Customs Automated Processing System (CAPS)

The CAPS system automates the receiving and processing of customs declarations. This includes all imports, exports, and bonded goods processes.

Electronic Submission of BCD

There are two ways to submit a BCD electronically.  You can submit declarations to CAPS using the Customs’ File Transfer Protocol (FTP) site, or you can use the Customs Web Trader service

Customs’ File Transfer Protocol (FTP)

You can transfer a single comma delimited ASCII text file for each BCD to the Customs FTP site.  This will be followed by a CAPS file format check.

Before transferring electronic declarations to CAPS you will have to demonstrate the integrity of your own internal systems and processes to the Customs Department.

For each BCD, you must create a file and transfer it to Customs using FTP software. The CAPS system will then collect the files, process them, and send back a confirmation detailing any errors.

Traders and system suppliers wishing to gain a greater understanding of the technical requirements of the electronic BCD submission feature of CAPS should contact the CAPS office or download Public Notice number 12

Web Trader

Web Trader is a free-of-charge browser based electronic declaration service that allows registered Customs traders to create and submit electronic BCDs directly to CAPS via the internet.

CAPS Web Trader is suitable for:

  • smaller businesses that do not require complex BCD links to their inventory database; and
  • importers submitting BCDs of 50 records or less.

A successfully submitted Web Trader BCD confirms that all system validation checks are complete.  You are able to make a copy of a released Web Trader BCD, which can be edited and used for similar future shipments.

To become a registered user, you must have—

  • a CAPS Trader ID number;
  • an active email address to use as your CAPS Web Trader User ID; and
  • access to the internet.

The Customs CAPS Team will assist you through the process. The set-up process for interested Customs Web Traders involves a period of testing. The set-up can be completed within ten working days.