What is CERS?

The Canadian Exporting Reporting System (CERS) is a self-service web portal through which exporters can submit electronic export declarations and summary reports to Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).

CERS is replacing the Canadian Automated Export Declaration System (CAED), which is being decommissioned by Statistics Canada on September 30, 2020. After this date, the B13A Export Declaration Form will no longer be accepted and exporters (or their Customs Service Provider) will be required to declare all exports electronically through CERS.

What CERS Means for Exporters

CERS offers exporters and their service providers a secure, web-based portal to submit export documents electronically to the CBSA. It includes the same data elements as CAED but offers enhanced features, including:

Online Accessibility & Exporting Efficiencies

Unlike the CAED software, CERS will be completely web-based with no software to download. It is accessible 24/7 from any computer with an internet connection (CERS Technical Requirements).

The move to a fully electronic system and 24/7 availability means a more efficient export reporting process. Businesses can free up time and resources spent on export documentation and focus on their core operations.

Data Validation and Submission History

CERS allows exporters to validate their export declarations prior to transmitting them to the CBSA. It also provides access your submission history (back to December 1, 2017) and offers easy access to online help and reference materials.

Electronic Summary Reporting

Prior to CERS, Summary Reporting Program (SRP) participants were required to create and transmit summary reports to Statistics Canada using electronic file transfer.

Summary reports may now be created and submitted electronically by using the CERS Portal online form or uploading an Excel Spreadsheet.

Bulk Uploading

CERS offers a bulk upload feature allowing businesses to upload, review, and submit multiple export declarations to the CBSA.

How to Register for CERS

There are three ways exporters can register to CERS:

1. Register through PF Collins

Exporters who use a Customs Service Provider (like PF Collins) to manage their export transactions can complete form BSF831 and forward it to PF Collins at [email protected] for submission to CBSA.

Upon successful submission, CBSA will link us to your Business Account. Your will receive notification of the linked account and we will then be able to manage your export activity on your behalf.

2. Current CAED and SRP Users

CBSA has developed an onboarding schedule to help current CAED and SRP participants transition to CERS.

Businesses that have used CAED or SRP from December 1, 2017 to December 1, 2019 will automatically be issued a CERS Portal Business Account. You should receive a letter from the CBSA with instructions to activate your CERS account during the onboarding event.

If you have not received your activation instructions, email CBSA CERS Inquiries.

Note: Exporters using the G7 EDI to submit export declarations (and only plan on using this system) do not need to use the CERS portal.

3. New Exporters

Businesses who have not previously exported or have not used the CAED or SRP systems from December 1, 2017 to December 1, 2019 must register for CERS by completing form BSF831 and emailing it to the CBSA Export Program.

CBSA will then send you a letter with instructions to activate your CERS Business Account.

Visit CBSA’s Get Started with Electronic Export Declarations for more information on registration.

Getting Started With CERS

To complete activation of your CERS Business Account, you will need to ensure you have an active Canadian exporter account. You will also need to consider who will manage your account and export activity on your behalf, and what features they will be able to access.

1. Confirm your Export Account is Active

Before activating your CERS Business Account, we recommend ensuring your Export Account with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is active. To do this, contact the CRA’s Business Window at 1-800-959-5525.

If you are a new exporter, you will require an Import/Export account. Import/Export accounts are identified by a company’s unique 15-digit Business Number, followed by a two-letter business account ‘RM’ (e.g. 123456789RM0001). Import/Export account numbers are entered on documents submitted to CBSA for customs clearance and are only used when importing or exporting.

To register for a Business Number or add an import/export account to an existing Business Number:

 2. Designate a Portal Account Owner

One individual within your company will need to be designated as the Account Owner of the CERS Portal Business Account. They will be the initial account user and will be responsible for activating your account and assigning additional users within your company.

If your business has multiple Import/Export RM accounts, each RM account will require a business account owner and activation.

Note: Exporters using a Customs Service Provider (like PF Collins) only need to contact CRA to confirm their export account is active. We can then assist in registering and managing your export activity on your behalf.

Information and Resources

CBSA has provided several resources on CERS to assist with registration and use of the portal: 

We Can Help

Please contact our Freight Forwarding Department or your local PF Collins representative if you have any questions or concerns regarding the Canadian Export Reporting System (CERS) or any other issue affecting your exporting activities. We offer a full range of services to assist with all your exporting and international shipping needs.