How to avoid delays when importing perishables:
Make sure your shipper sends a customs invoice with a good description of the goods indicated on the commercial invoice and the shipment tracking number to Thompson, Ahern in advance. If sending via e-mail, notification should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and if by fax to 519-250-8529. Indicate "Perishable Shipment Notification" in the subject line.
The guidelines for importing food, plants and/or animals are best explained by the Canada Border Security Agency (CBSA). Please see the CBSA guidelines at their site http://cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/fpa-apa/law-loi-eng.html
To expedite your perishable or time sensitive shipment, please follow the steps listed below:
Ensure goods do not require an IMPORT PERMIT
Do not self-assess your GST for US orders; our Customs and Traffic Coordinator will look after it
Ensure the supplier has your full receiver address including your name, department, phone number and extension, listing Queen's University on the first line of address
If Queen's University is responsible for clearing the goods through customs, ask the supplier to list Thompson, Ahern as the Canadian customs broker on their commercial invoice and the waybill
Ask the supplier to ship perishables only on Mondays or Tuesdays to avoid customs delays over weekends
Ensure the supplier includes enough refrigerant to maintain the temperature of the shipment during transit. Customs & Traffic recommends a minimum of 5kg of dry ice for shipments from the U.S. and 10kg for all other international shipments
Obtain the courier name, tracking number and the ship date from the supplier so you can track your shipment either on-line or by calling the appropriate courier and requesting an update on the "status" of your package to determine if there are any delays
Normally, clearance and delivery of goods is achieved within 48-72 hours from the arrival of the goods at the appropriate Canadian port. It is common to see the message: "Regulatory Agency Clearance Delay" as the goods are waiting to clear customs. If clearance delays persist, contact the Queen's Customs & Traffic Coordinator.
Please have supplier fax a copy of the commercial invoice and probill or waybill number to Thompson Ahern @ 519-250-8529
Clearly have the supplier identify the contents of the shipment and indicate on all paperwork and on the packaging that the goods are Perishable and on Dry Ice
Actual value of goods and currency of settlement, e.g. U.S. funds, Canadian funds, etc. If "no charge" or "free goods" are being sent, the actual replacement value of the sample must be indicated
STATING A VALUE OF $1.00 IS NOT ACCEPTABLE