2017 Designation Maintenance Begins in our Professional Development Courses!

A new year means a new start for most everything and this includes a reset to the maintenance requirements of your professional designations set forth by the credential’s governing body. Our Professional Development Courses are about to launch for 2017.
Professional Development Courses Seminars and Webinars

Whether you are a Canadian or U.S. Certified Customs Specialist (CCS), a Certified Trade Compliance Specialist (CTCS), a Certified Export Specialist (CES), a designate with the Law Society of British Columbia (LSBC) or accounting professional, taking any of Pacific Customs Brokers’ seminars and webinars will earn you maintenance points, credits and hours towards a variety professional designations.

Review and plan your maintenance for the first half of 2017 by clicking on the course’s name below:

CDN Importing for Beginners Part 1
CDN Importing for Beginners Part 2
US Importing for Beginners Part 1 1
US Importing for Beginners Part 2 1
FDA Regulated Goods 2 2 1
CFIA Regulated Goods 2 2
NAFTA for Beginners Part 1 1 1
NAFTA for Beginners Part 2 1
Shipping and Importing Perishables – NEW! 5 5 3 3
CDN Trade Compliance Part 1 5 5
CDN Trade Compliance Part 2 5 5 3
Exporting from Canada 5 5 3 3
US Trade Compliance Part 1 5 5 3
US Trade Compliance Part 2 5 5 3 3
HS Tariff Classification 5 6 4
Free Trade Agreements and Rules of Origin 5 5 5
Customs Valuation 5 3.5
CFIA 5 5
FDA 5 5 3
C-TPAT and PIP 3 3 2 2


If you have never attended one of our Professional Development Courses before, the following information might help you decide on attending the next one.

Professional Development Courses – Webinars

Our webinars are designed to meet the demands of the global trade community. These live webinars are a convenient way for trade professionals to stay ahead of new regulations with international trade and gain additional knowledge in key areas. The benefits of attending an online course include:

  • Cost-effectiveness – More affordable than industry standards and some even offered complimentary
  • Global accessibility – Travel is removed from the equation for companies with multiple locations or branches
  • Convenience – Attend from the comfort of your desk
  • Concise training – In a fast-paced industry, efficiency becomes just as important as staying compliant
  • Industry recognized sessions – Earn points towards maintenance of your industry designations

Professional Development Courses – Seminars and Workshops

At these in-person sessions, you will learn the best practices on being compliant as an importer and/or exporter helping you expedite your commercial shipments rather than triggering costly delays. Our experts share their knowledge on international and cross-border shipping to keep you current with customs and participating government agency regulations.  The benefits of attending an in-person seminar or workshop include:

  • All day access – Get our experts to answer your questions one-on-one
  • Case studies and real-life examples – Examine other attendees’ trade compliance issues
  • Cost-effectiveness – More affordable than industry standards
  • Range of topics – Choose from a wide variety of seminar topics
  • Certificate of Completion – Receive a certificate for each course you attend
  • Handouts – Take home your own set of course material
  • Industry recognized sessions – Earn points towards maintenance of your industry designations
  • Networking – Connect with other like-minded professionals

For future reference, download your own 2017 Spring/Summer Trade Compliance Program today!


Why Carriers Care… about Cargo Control Numbers Matching Across All Submissions to CBSA

Why Carriers Care… about Cargo Control Numbers Matching Across All Submissions to CBSA













Highway Carriers will experience delays at the border or risk not reporting cargo they are carrying if the Cargo Control barcodes presented do NOT match the Cargo Control Numbers (CCN) transmitted via ACI eManifest to Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). Inaccurate CCN transmission by carriers could result in sanctions for non-compliance by the Administrative Monetary Penalty System (AMPS).

It is very important that carriers presenting barcoded PARS numbers on arrival at the port ensure that the CCN transmitted to CBSA is identical to the PARS number. The PARS number must include the acronym “PARS” if this was used. It is not a requirement to embed the letter “PARS” into a PARS number, but if a carrier does embed letters into the PARS number that the driver provides at the border, then the carrier must use the identical number in their eManifest electronic cargo transmission.


Tips to ensure compliance:

  1. Carriers should provide the driver with the barcoded PARS number specific to each shipment so the carrier knows which PARS is being used and will also use the same number when transmitting their eManifest cargo data prior to arrival.
  2. The driver should contact the carrier as soon as the PARS number is used for a shipment therefore providing the carrier certainty of which number must be electronically transmitted to the CBSA.
  3. Carriers transmitting cargo numbers MUST pay close attention to the letter “l” and “O” and the numbers “1” and “0” in their CCN and PARS numbers. The transmission MUST match the release documents presented by the customs broker and/or importer. If they don’t match the release document will NOT align with the cargo transmission and the cargo will have been marked “Reported” but not “Released” at the First Port of Arrival (FPOA).


Drivers and carriers are invited to call our Carrier Help Desk with any eManifest or border crossing questions they may have or review the many posts we’ve written on the subject within this Blog. We can be reached by phone at 855.542.6644 or by emails at carrierhelpdesk@pcb.ca. We are here to help!


What is The Single Window Initiative?

Computer Network















You may have heard of Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) Single Window Initiative (SWI) but you are unclear as to what it really is. The SWI is a single point for advance reporting of import information to CBSA who in turn will transmit the information to the appropriate department or agency responsible for regulating the goods. These departments or agencies will assess the information provided by the client and provide a border related decision as required. Led by CBSA, it’s purpose is to provide the trade community with the ability to electronically submit all information required to comply with government import regulations at once. It is meant to eliminate duplicate and redundant data requirements and processes. It reduces the paper burden on the business community and government.  The SWI data requirements will be aligned to the greatest extent possible with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (USCBP)  and the World Customs Organization (WCO)  data model.

Along with CBSA there are nine participating departments or agencies (PGAs) in the SWI:

  • Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)
  • Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.
  • Environment Canada
  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada
  • Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
  • Health Canada
  • Natural Resources Canada
  • Public Health Agency of Canada
  • Transport Canada.


On March 29, 2015, CBSA implemented the new Integrated Import Declaration (IID) that further expands the ability of clients to submit and obtain release for their importations regulated by PGAs. Eventually, by April of 2018,  the “Other Government Department” or  OGD service option for release will be decommissioned and the adoption of IID will take its place.

The Single Window Initiative is scheduled to be fully implemented by the end of March 2017.  It is a direct response to calls from the business community to simplify the process at the border and integrate government requirements into one process.

Many Importers, Customs Brokers and other service providers are onboarding with certification and testing for SWI processing by signing up with CBSA and their Technical Commercial Client Unit.

For more information on the SWI clients can contact the Single Window Initiative Team at swi-igu@cbsa-asfc.gc.ca

See CBSA Customs Notice 16-22 for an update on what programs within the PGAs are available with SWI and IID.

We will continue to provide updates and clarification on this new Modernization Initiative in coming articles.


Why Carriers Care… about the eManifest Cargo Report and Bill of Lading Matching

Carriers should habitually ensure what is loaded on their trailers matches what appears on the shipper’s bill of lading and importer’s instructions to ensure what they have loaded is correct before they leave the shipper’s yard. When eManifest came into play an additional step was added: ensure the cargo on the Bill of Lading (BOL) matches the eManifest Cargo Report. If they do not match, carriers may be delayed at a border crossing for something that could have been easily avoided prior to the truck’s arrival.

What can a Carrier do to avoid this mismatch?

Carrier’s have access to both the Bill of Lading and eManifest Cargo Report and are therefore able to find discrepancies. They can relay those discrepancies to the Importer and/or Customs Broker at the time of loading. The Importer and/or Customs Broker can promptly make the necessary edits to ensure that the shipment on the trailer is matched to the Bill of Lading eManifest (more specifically, the electronic pre-arrival cargo and conveyance information) and Release Request submitted to Canada Border Services Agency’s (CBSA) through the Advance Commercial Information (ACI). The officers at the First Port of Arrival (FPOA) will then risk assess the shipment prior to its arrival in Canada.

What happens if the Bill of Lading and Cargo Report do not match?

In a recent case the Carrier presented an eManifest lead sheet to the CBSA Officer at the Primary Booth. The truck was carrying a shipment of trunks and cases as reported on the eManifest Cargo Report. During the interview with the driver, the Officer asked to review the Bills of Lading and compared them to the electronic eManifest cargo report. One Bill of Lading did not match what was reported on the eManifest Cargo Report. The conveyance was referred to the Secondary Examination Warehouse for examination where the entire trailer was offloaded. The examination for contraband was non-resultant but the non-reported shipment needed to be correctly reported. The eManifest needed to be amended to include the missing shipment. The Importer was assessed an Administrative Monetary Penalty of $2000.00 for not accounting for the shipment on the release request.

Non-compliance is considered high risk by CBSA and therefore carries a hefty fine. Failure to account for goods upon submission of a release request to CBSA impairs their ability to risk assess the admissibility of the goods. In the case study above, the shipment was found upon examination and prior to the release of the goods. The penalty is applied against the Importer as it is their responsibility to account for all goods represented in the release request submitted to CBSA. The carrier is not responsible for the accounting of the goods and therefore not liable in this case, however will experience delay, which they could have helped to avoid.

What are the fines for non-compliance?

The CBSA assesses $2000.00 per shipment on the first offense and $4000.00 on the second offense and $8000.00 on the third and subsequent offense.

Communication between the Carrier and Importer is crucial to ensure that the cargo is reported by the carrier and the Importer accounts for the goods on the release request. Failure to do so can be a costly mistake. Pacific Customs Brokers is here to assist Carriers and Importers and always compares a shipment’s invoice against a bill of Lading for discrepancy. Unfortunately, we cannot compare against an eManifest, unless we have been contacted to submit it on the Carrier’s behalf. For more information on our eManifest services please call our Carrier Help Desk or email us.

Carriers Care will be a reoccurring post focusing on topics specifically impacting truckers in North America.


Is Canada’s Softwood Lumber Industry Facing a Cold Blow from the South?

Softwood Lumber

Softwood Importers to the United States May Be about to Find Out!

The U.S. Lumber Coalition has filed petitions with the International Trade Administration for Antidumping (AD) and Countervailing (CV) relief on importations of multiple lumber products originating in Canada.

This article is in response to this advisement just released: https://www.usitc.gov/

The petitioners allege critical circumstances, requesting that AD and CV duties be applied imminently. If critical circumstance is approved, “CV duties could be applicable to entries filed as early as December 15, 2016, and AD duties could appear as early as February 3, 2017.” Initial review indicates an alleged AD margin of 52.89%, while there are few specifics as to the countervailing rates. We will continue to keep you posted as more is known.

The scope of the AD Duty and CV Duty cases are dispositive. The potential Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) headings and subheadings are provided for convenience only. Language of the scope as presented is detailed here:

Petition Coverage

The merchandise covered by these petitions is softwood lumber, siding, flooring and certain other coniferous wood (‘softwood lumber products’). The scope includes:

  • Coniferous wood, sawn or chipped lengthwise, sliced or peeled, whether or not planed, whether or not sanded, or whether or not finger-jointed, of an actual thickness exceeding six millimeters.
    Coniferous wood siding, flooring and other coniferous wood (other than moldings and dowel rods), including strips and friezes for parquet flooring, that is continuously shaped (including, but not limited to, tongued, grooved, rebated, chamfered, V-jointed, beaded, molded, rounded) along any of its edges, ends or faces, whether or not planed, whether or not sanded, or whether or not end-jointed.
  • Coniferous drilled and notched lumber and angle cut lumber.
  • Coniferous lumber stacked on edge and fastened together with nails, whether or not with plywood sheathing.
  • Components or parts of semi-finished or unassembled finished products made from subject merchandise that would otherwise meet the definition of the scope above within the scope of these investigations.

Softwood lumber product imports are generally entered under Chapter 44 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (“HTSUS”). Softwood lumber products that are subject to these petitions are currently classifiable under the following ten-digit HTSUS subheadings in Chapter 44: [Please see attached for detailed list of 47 specifically-included ten-digit HTSUS provisions].

Subject merchandise may also be classified as stringers, square cut box-spring frame components, fence pickets, truss components, pallet components, and door and window frame parts under the following ten-digit HTSUS subheadings in Chapter 44: 4415.20.40.00; 4415.20.80.00; 4418.90.46.05; 4418.90.46.20; 4418.90.46.40; 4418.90.46.95; 4421.90.70.40; 4421.90.94.00; and 4421.90.97.80.

Although these HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope of the investigation is dispositive.”

We are here for YOU

In addition to the AD and CV duties, there are likely to be additional requirements from the surety company who provides your Continuous Transaction Bond with Customs. It is imperative that you remain aware of your requirements proactively.

Should you prefer to communicate directly, our Trade Compliance Group is well-versed in AD and CV processes and ready to answer your questions or help to address your concerns. You can reach us 24/7 Toll Free: 877.332.8534 for all entry processing requests.