Procurement Services: Customs, Transportation
& Other Government Departments


The Customs and Logistics team at Western work to support Faculty and staff with the importing and exporting of goods. They support licensing and permitting to meet governmental regulations as well as Controlled Goods and Export Controls.

Please feel free to contact them directly if you require assistance


Selection of Carriers and Routing

The Customs and Traffic Section of the Procurement Services is responsible for ensuring your goods are delivered to you in the most economical way consistent with your needs.

There are many factors to be considered when determining the best suited mode of transportation and selection of carrier. The following are some of the factors which are usually taken into account:

  1. nature of goods (are they perishable or dangerous goods);
  2. value (can the carrier provide the necessary liability coverage);
  3. cost (is the cost of transport reasonable in comparison to the value of the goods);
  4. time (is the order urgently required).

The Customs and Traffic Officer can best determine the mode of transport (eg. air, truck, rail) and select the specific carrier for you. Enquiries regarding carriers and routing should be directed to Ray Williamson at 661-2041, ext. 88120.

Expediting and Tracing of Shipments

Occasionally orders require additional control to ensure they are not delayed in transit. Whether the goods are perishable high valued or time sensitive, the Customs and Traffic Section can make special arrangements to ensure the order arrives with a minimal delay.

Occasionally orders do not become critical until after the shipment has been made. The Customs and Traffic Section can trace and expedite shipments on a case by case basis, thus reducing the transit time of your goods.

Requests for tracing or expediting services should be directed to either Elaine Roswell (ext. 84587) or Ray Williamson (ext. 88120) in Procurement Services.

Receiving of Shipments and Matching of Documents

Learn more

Damaged, Lost or Short Shipments

Any visible damage to cartons or parcels or discrepancies in quantity noted on delivery should be clearly marked on the Carrier's delivery slip before acceptance.

When the cartons or parcels are opened and damage or loss is discovered, a DAMAGED/LOST/SHORT SHIPMENT REPORT should be completed and forwarded to Procurement Services, Customs and Traffic Officer, who will arrange an appointment with the Transportation Company inspector to examine the damage.

It is important that all wrappings, cartons or other containers be retained so that the inspector may determine how the damage occurred.

The inspector on examination of the damage or loss will prepare a report, and this should be forwarded to the Customs and Traffic Section so that a claim may be made either against the Transportation Company or the Supplier whichever is deemed to be responsible.

Any payment or credit received will be credited to the account to which the purchase was originally charged.

Internal Equipment Moving

The Customs and Traffic Section regularly arranges the transport of unusually large, expensive or awkward equipment both to and from the campus. Occasionally the need arises to relocate equipment internally from lab to lab or office to office. The logistics of relocating internally may require specialized materials handling equipment, separate insurance coverage, or specialized individuals to ensure a timely, trouble free move. The Customs and Traffic Officer can act as a coordinator for the various facets of internal moves. Enquiries concerning estimates and general information on internal moving can be directed to the Customs and Traffic Officer at 661-2041 X88120.

Importing Shipments

The Customs and Traffic Section regularly arranges the transport of unusually large, expensive or awkward equipment both to and from the campus. Occasionally the need arises to relocate equipment internally from lab to lab or office to office. The logistics of relocating internally may require specialized materials handling equipment, separate insurance coverage, or specialized individuals to ensure a timely, trouble free move.

The Customs and Traffic Officer can act as a coordinator for the various facets of internal moves. Enquiries concerning estimates and general information on internal moving can be directed to the Customs and Traffic Officer at 661-2041 X88120.

Exporting Shipments

Shipments to foreign countries require preparation of export papers and compliance with regulations governing the importation of the goods or equipment into the country to which they are consigned.

The preparation of proper export documents to accompany shipments is of particular importance when goods or equipment are sent to a foreign country for repair, replacement or credit. If proper documentation does not accompany the shipment, the foreign Supplier may experience difficulty in clearance of the shipment on arrival. This results in delay and expense which would otherwise be avoided. The University may also be liable on re-entry of the goods or equipment for Duty and Federal Sales Tax based on full value rather than on actual cost of repair or exchange.

When preparing a shipment for export the sender should complete an Export Information Form and forward it to the Customs and Traffic Section, Procurement Services, Suite 6100 Support Services building.

The Customs and Traffic section will prepare proper documentation from the information provided and it will be returned to the sender. Since there is no central shipping and receiving facility on Campus, it is the Sender's responsibility to pack the shipment and arrange for transportation. Assistance in regard to transportation arrangements will be provided by the Customs and Traffic Section on request.

Importing Licenses and Permits

Learn more

General Duty Information

Duties are administered by the Manager - Customs and Logistics within Procurement Services. The Manager - Customs and Logistics examines and interprets all Federal Legislation (e.g. Customs Act) and Provincial Legislation relative to all University operations and is responsible for all communications and negotiations with Federal and Provincial Customs authorities. From time to time, the Manager - Customs and Logistics will need your cooperation and assistance to provide specific information on certain equipment so that a strong argument may be presented to the appropriate authorities. In so doing, we may obtain full advantage of all possible Duty exemptions for you. It should be noted that it can take up to 90 days to receive a ruling request from the Customs authorities.

Rulings on specific items may be requested from the Manager - Customs and Logistics. It is important when requesting a ruling that you provide an accurate description not only of the items but also the end use of the item in question. Ideally, rulings should be obtained prior to the ordering of equipment so that the cost for Duty is known when the order is placed. All enquiries regarding Duties should be directed to the Manager - Customs and Logistics.

Customs Duties

Customs duties or tariff is a charge levied by the Government on certain goods imported into Canada.

Mechanical equipment is dutiable unless we can prove to the Federal Department of Regional and Industrial Expansion that there is no Canadian manufacturer. This is done by application for Duty Remission, which must include specifications of the equipment, and its intended use.

Utensils, instruments and other apparatus are dutiable at various rates of duty unless we can prove that they are not available from Canadian production. To do this we must show that the equipment we intend to import is significantly different from similar equipment made in Canada.

Parts, for use primarily on utensils, instruments and other apparatus, which qualify for duty relief, may also qualify for duty-free entry. It is important that goods are properly identified on the purchase requisition. This includes the full description of the parts and the name of the apparatus or instrument on which the parts will be installed.

Goods and Services and Harmonized Taxes

Most goods and services consumed in Ontario are subject to the 13% harmonized sales tax (HST) imposed by the government which consists of an 8% provincial component and a 5% federal component. The University is eligible for rebates on these taxes at a rate of 67% on the federal component and 78% on the provincial component. If goods and services being procured are not consumed in Ontario, they may be subject to the taxes applicable in the province or state where they are consumed. Questions concerning the taxable nature of a particular item should be directed to any Procurement Manager.


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Tel: 519-661-2038
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