Notice to industry – Reminder: It's time to start using the integrated import declaration
March 29, 2019 – Ottawa, ON – Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)
As many commercial importers and customs brokers are aware, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has been encouraging its clients to submit their release requests through the Single Window Initiative (SWI) Integrated Import Declaration (IID) when declaring CFIA regulated imports to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).
While many CFIA clients are already using the SW IID, we strongly encourage that all remaining CFIA regulated commercial importers and customs brokers make the switch to the updated import declaration system as soon as possible.
Updated decommissioning plan for legacy import declaration systems
The CBSA recently announced a phased approach to decommissioning the two older electronic data interchange (EDI) declaration methods, Other Government Department (OGD) Pre-Arrival Review System (PARS) and the OGD Release on Minimum Documentation (RMD) legacy systems.
The CBSA also stated that all those who are capable of using the SW IID are expected to make the switch as of April 1, 2019, but, for those who cannot transition to SW IID right away, the two legacy systems will remain open for a short period of time.
Service hours and service standards in the National Import Service Centre (NISC)
In response to industry concerns raised in January 2019, the CFIA has decided that it will not reduce the service hours for manually processing import declarations transmitted through the OGD-PARS and OGD-RMD processes at this time.
Although service hours in the NISC will remain 7 am to 3 am, 7 days a week, the Agency will be focusing its resources on the updated SW IID process. For this reason, as of April 1, 2019, the 4 hour informal service standard for processing OGD PARS/RMD declarations will no longer exist. In addition, NISC service level announcements will only be sent out for delays pertaining to the SW IID message.
Benefits of using the SW IID
By transitioning to the use of SW IID, the sharing of commercial import data between the Government of Canada and the import community will be streamlined. The SW IID process will also:
- allow importers to transmit their declaration up to 90 days in advance (depending on commodity)
- reduce the time needed to process import transactions
- reduce the amount of paper used when declaring imports
Becoming certified or completing testing to use the SW IID
All those who declare CFIA regulated imports to the CBSA electronically should have completed testing and became certified to transmit their import declarations through the SW IID message format by January 1, 2019 – but it still isn't too late.
If you are not certified to use the SW IID yet, contact the CBSA's Technical Commercial Client Unit:
If you use a service provider, contact them immediately to discuss the testing and certification process.
Enhanced testing with the CFIA
Enhanced testing services are also available for CFIA regulated clients who are certified to transmit SW IID declarations, but require further testing to ensure that their system is functioning properly.
To initiate enhanced system testing or seek transition support with the CFIA, send an email to:
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