The Pre-Arrival Review System (PARS) is the most common shipment type for commercial goods transported by trucks bound for and transiting Canada. Most goods must clear under PARS unless the merchandise qualifies for another shipment type. PARS tracking allow importers and carriers to check the status of PARS shipments without calling their brokers and prove to customers that shipments were released by customs. For high-volume importers and shippers, a dedicated PARS tracker service from a third-party service provider like Global eTrade Services (GeTS) can make PARS shipment tracking quick and convenient.
Pre-Arrival Review System (PARS) Shipments
The PARS shipment type was designed to accelerate the release of commercial shipments bound for or crossing Canada. With PARS, customs brokers and carriers only need to provide minimum documentation to send a release request (also known as Release on Minimum Documentation or RMD) to CBSA and allow customs officials to review documentation before the shipment arrives in Canada. The highway carrier submits advance pre-arrival information, including PARS numbers and other details, via electronic Manifest or eManifest to CBSA. This allows customs officials to review shipment information and release low-risk, legitimate shipments very quickly while easing border congestion.
All PARS shipments have unique PARS numbers, a type of Cargo Control Number (CCN) that carriers assign to each shipment and transmit to customs before arrival. PARS labels or stickers are barcoded. A PARS number starts with the carrier’s Carrier Code, followed by at least four alphanumeric characters. Carriers usually add the word “PARS” to each number, but this is not required.
Carriers usually request a set of PARS numbers in sequence to be printed out and attached to customs documentation. Sequential PARS numbers prevent accidental reuse. PARS numbers cannot be reused for at least three years.
The PARS Shipment Process
It is often the importer or their customs broker who determines the shipment type of Canada-bound goods. However, it is the responsibility of the carrier to assign PARS numbers to PARS shipments. The process starts when the carrier picks up the shipment from the importer or supplier warehouse outside of Canada. The carrier assigns a unique PARS number to each PARS shipment and communicates the information to the customs broker by faxing or emailing the shipment documentation with attached PARS sticker. The broker will then prepare a formal entry referencing the PARS number and requesting the release of the merchandise by CBSA.
After the formal entry has been accepted by customs, the carrier prepares an eManifest, listing the PARS number for the shipment and submits the eManifest to CBSA via Advanced Commercial Information (ACI) at least one hour before the goods arrive at the border. eManifest submission can be done via the ACI eManifest portal, Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) connection, or third party service provider. It is important that the PARS number in the broker entry and eManifest match exactly; otherwise, the shipment may be delayed.
Once CBSA accepts the eManifest, the truck driver can head to the border. At the border, the customs officer will check the cover sheet and pull up the shipment information. If everything is in order, the officer will clear the driver to cross. Otherwise, the driver may be referred to secondary processing and examination.
PARS Shipment: Broker Entry and ACI eManifest
Each PARS shipment must be accompanied by a formal entry filed by the customs broker and eManifest filed by the carrier. The broker must clear the PARS at least one hour before the truck arrives at the border. Trade participants can use a dedicated PARS tracker or checker to verify the status of the entry and facilitate communication.
To report each PARS shipment, the carrier must prepare an ACI eManifest declaring the goods as PARS or non-Customs Self Assessment (CSA). The PARS number must be entered in the Cargo Control Number field in the eManifest form. Again, the carrier must ensure that the PARS number entered in the eManifest is the same as the PARS number used by the broker when filing the formal entry. All characters must match, including the word “PARS” if applicable.
Pre-Arrival Review System (PARS) for Importers
The shipper or importer of goods into Canada is responsible for providing complete and accurate information to the customs broker and identifying the customs broker on the Bill of Lading (BOL) or waybill. The carrier will obtain the required documents and data from the broker specified in the BOL or directly from the importer when the carrier arrives to pick up the shipment.
Your broker and carrier need the following documents:
· BOL that includes the customs broker’s name and contact number. The BOL serves as a contract of carriage for the carrier.
· Commercial Invoice or Canada Customs Invoice (CCI) for goods valued at less than $1600 CAD. The CCI must show the purchase price of the merchandise, country of origin and detailed description of goods.
· For goods valued at $1600 or more, provide the Canada Customs Invoice or Commercial Invoice with the buyer and seller name, country of origin, price, and a detailed description of goods, as well as a CCI with the remaining information.
To qualify for a reduction in duty, the importer must also provide the NAFTA Certificate of Origin (COO) for merchandise that were manufactured or produced entirely in the U.S., Canada, or Mexico. For repeat shippers, a blanket Certificate of Origin can be kept for one year with the customs broker. Importers should consult their broker when filing the COO, as some commodities may require additional documentation or permits.
GeTS PARS Tracker
Global eTrade Services (GeTS) has been a leader in global trade facilitation for more than 25 years. GeTS offers best-in-class ACI Highway and PARS tracking solutions for importers, carriers, and brokers.
GeTS Track Shipment Android and iOS Mobile App
GeTS Track Shipment application is now available at the Google Play Store and iTunes. Simply download the free application and enter your Cargo Control Number to view the status of your PARS shipment—no login needed! Get real-time status updates and clearance notifications wherever you go with one click of a button. The Track Shipment app also shows status of PAPS shipments for U.S.-bound goods.
GeTS Release Notification System
The Release Notification System (RNS) is an electronic system used by CBSA to send PARS alerts and release notifications to trade participants. The RNS also allows clients to notify the CBSA that cargo has arrived in Canada. RNS messages contain the current release status of inbound cargo as well as delivery schedules, timestamps, CCN, broker’s transaction number, and other important data.
GeTS’ RNS is an automated application notifying carriers about the status of their PARS shipments. Carriers can also use the GeTS RNS service to inform brokers and importers about cleared PARS shipments to ensure timely delivery. CBSA recommends that carriers use RNS to receive broker entry numbers in ACI and facilitate eManifest filing.
Available RNS Messages
· Accepted: Notification of broker entry numbers against PARS shipments, so the carrier does not have to call the broker. The “Accepted” message also shows that merchandise is ready to be arrived at the border.
· Good Released: Notifications that are sent according to carrier code, customs office number or warehouse location.
· Status Query: Carriers can verify whether CBSA has processed the release documents for PARS shipments using the RNS status query lookup.
With GeTS ACI Highway and PARS tracker solutions, you can monitor all PARS shipments and easily view accepted/released shipments. Carriers can use the mobile app to check whether PARS shipments are cleared so they can save time and know exactly when to head to the border. GeTS ACI Highway and RNS PARS tracker solutions come in multiple connectivity and subscription options: web-based for on-the-go PARS tracking, fax and email processing, and seamless integration with existing in-house systems. Visit our website to learn more.