10 January 2022
Canadian Custom Brokerage

The Adjustment Period to Onboard to SWI/IID is Ending on April 1st 2019

Please note that the Single Window Initiative (SWI) implemented by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) came into effect on January 1st, 2019.

La période transitoire prendra fin le 1er avril 2019

This initiative leads to significant changes that affect most importers.

Are you ready?


The Single Window Initiative streamlines the sharing of commercial import data between the Government of Canada and the import community, including information required by Participating Government Agencies (PGAs).

Along with the CBSA, there are nine Participating Government Agencies (PGA’s) representing 38 government programs.

  • Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)
  • Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC)
  • Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC)
  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO)
  • Global Affairs Canada (GAC)
  • Health Canada (HC)
  • Natural Resources Canada (NRCAN)
  • Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC)
  • Transport Canada (TC)


The Single Window Initiative requires the exchange of commercial data electronically as well as the transmission of images such as licenses, permits, certificates and others.


If the imported goods are regulated by a new PGA, importers have to provide the new information required for each of the agencies to the customs broker prior to the customs clearance process.

An ancillary brokerage fee applies for each of the agencies involved.

 Adjustment period from January 1st, 2019 to March 31st, 2019:

A transitory period of 3 months was granted by CBSA to allow the importers to adjust to the new requirements and provide the new information to the customs broker.

During this adjustment period, your Axxess International experts work with you to facilitate this transition and meet the new requirements.

From April 1st, 2019:

Goods regulated by the CFIA, NRCan and TC will be required to be customs cleared via SWI as of April 1, 2019. The other PGA’s will follow gradually.

If the information provided is not complete at the time of customs clearance, there may be delays in the release and the delivery, which could lead to additional costs for the importer, such as waiting time or inbond fees.



Determine if your imported products HS codes are targeted by one or more PGAs by clicking on the link below:

Regulated Commodities — Data Element Matching Criteria Tables

 STEP 1:

  1. From your HS code, determine the program (s) of your products
  2. Take note of the requirement code (s) related to your HS

Example for Health Canada:

Determine the “Intended Use” Codes and the “Canadian Product Category” Codes

  1. On this same site, use at the Reference Code table for the description of the codes for your product.

For more information on correspondence tables, please contact the CBSA Single Window team at swi-igu@cbsa-asfc.gc.ca.



We encourage you to share this collected information with your customs broker and communicate with your supplier to obtain the required information for the products you are importing.

We need to work together to ensure a smooth transition to SWI requirements



Replacing the current system for SWI gradually affects the release process.

Your Axxess experts need to collect and submit new data that was not previously required, increasing the complexity of your imports.

Following the announcement of the Single Window Initiative, we have made major investments in the development of new computer applications to comply with and meet this new government requirement.

The collection and processing of this new data increases the communications with importers and the government, which requires more in-depth analysis of your merchandise and increase the time to manage your customs transactions. Your Axxess experts are pleased to help you along this process!

For more information on the SWI, you can contact the CBSA Single Window Initiative Team at swi-igu@cbsa-asfc.gc.ca


You can count on our team of experts to target your products and help you in the preparation of information gathering.

For more information, contact your experts at Axxess International at Axxess_SWI_IGU@axxessintl.com

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