Archive for the ‘Carrier’ Category


We Invite You To The 3rd Annual Carrier Appreciation & Cross-Border Info Reception

An opportunity to ask questions, mingle and network.

Win an iPad Mini

To show our appreciation to cross-border carriers and self-carrying importers for their continued support in the movement of international goods, Pacific Customs Brokers will host a two-hour reception Thursday, May 1, 2014. Please join us for complimentary food, beverages, live entertainment and a prize giveaway.

Don’t miss the opportunity to talk directly to Canada Border Services Agency, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement who will be on site and stationed at tables fielding questions from the carriers. Pacific Customs Brokers will provide a demo and preview of our soon to be released mobile website and updated mobile tracking and tracing application.


Date and Time:

Thursday, May 1, 2014
5:30 pm to 7:30 pm (doors open at 5:00 pm)


Eaglequest Coyote Creek Golf Course
7778 152nd Street,
Surrey, British Columbia

Event Inquiries:

Phone: 604.538.1566
Toll Free: 888.538.1566
Contact: Yvette Fox / Adriana Zamora



** Only confirmed registrants may attend**

RSVP Submission:


Fax: 604.531.3120

RSVP Deadline:

Friday, April 25, 2014


The Importance of a Bill of Lading

Check-boxes-300The bill of lading has long played an important role in International Trade.

Initially developed during medieval times when trade between countries and regions began expand, merchants needed a system in order to note the condition of goods at the time of loading, and to certify when and where the goods were loaded.

With the growth of trade and mercantilism, these receipts began to be used as the title of goods, and evolved into the modern bill of lading used in trade today.

Today the Bill of Lading represents:

  • A receipt issued by the carrier that the goods have been loaded on the conveyance.
  • A title of goods to the consignee noted on the bill of lading.
  • Because it is considered a title of goods, the Bill of Lading can be used as a negotiable instrument and can be traded much in the same way goods may be.

In quoting Adam Smith, Scottish philosopher and Father of Modern Economics, he said “Every Man lives by exchanging.”

The bill of lading is how past and modern traders document their exchanges, and it is one of the most important documents in our modern day supply chain.

So why is a bill of lading so important?

The bill of lading is the contract of carriage, in other words it embodies the agreement between the carrier and the shipper on movement and delivery of goods.

It is used as a receipt signed by the carrier confirming that the goods match the description listed, and have been received by the carrier in good order.

It can indicate the terms of sale by listing the incoterms:

  • For instance if the shipping agreement between the consignor and consignee is door to door delivery (” Door Move of DDP may be listed).
  • Or if the goods have only been contracted to the carrier to deliver to the port (CIF may be listed).
  • Also, in being a title of goods it represents ownership of the goods.
  • A shipper can hold on to the original bill of lading as collateral to ensure the goods are paid for in full and the terms of sale have been met.
  • In these cases the original bill of lading is often required in order for the carrier or forwarder to issue a freight release allowing the consignee to physically take possession.
  • When completed in full, the bill of lading aids the customs broker in matching up the commercial clearance documents in order to ensure they are able to make an accurate declaration for all goods to Customs on the importer’s behalf.

What information must be listed on the bill of lading?

For Customs purposes, some of the important details include:

  • Piece count – meaning the total skids, boxes, and/or cartons
  • The total weight of the goods
  • The Description of goods
  • Any marks and numbers
  • The parties involved in the transaction resulting in the move
  • The bill of lading identifies the place of pickup. If the carrier is picking up in more than one place a bill of lading will need to be issued and signed by the carrier for each pick up.
  • And the bill of lading lists the date of loading or export.
  • This is an important piece of information because Customs uses the date of export to determine the exchange rate if the goods are sold in foreign currency.

It is important for the bill of lading to accurately represent the goods and the condition of the goods loaded on-board.

What happens if the bill of lading is inaccurate?

If the goods and condition are inaccurately listed on the bill of lading it could leave the carrier exposed to claims.

For instance:

If the bill of lading indicates that the goods were loaded in good order and condition, but the consignee receives the goods at the point of discharge and the shipment is incomplete or in damaged condition, the consignee is then entitled to make a claim for the missing and/or damaged goods against the carrier.

This is not a good spot for the carrier to be in, which is why it is important that the load and the information listed on the bill of lading match.

The bill of lading is one of the most vital documents associated with trade, yet due to its abiding presence it is often the document that is the most over looked.

As a contributing member in the supply chain, whether you are a carrier or the consignee, protect yourself and make sure that the bill of lading issued is accurately completed.

As the carrier this important step will help to safeguard you against unjust claims, and as the importer or consignee it will help to ensure your get what you paid for.

If you have any questions, or any other cross-border transportation matters, please do not hesitate to contact our Carrier Relations Liaison at 855.542.6644  or via email at


Border Pro iPhone App for Carriers – 2014 Update

Border Pro iPhone AppWhen launched on Jan 10, 2012, the Border Pro iPhone app for Highway Carriers was a first of its kind in North America. Pacific Customs Brokers designed the app to help streamline the process for highway carriers crossing international borders. The Border Pro app allows you to check PARS (shipments to Canada) and/or SCN  (shipments to the USA) entries while in-transit. It also provides recent status updates via SMS or email for PARS and/or SCN entries, along with a direct contact call button to our 24/7 customs and carrier service team.

Since its release, the Border Pro app has had 1,500 downloads and over 30,000 PARS and SCN queries made. Owner-operators, carriers, drivers, dispatchers and self-carrying clients who have used the app comment on its simplicity and ease of use. See what our users have to say.

If you have not yet had the chance to try the this free app, download it here from the iTunes Store or visit this link to learn more about the Border Pro iPhone app.

Features include:

  • Check the status of PARS and SCN entries for existing Pacific Customs Brokers clients
  • Get SMS or email updates on your PARS and SCN entries
  • Direct call button to our headquarters which is ALWAYS open, with a 24/7 LIVE reception team
  • Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch

Note: The Border Pro iPhone app can only check the status of shipments if Pacific Customs Brokers is the designated customs broker associated with the cargo control number entered.

It is a known fact that mobile Internet usage has been spiraling over the last few years. With this in mind, our development team has been working on a responsive multi-platform website that would make an excellent extension to our app. This would mean one website that would adapt to all screen sizes no matter the device, making it an easy-to-use experience for our all of our clients and industry partners. We’ll keep you updated on the soon-to-come website in the coming months.

If you are a Border Pro iPhone app user or have any suggestions for what you would like to see on our soon to come responsive website, we would love to hear from you. Leave us your thoughts in the comments section below or email  Ask Your Broker.

What industry related iPhone apps do you use and find useful? Share your favorites in our comment section below.

Mandatory ACI eManifest Rapidly Approaching

StopwatchThe Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is now only a couple of steps away from the implementation of mandatory ACI eManifest reporting for carriers.  On February 15, 2014, proposed eManifest regulatory amendments were published in Part I. of the Canada Gazette. The proposed amendment reinforces that mandatory requirements for carriers to supply advance conveyance and shipment information to CBSA will soon be implemented.

This pre-publication provides a 30-day period for public and industry stakeholders to comment or pose questions on the proposed regulatory amendments. Once confirmed, the CBSA will inform the trade community of when regulations to enforce the eManifest requirements are expected to be in place, with a 45 days notice in advance of the mandatory compliance date.

What this means is that full compliance could be mandatory 75 days from February 15th, 2014.

Once full compliance is mandatory, there will be a six month period where those who do not comply will be subject to zero-rated Administrative Monetary Penalty System (AMPS).  After which, carriers who have not met all of their obligations with respect to this program, will be assessed AMPS penalties.

A word of caution to those carriers that wait until the 45 day notice period to sign up — they may get caught up in the rush of last minute registrants and find it difficult to be fully set up by the deadline. Those carriers that have chosen to wait until the eleventh hour need to act swiftly to ensure they are ready for the cutoff date. Acting now may allow you to fine tune your processes and work out any bugs before the due date, without fear of Administrative Monetary Penalty System (AMPS).

Pacific Customs Brokers’ Border Pro for Carriers offers a full and self eManifest filing service option that can take the hassle of getting registered with CBSA off of your plate.

If you have any questions about ACI eManifest, how to register or  how it will affect your business, please contact our Border Pro eManifest Team at 855.542.6644  or via email at We also welcome your questions regarding ACI eManifest and its implementation in our comments section below.

For the latest updates on eManifest visit the Carrier News section of our website regularly or  sign up for our weekly Border Pro newsletter. Additionally, you’ll find the Your Broker Knows YouTube channel to be an excellent resource.


Additional Resources:

eManifest System Upgrades Scheduled for July 2014

Sign: UpdateOur Border Pro for Carriers staff recently sat in on a CBSA hosted webinar where the topic was the pending system upgrades to the ACI eManifest program.

The primary purpose behind these system enhancements is to allow CBSA to integrate their decision-making process with respect to risk assessment. Where previously the Agency had to make multiple decisions on multiple documents for a single shipment, the proposed upgrades will allow CBSA to assess all documents submitted by clients on the same shipment, collectively. In order to achieve this, system changes are required.


Expected Changes:

1. Release Notification System

The biggest and most noticeable change will be that CBSA’s Release Notification System (RNS) messages will be replaced by pre-arrival “completeness notices” and post arrival “disposition notices”.

2. EDI map to the ACI 309 cargo transmission

While the current system does not comply with the World Customs Organization standards, the CBSA will introduce new ACI EDI multimodal cargo maps that conform to international standards and offer clients increased functionality.


Impact on Carriers:

The good news for carriers that file ACI eManifest cargo and conveyance data through the CBSA web portal, or utilize a third party service provider, is that will not have to make any changes to their systems. However, carriers that interact directly with CBSA via EDI will be affected and will need to make the necessary changes to their systems.


Expected Timeline:

The new functionality will be available in July 2014, but carriers and service providers will then have one full year to transition from their current systems to the new system.

If you have any questions about ACI eManifest, or any other cross-border transportation matters, please do not hesitate to contact our Carrier Relations Liaison at 855.542.6644  or via email at