The Canada Border Services Agency’s (CBSA) Advance Commercial Information (ACI) initiative improves cargo risk assessment processes by requiring the pre-arrival transmission of electronic cargo and conveyance information to customs. Customs officers are better equipped to identify health, safety, and security threats when they can evaluate cargo information long before the actual shipment arrives in Canada. Carriers and freight forwarders can achieve regulatory compliance with the help of highway customs ACI software.
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The first phase of ACI established pre-arrival requirements for marine carriers, while the second phase established requirements for air carriers and freight forwarders and expanded marine requirements to include shipments loaded in the U.S.
eManifest is the third phase of the ACI program, requiring highway and rail carriers, freight forwarders and importers to transmit to the CBSA electronic pre-arrival shipment data, secondary cargo data (electronic house bills and close messages), and advance trade data, respectively.
Under the ACI eManifest phase, highway carriers must transmit electronic cargo and conveyance data to the CBSA at least one hour before the truck arrives at the border. For PARS (Pre-Arrival Review System) shipments, highway carriers must ensure that both the eManifest and the customs broker’s entry are on file with the CBSA at least one hour before arrival. Filers who wish to update the eManifest should do so way before the submission deadline, as updates and amendments will start the one hour clock again.
An eManifest is required for the following shipment types transported by highway carriers:
PARS. PARS is the default release option for commercial goods entering Canada by truck. PARS allows good to be pre-cleared before arrival so they can be delivered straight to the warehouse.
In-Bond. In-bond shipments are shipments transported under bond. This release option allows for the inland movement of goods before they are released by customs.
CSA. The Customs Self-Assessment (CSA) release option is a special release option for importers and carriers that are members of the CSA trusted trader program.
ATA Carnet. This release type is used for temporary imports that will be re-exported within 12 months.
A49 Automotive Release. This release option applies to shipments of automotive parts to Ford, General Motors and Chrysler production plants.
E29B. This type of import permit allows goods to enter Canada temporarily. Importers or their brokers must complete the E29B form, while highway carriers must report the E29B shipment in the eManifest.
Orders In Council. The Orders in Council allows goods exempted from regular clearance processes to be released. Highway carriers commonly use the Courier Import Remission Order that allows the release of shipments valued at $20CAD or less. The highway carrier must provide the OIC number of the Order in Council.
Personal Goods. This release type covers non-commercial goods transported by truck into Canada.
Certain shipments entering Canada by truck do not require an eManifest, but they must still be reported to the CBSA:
IIT (Instruments of International Traffic). IIT includes empty racks, bins and containers crossing the border in international transportation.
Flying Truck. A Flying Truck refers to a shipment that arrives in Canada by truck but was originally intended to arrive by air.
In-Transit. In-transit shipments move from point to point when traveling through the U.S.
Emergency Repairs. This is used by highway carriers when reporting emergency repairs to commercial vehicles outside Canada.
Courier LVS (Low Value Shipment). Courier LVS applies to couriers transporting low-value shipments.
Postal Shipment. Postal shipments are mail from a foreign postal service going to Canada Post.
When the truck arrives at the Canadian border, the driver must present an ACI lead sheet to the customs officer. The lead sheet contains a barcoded Conveyance Reference Number (trip number) OR a barcoded Cargo Control Number (CCN) and handwritten trip number OR a handwritten trip number on the lead sheet plus a separate page with a barcoded CCN.
Highway carriers can design and print their own lead sheets as long as they meet the barcode requirements. As an alternative, carriers can use third party highway customs ACI software to create and print lead sheets from the eManifest.
The border officer will use the lead sheet to bring up the carrier’s eManifest in their system. The officer will stamp the lead sheet as proof of report and return it to the driver. Carriers must keep the lead sheet in their records in case of audits. Other proofs of report include a Section 12(1) report from the eManifest Portal, a New eManifest Reported Notice, or New eManifest Reported Notice through a third party service provider.
The proof of report is different from the proof of release. The following are examples of a proof of release:
CBSA-stamped bill of lading, invoice or PARS Consist/Stack manifest for PARS shipments
RNS (Release Notification System) message received by the carrier or received through a service provider
New eManifest Release Notice
New eManifest Release Notice through service provider
The CBSA’s Administrative Monetary Penalty System (AMPS) is a way to level the playing field for Canadian businesses and discourage noncompliance. The AMPS applies to all carriers, importers/exporters, brokers, warehouse operators, freight forwarders, and authorized agents. Failure to provide accurate, complete and timely eManifest information will lead to delays at the border. The carrier may also receive heavy fines from the CBSA. Multiple infractions can take a financial toll on the business, not to mention subjecting future shipments to higher scrutiny from border officials.
Global eTrade Services (GeTS) is a leader in global trade facilitation, offering advanced comprehensive solutions for the public and private sectors. GeTS is a CBSA-approved provider of highway customs ACI software for carriers and freight forwarders.
GeTS highway customs ACI software is an industry-leading eManifest filing solution that helps carriers meet CBSA requirements, streamline eManifest processing, and improve regulatory compliance and cargo security. Highway customs ACI software from GeTS is available in multiple plans and connectivity options. The web-based version of ACI Highway can be accessed anywhere with an Internet connection and browser, while the integrated enterprise application can be accessed from existing software systems.
Within minutes, highway carriers can prepare and submit multiple eManifests. Comprehensive validation ensures the accuracy and completeness of transmitted information, and templates ensure fast preparation and filing. ACI Highway notifies drivers in real-time so they know exactly when to cross. Drivers can also print ACI cover sheets from the application to further reduce processing time at the border.
The user-friendly ACI Highway service from GeTS includes PARS tracking via a free mobile application. No need to log in—simply enter the PARS number to view the status of your shipment. For subscribers that have enabled both the ACI and ACE Highway modules, the eManifest Conversion tool allows you to create a mirrored eManifest for the return journey.
In addition, GeTS offers the RNS WACM (Release Notification System Warehouse Arrival Certification Message) that features release status updates, Deployment 4 (D4) notices, Manifest Forward, and shipment arrivals. RNS notifies carriers of release messages, trade declarations, and other important messages, while the Manifest Forward functionality informs parties affected by the release to ensure timely cargo delivery.
Visit our Highway Customs ACI Software page today to learn more.