business was born out of the need for accurate customs paperwork and ever since then, we’ve stayed at it, through treaties, agreements and regulation changes. Our decades of experience allow us to customize our services to suit your specific needs. When you’re ready to minimize costs and delays that could otherwise affect your supply chain, and arrange a smooth flow of your company’s goods into Canada, contact us.

Cross the border with confidence

Do you know you must meet specific Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) requirements and submit all required documentation before your shipments of goods will be released into Canada? We do. At Cole International, not only is our team of customs brokers ready to help you, we’re here to help grow your knowledge, too.

If you want to ensure your goods get to their destination as soon as they reach the border or are offloaded from the ship or plane, call us. Our strong relationship with the CBSA and decades of knowledge means we keep your goods on the go comprehensively and seamlessly.

Keys to a successful import

Help us help you

In the 1996 film “Jerry Maguire,” title character Tom Cruise begs his client: “Help me help you!”

Nowhere do these words ring truer than in our world of full-service logistics. As the importer, your job and responsibilities start far earlier than the moment you receive your goods. Not recognizing this, and relying solely on your vendors or shippers to have all the essentials in place, is among the biggest mistakes we see our clients make time and time again.

As an importer, you are responsible for more than you may realize. The more you understand the details and requirements your role as importer involves in coordinating a successful import by ground, ocean and air into Canada, the more success you will have.

Our job is to help you—and we need your help to do it effectively.

One of the most important things our experience has taught us is that the more our customers understand what’s required, the smoother their goods will move. Don’t make the mistake of relying only on your vendors or the shipper! Understanding your role and responsibilities as the importer is vital to saving you time and money in the long run.

Be prepared

What a customs broker will need to process a Canadian customs clearance entry:

  • Carrier Arrival Notice
  • Bill of Lading
  • Invoice with detailed description of goods and commercial value for those goods
  • Free Trade Certificate of Origin
  • License, certificates, permits or other documents to satisfy Participating Government Agencies (PGA) regulations if needed
  • Packing list
  • Descriptive literature for classification purposes
  • Any other supporting documentation the goods may have (MSDS sheets, mill certificates, etc.)

Without these items prepared, you can anticipate:

  • Delays in customs clearance resulting in risk of demurrage or storage
  • Unexpected duties if free trade certificates cannot support a lower rate of duty or duty-free entry status
  • Incorrectly classified goods that may result in unexpected duties
  • Refused entry of your goods if certain licenses or permits were not available at time of release
  • Additional costs and delays for rush documents

Best practices for importers

Partnering with our customs brokers means partnering with over a hundred combined years of wisdom. Empower yourself by knowing what’s needed so you can steer clear of audits, avoidable delays, overpaying duty and unnecessary surprises. Work with us and we’ll get your goods—and your knowledge—moving in the right direction.


I just want to say how pleased I am with Cole's quick response to handling an unexpected situation where time was a big factor. I needed to stop a northbound shipment on the U.S. side that was close to the border and have it returned to the sender. I called Cole first and instructed them to refuse the shipment for clearance. Then I called the carrier. Timing was close, but Cole caught it, and that saved me time and money! I've had a good relationship with Cole International for a number of years. They have always provided excellent service, being easy to get a hold of and able to answer technical questions, and solve problems. Having a dedicated account manager who works with a larger team is one of the greatest benefits enjoyed by a Cole International client.

- Ross, Winnipeg, MB