Archive for the ‘Highway Carrier’ Category


 

ACI eManifest: Updated Timelines for System Functionality and Deployment

Update ArrowCanada Border Services Agency has provided updated timelines for ACI eManifest system functionality and deployment. These timelines and dates, which could be subject to change, are available in this CBSA presentation.

It is important to note that this presentation does not address the question that is uppermost in carriers’ minds – when will eManifest  become mandatory? Most of these updates deal with technical issues. Carriers that utilize a service provider or file their ACI eManifests using the Canada Border Services Agency web portal will be largely unaffected.

Highlights of this presentation include:

  • Implementation of Integrated Import Declaration (IID) and Document Imaging Function (DIF) in early 2015, with a February target
  • Introduction of a subset of new eManifest notices, for all EDI commercial clients, that will advise on the completeness of advance data submitted to the CBSA and on the arrival and release of shipments in December 2015
  • Deployment of electronic systems (EDI and eManifest Portal) for importers to transmit advance trade data (ATD) in December 2016

The Canadian Society of Customs Brokers’ visual timeline of CBSA/PGA initiatives also reflects these changes.

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 carrierhelpdesk@pcb.ca.

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:

Shipping Holiday Gifts into Canada – A Word to the Wise

Shipping Holiday Gifts into CanadaWith the holiday season upon us, many businesses and individuals send and receive gifts that cross borders. Whether you are sending corporate gifts to clients and vendors, online shopping or receiving gifts by mail from family and friends, you should be aware of a few details with regards to holiday gifts and cross-border shipping.

A. Sending holidays gifts from a business to a business

1. Don’t let customs clearance catch your recipient by surprise.

When sending a business gift, the receiver of the gift should not have to be responsible for customs clearance charges. Especially since they will not have the required information of the item being gifted in order to complete the customs entry. Arrange for customs clearance through your customs broker. Even though these are free, non-solicited gifts, they will require clearing customs and payment of all applicable duties and taxes.

Customs clearance requirements:

The gift will need to be accompanied by a pro-forma invoice, including all of the same required information as a commercial import. You must also declare an accurate commercial value for the product, as the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) does not accept inaccurate valuation.

2. Alcohol and spirits can be more expensive when shipping internationally.

Importing alcohol into Canada is subject to high duty and excise tax rates, and the import must be routed through a board, commission, officer, or governmental agency legally authorized to sell intoxicating liquor. If gifting liquor is a must, try contacting a winery or liquor store in the Canadian domestic market to purchase from and ship on your behalf.

3. Select the right gift basket.

If purchasing prepackaged gift baskets, be aware of its contents. Certain items such as meats, cheeses, fish and plant products require additional certificates, licenses, permits, and often carry high levels of applicable duties, making it extremely difficult to process such small quantities of these items contained in these gifts. We suggest giving gift baskets made up of items such as cookies, chocolates, coffee, crackers, oils, candles, etc., and avoid anything made from animal or animal products.

 

The bottom line:

If your organization is sending gifts cross-border, be prepared to treat them like every other export that is moved across international borders.

B. Shopping for holiday gifts online.

Many shoppers are choosing to stay away from the crowds, and are turning to online shopping these days. Be aware that the vast majority of online purchases are shipped from a non-domestic market (international) and will be required to clear through customs.

Check the online store’s or seller’s terms of sale and delivery

Confirm who is required to pay for the customs clearance – the seller or purchaser. If the purchaser is responsible for the customs clearance you will need to be prepared to pay all applicable duties and taxes when the item moves across the border. If the shipment is sent by mail and valued under $60.00 CAD, then there is the potential for the Canadian Border Service Agency (CBSA) to allow the shipment to enter Canada without duties and taxes being paid.

Customs clearance requirements:

Although it will be a personal, non-commercial entry, in order to process the import you will be required to provide an invoice, including country of origin of the product, currency, and a complete description of the product(s) being shipped.

 

C. Mailing personal gifts to family and friends.

If you have friends or relatives who live abroad and are mailing you gifts, please ensure that they properly qualify the item as a gift and include a customs declaration.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • For an item to qualify as a “gift”, a friend or relative must send it to you personally and include a card or other notice indicating that it is a gift.
  • If you receive an imported gift by mail that is worth $60 CAD or less, you will not have to pay duty or tax on it.
  • If the gift is worth more than $60 CAD, you will have to pay any applicable duties and taxes on any amount over $60 CAD. For example: If a relative sends you a gift worth $200 CAD, you will pay any applicable duty, GST or HST and PST on $140 CAD.

Certain items do not qualify for the $60CAD gift exemption and are listed below:

  • tobacco
  • alcoholic beverages
  • advertising material
  • items sent by a business

Please also note that the $60 CAD gift exemption cannot be combined with the $20 CAD exemption that is available on most items valued at $20 CAD or less.

*These guidelines are applicable all year round, and are not specific to the holiday season.

 

Need assistance with shipping your holiday gifts into Canada this season? Pacific Customs Brokers can help. Contact our Client Services team for questions or a quote.

 

Will you be shipping Christmas gifts cross-border this year? Have questions? Leave them in our comments section below.

U.S. West Coast Container Ports — Contending with Congestion

West Coast Ocean CongestionThere is considerable and understandable concern within the trade community regarding the current West Coast trade disruptions, and the resulting delays and diversions of vessel cargo arriving and departing from West Coast ports.

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union and Pacific Maritime Association have been in negotiations since May 12, 2014 over a new West Coast longshore labor contract. The current six year labor contract expired at midnight on June 30, 2014 so the ILWA and PMA have been working to renew labor contracts by reaching an agreement on a new contract.

Back in June of this year we wrote a blog article regarding possible contingency plans that importers and exporters might consider in mitigating the disruptions that a Longshore strike could cause.  While a strike has not yet been called, and negotiations are continuing, we are ever aware of the growing disruptions and delays currently happening at all major West Coast ports.  Now might be a good time to review some of the alternative options, as there does not seem to be a projected return to normalcy in this matter, and it may get worse before it gets better.  A strike is not yet ruled out of the realm of possibility.

Particularly because there is no way to know when this situation might resolve, we suggest that you consider the options that we’ve put forward here, in addition to working with your overseas partners for minimizing disruptions as much as possible.

In addition to our suggested options reiterated below, U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Seattle has issued a Trade Information Notice updating the procedures that are available and to be taken in relation to the port congestion, particularly in regards to diversion of vessels.

The various scenarios outlined in the Trade Information Notice include:

  1. Vessel Diverted to Foreign Port and Discharged
  2. Vessel Diverted to Foreign Port Not Discharged
  3. Vessel Diverted to Another West Coast Port and Discharged
  4. Vessel Diverted to Another U.S. Port Not Discharged
  5. Vessel Diverted from Intended West Coast Port to Gulf or East Coast for Discharge
  6. Vessel Rests at Anchor and Not Diverted

 

U.S. Customs and Border Protection will continue to disseminate information as it becomes available. In addition, U. S. Customs has clarified that members of C-TPAT will experience “front-of-line privileges” upon resumption of normal business practices. To the extent possible and practicable the containers can be moved ahead of any non C-TPAT shipments awaiting exam, regardless of how long they have been there.

 

Alternative steps in dealing with the severe West Coast port congestion:

As a majority of imported retail goods are shipped through West Coast terminals and gates, a successful contract negotiation is of critical interest to all in the supply chain.  It is now clear that a new agreement will not be reached without considerable disruption, having a contingency plan in place in case of a strike, lockout or long-term disruption will help your business mitigate inevitable supply chain disruptions. Below are some alternative steps you could take to safeguard your shipments.

  1. Scope your alternatives – Develop a backup plan with an experienced logistics provider to ensure the proper flow of merchandise.
  2. Choose alternate port routings – Look at routing shipments to Canadian and East Coast ports not affected by these activities.
  3. Consider moving products via sea-ground options and/or air freight to minimize the impact of increased costs. Air might be a good choice for critical time-sensitive products.
  4. Transload, truck, and intermodal - Be prepared to consider multiple means of transportation, utilizing truck and intermodal as needed to keep products moving.
  5. Prepare for likely delays and stoppages at the ports as the disruptions and diversions continue.
  6. Stay updated on the status of the negotiations – Pacific Customs Brokers is monitoring the situation and will continue to post updates to the Trade News section of our website as they become available.

How Pacific Customs Brokers can help

Additionally, our affiliated companies Pacific Overseas Forwarding and PCB Sufferance Warehouse can help you devise a customized backup plan. We offer solutions from cross docking and clearing your goods to transporting them down to your North American destination. U.S. exporters might look to use our bonded warehouse as a destination to ship overseas bound cargo for container loading. Contact us to learn how one of our logistics specialists can help you prepare your contingency plan.

 

Have questions or concerns about the potential U.S. West Coast port strike? Use the comments section below to leave us your thoughts or email Ask Your Broker.

 

Additional Resources:

eManifest Regulatory Update — Current Status Outlined

Update ArrowThe Border Commercial Consultative Committee (BCCC) of the Canada Border Services Agency recently released a regulatory update regarding the ACI eManifest program, the details of which can be found below. While this document does not address the burning question of when compliance will become mandatory, it does offer some insight into the process and where we stand as of right now and hints that the “coming into force date” will be sometime in early 2015.

Regulatory Process

There are numerous steps prescribed by the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) in order to develop and implement regulatory amendments. The process has been outlined at the previous two BCCC meetings, and the CBSA has completed the majority of the process. The remaining steps are as follows:

  • The regulatory amendment package again requires “blue-stamps” from the DoJ.
  • Signed regulatory amendment package submission is then again presented to Privy Council Office (PCO)
  • The regulatory amendment package is again presented at a Treasury Board meeting (meetings are dependant on Parliament being in session).
  • The registration of the regulations can then occur along with their publication in Part II of the Canada Gazette. This is the mandatory “coming into force” date.

 

Current Status of the eManifest Regulatory Amendments:

  • Stakeholder issues and concerns have been heard and will be addressed through the regulatory process and the CBSA’s responses will also be contained within the final published RIAS.
  • All stakeholders that sent comments have been sent )either via email or mail) individual letter outlining the CBSA’s responses to your comments/concerns.
  • The regulatory amendments create and revise pre-arrival requirements. Any concerns viewed as “outside the purview” of the regulatory amendments )such as comments regarding the release of commercial goods, or comments regarding the carrier code application process) will be addressed by the appropriate areas within the CBSA and further consultation will take place.

Stakeholder Comments: A Thematic Overview

  • The CBSA received numerous stakeholder comments during the pre-publication period, all of  which were supportive of eManifest, and has been able to successfully address all concerns which were raised.
  • There were three specific requirements which required further clarification and education to resolve stakeholder queries:
    • ACI reporting of Empty Conveyances (Highway Carriers)
    • ACI reporting of Marks and Numbers on Cargo Submissions (Highway Carriers and Freight Forwarders)
    • ACI reporting of the Harmonized System (HS) Code on House BIll and supplementary cargo submissions (Freight Forwarders)

 

Proposed Solutions:

  • To assist carrier in providing pre-arrival empty conveyance information, the CBSA provides free of charge bar coded lead sheets through the eManifest Portal. Portal users can input data and print multiple lead sheets in advance for generic empty loads and the driver can keep a supply of printed lead sheets on hand in each vehicle.
  • Education of stakeholders is key in order to convey that they do not have to submit data that they do not visually see on a package (Marks and Numbers) or shipping document (HS Code). The CBSA will educate through the regulatory responses and program outreach.

 

Current Status of the eManifest regulatory amendments

  • At this time, the CBSA does not have an anticipated “coming into force” mandatory date, but the date is projected to be in early 2015. The Agency has committed to provide all stakeholder advance notice of the “coming into force date”/
  • The “coming into force” date will be communicated through various venues such as emails to current EDI clients and committee members (e.g. BCCC eManifest Sub-Committee), website postings, communiques, etc.
  • The CBSA will continue to work with clients to assist them with compliance with the new requirements.
  • The CBSA thanks the early adopters of eManifest and recommends that all other clients who have not yet begun transmitting begin now as the “coming into force date” will occur in the near future.

 

As always, Pacific Customs Brokers’ Border Pro for Carriers, strives to bring the latest updates on cross-border regulations. 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 emanifest@borderpro.ca. We also welcome your questions regarding ACI eManifest and its implementation in our comments section below.

 

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.
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.

eManifest Deployment Schedule Established

ScheduleRecently, there was a meeting of the Border Commercial Consultative Committee (BCCC) Commercial Projects Sub-committee. At that time, CBSA notified the trade community that a new deployment schedule for future eManifest functionalities has been established.

Following is a notice from the Canada Border Services Agency’s Director General of Information, Science and Technology outlining the details of this deployment. Stakeholders will notice that there has been no date announced for mandatory compliance.  Pacific Customs Brokers will continue to provide details regarding this program as they become available.

 “The latest schedule which will deliver new eManifest features and systems to external clients is as follows:

  • the initial implementation of new and enhanced notices which will improve communication between trade chain partners and with the CBSA are expected to be available in Fall 2015, and
  • electronic systems (EDI and eManifest Portal) for importers to transmit advance trade data (ATD) to the CBSA are expected to be available in Fall 2016.”

Canada Border Services Agency Notice:

I am writing to you today to provide an update on the Canada Border Services Agency’s (CBSA) progress in the implementation of the eManifest Project.

Over the past few months, the CBSA conducted a comprehensive review of the development, testing and production timelines associated with the delivery of the remaining project components.

I am pleased to advise that this review has resulted in a new deployment schedule for future eManifest functionalities that takes into consideration clients’ requests for time to make changes to their internal business processes and systems, and for the education of CBSA officers.  In addition, since the new deployment schedule introduces functionality incrementally, it enables new systems to run in parallel with existing production systems allowing for early detection and resolution of issues.

The first deployments are foundational in nature and will provide the background and internal system support for the functionality that will ultimately be delivered to the trade community.  One of these deployments was released earlier this summer and additional deployments are planned to be released over the next several months.

Today, I would like to inform you that the schedule for subsequent deployments which will deliver new eManifest features and systems to our external clients is planned as follows:

  • the initial implementation of new and enhanced notices which will improve communication between trade chain partners and with the CBSA are expected to be available in Fall 2015, and
  • electronic systems (EDI and eManifest Portal) for importers to transmit advance trade data (ATD) to the CBSA are expected to be available in Fall 2016.

 

As system development continues to move forward, the CBSA will be communicating further details about the eManifest deployment schedule, and how it impacts each stakeholder group, through various channels such as Web site content, Webinar presentations and client mail-outs.

Thank you for your continuing support and valuable input to the eManifest Project.

Bruna Rados
Director General
Information, Science and Technology Branch
Canada Border Services Agency

 

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 carrierhelpdesk@pcb.ca.

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:

  1. ACI eManifest: 4 Problematic Situations and How to Handle Them
  2. Regulatory Update: eManifest Amendment Process Outlined