Archive for the ‘Canada Customs’ Category


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

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.


  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


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 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 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

 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.

Canada Customs Invoice: 7 Mandatory Fields

Filling out a customs form A Canada Customs Invoice (CCI) is required for all shipments entering Canada that are valued over $2500.00 CAD. Do not take the risk of delaying your shipment at the border due to an incomplete or inaccurate Canada Customs Invoice (CCI).  Customs brokers see this happen often.

Mandatory Fields on a Canada Customs Invoice:

The following fields on a Canada Customs Invoice are mandatory for customs clearance, and must be provided at the time of release:

1. Date of Direct Shipment – This is the date the goods have left the place of direct shipment. This is used to obtain the exchange rate which will be used to convert the value for duty into Canadian dollars. Exchange rates vary day to day, which makes it very important to indicate the correct date of shipment on your invoice.

2. Country of Origin – This field must indicate the country where the products originated from or were manufactured. This will not necessarily be where the products were exported from. The country of origin will help determine if we can apply a trade agreement to lessen the duties applicable on the products being imported.

3. Currency of sale – This should indicate which funds were used to purchase the goods. This should never be left blank or assumed. Your customs broker must convert funds to Canadian dollars in order to file an entry with Canada Customs; this makes it very important to know which funds we are working with.

4. Quantity – This field should indicate the total number of pieces being shipped. If Customs examines a shipment, they will want to ensure that the number of pieces declared matches what is loaded on a truck. This makes it very important to ensure accuracy.

5. Value – This field should indicate the fair market value of the goods. This is required for all goods being imported – even if a sale has not occurred. Valuation of the items being imported should be based on one of the six valuation methods: transaction value of the goods, transaction value of identical goods, transaction value of similar goods, deductive method, computed method, or residual method.

6. Weight – This must indicate the weight of the goods. This should match up with the carrier’s bill of lading weight. This can also be used to verify accuracy in the case of a Customs examination.

7. Purchaser/Importer of Record – This field should indicate which party has purchased the goods. It will identify which party is responsible for handling the customs clearance, any duty, and accountable for any duty and taxes that are payable on the items being imported.

Snapshot - Sample Canada Customs Invoice


Here is an example of a properly completed Canada Customs Invoice. Click the link or the thumbnail image for a detailed view.

Sample Canada Customs Invoice Form





Interested in learning more about about documentation for importing into Canada? Pacific Customs Brokers hosts a series of Trade Compliance Seminars throughout the year. To learn more about this topic, we recommend attending an upcoming Canadian Customs Compliance Seminar.

Do you need additional assistance with your customs documentation, contact Pacific Customs Brokers.

Have questions on filling out a Canada Customs Invoice?  Ask us in our comments section below.

11 Reasons Why a Carrier Would Need to See a Customs Broker

Numbers-one-600A driver’s cross border journey is so much more than picking up freight and proceeding with delivery. Crossing international borders, especially with commercial freight, means complying with the rules of the governing country.

There are many aspects for the carrier to consider when planning their journey: transportation permits, routes, road conditions, hours and what customs requirements apply to the goods on board.

While most entries must be transmitted to the CBSA electronically for review, there are a number of exceptions to this rule. Here is a list of those exceptions to help give you a better understanding of some of the reasons you or your driver may have to stop your journey along the way:

  1. Invoice lines in excess of 999 lines — When an invoice covers a large number of purchased goods, it can take a customs broker quite some time to key it line by line. This is why customs has allowed entries exceeding 250 lines to be presented as a paper entry to help expedite the clearance process.
  2. Multiple Highway Cargo Control numbers at frontier
  3. Courier Low Value Shipment rejected from consist (2500CAD or less)
  4. Other government department permit or certificate required — There are certain goods that cannot be released electronically because they require a permit, certificate or license to be presented to CBSA. An example of this would be vehicles that require Form 1 or fire arms that require a special permit.
  5. System outage (ie. customs broker, CBSA or CFIA)
  6. Shortages, Entered to Arrive, Value Included — These goods are reported when the quantity of goods originally reported to the CBSA is different from that received by the importer or broker.
  7. Provisional — When the importer/owner or broker cannot establish a final value for duty of goods at the time of importation. In such cases, goods may be released under the interim accounting provisions.
  8. Prime & ETAs — When an item is too large to fit on one truck and transportation of the goods will be split up onto a number of trucks.
  9. Used self propelled vehicles — Goods that require U.S .customs authorization to export before they will be CBSA released.
  10. Used machinery requiring inspection — Goods that may have soil or dirt present must be inspected to ensure that the proper cleaning precautions have been taken.
  11. CBSA has requested to see a paper declaration


In any of the above cases, the customs broker will instruct you or your driver to come into their office to collect a paper package, which they will have prepared in advance. After obtaining instruction from the customs broker, you will proceed to the customs booth and advise the border service officer (BSO) that you need to see your customs broker. The border service officer will instruct you where to park while you take care of your documentation.

Once you’ve visited the customs broker and have obtained the paper package, those documents need to be presented to CBSA for their release decision. If release has been granted, Customs will stamp your paperwork released and you may then proceed with final delivery.

Do your due diligence and always ensure that your entries are good to go before proceeding to the border. By doing this, it gives you and the customs broker an opportunity to communicate any special instructions to each other.

What do you think? Leave us your questions or comments below or email Ask Your Broker.