Purchasing U.S. or International Goods


Goods purchased from U.S. or international suppliers, regardless of value, must be acquired through the Purchase Order system, whenever possible. These types of purchases should not be secured using the MasterCard/acquisition card if the supplier will accept a Purchase Order. Exemptions to this rule include Library acquisitions, Bookstore acquisitions, memberships, on-line purchases (where a Purchase Order number cannot be used) and foreign acquisitions purchased while abroad.

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is now enforcing strict customs compliance through the use of a monetary penalty system. One way for McMaster University to achieve compliance with CBSA is to introduce the mandatory use of purchase orders to ensure more accurate record keeping.

Accurate record keeping begins with the purchaser. It is imperative to provide a detailed description of the commodity including type/composition and use on the Purchase Requisition. For example, when ordering replacement brushes for existing laboratory equipment, the requisition should state "stainless steel motor brushes for incubator, Catalogue # B1234". Referencing only the catalogue number or the word "brushes" on the requisition is not enough information for the goods to be accurately classified with CBSA at the time of import.

Accurate record keeping also requires that goods acquired through the Purchase Order system must be received by either General Receiving (1280 Main St. W.) or Health Sciences Centre (HSC) Receiving (1200 Main St. W.). Purchasers placing their own orders must ask their supplier to reference either “General Receiving” or “HSC Receiving”, along with their complete delivery address including name, department, building, room number, phone extension and Purchase Order number. Exceptions to this include perishables, dangerous goods, and specialized shipments (i.e. over-sized, high weight, sensitive). These types of shipments will continue to be delivered direct to departments as long as the supplier references a building and a room number on their waybill/bill of lading. Goods received directly by the department must be reported to the appropriate Purchasing Officer upon receipt. All end users must declare any overages or shortages to the appropriate Purchasing Officer as they must be declared to Canada Border Services Agency.