Tougher eManifest Enforcement for Non-Compliant Carriers Begins July 10


ACI eManifest RegulationsWhile summer may be the time to think about the lake or camping, as a highway carrier hauling goods into Canada you cannot afford to ignore the looming deadline for full compliance with ACI eManifest. We are only one day away from the July 10 implementation date and according to CBSA, 90% of those carriers who have a carrier code have filed at least one ACI. Pacific Highway reports that between 75% and 80% of the carriers clearing at this port are filing ACI. Carriers who have been arriving at the border without filing ACI, have been given the following notice.

Beginning July 10, 2015, the next phase of the ACI eManifest implementation timeline comes into effect. Carriers who do not comply with ACI eManifest requirements may be issued zero-rated penalties (non-monetary) under the CBSA’s Administrative Monetary Penalty System (AMPS).

What does “zero-rated” AMPS penalty mean?

While no financial penalty will be levied during this phase, a zero-rated AMPS penalty is technically a penalty and will serve as a warning to carriers to correct the issue that led to the infraction.

This period of zero-rated AMPS is to give the industry an opportunity to make the necessary corrections to procedures and preventative mechanisms to ensure reduced risk of exposure to AMPS penalties. The zero-rated AMPS period will last for six months, after which, full AMPS will apply, including monetary fines.

Update: CBSA intends to increase ACI compliance through a spectrum of intervention, ranging from client outreach via monitoring, client action plans, application of penalties and ultimately suspension of carrier codes in the most serious cases. The first six month zero penalty phase from July 10, 2015 to January 10, 2016 will concentrate on client outreach and monitoring of client progression.

 

What Carriers Need to Do:

So, before you head off to the cottage or hit the beach, ensure you are eManifest ready. Do not let the non-financial penalty give you a sense of false preparedness and affect your performance record with CBSA.

Carriers who have already registered can surely take some downtime. Despite your preparedness, this is no time to rest on your laurels, instead communicate with partner carriers to ensure they are also compliant.

Carriers who have not yet registered are advised to do so immediately and may contact Pacific Customs Brokers for help with this process. Border Pro for Carriers can take the hassle of getting registered off of your plate with our self and full service eManifest filing options.

 

A Good First Step to Understanding eManifest:

Our ACI eManifest Seminars and Webinars are 90-minute sessions where we answer questions, offer practical solutions and help with the ACI eManifest regulations in effect.

Presented by Jan Brock, recently retired Chief of Operations with Canada Border Services Agency for the Pacific Highway and Abbotsford Huntingdon Commercial Operations. Jan is now a Senior Trade Advisor with Pacific Customs Brokers (CAN).

For details and to register »

 

If you have any questions about ACI eManifest, please do not hesitate to contact our Carrier Relations Liaison at 855.542.6644  or via email at carrierhelpdesk@pcb.ca.

Is your business ready for the implementation of ACI eManifest? We welcome your questions and comments in our comments section below.

 
 

Why Your Carrier’s eManifest Compliance Matters


CaptionFor those of you new to, or unfamiliar with, ACI eManifest, this is how the CBSA summarizes the program.

“The Advance Commercial Information (ACI) program provides the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) with electronic pre-arrival cargo and conveyance information so they can identify health, safety and security threats related to commercial goods before the goods arrive in Canada. With the implementation of eManifest, highway carriers transporting goods into Canada are required to transmit cargo and conveyance data electronically to the CBSA prior to arrival. The cargo and conveyance data must be received and validated by the CBSA a minimum of one hour before the shipment arrives at the border.”  ACE is the equivalent U.S. program.

It has already been two months since the  Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) announced  the implementation of ACI eManifest. According to CBSA,  90% of those carriers who have a carrier code have filed at least one ACI. Pacific Highway reports that between 75% and 80% of the carriers clearing at this port are filing ACI. Carriers who have been arriving at the border without filing ACI, have been given the following notice.

Beginning July 10, 2015, the next phase of the ACI eManifest implementation timeline comes into effect. Carriers who do not comply with ACI eManifest requirements may be issued zero-rated penalties (non-monetary) under the CBSA’s Administrative Monetary Penalty System (AMPS).

What does “zero-rated” AMPS penalty mean?

While no financial penalty will be levied during this phase, a zero-rated AMPS penalty is technically a penalty and will serve as a warning to carriers to correct the issue that led to the infraction.  Although there are no financial ramifications during this phase, carriers will need to take these zero-rated AMPS penalties seriously as they will form part of their performance record with CBSA.

This period of zero-rated AMPS is to give the industry an opportunity to make the necessary corrections to procedures and preventative mechanisms to ensure reduced risk of exposure to AMPS penalties. The zero-rated AMPS period will last for six months, after which, full AMPS will apply, including monetary fines.

What Importers Should Do?

In the coming time, cooperation amongst all parties in the supply chain will be critical to ensuring that the right information gets to the right place at the right time to avoid delays crossing the border into Canada. Importers are encouraged to communicate with their carriers and ensure they are eManifest set up as they will need to provide information to CBSA in advance and ensure descriptions and piece counts are accurate for all goods.

Failing to do so could result in:

  1. delays at the border
  2. contribute to potential fines for the carriers, which in turn could mean increased costs for the importer

 

If your carrier has not yet taken steps to get eManifest compliant or has questions, please contact our Carrier Relations Liaison at 855.542.6644  or via email at carrierhelpdesk@pcb.ca.

 

A Good First Step to Understanding eManifest:

If you would like to learn more about this regulation, attend our next ACI eManifest Seminars and Webinars are 90-minute sessions where we answer questions, offer practical solutions and help with the ACI eManifest regulations in effect.

 

Is your business ready for the implementation of ACI eManifest? We welcome your questions and comments in our comments section below.

 

 
 

ACI eManifest – Best Practices for Processing Your Highway Shipments


ACI eManifest: Best Practices for Processing Your Highway Shipments

Based on the Canada Border Services Agency’s (CBSA) recommendations for processing highway shipments, we have compiled a list of best practices to help highway carriers adapt to ACI eManifest requirements.

 

1. Submit accurate Cargo Control Numbers (CCNs)

When the CCN transmitted in advance to the CBSA does not match the bar-code CCN presented by the driver on arrival at the border, carriers will experience delays.

Note:

  1. It is not a requirement to embed the letters “PARS” into the PARS number but if this has been done then the carrier must use the identical combination of letters and numbers in the eManifest cargo transmission.
  2. Do not use the letters “PARS” in the Conveyance Reference Number (CRN).
  3. Provide a separate CCN for each shipper on the Bill of Lading.
  4. Ensure the cargo description is in plain language sufficient to identify it for Customs purposes.

 

2. Provide accurate Conveyance Reference Numbers (CRNs)

The conveyance operating carrier must prepare and transmit an electronic submission to the CBSA with the required conveyance data. All cargo data must be accepted by the system  and on file in order to be linked to the conveyance or the conveyance transmission will be rejected. The conveyance operating carrier must provide the port code of arrival where the conveyance is destined to cross into Canada and the ETA must be accurate.

 

3. Provide accurate Conveyance Reference Numbers (CRNs) on brokered loads

If a highway carrier contracts other carrier (secondary carrier) to transport goods on their behalf, known as “brokered loads”, the primary carrier is responsible for transmitting the advance cargo data using its own carrier code. The secondary carrier is responsible for transmitting the advance conveyance data using its own carrier code and also quoting the CCN(s) transmitted by the primary carrier. The first four digits of the CRN must be the carrier code associated with the carrier that is physically transporting and reporting the goods at the First Point of Arrival (FPOA).

Note: A carrier arriving at the FPOA using another carrier’s code in its CRN is only acceptable if the transporting/secondary carrier is operating under an exclusive contract with another carrier and the driver is able to present, upon request, a copy of the contractual agreement.

 

4. Match the port of destination (in cargo data transmissions) and the port of release (in PARS documents)

If the CBSA has received a carrier’s advance cargo data before receiving the release request from the customs broker (i.e. PARS) and the port of destination on the cargo does not match the port of release on the release request, the CBSA will reject the release request. If the carrier arrives at the border before the information has been corrected and re-submitted and the ports do not match, the carrier would be required to wait for this to be completed before being authorized to move. Alternatively, if the carrier is bonded and the goods qualify, the carrier may move the goods in-bond for later release at an inland destination.

 

5. Present the correct document(s) to the CBSA officer

On arrival at the border, the driver must present a machine-readable bar code that will link to the advance electronic data transmitted by the carrier, using one of the following three options:

  • (Preferred option) Present an eManifest lead sheet that contains a bar-coded CRN, or
  • Present an eManifest lead sheet that contains a bar-coded CCN with a handwritten CRN, or
  • Present an eManifest lead sheet that contains a handwritten CRN and also present an alternative document with a bar-coded CCN. Examples of alternative documents include PARS document(s) with a bar-coded CCN (PARS) number, or a Cargo Control Document (form A8A-B) with a bar-coded CCN.

Note:  As long as the information described above is provided on the eManifest lead sheet, no additional information is required. However, it is acceptable if a carrier chooses to include additional information on its eManifest lead sheet for its own business purposes (e.g. CCNs, licence plate numbers, etc.).

 

6. Retain the “Proof of Report” and “Proof of Release”

“Proof of Report” and “Proof of Release” may be requested and verified by the CBSA and must be provided to the CBSA upon request.

Proof of Report includes:

  1. Stamped eManifest lead sheet
  2. Receipt of Section 12(1) Report in the eManifest Portal or EDI message

 

Proof of Release includes:

  1. RNS message sent to EDI-capable clients
  2. CBSA stamped individual release documents

Note: Stamping of the eManifest lead sheet does not provide “Proof of Release”.

 

7. Communicate with your trade chain partners

To help avoid potential delays at the border because of incorrect or mismatched data, the CBSA strongly encourages businesses to establish communication links with their trade chain partners. For example, to facilitate more efficient release processing, carriers should clearly identify CRNs and CCNs when submitting information to customs brokers.

 

Meeting the various demands of ACI eManifest regulations can seem challenging. These seven best practices will enable highway carriers to significantly reduce wait times and increase efficiencies.

 

Learn More About ACI eManifest:

Attend one of our upcoming 90-minute sessions (seminar or webinar) and learn more about ACI eManifest. We will answer your eManifest related questions, offer practical solutions and help you comply with this regulation that is now in effect.

For details and to register »

 

Pacific Customs Brokers offers self and full-service eManifest filing services. If you have any questions about ACI eManifest, please do not hesitate to contact our Carrier Relations Liaison at 855.542.6644  or via email at carrierhelpdesk@pcb.ca.

 

Have questions or comments on this blog post? Leave them in our comments section below.

 

About Jan Brock:

Recently retired Chief of Operations with Canada Border Services Agency for the Pacific Highway and Abbotsford Huntingdon Commercial Operations. Jan is now a Senior Trade Advisor with Pacific Customs Brokers (CAN).

 
 

ACI eManifest in Effect – 2 Things To Do Right Now


Now Later ScaleThe implementation of the long-awaited ACI eManifest regulations has dominated industry news in the past weeks. Highway carriers transporting goods into Canada are now required to transmit cargo and conveyance data electronically to the CBSA (Canadian Border Service Agency) a minimum of one hour before the shipment arrives at the border.

Implementation Timelines:

With eManifest requirements for highway carriers now mandatory, the following implementation timelines apply:

  • From May 6, 2015, to July 10, 2015, the CBSA will provide carriers with a period of transition during which penalties for non-compliance will not be issued.  The Agency will work closely with carriers on corrective measures to help them comply with eManifest requirements.
  • From July 10, 2015, to January 10, 2016, carriers who do not comply with eManifest requirements may be issued zero-rated penalties (non-monetary) under the CBSA’s Administrative Monetary Penalty System (AMPS).
  • Beginning January 10, 2016, carriers who do not comply with eManifest requirements may be issued monetary AMPS penalties and their trucks may be returned to the U.S. until the data is transmitted to CBSA within the required timelines.

Areas of Non-Compliance:

eManifest will be implemented nationally and will be enforceable at all commercial ports across Canada. When applicable, the CBSA may issue penalties for:

  • failing to provide advance information;
  • failing to provide advance information in the prescribed time or in the prescribed manner;
  • failing to correct advance information;
  • failing to provide true/accurate/complete information; and/or
  • failing to comply with an electronic customs Risk Assessment notice.

Each penalty is intended to apply to all submission requirements and all trade chain partners responsible for pre-arrival/pre-load information, including the provision that multiple penalties may be issued per shipment if multiple trade chain partners are in contravention of their respective requirements.

Source: Requirements for Commercial Clients

 

Two Things You Should Do Right Now

1. Ensure you have a valid CBSA-issued carrier code and that CBSA has your current company contact information.

To file for a carrier code you must apply directly to the Canada Border Services Agency. You must fill out a Carrier Code Application and email carrier-cargo@cbsa.gc.ca. If you have questions, call toll-free 866.749.6623.

Pacific Customs Brokers offers assistance with the carrier code application process. Please contact our Carrier Help Desk at 855.542.6644 or carrierhelpdesk@pcb.ca for more details.

2. Choose a transmission option for pre-arrival reporting.

  • Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) options using Third Party Service Providers like Border Pro for Carriers eManifest filing services, Value Added Network, Customs Internet Gateway and Direct Connect to the CBSA
  • The internet-based eManifest Portal developed by CBSA primarily for small-to-medium-sized businesses

A Word of Caution:

It is important to note that when U.S. Customs and Border protection implemented their ACE eManifest program in 2007, it resulted in significant delays at the border and a logjam of carriers who waited too long to register. Please do not wait until the last minute to prepare for this. July 10, 2015 is just around the corner.

Pacific Customs Brokers offers self and full-service eManifest filing services. If you have any questions about ACI eManifest, please do not hesitate to contact our Carrier Relations Liaison at 855.542.6644  or via email at carrierhelpdesk@pcb.ca.

 Learn More About ACI eManifest:

Many highway carriers and importers have found our current offering of ACI eManifest Seminars and Webinars to be very informative and helpful. In these 90-minute sessions we answer questions, offer practical solutions and help with the ACI eManifest regulations in effect.

For details and to register »

 

Have questions or comments on this blog post? Leave them in our comments section below.

 
 

The No. 1 Contentious Issue with ACI eManifest – Consolidation


Numbers-one-600

Over the course of the ACI eManifest implementation period, the question that keeps cropping is

“Will CBSA alter their stance on the ‘one shipper, one consignee, one entry’ position?”

Monitoring this regulation closely, all indications and communications from CBSA point to a firm “No.”

In an effort to stick-handle around this regulation, many importers and carriers were looking to have multiple shipments consolidated at one U.S. facility and then moved on one BOL (bill of lading) showing the consolidation point as the shipper. One shipper, one consignee, one entry. Problem solved, right? Not so fast…

In 2012 and recently, CBSA clarified their position on what does and what does not qualify as a consolidation. It is important to note that often when CBSA refers to a “consolidation,” especially as it relates to filing an ACI cargo report, they are talking about a group of shipments that is moved by a freight forwarder on one bill of lading, and shipped to an agent or freight forwarder as one shipment, which is then “de-consolidated” onto multiple “house bills” and customs cleared on individual entries. Regardless of that, the scenarios and guidelines listed below paint a pretty clear picture of what qualifies as a consolidation and when it is acceptable to file a single cargo report.

Transportation Scenario

Multiple shippers transport their goods to one common location in the country of export. The location consolidates the shipments onto one new bill of lading for transportation from the consolidation location to the consignee in Canada.

  • This scenario can require different eManifest submissions depending on what is stated on the Bill of Lading.
  • When CBSA reviews books and records, this review includes the billing documents, record of payment, individual bills of lading etc.
  • CBSA must be able to follow the audit trail from the pick-up of the cargo to the delivery of the cargo through the source documents that must be retained and provided to the CBSA upon request. (Section 22 of The Customs Act)

Example #1

4 individual Bill of Ladings from 4 different U.S. Shippers to 1 Canadian Consignee

The shipments arrive at a U.S. carrier’s terminal or warehouse location to consolidate the shipments for transportation from the terminal/warehouse to the consignee in Canada (they could have been transported to this location by different transportation companies or by the same one).

  • Each U.S. shipper has a separate contract of carriage with the carriers and each shipper has prepared their own bill of lading indicating a U.S. shipper and a Canadian consignee.
  • These are international movements.
  • A new BOL is created indicating the U.S. carrier terminal/warehouse as the shipper and an agent or freight forwarder as the consignee.
  • This example will require house bill submissions from Freight Forwarders

Example #1 eManifest Requirements

This would be a consolidated shipment:

  • The CBSA would accept one ACI cargo transmission from the carrier as per the single contract of carriage or bill of lading.
    • Carrier would be required to indicate “Yes” for the Consolidated Freight Indicator field of the cargo map as the audit trail and source documents will reflect a true consolidation with multiple shippers and one consignee.
  • The CBSA would expect multiple paper house bills or ACI house bill transmissions (voluntary eManifest release) from the freight forwarder.
  • Multiple PARS would be submitted by the importer/ customs broker quoting the multiple house bills.

* It is important to note that, for highway carriers wishing to border clear all four shipments on PARS at the port of arrival, the above scenario would require four ACI cargo transmissions and four customs entries.

Example #2

4 individual Bills of Lading from 4 different U.S. Shippers to 1 central U.S. Carrier Terminal/Warehouse

The shipments arrive at a U.S. carrier’s terminal or warehouse location to consolidate the shipments for transportation from the terminal/warehouse to a single consignee in Canada

  • Each U.S. shipper has a separate contract of carriage with the carriers indicating a U.S. shipper and the terminal/warehouse as the consignee.
  • These are domestic movements.
  • A new BOL is created indicating the U.S. carrier terminal/warehouse as the shipper and a Canadian consignee.

Example #2 eManifest Requirements

This would be a non-consolidated shipment:

  • The CBSA would expect one ACI cargo transmission as per the single contract of carriage or bill of lading.
    • Carrier would be required to indicate “No” for the Consolidated Freight Indicator field of the cargo map.
  • The Carrier is required to submit one CCN for this scenario even though the cargo is originally shipped from multiple shippers.
  • One PARS would be submitted by the importer/ customs broker quoting the single CCN.

So, if you were able to make it through the above without nodding off, you will have picked up that the key issue here is the original bill of lading and CBSA’s ability to establish and follow an “audit trail.” Quite simply, if multiple shipments are moved from various points in the U.S. into a central terminal location, on domestic bills of lading showing that terminal as the destination, and, if a new bill of lading is generated showing that central location as the shipper, and the Canadian destination as the consignee, you can submit one cargo transmission and one PARS entry. It is important to note that this bill of lading is a legal document and must be supported by the domestic bills of lading that moved the cargo into the consolidation point. Further to this point, it is critical to know that this procedure should not be used merely in an attempt to circumvent the regulations and that in the case of a CBSA audit, you will be required to present all original bills of lading.

In virtually all other scenarios involving multiple shippers to a single consignee, you will be required to file multiple cargo transmissions, and multiple PARS entries will be required for customs clearance.

It appears as though it may be time for importers, carriers and customs brokers to prepare themselves for the inevitable fact that the clearance of multiple shipments on one entry will soon be a thing of the past.

We hope that this helps to bring some clarity to what we have found to be the most contentious and hotly debated issue surrounding the implementation of the ACI eManifest program. If you have any questions about ACI eManifest, please do not hesitate to contact our Carrier Relations Liaison at 855.542.6644  or via email at carrierhelpdesk@pcb.ca. Should you need assistance in filing eManifests, Pacific Customs Brokers offers both self and full-service eManifest filing.

If you are just getting on board with ACI eManifest and are a little unsure of how the program works and how it will affect your business, we recommend attending our upcoming ACI eManifest Seminars and Webinars wherein we will discuss how the program works in-depth and answer your questions.

We also welcome your questions regarding ACI eManifest and its implementation in our comments section below.