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Thompson, Ahern & Co. Limited (Thompson Ahern) is the appointed Canadian Customs Broker for the University of Toronto, and holds power of attorney for the clearing of all imports into and exports out of Canada.

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Importing Goods into Canada

As the University’s Customs Broker, Thompson Ahern coordinates and authorizes customs clearance for all shipments coming into Canada. Goods imported into Canada are subject to provincial and federal taxes, duties and excise taxes and must be cleared through Canada Customs.

Customs Department Profile

All departments that require customs brokerage services must complete the Customs Department Profile form to establish a Primary Contact with Thompson Ahern for customs-related inquires and invoicing purposes, and to setup the department in Thompson Ahern’s financial system to facilitate electronic invoicing. This is a one time only requirement.

Departments also have the option to setup default account information with Thompson Ahern for billing incoming shipments addressed to the department.

Import Goods Form

If a department’s custom profile does not include default account information, the Import Goods Form can be submitted prior to a shipment’s arrival at Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). This will ensure Thompson Ahern is notified of the incoming shipment, the shipment has accurate billing information (i.e. FIS accounts), goods are cleared in a timely manner, and invoicing is processed electronically through FIS.

If the Import Goods Form is not completed, for each shipment Thompson Ahern will reach out to the department’s primary contact for accounting information, which must be provided within 24 hours to prevent shipping delays.

Shipment Information

The shipment’s information is a legal declaration to the CBSA regarding the imported products; to avoid delays, ensure:

  • Shipping documents include the department’s full name (e.g. avoid acronyms)
  • Commercial Invoice completed by the supplier details the following:
    • Importer of Record is listed as The Governing Council of the University of Toronto
    • Product Description is sufficiently detailed; descriptions not acceptable by CBSA include:
      • Generic descriptions
      • Auto parts
      • Plastic samples
      • No charge samples
  • Actual value of the goods (excluding shipping or freight charges) is listed
  • For gifts or samples of no commercial value, the value to replace or Fair Market Value (FMV) must be indicated
    • A statement of no commercial value is not acceptable
  • All parties to the transaction are clearly identified on the invoice
  • Purchase order reference is shown on invoice (if applicable)
  • Terms of Sale or Conditions are indicated (e.g. “Returned after warranty repair”)
  • Country of Origin (manufacturer) is indicated for all products in the shipment

Importer of Record

Importer of Record is the entity responsible for ensuring imported goods comply with local laws and regulations, filing a completed customs clearance entry with associated documentations, paying assessed import duties and other taxes on those goods.

The Importer of Record is liable for the accuracy of the information presented to Canada Customs, and is required to keep all customs-related records for six years (from end of the calendar year in which the goods were imported).

Other Governmental Permits and Certificates

Importing departments who anticipate additional permits and/or certificates should contact Thompson Ahern.

Special shipments may require additional permits, certificates, licenses, and authorizations from other government agencies, such as:

  • Health certificates
  • Radiation licenses
  • Phytosanitary certificates
  • Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) permits
  • Ministry of Natural Resources permits
  • Fisheries and Ocean Canada permits

Exporting Goods into the United States

The U of T community may require the export of certain goods to the US afor a variety of reasons (donation, repair, research collaboration, etc.). Thompson Ahern’s US division, Tahoco Logistics Inc., are authorized to act on behalf of the University of Toronto for US Customs clearance.

Tahoco Contacts

Tel: (905) 677-3471 or  (716) 874-628
Email: teamt@tahocologistics.com (monitored 24/7)

Thompson Ahern

As the University’s Customs Broker, Thompson Ahern provides a full range of customs-related services:

  • Coordinates and authorizes customs clearance for international shipments 24/7
  • Tracks and monitors shipments to ensure a smooth and on time delivery of time sensitive shipments
  • Coordinates required documentation for customs clearance purposes
  • Provides guidance for obtaining necessary permits, certificates, licenses, and authorizations for special shipments

Additional Information:


Services Contact
Customs Clearance
(including after-hours shipments)
(905) 677-3471
Team Lead, Customs clearances sgeorge@taco.ca
(905) 677-3471 x5436
Invoice copies, charges, rates, billing fgangoo@taco.ca
(905) 678-5486
Consulting & Compliance mkirby@taco.ca
(905) 677-3471 x5490
24-Hour Processing Personnel windsoroffice@taco.ca
(519) 250-0400
US Customs Clearance
(when exporting to the US)
(905) 677-3471 or  (716) 874-628