Getting Ready for the Single Window Initiative – An Introduction

CBSA shoulder patch on officer.

What is the Single Window Initiative?

The Single Window Initiative (SWI) is a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) initiative which seeks to modernize and align Canadian and U.S. import processing. Through SWI, importers will be able to provide all required import information, including information required by Participating Government Agencies (PGAs), electronically to the CBSA. This commercial data is shared between the Government of Canada and the Importer to ensure that regulatory requirements are met. The purpose is to provide the Importing Community with the ability to submit all information required electronically in one transmission to comply with government import regulations for all PGAs.

What is Changing?

SWI is a single portal where information on the imported good will be collected for the CBSA and any relevant PGAs. The CBSA will then transmit the required information to the appropriate PGA responsible for regulating the goods. The PGA will assess the information and provide any border-related decisions as required.

All information must be provided in a single report electronically, in a format called an Integrated Import Declaration (IID). The IID includes additional data fields over and above current processes, as it attempts to capture information on the imported goods which the regulating PGA will require.

As a result of this change, the amount of information reported to Customs will increase. Importers must ensure that all required licenses and/or permits are provided with their shipment documentation.

When will SWI be implemented?

The plan is for SWI to be implemented on April 1st, 2019. At this time, the CBSA will also decommission legacy Other Government Department (OGD) release service options.

Why is this happening?

This initiative is a response to calls from the trade community to simplify processes at the border by reducing the paper burden and integrating PGA requirements into import processes.  The SWI will improve the process of removing non-compliant commodities from the marketplace and promote legitimate trade.  There will be an improved awareness of regulatory requirements at the first point of arrival for the CBSA and other PGAs.

What are the Participating Government Departments and Agencies (PGAs)?

  • Canadian Food Inspection Agency
  • Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission
  • Environment and Climate Change Canada
  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada
  • Global Affairs Canada
  • Health Canada
  • Natural Resources Canada
  • Public Health Agency of Canada
  • Transport Canada

You can find a full list of PGAs on the CBSA’s website.

Are you ready for CBSA's Single Window Initiative?

Contact a Farrow Advisor to fully prepare your business for this fast-approaching CBSA initiative.

Talk to an Advisor

Stay Informed

Get the latest developments on US and Canadian customs, international trade topics and border updates that are specific to your importing or exporting needs.

Back to Farrow Library

The information contained throughout Farrow’s Website or via Social Media (for eg. webinar, white papers, articles or other communication) is for informational purposes only do not purport to be legal and/or professional advice or a definitive interpretation of any law.. The information contained therein of a general nature and non-binding. No information published on the website or provided via social media constitutes professional or legal advice, a solicitation, an offer, or a recommendation to effect any transactions, or to conclude any legal act of any kind whatsoever. Farrow shall have no liability for the accuracy of the information in relation to any individual business operation and shall not be liable for any loss or damage of whatever nature which may arise as a result of the use of the information provided. Anyone contemplating action in respect of matters set out in this website or as a result of information communicated to you please contact your local Farrow representative for additional information or advice specific to your unique requirements.



Sign up to receive Industry news/information by email:

Sign Up Today!

Recent News

Trudeau co-hosts UN summit to develop global pandemic recovery plan

May 28, 2020

Read more

How can we help?

To discuss how our team can help your business achieve true results,


Canada's Best Managed

Farrow One of Canada's Best Managed Companies

Contact Us

Get in Touch

Russell A. Farrow Limited 2001 Huron Church Road Windsor, ON N9C 2L6, Canada (519) 966-3003