UBC Transitioning to New Customs Broker: Thompson Ahern

Friday, July 23, 2021

The UBC community regularly imports goods from outside of Canada as part of the university’s world-class research activity, and to support operations.

As all goods imported into the country need to be cleared through the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), it is important to understand how we manage this process at UBC, and when there are important changes.

The physical movement of goods into Canada (as well as location tracking) is managed for us by various couriers (FedEx, Purolator, etc.), but the coordination of CBSA clearance is handled by the university’s customs broker. Couriers are not directly involved with customs clearance, and brokers are not involved in the physical movement and location tracking of goods.

What’s changing?

For international shipments, UBC will be transitioning to a new customs broker of record, Thompson Ahern who will take over from the university’s current broker Livingston International as of August 12, 2021. This change does not impact users directly and there are no changes to current procedures.

Required documentation (e.g., worktags, licenses, etc.) can be submitted in the same way as they are currently handled. Livingston International will continue to manage customs clearances until August 11 as well as all shipments that are pending.

Why are we changing?

UBC is making this change to take advantage of improved contract pricing offered through our membership with BC Net, and to align with shared service providers at the university. Thompson Ahern services most Canadian universities, including the University of Victoria, Simon Fraser University, and the University of Toronto, and is currently the broker of record for UBC hospital.

More information on international shipments and transport is available on the UBC Finance website.

If you have any questions about this change, please contact Bryan Antenor, Customer Support Manager in Financial Operations.