Please note that it may take up to 30 business days for the broker to approve your POA. There are additional delays at this time in the wake of labour disruptions at the Canada Revenue Agency.
The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) enforces that a customs broker must handle all goods returning to Canada. Simply put, before your shipments can re-enter Canada, they must be in compliance with the CBSA. This requires you to file a document called a Power of Attorney (POA) that allows Chit Chats and our customs broker to clear returns on your behalf. The POA form can be found in your Chit Chats account.
Filing the POA
The completed POA can be downloaded from your return settings (Settings > Returns > Submit POA) after completing your business information.
Once you've signed it, a clear and legible PDF copy of the document must be uploaded for approval. To avoid delays, ensure that you have accurately completed the document before submitting your POA.
Your POA must include the following:
- Your federal business number (will start with a 1, 7 or an 8). This is a requirement when completing a POA. Please note that your federal business number is different from your business licence number.
- Obtaining a federal business number is free, quick and is as simple as going online or making a phone call to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) at 1-800-959-5525. To register for the CRA's import-export program you may be asked to answer a few questions and to have your SIN number or other identification ready.
- On average, this call can be completed within 5-10 minutes after reaching a CRA support agent.
If you need further assistance with obtaining a federal business number, please contact the CRA for more information.
The legal name and address of your business as registered in the Canada Revenue Agency database
The name of the municipality and province that your business operates in will automatically be generated based on the information you have provided. Please be sure to confirm that this information is correct.
The name and signature of the business owner(s) known on the POA as the "Name of Signing Authority". All registered owners of the business must sign if there are multiple owners.
If you are the sole proprietor, you can leave the remaining space free.
The position that you hold in the company such as "Owner". This is indicated on the POA as "Office Held by Signing Authority".
The full name of the corporate customs broker will also be provided on the form. Please leave the space below blank. This will be completed by our customs broker upon their review.
Common POA Errors
If your POA is incomplete, inaccurate or illegible it will be denied. At this point you will be required to resubmit your POA until it has been filled out correctly. To help avoid this scenario, here are some of the most common POA mistakes.
- Your name (or business name) does not exactly match what was registered with the CRA
- e.g. The business name on the POA is Tom and Jerry's Books but the CRA recognizes the business as Tom and Jerry's Books Inc
- A federal business number was not included
- Your provincial business number was used instead of your federal business number
- Federal business numbers differ from provincial business numbers. This nine-digit number should begin with a 1, 7 or 8.
- The wrong document format is being used
- POAs should be uploaded as one clear PDF (Portable Document Format). There are tools you can use for merging PDF files.
- Not all business owners have signed the POA