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Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL)

Home Anti-spam Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL)

What is CASL?

CASL is Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation, took effect July 1st, 2014.  It prohibits the transmission of commercial electronic messages (CEM’s) sent within, from or to Canada unless the recipient has provided their consent (express or implied).

CEM’s include email, text and instant messaging (among other forms, see ‘CASL Definitions and Procedures – CEM’s’).

How does CASL affect me?

All Farrow employees who send CEMs must evaluate and confirm consent of each contact (if not a current client).

This will impact prospecting procedures for the sales team, including managing contact lists and performing follow up communications using any form of CEM.

Procedures and Training on contact/consent management will be provided via webinar and through word document help guides (see ‘CASL Definitions and Procedures’).

How do I manage CASL in my daily practices?

Salesforce will be used as the main repository for contacts.  Custom fields for ‘Consent Type’, ‘Consent Date’ and ‘Last Activity’ will be visible on all contact/lead pages, and used to confirm consent before transmission of CEMs.

What are my day-to-day Responsibilities to ensure CASL compliance?

i) Before sending any CEM, access the contact record in Salesforce to confirm Consent

ii) Update all prospect contact information in Salesforce including consent type/date

iii) Include New Farrow Footer in any CEM you send

What resources are available to me?

CASL Definitions and Procedures (Help guide)

  • Includes key examples of consent types and exceptions, also how to ask for express consent when speaking with a prospect.

Farrow Privacy and Anti-Spam Procedure (available via RAFNET).

CASL Prospecting Examples:

Responding to an email request for a quote or estimate from a prospect:

Implied consent (6 months). Proceed with CEM and Update Salesforce.

Sending a follow up email in response to an external referral:

Implied consent for 1 follow up email only.  Proceed with CEM and Update Salesforce. Referrer must have relationship with sender and recipient, and must be named in message to recipient. A request for express consent should be included in this email.

You receive a business card with phone and email information from a prospect:

Implied Consent (6 months).  Proceed with CEM and update Salesforce.

You attend a Tradeshow and collect business cards at a booth:

Implied Consent (6 months).  Proceed with CEM and update Salesforce.

You attend a Tradeshow and receive the attendee list:

Further information needed. In this scenario Farrow will need to contact the Tradeshow organizer and confirm that the Tradeshow has obtained consent from their contacts to distribute and permit 3rd party companies (Farrow) to contact those listed.  If the above is confirmed list this as Implied Consent (6 months).  Proceed with CEM and update Salesforce.

You purchase/obtain a list from an online resource or other outside organization:

Same procedures as above.

You extract a prospect’s information from a company website, AND the page does not contain a ‘do not contact’ disclaimer:

Implied Consent (6 months).  Proceed with CEM and update Salesforce.

Sending an email to a current Farrow client:

Implied Consent for the length of their contract and 2 years after the contract expires. Proceed with CEM.

Sending an email regarding a Farrow hosted Seminar or Farrow Client Appreciation event to a current client but the client is listed as ‘Unsubscribed’ in salesforce:

No Consent, do not send CEM.  Though we have implied consent, a Farrow client may choose to ‘unsubscribe’ (updated by Alpha in Salesforce) from receiving commercial or marketing emails.  This does not prevent Farrow from sending them emails regarding the services we are contracted to provide them.

Sending an electronic message to request a meeting through social media (e.g. Linkedin)

Exempt from CASL. Exemption applies to CEM’s sent or received on a platform or electronic messaging service.

Note:  Salesforce must still be accessed, and the message should not be sent if they are listed as ‘unsubscribed’

Cold calling a contact and leaving voice mail messages

Exempt from CASL.

Man and Woman discussing Customs Consulting | Farrow Careers

Key Definitions:

CASL – Canada’s Anti-Spam Law: Prohibits sending commercial electronic messages within, from or to Canada without the consent of the recipient. Some exceptions apply.

CEMs – Commercial Electronic Messages: Electronic messages sent in connection with a “commercial activity” to an electronic address, with or without the expectation of making a profit

  • email
  • text
  • sound
  • voice
  • image
  • links to another destination with a commercial purpose


  • Emails to solicit a meeting
  • Emails to promote a seminar or webinar
  • Emails to encourage the download of a whitepaper
  • Email invitations to Farrow events

Person to person phone calls or leaving a voice message on someone’s voicemail is NOT considered a CEM.

customs consulting meeting image

Express Consent: Obtained when you explicitly ask a contact for permission to send them CEM’s (under anti-spam), and they agree orally or in writing

Implied Consent: Situations where Farrow can reasonably assume the contact consents to receive CEMs (expiration date on this form of consent)


  • Existing Business Relationship
    • Entered into a written contract with Farrow in the last 2 years
    • Made an inquiry or application to Farrow in the last 6 months
  • Contact Publishes or Discloses their electronic contact Information
    • Exchange of business cards
    • Sign-up forms where no consent is asked
    • Fishbowl collection at a trade show where no consent is asked
    • Obtaining an email address from someone’s LinkedIn profile or company website

Note: If the contact information includes a statement indicating they do not wish to receive electronic messages we do NOT have implied consent.

Unsubscribed: The contact has asked to be removed from any CEM mailing lists, and should not be contacted for commercial or marketing purposes

Personal Relationship:

  • Voluntary two-way communication at any point in the past, whether or not they have met in person,
  • family member descending from a common grand parent,

Contact & Consent Management in Salesforce Best Practices:

i) All contacts should be stored in Salesforce to allow for proper consent management. The following fields are used for this purpose:

  • ‘Consent type’ – the type of consent obtained (express, implied or unsubscribed)
  • ‘Consent role’ – lists whether the contact is a current client, prospect or a subscriber to our monthly news
  • ‘Consent Date’ – original date that the contact information (electronic address) was obtained
  • ‘Last Activity’ – the last activity with the contact – when their contract expired, or when their last inquiry was sent
  • ‘Consent Source’ – specific source of the electronic address (e.g. Corporate website) and details specific to the source of consent (e.g. email conspicuously posted on website directory with no ‘do not contact’ disclaimer

ii) All contacts should be accessed through salesforce before sending any CEM.

  • if the Consent type is Express – proceed with CEM
  • if the Consent type is Implied and the consent role is:
    • Client – proceed with CEM
    • Prospect – this gives us a 6 month window for contact – evaluate ‘Last Activity’
      • If the ‘Last Activity’ date is no older than 6 months – proceed with CEM
      • If the ‘Last Activity’ date is older than 6 months – do NOT proceed with the CEM reference section iii) below
  • If the Consent type is Unsubscribed – do NOT proceed with the CEM
  • If the Consent type is Blank, Unknown or the contact is NOT in Salesforce – do NOT proceed with the CEM, reference section iii) below.

iii)  In situations where the contact is not in Salesforce, or the consent type is Unknown:

  • Check our brokerage system and If the contact is a current client – proceed with CEM and update Salesforce
  • If the contact is not a current client (not in system or contract has expired) – Do not send CEM,
  • If the contact has ‘unsubscribed’ we cannot send any CEM

iv) In every CEM you must include:

  • New Farrow footer (in development) – contains Farrow name, address, contact info and links to unsubscribe

Include name of any 3rd party or affiliate used to obtain recipient’s consent.

Border delays | Farrow Image of a hand shake

How to ask for Express Consent:

When you ask permission in writing, you must provide notice of the following:

  • The purpose for which the consent is sought.
  • Your name (or name of the party/company asking for permission)
  • A statement indicating that the person whose consent is sought can
  • withdraw their consent.
  • Company: name, address, website, phone number, postal code (or where it can be obtained) for inquiries or complaints.

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