The import requirements of most countries are very similar to those of Canada, although the Customs release times and processes can vary greatly. Documentation requirements will include a Customs Invoice declaration containing the same information as required by Canada Customs.

When preparing to export goods, you should consider the requirements of other government agencies in the destination country which may govern the importation of the goods. Although you as an exporter cannot apply for import permits into other countries, it is a worthwhile exercise to ask a consignee if they have any special import permit or license requirements. Not all goods require special permits, licenses or specialty declarations. However, failure to ensure it is included can result in delays, seizure or forfeiture in the destination country. Not all goods can be automatically returned to sender.

Procurement Services Administrator will prepare Customs documents to meet the information requirements of most countries. Request for paperwork are made using the Export Documentation Form.

It is important to understand that the information required by a courier or transportation company may appear to be a duplication requirements for Customs. However the information required by transport companies is less detailed and required to report the general details of a shipment in advance of its arrival in the destination country. This is part of the required transportation security requirements of all transport companies. The paperwork prepared for Customs is more detailed and discloses all aspects of the reason for shipment.

Shipments to foreign countries require preparation of export papers and compliance with regulations governing the importation of the goods or equipment into the country to which they are consigned. The preparation of proper export documents to accompany shipments is of particular importance when goods or equipment are sent to foreign country. If proper documentation does not accompany the shipment, the foreign Supplier may experience difficulty in clearance of the shipment on arrival. This results in delay and expense which would otherwise been avoided. The university may also be liable on re-entry of the goods or equipment for Duty and Federal tax based on full value rather than on the actual cost of repair or exchange. When preparing a shipment for export the sender should complete an Export Documentation form found on Strategic Procurement Services web page under shipping forms. The Customs and Traffic Coordinator will prepare the proper documentation from the information provided and it will be sent to the sender.

Exporting reporting is required in a number of situations. Most notably will  be shipments valued at $2,000.00 or greater or where the goods are subject to export controls. Any shipment subject to an export permit or license requirement must be reported to the Canada Border Services Agency prior to export.

Since there is no central shipping and receiving facility on Campus, it is the Sender's responsibility to pack the shipment and arrange for transportation. Assistance in regard to transportation arrangements will be provided by the Customs and Traffic Coordinator on request.

It is the responsibility of the shipper to ensure permits are not required for their shipment.

When biohazardous material is to be exported, or transferred from one lab to another within the University or elsewhere in Canada, it is now under the Human Pathogens Toxins Act and Regulations that the Biosafety Officer is informed prior to transfer. The Biosafety Officer will assist Queen's personnel in their regulatory obligation to ensure that the recipient has the appropriate facilities to work with the material.

All goods going International require a commercial invoice. It is good practice to put one inside your shipment and have three copies on top of the box for the courier driver. When you are exporting goods, you will have to determine who will be responsible for the customs clearance and the payment of any applicable duties and/or taxes. Usually the consignee(the person or company you are shipping to) in the country of destination acts as the Importer of Record and is responsible for customs clearance, duties and/or taxes payable.

Before you ship/export, you must determine who will be acting as importer of record in the destination country and who will be paying for the customs clearance, taxes and/or duties.

Country of Origin: The country of origin refers to the country in which the item was manufactured, not just where the item is coming from  (ie, the country of origin is not Canada unless the item was made in Canada).

Export Permits: You must ensure that the regulations cited under the Export and Import Permits Act for Canada are followed: It is the responsibility of the exporting department/person to ensure that the provisions of this Act are met.

Determine if items for export are on the Canadian Export Control List, if the items are on the list you will need an export permit to be issued prior to exporting the goods from Canada.

Please note: You are responsible for compliance: if your export item(s) require export permit(s) are exported without the necessary permit(s), your item(s) may be seized by customs.

Import Permits: Determine if item(s) for export need an import permit in the destination country(country of import), if an import permit is needed, you may need to notify the importer of your exported item(s) to avoid delays to the shipment upon importation. The permit must be in their hand before the shipment is shipped.

As per the new Venezuela customs regulations effective January 19, 2015, shippers and consignees must be aware of the following changes:

  • Any Broker Select Option (BSO) or formal shipments (shipments with a customs declared value above $2000 USD) will require a new Power of Attorney (POA) signed by the consignee if a POA is not already on file with customs. A POA is not required for shipments under $2000 USD if they are not considered BSO/Formal.
  • Commodities requiring any licenses/permits will require the license/permit to be issued at least 25 working days before the date of arrival of the shipment. Licenses/permits that are issued less than 25 working days before the date of arrival of the shipment may not be accepted. Below is the list of commodities that have a higher tendency of being subject to licenses/permits.
  • SENCAMER Permit:  
    • Used clothing (not required for personal effects)
    • Finished textiles (samples that are not mutilated)
    • Footwear
    • Vehicles parts (windshield, brakes)
    • Sanitary Permit:  
      • Food and beverages
      • Products containing animal or vegetable origin
      • Cosmetics
      • Pharmaceutical products
      • Medicine

It is strongly recommended that prior to shipping any BSO/Formal shipments or commodities requiring a license/permit, shippers contact their consignees in Venezuela to ensure their shipments comply with the new regulations.

Shipments that do not comply with the new regulations may be returned to the shipper at the shipper’s expense; experience clearance delays, and/or are subject to fine and penalties.

The information provided above may change without notice depending on Venezuela Customs interpretation or further regulation of the new Customs Statute.


SENIAT - Venezuela Customs


If you have questions please contact the Queen's Customs and Traffic Coordinator, Ruth Lappan (lappanr@queensu.ca or x74236)

Required Information for all Shipments of Non-Infectious Human Material

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regulates the importation of human material which includes both infectious and non-infectious substances. 

Non-infectious substances do not require import permits; however, since the regulation of these products was moved from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to the CDC, additional documentation is required. 

For shipments of non-infectious materials of human origin, the following information must always be provided on the customs documentation regardless of the value of the goods.

  • Human origin
  • Non-infectious
  • Description of the material - blood, serum, plasma, etc.
  • Source of the material - bone, tissue, organ, hair, etc.
  • End use - diagnostic, transplant, etc.

Example of a good description - 'Human, non-infectious blood sample for diagnostic purposes'.

In addition, a signed statement attesting to the non-infectious nature of the material must be provided separately. The statement must be signed by the importer or the person responsible for the shipment.

This signed certification must contain the complete description of the material and how it is deemed non-infectious - either by rendering non-infectious, or not known or suspected to contain infectious material.

Download the Queen's Non-Infectious Material of Human Origin Statement template (PDF, 62 KB).

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