Customs Bonded Warehouse Application Process

The Customs Bonded Warehouses program may apply to you if you will be conducting any of the following activities:

  • displaying;
  • marking, labelling, tagging, ticketing;
  • disassembling, reassembling;
  • packing, unpacking, packaging, repackaging;
  • removing goods from the warehouse to solicit orders;
  • inspecting;
  • testing; and
  • storing.

To apply to participate in the program, complete form E401 and submit it to the customs office closest to you. In your application, include the following:

  • detailed site plan for the Customs Bonded Warehouse designated area;
  • security bond to be posted with Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)
  • written approval from the provincial liquor authority for applications pertaining to alcoholic beverages
  • a business firearms license for applications pertaining to firearms/weapons

It should be noted that fresh fruit and vegetables have special requirements.

If the application is approved, you will receive a customs bonded warehouse license with a unique licence number.

Present permits, certificates, authorizations, and/or waivers for all goods at time of importation. Restricted goods without permits will be denied entry.

Periodic verifications of compliance with applicable regulations and policies will be conducted based on CBSA risk analysis. Consequences for failing to comply with regulations and policies range from a monetary penalty to license cancellation.

Your records must track the movement of all goods, including:

  • movement into the warehouse;
  • movement within the warehouse;
  • transfers to and from the warehouse;
  • allowable activities undertaken;
  • Ex-warehouse movements; and
  • Acknowledge receipt of goods into the warehouse.

If required records are not kept, consequences range from monetary penalty to imprisonment. If required records are kept the license can be renewed. A license transfer requires a new application.

To amend/cancel a license, notify the CBSA at least 60 days in advance. To transfer a license, submit Form B3 type 30.

If the Minister suspends or cancels your license, you will be notified by registered mail. An opportunity to appeal will be provided and you will similarly be advised by registered mail if your license is reinstated.  

Return to Foreign Trade Zones – The Customs Bonded Warehouse Program (CBW)