By Keith Norbury

A “trans-border” course dealing with shipping across the Canada-U.S. border is among the new educational offerings from the Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association. The program, due to launch July 9, is a three-hour webinar over two days that will act as a refresher course but also enable participants to ask questions about ever-changing U.S. customs regulations.

“It’s just something that we want to stay on top of,” said Stephen McDermott, CIFFA’s Director of Education. Christian Sivière, an independent consultant and trainer with over 30 years experience in freight forwarding, will conduct the webinar.

Trans-border is covered in CIFFA’s certificate programs but until now the association has not had a specific course dedicated to it. “In international freight forwarding, we tend to focus a lot on overseas importing (and) exporting — Europe, Asia, Latin America, you name it,” Mr. Sivière said. Shipping to the U.S., which is primarily by truck, “is something that we sort of all do naturally because it’s next door,” he said. It also represents three-quarters of Canada’ international trade.

The webinar will deal only with ground transportation — truck and rail. Among the subjects it will address are the different definitions of Incoterms in the U.S. For example, FOB applies to truck shipments in the U.S., whereas internationally is applies only to ocean shipments, Mr. Sivière said.

“Let’s say you’re going to a trade show in the U.S. What does that entail? You have to know, for example, what is a temporary import bond, a TIB,” Mr. Sivière said. It may seem like a small thing. But it can have large implications. Failure to separate goods one plans to display and bring home from those goods one plans to leave in the U.S. — and prepare the proper documentation — can delay one’s arrival. “If you’re not prepared accordingly, it can cost you a lot of money,” Mr. Siviere said. “Or you could miss the show date, if you’re stuck at the border for a day instead of going through in half an hour.” More information about the course can be found on CIFFA’s website under education: