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April 15: COVID-19 Commercial Update to Industry Stakeholders

The following is provided by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)

Key Issues

Ports Of Entry POE) Update

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the CBSA is temporarily reducing service hours at a total of 27 Canadian land border locations. The temporary hour adjustments are in effect as of April 15, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. (EDT) and will remain in effect until further notice. This temporary reduction of service hours will be reviewed on an ongoing basis as the public health situation evolves. Additional details can be found on the associated news release.

The 27 identified land borders are ports that have limited commercial traffic and only one, Morses Line, Quebec, is closed to commercial traffic. A full list can be found on the CBSA website.

Today’s announcement also includes an updated Order under which any travellers arriving in Canada—whether they are symptomatic or asymptomatic—cannot isolate or quarantine in a place where they would be in contact with people who are vulnerable, such as adults aged 65 years or over and people with pre-existing medical conditions. Travellers who cross the border regularly to ensure the continued flow of goods and essential services, or individuals who receive or provide other essential services to Canadians, are still exempt from the requirements to quarantine themselves, as long as they do not have symptoms of COVID-19 upon entry in Canada.

Persons exempt from mandatory quarantine are still required to wear an appropriate mask or face covering upon entry into Canada and while in transit, and should otherwise respect the intent of the Order to minimize the spread of COVID-19 in Canada. Additional details can be found on the associated news release.

Tariff Classification and Other Information to Import Medical Supplies

A list of medical supplies for COVID-19 based on Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS) codes provided by the World Customs Organization has been identified by tariff classification under Canada’s Customs Tariff. We would like to reiterate not only the importance of the accuracy of use of the HS Codes, but the accuracy of description as well. It is especially important, as we look to help facilitate the expedited movement of critical medical supplies into the country. For example, with the importation of N95 respirator masks, not only is the proper HS code required, but please ensure that “N95” is included within key words of the description as well.

Please find attached a link to the original Customs Notice and corresponding list of HS Codes related to medical supplies for COVID-19.

Official updates on COVID-19 are available on the Government of Canada website.


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COVID-19 is a global challenge. Keeping our supply chains moving is important for maintaining the health and wellbeing of citizens and businesses. While the Canada - U.S. border is now closed to non-essential traffic, it is still open for trade and commerce. We are committed to doing our part for global supply chains.

We are protecting the health and safety of our employees. They are working from home, except for critical functions that require certain equipment or managing paper/courier flow. In those cases we are following social distancing guidelines.

We are open and available to assist you, and key players in your supply chains. Our dedicated staff are available 24/7 and our brokerage and logistics experts are available to help you make adjustments to your supply chain, if necessary.

We encourage you to check out the government programs available to families, businesses, exporters and importers. And, while respecting the need for social distancing we encourage everyone, including our staff, to reach out and remain connected to family, friends, colleagues and customers.

Stay safe.

Peter Willson
Chairman & CEO
Willson International

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Stay Connected. Stay Positive. Stay Informed.