Imports of Steel and Aluminum – Common Data Errors

In order to increase accuracy, timeliness and completeness of steel and aluminum import data, and to alleviate the administrative burden for all stakeholders, the Non-supply Managed Trade Controls Division at Global Affairs Canada, responsible for administering the aluminum and steel import monitoring programs, would like to advise importers and brokers of common errors observed while monitoring import data collected through the use of steel and aluminum General Import Permits (GIPs).

Customs brokers and importers using GIP No. 80, GIP No. 81, and GIP No. 83 must ensure that the quantity (in kilograms), value (in Canadian dollars and excluding freight costs), product classification, country of origin, U.S. state of export (if applicable), supplier name and address, and importer name are provided correctly in any customs declaration form. Any such incorrect or inaccurate information must be amended through the appropriate customs documentation.

Please be aware that repeat errors on steel or aluminum customs declarations will increase post-clearance auditing, with possible Canada Border Services Agency penalties and/or prosecution under the Export and Import Permits Act.

Common errors observed include:

1. B3 Field 29 – Quantity

  • Weight is being entered on the B3 form using the wrong unit of measure
    • Please ensure that the proper unit of measure is used as per the Canada Border Services Agency’s schedule to the Customs Tariff 2021 document.
    • The quantity field on numerous B3 forms are in the unit of measure displayed on the supporting invoices rather than in the unit of measure that corresponds to the HS code identified through the schedule to the latest Customs Tariff .
    • Please validate and convert the quantity displayed on the supporting documents into the appropriate unit of measure for the applicable HS code.
      • Note that the HS codes for steel products are in kilograms (KGM), and never in pounds (LBS). 

2. B3 Field 37 – Value for Duty

  • Value represents  the consignment or processing amount rather than the real value of the good
    • The value for duty of all goods imported into Canada must be established using one of the six methods of customs valuations as per section 48-53 of the Customs Act.
    • The customs valuation handbook may be used as a reference for administering the correct method of valuation.
    • Shipments may only be deemed “alterations” for the purposes of administering tariff item Nos. 9992.00.00 and 9971.00.00 when the alterations consist of “an operation that does not destroy the essential characteristics of a good or create a new or commercially different good”.
      • The guidelines and documentation required for alterations and related to the Canadian Goods Abroad Program may be found in the CBSA’s Memorandum D8-2-11.
      • For goods returned after repair or alteration in the United States, Mexico, Chile, Israel or Another CIFTA Beneficiary, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru, Jordan or Panama, the guidelines and documentation required for alteration may be found in the CBSA’s Memorandum D8-2-26.

For further information on the aluminum and steel import monitoring programs, please refer to Notice to Importers – General Import Permit No. 83 – Aluminum Products and Notice to Importers – Steel General Import Permits No. 80 and 81 – Carbon and Specialty Steel Products – Serial No. 1032.

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Non-Supply Managed Trade Controls Division at