Archive for the ‘Canada Customs’ Category


10 Ways CBSA is Improving EDI Communication with eManifest Electronic Notices

eManifest EDI CommunicationThe Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is improving two way communication with new electronic notices. These notices will communicate to carriers and importers the status and disposition of their shipments as they move through the commercial process whether that be via Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) or the eManifest Portal.

The first phase of these notices – Deconsolidation Notices and Document not on File, related to house bill close messages, were made available to carriers and importers (clients) on Thursday June 30, 2016.

The second phase of eManifest Notices was made available September 1, 2016 and included the remainder of the eManifest Notices. The following is the list of Notices available now with a brief description of what the Notice entails:

  1. Matched
    Informs the clients that a specific trade document is linked to a related trade document. Example: When a Pre-Arrival Review System (PARS) shipment has been submitted and the related cargo has already been submitted, then the PARS is matched.
  2. Not Matched
    Informs the clients that either no links to a related trade document have been established, or that a document that has previously been matched to another document becomes unlinked through a change or cancellation. Example: When a PARS has been submitted but the related cargo has not yet been submitted, the PARS is not matched.
  3. Cargo Complete
    Informs the client that a non-consolidated primary cargo document has been submitted to and accepted by the CBSA. If consolidated, it indicates that all of the related Secondary Cargo (House Bills) has been transmitted. Documents that have achieved this status have not yet been linked to a related PARS or Integrated Import Declaration (IID) documents.
  4. Document Package Complete
    Informs clients that the cargo and all other required pre-arrival trade documents, including related release documentation necessary for CBSA to determine if the goods should be released (PARS or IID), have been submitted to and accepted by the CBSA.
  5. Reported
    Informs the client that their cargo has been presented to the CBSA at the Port of Report or First Port of Arrival.
  6. Arrived
    Informs the client when goods have been authorized to be removed from a CBSA office, a sufferance warehouse, or a bonded warehouse for use in Canada.
  7. Document Not on File
    Informs clients that a CCN that is not in good standing, was quoted on a trade document which has been submitted to the CBSA. When clients transmit documents that reference other trade documents that it is expected to link to, a Document Not on File Notice will be sent automatically to the sender of the referenced document that is not in good standing. Documents that will trigger this notice are a House Bill Close Message, PARS, IID, Release on Minimum Documentation (RMD) and B3. Carriers or Freight Forwarders that are quoted on the submitted documents will receive this notice for Cargo Control Documents (CCNs) that have been cancelled, or rejected, or not on file.
  8. Authorize to Deliver
    Informs Customs Self Assessment (CSA) clients that their CSA goods can be delivered to the intended recipient.
  9. Released
    Informs clients when goods have authorized to be removed from a CBSA office, a sufferance warehouse, or a bonded warehouse for use in Canada.
  10. Held for CBSA
    Informs clients that their goods are being held for further determination or processing and cannot be released.

In order to receive electronic notices all clients including Primary Notify Parties, Secondary Notify Parties and Automated Notify Parties, must be registered with the CBSA. They must also have their EDI communications profiles set up to receive EDI notifications. An EDI profile is a set of data that identifies clients EDI communication preferences and methods with the CBSA and EDI addresses to which notices are to be sent.

Clients can contact the CBSA TCCU for information on how to register to receive the notices currently available to clients contact the [email protected]

Importing Bulk Commodities at Estimated Volumes or Weight

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Are you in the business of importing bulk commodities that are valued by weight or volume? If so, it is imperative to ensure that the values provided to Canada Customs are compliant with their valuation regulations.

Estimated Volumes vs. Actual Volumes

Many companies import a bulk commodity into Canada such as liquids, which are priced by volume. At the time of purchase, the supplier will normally use estimated volume on the customs invoice. For example 30,000 litres of fuel valued at $2.50 USD per litre = $75,000 USD.

When the product is physically loaded onto the conveyance and on its way to Canada the actual volume may not reflect the estimated value that was declared. For example: 30,000 litres estimated may in fact be 28,500 actual litres. 28,500 litres x $2.50 USD = $71,250 USD.

As the Importer of Record (IOR) is held ultimately responsible for any errors in the declaration of their imported goods, the IOR would be obligated to correct the customs entry. In this case the price payable used at the time of purchase was incorrect and the actual volume discovered at the time of loading must be submitted to Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).

Failure to Amend Volumes

Failure to correct the B3 Canada Customs Coding Document can lead to a penalty as outlined in the Administrative Monetary Penalty System (AMPS) issued by CBSA to the IOR. CBSA’s Master Penalty Document, Contravention C083 states:

“Authorized person failed to make the required corrections to a declaration of value for duty within 90 days after having reason to believe that the declaration was incorrect.


1st: $150 to a maximum of $5,000 (per issue) or $25,000 (per occurrence)
2nd: $225 to a maximum of $200,000 (per occurrence)
3rd and Subsequent: $450 to a maximum of $400,000 (per occurrence)”


Do you import bulk commodities with the pricing based on estimated volumes or weight? Contact us via the comments section below or email Ask Your Broker to discuss your options.

Renew Free Trade Agreement Certificates for Duty Reduction and Elimination


Free Trade Agreement
















With the end of the year quickly approaching, now is the time for importers and exporters to review, update and renew their blanket Free Trade Agreement Certificates of Origin (such as the North American Free Trade Agreement Certificates of Origin) on file with their customs broker.

Most Free Trade Agreement Certificates of Origin expire on December 31. It is important to communicate with all your suppliers to request 2017 Certificates of Origin to avoid getting caught without one in January. Failure to renew your Certificates of Origin could result in significantly higher Most Favored Nation (MFN) duty rate being assessed on your goods.

Importer Responsibilities Under Free Trade Agreements

Free Trade Agreements provide for duty free entry of qualifying goods originating in participating countries that meet those countries’ rules of origin. In order to benefit from the preferential tariff treatments provided by these countries, the importer is responsible for having a completed and valid Certificate of Origin on file for any goods claiming a reduced or free rate of duty.

Correctly Completed Certificates

For companies reviewing Certificates of Origin from their vendors, the first step is to ensure that at face value the certificate has proper coding and is fully completed. While this might sound like common sense you would be surprised how many certificates are missing information or contain unacceptable data (for instance, on a NAFTA certificate indicating a dollar value in the net cost column). In order to assure accuracy of the data, you need to have sufficient knowledge regarding the completion of the document, the basics of which are usually found on the second page of the applicable Certificate of Origin. If not completed accurately, you are at risk for Administrative Monetary Penalty System (AMPS) and potential duties issued by Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).

How Pacific Customs Brokers Can Help with Free Trade Agreements

As a Pacific Customs Brokers client, should you have questions regarding your free trade agreement renewal, please do not hesitate to contact our Compliance Team by telephone or email.


  • FTA Concierge Services
    For clients with time constraints, we offer convenient FTA Concierge Services. We can solicit FTA certificates directly from your exporters allowing you to do what you do best – run your business.
  • Tariff Classification Consulting
    We offer expert analysis for clients seeking guidance on tariff classification. You may know the ins and outs of your business, but we know the intricacies of trade and always look out for our client’s bottom line.


  • NAFTA Webinar Series
    Join this two-part webinar series to learn about rules of origin under the North American Free Trade Agreement. Each part in the series is 60-minutes in length and will clarify a common assumption that all products manufactured in Canada, the United States or Mexico are eligible for duty free status.
    Learn more or register now!
  • Free Trade Agreements and Rule of Origin Workshop
    In this full-day workshop we will provide you with a comprehensive field-by-field guide to completing a NAFTA certificate. We will assist you in understanding product eligibility, rules of origin, common errors and the importer’s responsibilities under the program to maximize savings.
    Learn more or register now!


ACI eManifest and the Definition of a Consolidated Shipment

ACI eManifest Help























There is much confusion surrounding what is considered a consolidated and deconsolidated shipment. Considering one requires multiple cargo control numbers and therefore multiple declarations while the other does not, it’s important to understand the difference. So let’s first take a look at the definitions of each:

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) considers a consolidated shipment to be a number of separate shipments grouped together by a consolidator or freight forwarder and shipped under one cargo control document. A deconsolidated shipment is a consolidated shipment that is divided into individual shipments consigned to individual consignees and reported to the CBSA on individual cargo control documents.

Consolidated shipments have additional requirements for eManifest submission. Here is a typical consolidation shipment scenario:

  1. CBSA would expect one eManifest cargo transmission from the highway carrier per single contract of carriage or bill of lading.
  2. The highway carrier would be required to indicate “yes” for the consolidated freight indicator field of the cargo map within the eManifest. A consolidated freight indicator is an indicator that specifies whether house bill(s) are expected to follow by indicating if the freight is consolidated.
  3. Electronic house bill submissions that will be further deconsolidated must be identified as “consolidated” in order to ensure the cargo matching the process is complete for authorization to move, release and referral notifications to take place. A house bill close message is required for each cargo document or house bill that includes freight identified as consolidated.
  4. The CBSA would expect multiple eManifest house bill transmissions from the freight forwarder.
  5. CBSA would expect freight forwarders to transmit a house bill CLOSE eManifest message once all the house bills within a consolidated shipment have been sent to the CBSA and accepted by the system. For clarity a ‘house bill close message’ is provided by the freight forwarder to identify all house bills to a consolidated primary document or consolidated house bill document for closure purposes.
  6. Multiple Pre-Arrival Review System (PARS) or other release request types would be submitted by the importer or customs broker, quoting the multiple house bills. This can only be initiated with the arrival of the conveyance in Canada.
  7. The consignee would be listed as the Canadian freight forwarder or other consolidator who will de-consolidate the cargo(s) in Canada.
  8. Additionally, entry declarations, or releases, which are submitted by the importer or their customs broker, are required to be linked to the house bills of lading submitted by the freight forwarder and not the primary cargo(s) or CCNs submitted by the highway carrier to report (section 12(1) of the Customs Act) the goods at the First Port of Arrival (FPOA).

Consolidated shipments do not require specific commodity descriptions due to multiple cargo descriptions within the house bills attached. Instead a general description can be used such as “freight of all kinds.”

Consolidation shipments require the involvement of CBSA registered freight forwarders. These freight forwarders must possess a valid 8000 series Carrier Code. Freight forwarders are not involved in the international movement of freight unless bonded. Freight can not be moved or transported internationally by a freight forwarder, the freight must be transported across the border by a valid CBSA approved highway carrier.

Freight forwarders who are not already registered and participating in electronic house bills should contact the CBSA Technical Commercial Client Unit (TCCU) at [email protected] to register and get a copy of the ECCRD Chapter 5.

Freight forwarders can transmit their data on their own via an EDI transmission option or engage a third party such as Borderpro to transmit their data.

Have any questions or comments regarding consolidated shipments? Share them in the comments section below or email Ask Your Broker today.

In-Bond Trailer and Container Sealing Requirements


container-forklift-600Carriers who move goods in-bond from the First Port of Arrival (FPOA) into Canada may need to seal the trailer and/or containers as required by Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).

Shipment sealing is required for:

  • Carriers who are participating in a CBSA Trusted Trader Program
  • Cargo that is controlled or regulated by an Act of Parliament
  • Cargo moving in-transit
  • Conveyance and containers moving from FPOA to a CBSA examination location as directed by CBSA.

Some exemptions apply to these sealing requirements when customs is overseeing the movement.

These exemptions include:

  • Inland Inspection
    Customs Self Assessment (CSA) carriers may move in-bond goods without a seal except in cases when CBSA requires an inland inspection. In this case CBSA would affix a seal on the load at the FPOA for transport to the examination warehouse. The load must then be delivered to the release point and/or examination warehouse designated by CBSA with the seals intact. If company seals are already affixed CBSA will accept those seals and notate them.
  • High Risk Convoy
    CBSA may permit a load to move in-bond to a destination under the convoy of a Border Services Officer (BSO), where the nature or type of vehicle is considered high risk. In this case the carrier will be expensed for the time and labour of the BSO to convoy and examine the shipment.


  1. Ensure the seal remains intact
    This company seal must remain intact unless CBSA performs an examination at the FPOA. If the seal did not remain sealed and/or the seal was broken without CBSA approval, penalties may incurred.
  2. eManifest requirements
    When a company places a seal on a trailer, vehicle or container that contains in-bond goods, the seal number must be noted correctly on the pre-arrival conveyance transmission.

Please note, CBSA has the right to seal any conveyance, container or compartment at any time.

Have a question regarding in-bond trailer or container sealing requirements? Share them in the comments section below or email Ask Your Broker.