Archive for the ‘Canada Customs’ Category


 

5 Frequently Asked Questions About ACI eManifest

FAQ about eManifest

As highway carriers struggle with the challenges presented to their business by ACI emanifest regulations and strive to get compliant, we frequently receive enquiries that need clarification. In the coming weeks, we’ll feature five frequently asked questions about ACI eManifest. Jan Brock, recently retired Chief of Commercial Operations with Canada Border Services Agency for the Pacific Highway and Abbotsford Huntingdon districts and now a Senior Trade Advisor with Pacific Customs Brokers (Canada) will answer your questions about ACI emanifests and compliance.

So what are highway carriers’ biggest questions?

1. How will the ACI eManifest program work?

Carriers are now required to electronically transmit cargo and conveyance data to CBSA for all shipments entering Canada. Submissions must be received and validated by the CBSA as early as 30 days in advance but  no later than one hour before arrival at the First Port of Arrival (FPOA). All mandatory data elements and conditional elements where applicable must be included in submissions.  (See Chapter 4: Electronic Commerce Client Requirements Document ECCRD). A machine-readable barcode must be presented  to the Border Services Officer (BSO) at the FPOA. The barcode must either be the Conveyance Reference Number (CRN) or Cargo Control Number (CCN) associated to the trip. If the CCN is provided, the CRN must be hand-written on a document and provided to the BSO.

Carriers have a variety of submission options including utilizing a third-party service provider such as Border Pro for Carriers for eManifest filing services, or CBSA’s ACI eManifest portal.

 

2. Who has to provide an eManifest?

With some exceptions, carriers for hire who are transporting commercial goods into Canada, or returning to Canada empty are required to file ACI eManifest.

 

3. What is a Conveyance Reference Number?

The first four digits of the Conveyance Reference Number (CRN) must be the carrier code representing the carrier that is physically transporting the goods to Canada and reporting the goods at the First Port of Arrival (FPOA). This statutory obligation cannot be shifted from one carrier to another. The carrier code of the carrier transporting the goods must always be represented in the CRN, regardless of which party transmitted the related cargo data.

 

4. What commodities are exempt from eManifest requirements?

At this point, no specific products have been exempted from eManifest requirements. The ACI/eManifest Highway Electronic Commerce Client Requirements Document  does provide info on exceptions and exemptions to eManifest filing requirements.

For a list of exceptions and exemptions from the eManifest program, consult the CBSA Electronic Commerce Client Requirements Document – Chapter 4: Advance Commercial Information or D Memorandum D12-3-1.

 

5. Do we have to set up a new eManifest for every customs broker?

No, the ACI eManifest program is not customs broker specific. You are required to transmit advance cargo and conveyance information for each shipment transported into Canada by truck or rail car. These shipments could all be offered for release to CBSA by the same customs broker or by a combination of customs brokers.

 

Get expert answers to your ACI eManifest questions

We hope this post helps answer some of your questions. If you have other questions about ACI eManifest, we invite you to leave them in our comments section below or email us at askyourbroker@pcb.ca.

 

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 »

For regular updates on this topic consider following Pacific Customs Brokers @askborderpro.

AMPS: The Unwanted Consequence of ACI eManifest Non-Compliance

AMPS ACI eManifest1. Zero-rated AMPS

Highway carriers travelling into Canada should be well aware of the fact that the ACI eManifest six month period for zero-rated AMPS is now in force. During this time, the Canada Border Services Agency may issue non-monetary Administrative Monetary Penalty System (AMPS) penalties wherein no monies will be owed to the CBSA. The penalty will instead serve as a warning to carriers to correct the issue that led to the infraction and to prepare to fully comply with ACI eManifest requirements.

 

CBSA has also been issuing a Notice of Non-Compliance to carriers who do not comply with Advanced Commercial Information eManifest reporting requirements at the primary inspection line.

 

How will zero-rated AMPS be enforced?

During the zero-rated period from July 10, 2015 to January 10, 2016,  CBSA is promoting ACI eManifest compliance through monitoring and client outreach.

 

Word to the wise

For anyone in the business of importing or transporting goods into Canada, it is very important that you take this time to implement a compliance protocol.  Work out the bugs in filing ACI eManifest submissions, learn to identify errors, omissions, or other non-compliance and provide updated accurate information immediately. Doing so will only ensure a more efficient journey through CBSA without delays and monetary penalties.

 

2. Monetary AMPS

Beginning January 11, 2016, highway carriers will be expected to be in full compliance with the eManifest. Carriers who do not comply may be issued monetary Administrative Monetary Penalty System (AMPS) penalties.

 

How will AMPS be enforced?

The application of monetary penalties will be centralized and issued exclusively by the ACI Policy Unit in CBSA Headquarters in Ottawa. This is intended to promote accuracy of application, fairness and client outreach. Monitoring of client compliance will be achieved by referrals from CBSA Ports, Region Operational reviews and HQ monitoring post-arrival compliance.

Monetary penalties will range from $250 to $8000 Canadian dollars per shipment. AMPS are progressive, i.e. the first, second, third, and subsequent occurrences of the same contravention by the same carrier receive progressively higher penalty amounts.

 

ACI AMPS may be applied for

  • Failing to send the required conveyance and cargo data at least one hour in advance of the truck’s arrival at the border
  • Providing incomplete, inaccurate or untrue information, or
  • Failing to notify CBSA that the conveyance or cargo data submitted has changed.

 

Carriers risk more than penalties for repeated non-compliance

Carriers who repeatedly fail to comply with the eManifest requirements or who frequently submit data amendments or delete transmissions may also risk having this information included in their overall CBSA risk score potentially resulting in an extended delay in the carrier’s shipments to pass through customs.

 

How to strengthen your eManifest compliance

It is important for importers, carriers and freight forwarders to implement a customs compliance program within their own businesses. This should include procedures for self-assessment of compliance in advance of January 10, 2016 when CBSA could issue a penalty for non-compliance. Now is the time for early detection of customs reporting errors, facilitating corrections and amendments and voluntary disclosures as necessary in order to mitigate the risk of penalties in 2016.

 

Carriers are encouraged to communicate with shippers and customers the necessity to provide information to carriers in advance and ensure descriptions and piece counts are accurate for all goods.  Cooperation amongst all parties involved in the importation of goods into Canada will be critical to ensure that the correct information gets to the correct location at the correct time. Failure to do so leads to delays at the border and potential fines for the carriers.

 

How to file eManifest correctly

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. These sessions are 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 (Canada).

For details and to register »

The Border Pro for Carriers eManifest filing services assists you in submitting all relevant information to Canada Customs within the required time period to ensure your trucks cross the border as quickly and efficiently as possible.

 

Have questions?

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.

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.

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.