Exports and Export Permits


To carry out all details related to the exportation of foreign goods, while adhering to all government regulations and agencies (i.e. Export and Imports Permits Act, Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, etc.).


This procedure applies to all exports from McMaster University.


When exporting goods from Canada, the shipper is fully responsible for compliance with all of the Government of Canada’s/Canada Border Services Agency’s rules, regulations and legislation. Failure to comply may result in the seizure and/or forfeiture of goods and penalties/ fines including imprisonment.

It is the responsibility of the exporting department or individual to ensure that any required Export Declarations and/or Export Permits have been obtained prior to exportation. A copy of the Export Permit must be provided to the Customs & Traffic Division prior to export.

All members of the University community must fully cooperate in the exportation process in an effort to achieve both University and government compliance. All documentation regarding exports (permits, commercial invoices, packing lists, B13A Export Declarations, etc.) must be kept on file for
6 years plus current.

Packaging and labeling is the responsibility of the shipper to ensure that the package is fully protected; and must be properly labeled with a name, address, postal code, attention line, and telephone number; and identified with a return address.



Whenever a shipment crosses an international border, the goods may be subject to duties and/or taxes assessed by the government of the country of import.

When you are exporting goods, you will need to determine who will be responsible for the customs clearance and payment of any applicable duties and/or taxes. Usually, the recipient (consignee) in the country of destination acts as the Importer of Record, and is responsible for customs clearance, duties, and/or taxes payable. You must indicate who the Importer of Record is on your waybill and/or Customs Invoice.

If you are temporarily exporting University equipment, hand carried or in your own vehicle, appropriate documentation must be completed prior to your departure. Contact Customs and Traffic for assistance. Please note, for shipments being carried into the U.S. by ground, detailed information must be provided to U.S. customs via the University’s customs broker prior to arrival at the border. At least 72 hours notice must be provided to Customs and Traffic to arrange this type of transaction. Failure to comply with these instructions could result in penalties or, in the case of University goods returning, duplicate payment of duties and/or taxes.

Additional information regarding exporting can be found on the CBSA website under Exporting Goods from Canada – A Handy Guide for Exporters, and the CBSA website.

Commercial/Pro Forma/Customs Invoice and other Customs Documentation

The shipper must fill out a Commercial/Pro Forma/Customs Invoice, and any additional Customs documentation (Customs and Traffic will complete the Export Declaration B13A – see below for additional information) necessary for entry into the destination country (country of import). Customs documents such as the Commercial Invoice, Pro Forma Invoice, FCC Form 740, and FDA Radiation Form FD2877 (see below) may be obtained on the Federal Express website. The forms are available in a blank format, or may be completed online and printed.

All shipments clear customs based on the information that the shipper provides on their commercial/customs invoices and any other documentation accompanying the shipment. The documentation should indicate what the items are in common terms, as well as in detail. If the documentation does not clearly describe the items with enough detail for the custom broker to determine the proper harmonized system tariff classification, delays and errors can result. Errors in classification can result in higher duties and/or taxes payable.

Small letters and envelopes do not require export documentation unless they contain manuscripts, materials or parts. However, a description of the goods should be noted on the air waybill or bill of lading.

Shipments being sent via Canada Post require a Customs Declaration form. Please visit the Canada Post website for additional information.

Export Declaration (B13A)

Exports to non-U.S. destinations must be reported to CBSA when they have a commercial value of $2000.00 CAD or more; or are controlled, regulated or prohibited; regardless of value. It is the exporter’s responsibility to ensure an Export Declaration (B13A) has been submitted to CBSA and, verify all information is true and accurate. Customs & Traffic will electronically file an Export Declaration (B13A) on behalf of the exporter via the Canadian Automated Export Declaration Program. Please provide Customs and Traffic with a copy of your Commercial/Customs Invoice prior to export. Customs and Traffic will supply the shipper with a copy of the Export Declaration (B13A) to be included on the outside of the package along with the Commercial/Customs Invoice. Also, the shipper must note on the courier waybill that a B13A has been filed electronically, and reference the Authorization ID/Form ID number.

Export Permits

It is the responsibility of the exporting department or individual to ensure that the regulations cited under the Export and Import Permits Acts are met. Exporters must determine if their items for export are contained on the Canadian Export Control List. If the item is on the list, you will need to apply for an Export Permit prior to exporting the goods from Canada. This process can take a few weeks, so please ensure you have enough lead time prior to exporting.

For general information please visit Canada's Export and Import Controls and the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada website.

Goods that are subject to export controls include, but are not limited to:

  • Agricultural products
  • Textiles and Clothing
  • Military, Strategic and Dual-use Goods
  • Nuclear Energy Materials and Technology
  • Missile, Chemical or Biological goods of Non-proliferation concern
  • Softwood Lumber, Unprocessed Logs and certain Other Forest Products
  • Miscellaneous Goods including Goods of U.S. Origin, and Certain Items with Medical Value
  • All Goods Destined for Countries on the Area Control List: Myanmar (Burma) and Belarus

Import Permits – Destination Country

The shipper must determine if the item for export needs an import permit in the destination country country of import). If an import permit is needed, you may need to notify the recipient to avoid delivery delays.

Wood Packaging Material (WPM)

If you are using non-manufactured or raw wood packaging material for your export shipment, the WPM must conform to the destination country's (country of imports) Government standards on wood packaging materials. The intent of these requirements is to reduce the risk of introducing harmful pests transported and spread via untreated wood packaging.

Most countries have implemented the requirements of the International Standard on Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM15) that was approved by the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC). ISPM15 requires all non-manufactured or raw wood packaging material and dunnage to be either heat- treated or fumigated with methyl bromide and marked with an internationally recognized IPPC mark.

Depending on the country of destination, failure to comply with these measures may result in refusal of entry for the shipment, customs clearance delay and/or seizure of the shipment and removal of the wood or fumigation of the shipment at the expense of the importer or exporter.

For example, if you are exporting an item to the U.S. using wood packaging materials, the WPM must conform to the US Government's standards. The US Government has also adopted ISPM15. Please visit the U.S. Requirements for WPM website for additional information.

Ultimate Consignee Number for All Exports to USA

If an item is being exported to the U.S., U.S. Customs requires you to include an Ultimate Consignee(UC) number on the shipping documentation. The UC number can be:

  • A Federal ID or IRS EIN (Internal Revenue Service Employer Identification Number) if the item is either sold or shipped to a company in the U.S.A
  • Social Security Number (SSN) if the item is either sold or shipped to a person in the U.S.

Note: A UC number is only needed if the exported item is valued at $2,000 US or over, however a UC number should be provided for all exports to the U.S. in order to avoid any potential problems or delays with U.S. Customs.

FCC Form 740 for Exports to U.S.

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulates the importation of any product which is capable of transmitting radio frequency (RF) energy while being operated. If the export item is a radio frequency device (or emits a frequency) and it is being exported to the USA, a FCC Form 740 (Statement Regarding the Importation of Radio Frequency Devices Capable of Causing Harmful Interference) must be completed for each radio frequency device.

Typical examples of devices that require the use of FCC Form 740 include but are not limited to:

  • radio and TV receivers
  • converters
  • transmitters
  • transmitting devices
  • radio frequency amplifiers
  • microwave ovens
  • industrial heaters
  • ultrasonic equipment
  • transceivers
  • computers

For instructions on how to fill out the form and a copy of FCC Form 740, please visit the FCC website and scroll down to 740.

FDA Radiation Form FD2877 for Exports to U.S.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates the entry of all products that pose a potential health risk to U.S. consumers. These products include radiation-emitting devices. The FDA Form FD2877 (Declaration for Imported Electronic Products Subject to Radiation Control Standards) is a declaration for imported electronic products and their parts subject to FDA's radiation control standards. Typical examples of devices that require the use of FDA Form FD2877 include but are not limited to:

  • computer monitors
  • computer laser printers
  • television receivers
  • microwave ovens
  • sun lamps
  • cellular telephones
  • most other laser, ultrasonic and x-ray products

For instructions on how to fill out the form and a copy of FDA Form FD2877, please visit the FDA website.