The Canadian International Freight Forwarders’ Association (CIFFA) has recently expressed concern over an increase in ventilation charges and delays imposed in the course of random customs inspection. The ventilation is allegedly related to the presence of formaldehyde in the containers. In addition to a charge for the ‘ventilation’, many forwarders are experiencing significant delays (including missed sailings) while CBSA waits for levels of formaldehyde to drop below a fixed level.  

The CBSA has confirmed to its examination facilities that the ventilation charges are for its account; parties should not be asked to pay these charges, and parties who have paid such charges can seek reimbursement from the CBSA. However, the CBSA also confirmed that it will not pay for related costs of delay, including demurrage and similar charges, that may accumulate on the Forwarder’s account while awaiting inspection. 

Members who have paid ‘ventilation’ charges on behalf of the importer are to contact the Regional Director General for the CBSA at the port where the inspection occurred. A complete list of addresses is found at