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Thompson, Ahern & Co. Limited (Thompson Ahern) is the appointed Canadian Customs Broker for the University of Toronto, and holds power of attorney for the clearing of all imports into and exports out of Canada.

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Importing Goods into Canada

As the University’s Customs Broker, Thompson Ahern coordinates and authorizes customs clearance for all shipments coming into Canada. Goods imported into Canada are subject to provincial and federal taxes, duties and excise taxes and must be cleared through Canada Customs.

Import Goods Form

The Import Goods Form must be submitted prior to your shipment’s arrival at Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to ensure Thompson Ahern is notified of the incoming shipment, the shipment has accurate billing information (i.e. FIS accounts), goods are cleared in a timely manner, and invoicing is processed electronically through FIS.


  • Once the form is submitted, a confirmation email will be sent to the requester
  • If the form is not completed in advance or incomplete information is provided (e.g. incorrect account information), additional administrative fees will be applied
  • Should a change to the form be required, contact Thompson Ahern immediately
  • Thompson Ahern will electronically invoice departments daily through FIS based on the account information provided in the Import Goods Form

Shipment Information

The shipment’s information is a legal declaration to the CBSA regarding the imported products; to avoid delays, ensure:

  • The Importer of Record is listed as The Governing Council of the University of Toronto
  • The Commercial Invoice completed by the supplier is accurate and includes a description of goods
    • Product Description must be sufficiently detailed; descriptions not acceptable by CBSA include:
      • Generic descriptions
      • Auto parts
      • Plastic samples
      • No charge samples
  • Actual value of the goods (excluding shipping or freight charges) is listed
  • For gifts or samples of no commercial value, the value to replace or Fair Market Value (FMV) must be indicated
    • A statement of no commercial value is not acceptable
  • All parties to the transaction are clearly identified on the invoice
  • Purchase order reference is shown on invoice (if applicable)
  • Terms of Sale or Conditions are indicated (e.g. “Returned after warranty repair”)
  • Country of Origin (manufacturer) is indicated for all products in the shipment

Importer of Record

Importer of Record is the entity responsible for ensuring imported goods comply with local laws and regulations, filing a completed customs clearance entry with associated documentations, paying assessed import duties and other taxes on those goods.

The Importer of Record is liable for the accuracy of the information presented to Canada Customs, and is required to keep all customs-related records for six years (from end of the calendar year in which the goods were imported).

If the shipment is for University business, the Importer of Record must be listed as The Governing Council of the University of Toronto.

Other Governmental Permits and Certificates

Importing departments who anticipate additional permits and/or certificates should contact Thompson Ahern.

Special shipments may require additional permits, certificates, licenses, and authorizations from other government agencies, such as:

  • Health certificates
  • Radiation licenses
  • Phytosanitary certificates
  • Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) permits
  • Ministry of Natural Resources permits
  • Fisheries and Ocean Canada permits

Exporting Goods out of Canada

The U of T community may require the export of certain goods to the US and other countries for a variety of reasons (donation, repair, research collaboration, etc.).

Contact Thompson Ahern for assistance when exporting goods out of Canada.

Thompson Ahern

As the University’s Customs Broker, Thompson Ahern provides a full range of customs-related services:

  • Coordinates and authorizes customs clearance for international shipments 24/7
  • Tracks and monitors shipments to ensure a smooth and on time delivery of time sensitive shipments
  • Coordinates required documentation for customs clearance purposes
  • Provides guidance for obtaining necessary permits, certificates, licenses, and authorizations for special shipments

Additional Information:


Services Contact
Customs Clearance
(including after-hours shipments)
(905) 677-3471
Team Lead, Customs clearances sgeorge@taco.ca
(905) 677-3471 x5436
Invoice copies, charges, rates, billing fgangoo@taco.ca
(905) 678-5486
Consulting & Compliance mkirby@taco.ca
(905) 677-3471 x5490
24-Hour Processing Personnel windsoroffice@taco.ca
(519) 250-0400