The Canada Commercial (Customs) Invoice Template, otherwise known as form “CI1,” is a form created by the Canadian Border Services Agency for the purpose of screening inbound goods originating from outside of Canada. Those overseeing the shipment of goods are required to complete the form if the total value of the goods exceeds $1,600.
What Cannot be Shipped to Canada?
Individuals, small businesses, and corporations planning on shipping goods to Canada should take extra precautions to ensure that the shipped items are not regulated or restricted. A few of the notable items prohibited from being shipped internationally to Canada include:
- Alcoholic beverages
- Pornographic material
- Hemp products
- Plants and plant materials
- Dead or living animals
- Perishable items
- Used vehicles
For a complete list of prohibited items, checkout FedEx’s “Canada Prohibited and Restricted Items.”
How to Complete the Canada Customs Invoice
At first glance, the Canada Customs Invoice can look intimidating. With the combination of French and English field descriptions and small, non-changing font size, filling out the form may seem like the toughest part of the shipping process. But completing the form is actually quite simple, so long as the shipper knows what is being shipped and the recipient’s information. A section-by-section breakdown of form CI1 can be found below to assist with completing the form.
Section 1 (Vendor) – Enter both the name and address of the entity selling/delivering goods to Canada.
Section 2 (Shipment date) – The day, month, and year the goods began traveling to their destination in Canada.
Section 3 (Other references) – Any tracking, organizational, or accounting-related number can be entered, such as a purchase or invoice number.
Section 4 (Consignee info) – Write the consignee’s name and address in the provided space. The consignee is the entity that will have the authorization to receive the goods after they pass through customs.
Section 5 (Purchaser info) – Name and address of the individual or company that purchased the goods and is responsible for paying the tariffs/fees on the shipped items. This is the final location the goods will be shipped to.
Section 6 (Country of transshipment) – The country in which the goods most recently passed through.
Section 7 (Origin country) – Enter the name of the country in which the goods were originally made (not distributed — that’s Section 8).
Section 8 (Transportation) – The original shipping location.
Section 9 (Terms) – In this field, enter the payment structure set up for the purchaser. For example, if the seller agreed to give the buyer twenty-one (21) days to pay the invoice in full, this would be written as “Net 21.”
Section 10 (Currency) – Write the currency that was or will be used to pay for the goods. Examples include “USD,” “CAD,” “EUR,” “JPY,” “AUD,” and “INR.”
Section 11 (Package quantity) – State the number of individual packages (boxes, crates, bags, etc.) of each item. For example, if two boxes of t-shirts and three boxes of socks are being transported, instead of the number “5,” the numbers “2” and “3” would be on the form next to the appropriate item.
Section 12 (Description of goods) – Writing a detailed, accurate description of each type of good being transported is essential for passing through customs smoothly. As the form states, any identifying features of the goods should be listed, such as quality, size, and shape of the goods, to name a few.
Section 13 (Good quantities) – The number of units for each type of good. A unit can be thought of as the smallest portion of a good that could be purchased on its own.
Section 14 (Price per unit) – The cost of a single unit item. The price should match the currency entered in section 10.
Section 15 (Total per type of good) – Multiply the values in section 13 by section 14 to calculate each good’s total value.
Section 16 (Weight) – Input both the gross and net weight of the shipped goods. The gross weight accounts for packaging materials and other parts of the goods that are only used during shipping. The net weight is solely the weight of the items purchased by the buyer.
Section 17 (Total Amount) – Sum the values listed in section 15.
Section 18 (Checkbox regarding attachments) – Check the box if any fields (before section 18) are written on a commercial invoice attached to the customs invoice.
Section 19 (Transporter/Exporter name & address) – Write the name and address of the entity transporting the goods from the Canadian border to the consignee.
Section 20 (Originator) – The party that wrote the invoice. If the vendor wrote the invoice, leave the field blank.
Section 21 (Agency ruling) – If applicable, write in the date and number of the ruling determined by the Canadian Border Services Agency.
Section 22 (Checkbox regarding further fields) – If sections 23, 24, and 25 do not apply to the goods being shipped, check the box. If the box is checked, the invoice is now complete.
Section 23 (Included in section 17) – Monetary amounts that were included in the invoice’s total value should be included here. Information on what values should be included is stated on the invoice. “Export packing” refers to any costs that resulted from the need to add extra packing materials to goods during their shipment across the Canadian border.
Section 24 (Not included in section 17) – Similar to section 23 – list the values (if any) of expenses that were not included in section 17’s total value.
Section 25 (Checkbox regarding royalties & goods) – Check whether either box applies to the statement above each check. If neither applies, leave both boxes unchecked.
For more detailed information on the laws and regulations regarding shipped goods into Canada, visit the CBSA’s Memorandum D13-4-7 “Adjustments to the Price Paid or Payable.”