Any time that you travel internationally, you have to deal with customs. It is an important part of trade regulation that ensures all businesses follow the same rules. No matter whether you travel by boat, plane, or car, whenever you cross an international border your packages, belongings, luggage, etc, will likely be inspected by customs agents. These regulations and restrictions, of course, vary from country to country.
At the US-Canada border, for example, the border agents might inspect your vehicle. They might ask you to open the trunk and might request to inspect your bags. Because the relationship between the United States and Canada is so friendly, though, these inspections can be quick and easy.
Why is Customs Clearance Important?
If you are planning to bring highly valuable belongings across the US-Canada border, for example, you may have to utilize Clearit customs brokers to help you move across the border more seamlessly. These are professional companies who can make the process easier by starting your paperwork and informing the appropriate agencies ahead of time. Typically if you are visiting Canada from the United States (or the other way around) for just a few days, you won’t need this type of assistance. But if you are moving from one country to the other—and are hauling a lot of your things behind you—it could be a good idea to pursue this avenue.
When you travel the border with excessive goods, you may need to fill out export documentation. Basically, this is paperwork which itemizes the things you are bringing with you. If you are, in fact, “importing” your things to Canada, then you may need purchase order records, invoices, packing lists, shipping bills, and various other original certificates to verify the authenticity of the goods.
If you want to successfully “import” your things to Canada, you will also need to fill out a Bill of Entry, in addition to the paperwork listed above (as well as other potential documents). Once you have filled out and processed all of this paperwork you will be allowed to transport your things across the border by whichever means makes the most sense to you. You can pull it behind your car, drive a moving truck, use a shipping container, or any other valid method. Be sure to thoroughly research these methods to ensure that you understand respective costs and restrictions.