Cross-border shipping and customs documentation

All you need to know about cross-border shipping, customs brokerage, and customs/commercial invoices

Important steps when booking a cross-border shipment

  • You need to have a Commercial Invoice (for shipping from Canada to the USA), or a Canada Customs Invoice (for shipping from the USA to Canada)
    This document can take the form of a receipt or a bill, and you can obtain it from your seller.
  • After booking your load online, please upload the customs documents on your ‘My Shipments’ page, or send us the documents to [email protected]
    Please be advised that the shipment will not clear properly and that it may be delayed unless the carrier gets the customs documents before the shipment reaches the border.
  • Make sure that the shipper (the pick-up location) has a copy of the commercial invoice to give to the driver

That way you will minimize the risk of any potential issues.

Estimating customs fees through Freightera [Note: This option has been temporarily disabled.]

After filling out all the booking information, click ‘Clearance Checkout’ under ‘Estimate Customs Fees’.

Fill in all the information in the pop-up. Some of the fields will be auto-filled in based on your quote information.

Once you click ‘Generate Estimate’ it will take you to customs clearance checkout.

As soon as the order is processed through the Freightera website, you will receive an auto email from our customs broker with further instructions to complete your clearance (completing the Power of Attorney).

Please note that the Buyer Consignee on the Commercial Invoice needs to match your account name with Freightera.

If you decide to cancel the customs clearance through Freightera, you can contact our Client Care team by chatting with us, calling us at (800) 886-4870 Ext. 1 or emailing us at [email protected].

Please note that after the Power of Attorney is completed, it is not possible to cancel customs clearance through us.

Frequently Asked Questions when clearing customs through Freightera

What documents do I need for customs clearance?

A commercial invoice is the most important document and the only one that is essential for all imported goods. Here’s an example of a commercial invoice.

You may also need a packing list if customs officials request it for inspection purposes.

How much will it cost for my shipment to be cleared at customs?

Fees will vary based on what you are importing, and how much you have paid for the goods. Please use our estimation tool for an estimate of duties, taxes and fees.

Do I need to notify anyone once my shipment has been released?

No, your transporter will be automatically notified once your shipment has been released.

What is a tariff classification and where can I find it?

A tariff classification is used by Customs agencies to identify the specific product you are importing, along with the duty rate and any other government requirements it may incur.

How can I reach Customs directly?

  • Canada: contact the BIS line (1-800-461-9999)
  • USA: (877) 227-5511
  • Outside the US: (202) 325-8000

Clearing customs through your own customs broker

If you decide to clear customs using your own customs broker, please select ‘Or Use Your Customs Broker’ on the booking page, and enter all the information.

Ready to ship freight cross-border? Get freight quotes online.

If you have any questions, you can chat with us, call our super-friendly Client Care team at (800) 886-4870 Ext. 1 or email us at [email protected].

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