eManifest is part of Canada Border Services Agency’s (CBSA) Advance Commercial Information (ACI) program that aims to modernize cross border processes and improve the nation’s security. eManifest describes the electronic transmission of pre-arrival cargo data from trade participants to customs officials. Participants can transmit advance cargo data to the CBSA using electronic data interchange (EDI), eManifest Portal or an eManifest solution provided by a third party.
When fully implemented, eManifest will be mandatory in air, marine, highway and rail modes of transportation. eManifest requires carriers, freight forwarders and importers to transmit cargo, conveyance and other supplementary data to the CBSA before shipments arrive at the border or before they are loaded at the port in marine mode.
The CBSA introduced the ACI program in three phases. The first two phases required air and marine carriers to send electronic pre-arrival cargo and conveyance data to the CBSA. The third phase, the eManifest initiative, requires highway and rail carriers, freight forwarders and importers/brokers to submit cargo and conveyance data, electronic house bill or supplementary cargo data and advance importer data, respectively, to customs officials before arrival at border crossing.
ACI eManifest is beneficial to Canadians, the Government and the trade community as a whole. Using a more thorough screening process for incoming shipments, CBSA officials can identify and flag high-risk shipments easily while accelerating the processing and clearance of legitimate goods. eManifest also improves communication between businesses and the CBSA and reduces the administrative burden on businesses.
How the Canada eManifest Works
ACI eManifest is a mandatory program for all carriers, freight forwarders and brokers/importers in highway and rail modes. The person in charge of the conveyance that will pass through the first point of arrival (FPOA) is required to submit cargo and conveyance data to the CBSA, while the freight forwarder is required to submit house bill/supplementary cargo data to the CBSA. Even if the carrier submits supplementary data on behalf of the forwarder, the forwarder remains responsible for the accuracy, completeness and timeliness of the data. Supplementary data provides detailed information on consolidated shipments.
Does ACI eManifest replace A8A cargo control documents?
ACI eManifest does NOT replace A8A cargo control documents. Carriers are still required to submit an A8A for in-bond shipments from the FPOA to an inland destination. Meanwhile, importer self-filers or brokers must submit advance import data to the CBSA. Customs brokers should expect a spike in processing volume as the CBSA will no longer accept multiple shipments under one entry. ACI eManifest filing is 24/7, and submission deadlines are strictly observed. If you are unable to file eManifest outside of business hours, consider using third party software.
Data transmission is accomplished using the client’s preferred connectivity method—EDI, eManifest Portal or a third party solution. After creating and submitting the entry using an eManifest tool, clients will receive status notifications from CBSA. Once the CBSA has accepted the transmission and three blue lines appear next to “Current Status,” the driver can head to border crossing. At the border, the driver presents the ACI lead sheet to the official who will retrieve the eManifest data. If everything matches, the driver is cleared to cross.
Changes/Amendments: Can I change a CBSA eManifest after the truck has already crossed the border?
After the truck has crossed the border, minor changes to the eManifest can be submitted to CBSA electronically. However, major changes require the submission (fax or in person) of a BSF673 form in duplicate to the CBSA.
eManifest ACI Filing Exclusions
In most cases, eManifest is mandatory for all shipments in all modes of transport. Exceptions include outgoing shipments, full load postal shipments, and shipments that have been cleared under the Courier Low-Value Shipment Program. The CBSA may request hard copies of invoices, declarations, bills of lading (BOL) and other documents when the Canada Customs Invoice (CCI) contains very large numbers of goods that can be time-consuming to key in manually. Paper documents may also be required if the shipment is low value (CAD$2500 or less), or the merchandise requires a special permit or license to be presented to the CBSA before release, such as firearms or certain vehicles.
ACI Timeframes for Transmission of Break-Bulk Cargo
Marine carriers that transport break-bulk goods to Canada must provide cargo and conveyance data to the CBSA at least 24 hours before the goods are loaded onto the vessel at the foreign port. However, carriers may request permission to provide data 24 hours before the carrier arrives at the port.
In-Transit and Empty Conveyances
ACI eManifest is currently not required for in-transit highway conveyances. The CBSA will not issue monetary penalties for truckers who fail to file electronic in-transit conveyance data. Until the CBSA mandates an in-transit solution, carriers with shipments moving in-transit are exempt from the requirement. Carriers will continue to report in-transit movements on paper.
eManifest is required for empty trucks and trailers, except bob-tailed trucks. For Customs Self-Assessment (CSA)-approved businesses with drivers who have a FAST/CRDP card and meet requirements for CSA release, the requirement is a CSA lead sheet that includes the carrier name and carrier code with the words "Empty Truck". On the other hand, drivers lacking a FAST or CDRP card that are employed by a CSA-approved carrier must send eManifest data AND present the ACI lead sheet for empty trucks.
CBSA eManifest Noncompliance and Penalties
Starting January 11, 2016, carriers who do not comply with advanced filing requirements may be issued monetary penalties.
Penalties may apply to those who:
· Fail to submit eManifest for shipments
· Fail to submit eManifest within the specified timeframe
· Fail to inform the CBSA that changes have been made to pre-arrival data
· File incomplete data
· File inaccurate data
· File information that is intentionally false
· Arrive at the border without first sending advance cargo and conveyance data to the CBSA
eManifest has been in force since July 2015, and participants have been given time to complete requirements and transition to the new system. In highway mode, truckers who do not comply can expect to pay large fines, fines that range in the thousands of dollars for multiple infractions. Multiple penalties may be issued if several parties are involved in a shipment. Truckers may also be denied entry or physical turned around at border crossing. Besides these penalties, noncompliance can have a huge negative impact on customer service due to delayed, missing or incorrect shipments.
ACI eManifest Portal
For Highway Carrier Companies
Before using the eManifest Portal, highway carrier companies must have a valid Client Identifier (carrier code) and a Shared Secret issued by the CBSA. The carrier code is a unique four-character identifier that is assigned by the CBSA to each carrier. You can report cargo using someone else’s carrier code, but the conveyance report must have the carrier code of the owner of the conveyance transporting the shipment to Canada.
After the company has set up a Business Account, any employee can access the Portal as long as they have a Sign-In Partner or GCKey and a Portal User Account. Air carriers are considered as highway carriers in the eManifest Portal, and they can only submit Highway Conveyance Documents to the CBSA in case of a flying truck scenario.
The EDI system is another eManifest option that allows the direct transmission of data from one computer to another. Clients can participate using a Value Added Network (VAN), Customs Internet Gateway, direct connection, or third party provider solution. A value-added network is a public EDI network that allows multiple clients to use a single interface to exchange information with each other and with the CBSA. The CBSA’s Customs Internet Gateway allows clients to exchange data over the Internet, and a direct connection allows clients to connect directly to CBSA.
CrimsonLogic Global eTrade Services: ACE and ACI Services Provider
Another EDI option is a third party service from a technology partner or provider. The CBSA has approved many third party service providers to transmit data to CBSA using various communication methods. Global eTrade Solutions (GeTS) is subsidiary of CrimsonLogic, a CBSA-approved service provider that offers best-in-class eManifest solutions to trade participants in all modes of transport.
While the CBP and CBSA have developed a free eManifest Portal for clients, these solutions were not designed for high-volume use or data sharing. GeTS’ eManifest service feature capabilities such as advanced integration options, multiple connectivity options, report generation, secure corporate account, and 24/7 customer support.
GeTS has helped the trade community in Canada and the U.S. comply with ACE and ACI eManifest requirements. Its global eTrade services include ACE Highway, Ocean and Air, Importer Security Filing (ISF), ACI Highway, Ocean and Air, and eHouseBill. These advanced tools are easy to use and allow trade participants to submit eManifests in just a few minutes. eManifest submission has never been simpler with GeTS’ ACI and ACE solutions.