Canadian Carrier code‏

  • Date: 12/02/2015
  • Author: George Radu

The Club would like to remind Members that to transact business with the Canada Border Services Agency  (CBSA ), carriers require a carrier code, regardless of how often they cross the Canadian border with commercial goods. A carrier code is a four-character unique identifier that is assigned by the CBSA to identify a carrier. From the 31st March 2015 all qualified carriers must have their own Canadian Carrier code any previous codes will no longer be eligible.

For assessing carrier code eligibility, a carrier is a person involved in international commercial transportation who operates a conveyance used to transport specified goods to or from Canada. To operate a conveyance means to have legal custody and control of the conveyance as:

a) an owner,

b) a lessee under a lease or agreement of hire,

c) a charterer under an agreement of hire,

d) as a purchaser under a conditional sale or hire purchase agreement that reserves to the vendor the title to the conveyance until the purchase price is paid or certain conditions are performed, or

e) a mortgagor.

To apply for a code, carriers must determine if they need a non- bonded or bonded code. The Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) strongly recommends that marine carriers apply for a bonded carrier code, as a bond is required anytime unreleased goods move beyond the first port of arrival.  The first port of arrival is defined as the first Canadian port that a vessel stops for any reason including but not limited to the loading and or discharging of cargo, anchoring, bunkering, safety inspections, crew changes, diversions, etc.

The CBSA encourages all carriers to apply early and not wait, as the requirement will be on the carrier to ensure they are eligible and meet the CBSA’s definition of a carrier once the regulation is passed. More information on how to apply for a carrier code is available on the CBSA’s website:

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