The Single Window Initiative (SWI) is a federal government process for collecting information on imports into Canada. Rather than submitting information individually to different government agencies, as in the past, the single window initiative allows importers to provide all required information on imported goods in a single submission to the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA).
The CBSA then shares the required information with the Participating Government Agencies (PGAs) responsible for regulating the goods and the PGAs assess that information in order to provide any border-related decisions.
Along with the CBSA, the following PGAs are participating:
- Global Affairs Canada
- Health Canada
- Natural Resources
- Canada Public Health Agency of Canada
- Transport Canada
- Canadian Food Inspection Agency
- Environment and Climate Change Canada
- Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission
- Fisheries and Oceans Canada
In some cases, the Single Window Initiative will mean more information is required than before. But the trade community will enjoy many benefits in return, including aligning of Canadian and U.S. border processes, removing non-compliant commodities from the marketplace and a simplified submission for imports.
Update on SWI implementation date
CBSA and the trade community have been preparing for SWI over the past three years, with the goal of full functionality on April 1 of this year. However, CBSA announced just this week that the implementation date has been pushed back to January 1, 2019. Three months following that – on April 1, 2019 – the existing OGD service options (PARS and RMD) will be retired.
We can help
As an importer adjusting to the requirements and information flow under the Single Window Initiative, you may have questions about how it works and what’s required. Our customs professionals are available to help you understand the SWI and ensure you take advantage of the efficiencies it offers.
Information provided by: Canadian Customs Brokerage Dept. - Cole International