- Procurement and Logistics of the Faculty of Medicine manage customs and logistics activities, serving as a resource for:
1.1 Selection of carriers and couriers,
1.2 Import and export process, restrictions, permits and licenses,
- Purchases made through the Biobar program do not have shipping charges unless an exception is approved by Procurement and Logistics.
Every shipment arriving in Canada, regardless of the reason for the shipment, (E.g. purchase, free sample or collaboration material), is subject to the application of duty and tax on importation.
Vendors, shippers, carriers, purchasers, and importers all have responsibilities towards inbound shipments, although the Importer of Record is the party legally liable for the accuracy and completeness of the information submitted to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).
The Importer of Record is defined as the “Person” who causes the goods to be brought into Canada. A “Person” can be an individual, partnership, corporation or institution. The University of Ottawa is a registered commercial importer and exporter.
3.1. The University of Ottawa would not be considered the Importer of Record when goods are purchased in Canada from a Canadian vendor and shipped from a US facility. In these cases, the Canadian vendor will act as the Importer of Record and pay the GST at the time of entry as The University of Ottawa has already been invoiced for the tax at the time of sale.
The University of Ottawa would be considered the Importer of Record when goods:
4.1. Have been purchased with a formal and unique purchase order.
4.2. Are being provided free of charge to the University of Ottawa by the shipper. This includes shipments containing goods given at no charge to the University such as:
4.2.1. Collaborative research samples where the research is conducted under funds administered by the University of Ottawa.
4.2.2. Goods being returned after warranty repair or were replaced at no charge to the University of Ottawa.
4.2.3. Goods that are being temporarily loaned to the University of Ottawa without charge will have brokerage fees.
Personal shipments containing goods purchased using a personal credit card, or gifts of a personal nature, are not considered University business.
The responsibility for the customs formalities will rest with the purchaser or the individual who causes the goods to be shipped to Canada and will not be authorized and received at the Faculty of Medicine. Most carriers and couriers are able to deliver to residential addresses and handle personal transactions.
Import Permits and Licenses
There are several types of import controls that apply to certain types of goods. Failure to have the appropriate approvals, by way of an import permit or license, prior to shipping, will result in the refusal of entry into Canada.
It is the responsibility of the end-user of the controlled material to apply for most import permits with the collaboration of Procurement and Logistics and Occupational Health and Safety Services. However, there are some types of permits that require the University of Ottawa to be the applicant. In these circumstances, Procurement and Logistics and/or Occupational Health and Safety will act as the applicant.
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. For more information, please visit the Thompson Ahern Resources.
Not all goods require special permits, licenses or specialty declarations. However, failure to ensure the aforementioned are included can result in delays, seizure or forfeiture in the destination country, since not all goods can be automatically returned to the sender.
Procurement and Logistics manage the Customs processes of the Faculty of Medicine and work with a contracted Customs broker (agent) to release and account for University shipments. The official Custom broker for the University of Ottawa is Thompson Ahern International.
Only when the University is the Importer of Record, clearance in the University’s name is approved by Procurement and Logistics.
The Faculty of Medicine Purchasing and Receiving Services manage the customs clearance process for all incoming shipments addressed to:
2.1. The Faculty of Medicine premises.
2.2. The Faculty of Health Sciences laboratories located at:
University of Ottawa
Roger Guindon Hall
451 Smyth Road
Ottawa ON K1H 8M5
Every good entering Canada is subject to duty and tax regardless of whether it is being purchased or being supplied free of charge to the importer. The rate of duty is determined by the tariff classification of the good and the applicable trade agreement which is based on the country of origin (country of manufacture) of the good. Additional custom clearance service charges may apply for special requests or transport methods.
Most goods and services, supplied to residents of Ontario, are subject to the 13% Harmonized Sales Tax (HST). HST consists of an 8% provincial component (PST) and a 5% federal component (GST). Universities are eligible to claim various rebates of tax paid irrespective of being imported or purchased domestically.
The Custom broker will charge the GST (5%) portion of the value of the shipment. The University of Ottawa has the legal obligation to self-assess the applicable provincial component of the PST (8%), once the goods have been received. However, for Commercial Importers, such as the University, the Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) collects the Federal component of the HST (5%) at the time of import. Some exceptions may apply.
The key objective for all importations is to have goods delivered where they should be and when they should be at the best possible value, in accordance with all applicable legislation. An efficient and compliant import process starts with everyone involved understanding their role and responsibilities.
Documentation Requirements: An importer is responsible for all actions taken on their behalf by their customs broker. With the University of Ottawa being an official Importer of Record, every document used to declare goods to CBSA must contain:
1.1. Vendor’s Full Name and Address
1.2. Consignee’s Full Name and Address
1.3. Importer’s Full Name and Address (if different from the consignee)
1.4. Purchase Order (PO): Procurement and Logistics require that the internal purchase order number be clearly posted on the following documentation:
1.4.1. Waybill from the courier
1.4.2. Commercial Invoice
1.5. Reason for the Shipment (E.g. sale, donation, warranty replacement, etc.)
1.6. Detailed and Complete Description
General descriptions such as “laboratory reagents for research”, “supplies”, “harmless amino acids for research” or “scientific equipment” are too general and NOT acceptable to Customs as they do not sufficiently identify the contents of a shipment.
For any type of equipment, a complete detailed and accurate description is necessary to assist in identifying the goods properly. For example; model numbers, serial numbers.
If the goods are biological specimens, the source of the material (E.g. human, rabbit, rat, etc.) and information regarding the hazards associated with it must be provided. For samples, the mention “samples for research” will not be accepted. CBSA will reject the transaction if the goods cannot be precisely identified.
1.7. Quantity, Unit of Measure, Unit Price and Extended Value
Everything has a value, even if initially given at no charge or is by nature something that is not normally sold. Valuation law is specific regarding the determination of the value for duty.
The value used for calculating duties and taxes is based on the transaction price (the price paid or payable for the goods). Discount types and amounts, where applicable, are also to be identified. The value for any collaboration samples of $0.00 or $10.00 are at risk of being investigated.
1.8. Country Origin of the Goods:
This is the country where the goods were produced or manufactured and not where the goods are shipped from.
Planning a Shipment
The following compliance questions may help in planning a shipment:
2.1. Have you ensured that the goods being shipped comply with the country's government agencies’ requirements and have obtained the necessary licenses and permits from these agencies? For more information, please visit the Thompson Ahern Resources.
5.2.2. Have you determined that your merchandise is properly marked with the correct country of origin (if required) or in accordance with any special marking requirements?
5.2.3. Is the value of the declared shipment accurate?
5.2.4. If samples are being shipped:
18.104.22.168. Do the material, substance, time and other elements conducted by the producer of the imported goods accurately reflect the declared duty value?
5.2.5. Does the price paid match the price used in calculating a transaction value “value for duty” declared?
5.3. Failing to provide the proper documentation can result in:
5.3.1. Delay the release of goods from Customs,
5.3.2. Result in financial penalties for inaccurate accounting for imports,
5.3.3. Result in the seizure and forfeiture of the goods as well as monetary penalties (fines).
Occasionally, orders require additional attention to ensure they are not delayed in transit. Whether the goods are perishable, high value, time-sensitive, or require coordination due to unique transport requirements.
Procurement and Logistics can assist in making special arrangements, where necessary, to ensure the shipment arrives with a minimal delay, conditional to meeting proper preparation requirements, stated in section 5.
Many carriers now offer web-based tracking of their shipments. Since the shipping services are centralized within the Faculty of Medicine, Procurement and Logistics can assist tracing orders on request.
The Faculty of Medicine has one central receiving facility, each carrier is required to deliver to the central loading dock, located at:
University of Ottawa
Faculty of Medicine
451 Smyth Road
Ottawa ON K1H 8M5
Delivery information is provided to the carriers by the receiving party based on the “Ship to” location indicated on the purchase order. Therefore a purchase order must be indicated on every shipment to secure and expedite the reception.
Purchases made from a Canadian distributor that are shipped directly to the University of Ottawa from outside the country are referred to as drop-shipments.
The Canadian distributor is the official “Importer of Record” in such situations and is responsible for the customs formalities. Often they are not mentioned on the customs paperwork resulting in delays clearing customs and the shipment remains pending clearance by their customs broker.
Being mistakenly identified as the importer in these situations can result in an overpayment of duty and tax to the end-user. Corrections to the entry are required to permit a refund of these amounts. Any charges are the responsibility of the Importer of Record.
- Purchasing and Receiving Services Responsibilities
Any visible damage to the cartons, parcels or discrepancies in quantity noted on delivery should be clearly marked on the carrier's delivery slip before acceptance of a shipment. Failure to note visible problems may result in the decline of a claim by the carrier or supplier.
- End-User Responsibilities
When the cartons or parcels are opened and damage or loss is discovered, it is referred to as contained damage. A detailed accounting of contained damages should be communicated to Purchasing and Receiving Services.
The team will arrange an appointment with the carrier’s inspector to examine the damage. It is important that all wrappings, cartons or other containers be retained for additional inspection or reporting purposes.
Procurement and Logistics will coordinate and request a claim against the carrier or the shipper whichever is deemed to be responsible. Any payment or credit received will be credited to the account to which the purchase was originally charged.
- Receiver: Refers to the person who accepts deliveries from the carrier (delivery vehicle). Procurement and Logistics is the official Receiver for the Faculty of Medicine.
- Recipient: Refers to the addressee of a shipment or the person delegated responsibility for opening the shipping cartons/packages and verifying that the contents agree with the packing slip and purchase order.
- Procurement Agent: Refers to the person responsible for buying or approving the acquisition of goods and services needed, in compliance with the policies and procedures of the University of Ottawa and the Faculty of Medicine.
- Receiving Procedures
The following procedure was established to ensure that a proper receiving record is maintained and to provide the documentation necessary for the matching and verification of vendor invoices.
4.1. On delivery of an order, the Receiver shall:
4.1.1. Inspect the condition of the shipment and request the courier make note of any external damage on the delivery manifest;
4.1.2. Check that the number of boxes delivered coincides with numbers shown on the carrier's delivery manifest;
4.1.3. Match packing list with requisition or exception;
a. Attach documents to the original requisition;
b. If no purchase order number is shown on the receiving documents, the Receiver will inform the Purchasing Officer, who will validate the status of the incoming shipment.
4.1.4. Report any damage or missing items to the Procurement Officers from Procurement and Logistics;
4.1.5. If the shipment is partial or if there is no purchase order, advise the designated Purchasing Officers.
4.1.6. Where a carrier requires payment of transportation or Customs brokerage charges on delivery (COD), advise the Purchasing Officer prior to payment. Payment of transport fees by cash or credit card can result in duplicate payments where an account exists between the University and the carrier.
4.1.7. Sign the carrier's waybill or delivery document and release the carrier;
4.1.8. Record the receipt of the shipment into the receiving log;
4.1.9. Notify the recipient for pick up or internal delivery;
4.2. The Recipient, on reception of a shipment shall:
4.2.1. Ensure that the number of cartons received matches the requested number;
4.2.2. Immediately report any damage or shortage to Procurement and Logistics;
4.3. The Procurement Agent, upon receipt of an invoice, shall:
4.3.1. Check the invoice against requisition and receiving documents;
4.3.2. Immediately notify the supplier of any discrepancies prior to the payment due date of the invoice;
4.3.3. File completed documents.
Procurement and Logistics can assist with ensuring your goods are delivered to you in the most economical and consistent according to your needs.
- Courier Selection
Elements to consider when selecting a carrier:
1.1. Nature of the goods: Are they perishable, dangerous or do they require special handling;
1.2. Value of the goods: Can the carrier provide the necessary liability coverage;
1.3. Cost: Is the cost of the transport service reasonable in comparison to the value of the goods;
1.4. Time: Is the delivery of the item time-sensitive or urgent;
Since there is no single transportation provider that can serve the diverse needs of the University of Ottawa, Procurement and Logistics recommend a courier selection to assist in making an informed choice according to the nature of the shipment:
10.1.8. Canada Post
- Special Transportation
Procurement and Logistics can assist with special transportation requirements such as laboratory moves, specialty carriers or refrigerated services. For enquiries regarding carrier selection, routings or rates, please contact Procurement and Logistics.
- Any enquiries pertaining to this procedure should be directed to Procurement and Logistics at [email protected]
- Any requisition shall be prepared and submitted via Medistore.
- Other useful links provided by Custom Broker Thompson Ahern at TACO Resources.