Importing Food into Canada with a Safe Food for Canadians Licence

[March 9, 2021 – Toronto, CA] – Recently, Canada’s importing and exporting oversight agencies announced that as of March 15, 2021, all food import transactions will be rejected unless they have a valid Safe Food for Canadians (SFC) licence that can be entered into their Integrated Import Declaration (IID).

If a transaction is stopped or rejected, the food importer may experience delays and have all of their shipment held at the border until the proper SFC licensing issues are addressed and an accurate IID form is resubmitted.

It’s important for those importing food into Canada to have already obtained their SFC licence to import prior to presenting their shipment at the Canadian border. This is because importers will be unable to obtain the proper licence at the border.

Those that currently hold a licence should review their profile to ensure that it has been issued for “importing” and that the commodities you intend to import are mentioned on the licence.

For those that don’t currently hold an SFC licence, it’s important to note that the application for a new licence or any request to amend a current licence could take up to 15 business days or longer.

To apply for a Safe Food for Canadians licence, importers need to create an account in My CFIA, and determine their licence structure before applying. There is no limit to the number of SFC licences one can hold; importers can operate on a single licence or multiple ones to suit their needs.

More information about importing food into Canada with a Safe Food for Canadians licence can be found here.

More About Argo Customs

The team from Argo Customs are procedural experts with all of the governmental agencies involved in exporting and importing goods in and out of Canada. Their specialists can provide customs clearance assistance and exchange shipments with any country on any form of transportation, saving you a great deal of time, trouble, and resources.

Learn more about Argo Customs by contacting 1 (888) 311-8303 or set-up an online account today!

Canada Border Services Agency Investigating Alleged Injurious Dumping of Upholstered Domestic Seating

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) began investigating imports originating from China and Vietnam for illegal dumping of upholstered domestic seating. It is believed that these products are originating from China and Vietnam. The CBSA received the complaint on October 16, 2020, from Palliser Furniture, Ltd., a company based out of Winnipeg. Palliser and several other companies joined in the complaint alleging the import of these goods are them material harms in the form of lost profits and market share, reduced capacity, price depression, and low prices.

The CBSA started its investigation on December 21, 2020. The CBSA will determine whether the goods are being sold at subsidized or unfair prices and will issue a preliminary decision on March 22, 2021. Concurrently, the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) will conduct a parallel investigation to determine if the imports are harming domestic producers. The CITT will issue its decision on February 19, 2021.

The goods subject to the investigation are upholstered seating under the following tariff classifications:

  • 9401.40.00.00
  • 9401.61.10.10
  • 9401.61.10.90
  • 9401.71.10.10
  • 9401.71.10.90

Upholstered means leather, pleather, and other fabric covers that are used with pads and springs to provide a soft covering for a seat frame. The covering can be permanent or semi-permanent (i.e., sewed or attached with Velcro). The definition also includes removable cushions. The types of seating include various types of chairs.

Illegal dumping refers to goods being imported at artificially low prices to either (1) undermine a domestic competitor or (2) to dump a large stock of a particular good. Illegal dumping can significantly harm domestic industries. Illegal dumping is a problem because certain countries, like Vietnam and China, specialize their industries in providing consumer and industrial goods at a larger scale than their Canadian counterparts and can use their lower labor and operating costs to outcompete domestic companies. The World Trade Organization, regional trade groups, and bilateral trade agreements restrict illegal dumping.

Contact ARGO Customs foo Canadian Importing & Exporting

ARGO Customs provides import and exporting solutions and services for personal and commercial shipments. To learn more, visit or call 1 (888) 311-8303 today.

Canadian Export Experts Argo Customs Now Support the CERS Declaration System

December 15, 2020 – Toronto, On – The new Canadian Export Reporting System (CERS) is now online, and the experts at Argo Customs are ready to help shippers adopt this new system.  CERS is a free web-based self-service portal that is designed to speed up export declarations.  Features such as universal accessibility from any browser and the ability to make bulk declarations can help streamline shipments – and ARGO Customs has the expertise to make it easy.

This is the basic process:

  1. All exporters must have a business number issued by the Canada Revenue Agency.
  2. Exporters must identify all goods being exported, and vouch that they are also legally admissible at the country of final destination
  3. If the goods are in some way controlled, regulated, or prohibited, a permit may be required.  Argo Customs may be able to help in securing required documentation.
  4. The export declaration must include the appropriate export code for the goods.  This can be determined manually via the Canadian Customs Calculator, or Argo Customs can assist in the determination.
  5. The method of shipment (air, rail, highway, etc.) must be reported, along with an expected timeframe for the shipment.
  6. With these pieces of information, Argo Customs can then complete and submit the declaration.   In some situations, declarations may not be necessary – Argo can assist in determining these situations and ensuring proper labeling.
  7. Argo Customs can directly utilize CERS to finish the declaration on your behalf, making it easier than ever to complete shipments.

ARGO Customs is excited to be able to bring this new service to its customers. CERS will make exports faster and more reliable, as well as gathering vital data to help the Canada Border Services Agency provide better service in the future.  Any Canadian exporters are advised to contact a broker like Argo Customs for assistance in setting up their shipments.

About ARGO Customs

ARGO Customs employs exports in global imports and exports to provide the smoothest possible experience when moving goods in and out of Canada.  They can handle even complicated shipping situations while minimizing any bureaucratic problems and avoiding costly violations.  Argo Customs saves shippers time and money whenever moving goods across the Canadian border.

For more information or press inquiries, please contact 1 (888) 311-8303.

Argo Customs & FAQs About CUSMA

[Nov. 30, 2020 – Toronto, CA] – Recently, some significant changes were made to The Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement’s (CUSMA) policies. Since it’s such an important aspect of importing and exporting in and out of Canada, the team from Argo Customs has collected some information here about the most recent changes.

Here are the most frequently asked questions related to the CUSMA updates.

Q: How are the latest CUSMA amendments applied?

A: The most recent amendments to the CUSMA regulations are applied retroactively.

Q: If my certificate of origin was issued under NAFTA but hasn’t been in effect for 12 months, will I need to have a new one issued, or is the old one still valid?

A: Unfortunately, the NAFTA certificate is only valid for goods imported under NAFTA and release on or before June 30, 2020. If will not be accepted for claims under CUSMA. Those importing goods into Canada moving forward will need to have a new CUSMA certification at the time of import.

Q:  Our Vendor has indicated there is no possible way they will have the resources to issue a CUSMA certificate to us by July 1, 2020. I understand the general regulations of who and how the new certificate can be created and the requirements of each field; but I am not confident to issue an importer certificate because of changes to our vendor’s sourcing and routing in the current environment.

A: For many goods, there will be no difference between the NAFTA and CUSMA rules of origin. Therefore, the importer can claim preferential treatment for goods released on or after July 1st, 2020, and the CUSMA rules of origin will apply, including provisions on the CUSMA certification of origin.

Based on the above, the CUSMA certification of origin must be used to certify that the goods meet the rules of origin under the CUSMA, and as such, there will be no transition period.

More About Argo Customs

For years, the team from Argo Customs has helped streamline the Canadian customs clearance process with their customs software solutions. They’re procedural experts with all of the governmental agencies involved in exporting and importing goods in and out of Canada, including Industry Canada, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Environment Canada, and many others.

The specialists from Argo Customs can provide customs clearance assistance and exchange shipments with any country on any form of transportation, saving you a great deal of time, troubles, and resources.

To learn more about Customs clearance in Canada (import and export), contact us at 1 (888) 311-8303 or set-up an online account today!

CFIA Updates Compliance & Enforcement Policy

[Nov. 24, 2020 – Toronto, CA] – The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) recently announced that in an effort to drive more strategic, fair, and consistent compliance they’ve updated their Compliance and Enforcement Policy.

The move comes as part of a greater overall enforcement approach enabling the CFIA to continue effectively delivering its mandate by employing a compliance continuum based on transparency.

There’s no major policy shift in terms of the Compliance and Enforcement Policy update, which hasn’t been revamped since 2015. But there are some notable changes important to those importing and exporting food into, or out of Canada.

Some of the highlights include revisions to the policy to add Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR), as well as changes to the information about Administrative Monetary Penalties (AMP). Additional updates were also needed to address the evolving nature of the CFIA’s operating environment, making note of such things as the online services it offers to various regulated parties through the agency’s My CFIA tool.

Other key changes to the policy include the detailed explanation of the agency’s inspection versus investigation tactics delineated under the “Roles and Responsibilities” section. It also included a new “Inquiries” section in the policy, and the removal of the “Department of Justice Roles.”

More About the CFIA

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is a regulatory agency committed to safeguarding food, plants, and animals in Canada and to enhance the well-being of the country’s people, environment, and economy. The agency is governed by the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister of Health.

Find more information about the CFIA here or call 1 (800) 442-2342.

More About Argo Customs

Argo Customs is a leading customs brokerage company in Canada dedicated to streamlining the Canadian Customs clearance process through the use of state-of-the-art software and years of expertise. Their team of highly-experienced, fully-licensed international trade specialists work with all governmental departments and agencies, including the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Industry Canada, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, Environment Canada, and many others.

To learn more about their importing and exporting solutions, contact them online or call 1 (888) 311-8303.

CFIA Reduces Inspection Frequency for Meat from Particular Countries

Recently, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has announced that they’re going to reduce the inspection frequency of all meat shipments from New Zealand and Australia. The decision is due in part to both countries’ good compliance rates for meats that are imported into Canada.

As of November, 2020, brokers of meat and meat products from New Zealand and Australia can take advantage of the CFIA’s Automated Shipment Inspection Status Search Tool (ASISST) to determine whether or not their shipment will require CFIA inspection. The decision will then be available after a shipment has cleared Canadian customers and brokers have received a notification from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).

Moving forward, meat shipments imported from New Zealand and Australia will only be subject to a 10 percent random inspection frequency. All of the shipments that don’t require an inspection can be transferred directly to the importer’s warehouse or final destination in Canada.

As one of Canada’s leading importer and exporter firms, the team from Argo Customs understands the many moving parts of bringing goods into the country or shipping them out of Canada. For those who need more information regarding the recent changes in meat imports from New Zealand and Australia, our team of experts is always available to help.

Contact Argo Customs today for your import/export needs!

In addition to the services mentioned above, Argo Customs is also equipped to offer customs consulting solutions. We can provide you with professional expertise to minimize your import/export costs and ensure that all of your activities are in-line with the most current Canadian regulations. These services include things like freight forwarding consulting, tariff classification analysis, NAFTA services, and more.

Additionally, Argo Customs offers specialized services for personal shipments to ensure that all of your cargo clears Canadian customs, as well as the ability to check your cargo status online.

For more information, contact us online today or call 1 (888) 311-8303.

Aluminum Tariffs & Retaliatory Tariffs

As Canada was poised to announce a round of retaliatory tariffs aimed at United States exports, the US government announced they would be dropping the 10% tariff on Canadian aluminum which had previously been imposed.  It is not publicly known what exact US exports would have received tariffs, although reports were that they would have strategically targeted states and industries considered important to US President Trump.

This is not the end of the line.  The US government promised to revisit the issue in the future.  Likewise, the Trudeau administration has reaffirmed their willingness to initiate tariffs, should the US resume pressure on Canadian exports.

These are uncertain times for anyone doing cross-border commerce between Canada and the United States.  Anyone who relies heavily on importation into Canada is strongly recommended to find partners who can help them navigate political and bureaucratic tensions.  When the rules, regulations, and tariffs can potentially change in a matter of days due to political shifts, only true experts who specialize in keeping up with trade regulations will be able to guarantee deliveries on either side of the border.

About ARGO Customs

ARGO Customs specializes in aiding importers looking to legally ship goods into and out of Canada while navigating the bureaucracy which surrounds Canadian customs.  The trade specialists at ARGO are deeply familiar with import and export policies around the world and can offer critical help for importers and exporters around the world.  With fair rates and a focus on customer satisfaction, partnering with ARGO Customs means seeing goods arrive on time, with a minimum of hassle.

For more information, please visit call toll-free: 1 (888) 311-8303.


ARGO Customs Wants Canadian Importers to Be Aware of Coming Aluminum-Related Surtaxes

August 30, 2020 – Vancouver, BC – Anyone taking aluminum goods manufactured in the United States and importing them into Canada needs to be aware of new fees that will be applied at the border, say the importation experts at ARGO Customs.

Beginning on September 21, 2020, a wide range of aluminum products, manufactured in the United States, will have an additional surtax of 10% applied to them upon importation.  This measure was undertaken as retaliation against the United States’ own recent tariffs on Canadian-made aluminum products.  The length of time this surtax will be applied is unknown and will be contingent on US-Canadian diplomatic efforts going forward.

More than sixty product types are affected, including:

  • Aluminum ores and concentrates
  • Fluorides, chlorides, and sulfates of aluminum
  • Unwrought aluminum and aluminum alloys
  • Aluminum bars, rods, plates, foil, and wires
  • Aluminum doors and windows
  • Aluminum casks, cans, drums, and similar containers
  • Aluminum-built appliances, including washing machines and refrigerators
  • Aluminum furniture or exercise equipment

A full list of the affected items is available from the Canadian Department of Finance.

The surtax will only apply to items that are manufactured in the US, as per the terms of the CUSMA, and does not apply to goods originally made overseas.  The surtax will also not be charged on items that are already en route between the United States and Canada on September 21, 2020.  Canada’s Duties Relief and Duty Drawback Programs will still provide relief to these surtaxes, for importers who qualify.

This may substantially complicate the process of importing aluminum products into Canada.  Importers are encouraged to contact a licensed and experienced importation broker to help them understand how they will be affected by these new surtaxes, and whether they have any alternatives to paying them.

About ARGO Customs

ARGO Customs is a highly experienced Canadian importation broker which specializes in helping importers move their products through the border with a minimum of delay.  Their team of world trade experts are fully versed in global trade agreements and treaties and have the skills to ensure every shipment goes smoothly.

For more information or press inquiries, please contact 1-888-311-8303 or visit


ARGO Customs Clarifies the May 5 Certain Goods Remission Order

May 20, 2020 – Toronto, ON – Regulations on the importation of goods into Canada are changing rapidly due to the Coronavirus outbreak, and the Canadian importation specialists at ARGO Customs want to help importers understand the latest order from the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA).  Notice CN 20-19, issued on May 5, 2020, substantially expands on the goods eligible for customs duty relief, making it easier and more attractive to import these vital goods.

The order covers a wide variety of medical goods and products, including but not limited to:

  • Face masks, with or without a filter
  • Disposable plastic and rubber medical gloves
  • Protective garments made of plastics, rubber, cotton, and other materials
  • Sterilizing products such as isopropyl alcohol and soaps
  • Disposable sundries such as biohazard bags

Companies importing these products, in accordance to regulation, will be eligible for relief of the standard importation duties for as long as this order remains in effect.  Importers can claim the relief at time of importation, or within two years of the importation date.

To file a claim, proper evidence and documentation will be required.  This includes the original Form B3-3, sales invoices, contracts, bills of lading, and other official documentation.

It is important to recognize that these duty waivers are not retroactive.  For goods to be eligible, they must have been imported after May 5, 2020.  Any goods imported prior to the adoption of CN 20-19 will still owe duties as normal.

Keeping up with the rapid changes to Canadian importation laws can be difficult, with new laws and advisories coming on a weekly basis.  ARGO Customs recommends importers partner with a qualified customs broker to help ensure they are always fully compliant with the latest regulations.

About ARGO Customs

ARGO Customs specializes in easing the process of importing goods into Canada, as well as facilitating exports.  Their team of world-class shipping advisors are familiar with customs regulations around the globe, while also keeping up with the latest in Canadian importation rules.  Regardless of the size of the company or shipment, ARGO Customs will see it delivered in the shortest possible time, without mishap.

For more information or press inquiries, please contact 1 (888) 311-8303 or visit today.


Import Emergency Goods into Canada Without Paying Tariffs – ARGO Customs Explains New Customs Rules

import emergency goodsApril 21, 2020 – Toronto, CA – There is good news for those looking to import emergency goods into Canada during the COVID-19 crisis, according to the importation experts at ARGO Customs.  The Canada Border Services Agency recently announced that many fees and tariffs relating to medical goods are currently being suspended due to the outbreak, and ARGO wants to help ensure as many importers as possible can take advantage of these new rules.

According to Customs Notice 20-08, “Imported Goods for Emergency Use in Response to COVID-19,” there will be relief of duties and taxes for emergency medical goods if those goods are required by:

  • Federal, provincial, or municipal governmental agencies
  • Healthcare centres 
  • First-response organizations such as police or fire departments
  • Private care residences, such as nursing homes

Currently, goods being imported for sale through private commercial outlets are not eligible for this tax relief.  Otherwise, businesses will be able to import emergency goods intended for nearly any governmental or healthcare operation without paying the standard duties and fees.

However, should goods be imported and then not used by such organizations, they will need to be exported again after the crisis has passed.  Also, importers should be aware that Border Services still reserves the right to inspect any and all cargo coming into the country.

ARGO Customs advises importers to partner with an experienced importation broker, to help them navigate the relevant paperwork, and guarantee they get any tax relief they are legally entitled to.  In pursuit of this, ARGO has also announced they will be waiving the traditional one-time account set up fee, further reducing burdens on Canadian importers.

About ARGO Customs

ARGO Customs specializes in helping businesses navigate the complexities of importing and exporting in Canada.  They employ a team of highly skilled and licensed global commerce experts and have extensive experience navigating the bureaucracy of the Canadian customs system.  With ARGO as a partner, businesses can be assured their goods will cross the border quickly and legally.

For more information, please contact 1 (888) 311-8303 or visit