Below is an alert from UPS regarding shipments to Canada:

Canadian Customs has become increasingly stringent on ensuring proper paperwork to include BOL and Commercial Invoice have correct and acceptable verbiage.  Please note the RED BOLD section has been the most affected with detailed commodity description.  While this is not new, Canadian Customs has been issuing fines to carriers that do not comply.  As Canada becomes more and more strict, there is a potential of fines to be relayed to you and/or your customers for not adhering to proper paperwork.

I have included some general instructions and examples below:

o   Each Bill of Lading must contain the following information:

o   Complete shipper name and address

o   Consignee name, address, and Canadian postal code (6 digits long and follows the format letter-number-letter-number-letter-number EX: T2C2X8)

o   Complete count and description of goods being shipped

§  Piece count must be in terms of the “smallest exterior packaging unit” e.g., cases or boxes instead of just the skids or pallet count

§  See tables below for description information

o   Commodity Descriptions

o   Must be complete and detailed enough for Customs personnel in the US & Canada to estimate import duties

o   Freight of all kinds (“FAK”), general merchandise, and any other vague descriptions are not acceptable