Archive for the ‘Highway Carrier’ Category


 

ACI eManifest: Common Carrier Questions 4 Months In

Question MarkOn January 11, 2016, Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) began to issue monetary penalties for non­-compliance with ACI eManifest legislation. The first four months of eManifest has presented some challenges for carriers lacking clarity on certain aspects of compliance. Below is a list of common questions our carrier network are inquiring about.

Q. If a carrier is not transporting any goods and the conveyance is empty, are they required to transmit pre­-arrival conveyance data to CBSA?

A. Although the CBSA encourages carriers to transmit pre-­arrival eManifest data for empty conveyances, it is currently not a mandatory requirement. Refer to Customs Notice 15­-030.

Q. Is a handwritten Conveyance Reference Number (CRN) on an eManifest Lead Sheet acceptable?

A. The CBSA prefers the CRN to be bar­coded but will accept it as handwritten as long as the Cargo Control Number (CCN) is bar­coded. Either the CCN or CRN must be machine readable or bar­coded.

Q. Will the CBSA Border Services Officer (BSO) stamp the Pre-Arrival Review System (PARS) documents when they are presented to the officer by the driver along with the mandatory eManifest lead sheet?

A. Yes. When the driver presents both the eManifest lead sheet and PARS documents for shipments that are being released at the border, the BSO will stamp the lead sheet as Proof of Report, and also stamp the PARS documents when the goods are released. The driver must present them on their own as the BSO will not request them. The PARS documents should be retained by the carrier as Proof of Release.

Q. In the following scenario, will the carrier be issued a monetary Administrative Monetary Penalty System (AMPS) penalty?
A shipment crossed and was released by the BSO at the First Port of Arrival (FPOA) but only the eManifest lead sheet was stamped. Now the carrier is undergoing a CBSA Transportation Audit and the carrier is unable to provide CBSA with proof of release (electronic or paper).

A. Not necessarily. If the CBSA is able to verify in the CBSA system that the goods were properly accounted for, this will suffice that the carrier met their obligation. If the carrier does not receive proof of release via the CBSA Release Notification System (RNS) then the carrier should be providing PARS documents to be stamped by the BSO at the FPOA. If the PARS documents were not stamped at the time of crossing, the carrier can request the BSO at the FPOA to stamp the PARS after the fact if the CBSA can verify in their system that the goods were in fact reported and released.

These remedies do not preclude the carrier from retaining accurate records of report and release for audit purposes. Records must be either electronic or paper and available upon request of CBSA.

Q. If a carrier successfully transmits the required pre­-arrival eManifest data to CBSA and has a PARS release package set up for FPOA, arrives at the FPOA and presents an eManifest lead sheet only, is this sufficient to prove release of the PARS?

A. Yes. RNS participants can rely on the electronic system for Proof of Release, however if the carrier still requires a stamp on the PARS document to satisfy Proof of Release, then it is the carrier’s responsibility to present the PARS documents to the BSO to stamp and to retain those documents for audit purposes.

For additional information refer to Memorandum D3-4-­2.

Did You Know?

Pacific Customs Brokers’ Border Pro for Carriers service was created to help carriers, truckers, drivers, dispatchers and self-carrying importers seamlessly clear customs while saving time and money. Border Pro for Carriers eManifest filing services can assist 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.

What has your experience been crossing the Canadian border?  Share them in our comments section below or email us at Ask Your Broker.

PARS and ACI – Understanding the Border Crossing Process

PARS and ACI

 

Understanding the Pre-arrival Review System

The Pre-arrival Review System (PARS) allows customs brokers to submit shipment release information (provided by the importer and carrier) to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) for review and processing before the goods arrive in Canada. This speeds up the shipment release or referral for examination process for when the carrier arrives with the freight at the border. In order for the system to be successful, all trade chain partners need to do their part.

At Shipment Pickup

The carrier’s role is vital to the PARS process. At the time the freight is picked up from the shipper, the carrier will affix a PARS sticker/label to the commercial documents and forward them to the customs broker so they can set up the shipment with the CBSA, in advance.

The PARS sticker/label

The PARS sticker/label is made up of your carrier code and combined with a unique shipment number. This “PARS” or Cargo Control Number (CCN) is critical because it identifies both the carrier and the shipment to the CBSA at the time of reporting and when release documents are presented.

When faxing, or emailing commercial documents to the customs broker the carrier must advise them of

  • The port of crossing
  • The estimated date and time of arrival
  • The carrier’s contact information – in case the customs broker needs to reach you
TIP:
Providing the customs broker and CBSA sufficient processing time will prevent a carrier or their drivers from being delayed at the border. It also allows the customs broker time to reach out to other trade chain partners if additional information is required.

Before heading to the Canadian border

Under the PARS process, the customs broker will submit the release information to the CBSA either electronically or in paper format — depending on the release requirements for the goods being shipped. Goods that require permits, licenses or certificates will require additional processing time using PARS.

ACI eManifest

With the advent of ACI eManifest making the transmission of pre-arrival conveyance and cargo data mandatory, effective January 11, 2016, carriers now have one more obligation to fulfill prior to heading to the border.

It is important to note that while the customs clearance process and ACI eManifest are closely linked, they are two separate and distinct things. In other words, you cannot just send all of your information to the customs broker and expect that they will set up your PARS for clearance and file your emanifest. Conversely, you cannot send that same data to your eManifest service provider and expect that they will file your eManifest and set up your PARS. The exception to this rule would be in situations where the customs broker clearing the shipment is also an emanifest service provider as is the case with Pacific Customs Brokers and its eManifest filing service, Border Pro.

TIP:
Always verify that the shipment has been set up and that you are good to proceed to the border. You can verify the status of your shipment by calling the customs broker directly or by using their online PARS lookup tool.

At the Canadian border:

When you or your driver arrive at the Customs booth, the Customs officer checks all the commercial paperwork presented, and uses the bar-coded cargo control number on the PARS stickers to get access to the recommendation and also to determine whether or not the shipment can be released.

TIP:
It is important for carriers to remember that the best way to ensure a smooth and seamless border crossing is to get all paperwork for both the customs clearance and eManifest sent as soon as possible. The more time that the broker has to review documentation, the better the chances are that your shipment will be in “accepted” status when you arrive and your truck will roll right through.

 

Did You Know?

Pacific Customs Brokers’ Border Pro for Carriers service was created to help carriers, truckers, drivers, dispatchers and self-carrying importers seamlessly clear customs while saving time and money. Border Pro for Carriers eManifest filing services can assist 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.

What has your experience been crossing the Canadian border?  Share them in our comments section below or email us at Ask Your Broker.

How to Avoid ACI eManifest Penalties Triggered by Voluntary Entries

Ban-600Large fines of up to $8,000 per shipment can occur for carriers not in compliance with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). With the introduction of monetary fines in January 2016, compliance is more important than ever. CBSA may issue penalties for submissions that are not complete, inaccurate, or intentionally false. In addition there are strict time frames for transmitting the required information which if not adhered to can result in fines.

 

Who is responsible for providing cargo and conveyance  pre-arrival data?

Carriers are liable to ensure all information provided to the CBSA including pre-arrival information is true, accurate and complete. The operator of the conveyance  that transports the goods to Canada is solely liable for providing all cargo and conveyance  pre-arrival information via electronic means to CBSA.

 

Where business arrangements exist, another carrier may provide the pre-arrival cargo data to CBSA; however, it is the conveyance operating carrier that remains liable for the pre-arrival cargo and conveyance transmitted to CBSA.

 

The conveyance operating carrier should ensure that all cargo carried in the conveyance has been transmitted to CBSA prior to arrival. This is the time to ensure a complete compliance strategy is in place with the carrier submitting the cargo to CBSA and the transporting carrier (if different) so that there are no discrepancies which could result in penalties assessed against the transporting carrier.

 

What are the penalties?

Penalties for not submitting ACI are applied to each shipment. The penalty is $2000 per shipment for first occurrence, $4000 per shipment for second occurrence and $8000 per shipment for third and subsequent occurrences.

Carriers have been assessed this penalty also when they failed to report cargo after the fact via an amendment to the original ACI Conveyance report filed. Importers who receive goods that were delivered to them without official customs release will voluntarily declare goods  via a B3 type V entry. The submission of the voluntary entry triggers the CBSA to assess a penalty against the carrier who transported the goods into Canada because the goods were delivered to the importer without reporting the cargo to CBSA. The transporting carrier should have amended their conveyance report to CBSA to report the cargo delivered or found over after the conveyance was released at the first port of arrival into Canada. If the cargo was not reported via an amendment to the original  ACI transmission then the penalty assessed by CBSA against the transporting carrier will be upheld.

 

How a carrier can avoid penalties for not reporting cargo?

To avoid penalties for not reporting cargo, carriers should ensure that all cargo carried has been reported via ACI and accepted prior to arriving at the first port of arrival into Canada. If cargo is found after the fact, the transporting carrier should amend their report as soon as possible and before the importer submits their voluntary entry.

 

Trade Advisory Services:

Pacific Customs Brokers can review and prepare AMPS appeals. Our Trade Advisors will work with you to guide your business through the appeal process and avoid incurring further penalties.

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 [email protected]
We also welcome your questions and comments in our comments section below.

How to Appeal An ACI eManifest AMPS Penalty

How Highway Carriers Can Appeal An AMPS Penalty

It is important for highway carriers to ensure that they are fully compliant to all CBSA requirements for eManifest to avoid AMPS penalties. In our earlier blog post, Hefty AMPS Penalties for ACI eManifest Non-Compliance,  we broke down the various AMPS contraventions and the penalties which may be applied. A graphical representation can also be found in this Infographic: ACI eManifest AMPS Penalties in Effect. Of note is the point that the penalty for not filng ACI for the cargo carried and conveyance used to carry the cargo is also applied when cargo  is found in Canada by the carrier and/or importer. The carrier must  amend or submit the report via eManifest for this cargo immediately upon discovery regardless of the importer submitting a Voluntary entry to account for the duty and taxes on the cargo.

 

When you are issued a penalty under AMPS, you will receive a Notice of Penalty Assessment (NPA), from the CBSA describing the infraction and the penalty incurred.

Appealing a Penalty Assessment

If a highway carrier disagrees with a Notice of Penalty Assessment (NPA), you may want it reviewed. There are two types of reviews available:

1. Correction

Following the assessment of a penalty, a designated officer may, on behalf of the Minister, cancel or reduce the penalty within 90 days of its issuance if any errors in the assessment were made. Correction requests should be submitted to the issuing office. To improve access to the correction process, the fax number of the issuing offices has been added on the NPA.

The information required in a correction request is:

(a)  the client identification number:

(i) Business Number (RM import/export account level);

(ii) Carrier Code (carrier/transporter);

(iii) Sub-office Work Location (warehouse operators);

(b)  the name and address of the client;

(c)  the penalty assessment number (a unique sequential identifier assigned by the AMPS automated system to each NPA);

(d)  the proof of payment of the NPA, when applicable;

(e)  an explanatory note, clearly identifying why the carrier believes that there is an error in the penalty assessment.

If a request for a correction is denied, the carrier still has the option of requesting a Minister’s decision as described below in the redress process.

 

2. Redress  (Minister review)

If a client disputes the assessment of a penalty, a request for a Ministerial decision can be made. The CBSA’s Recourse Directorate reviews these requests. The NPA contains information on the redress process. It is recommended that clients provide as much information as possible relating to their objection to the penalty.

Requests for a Ministerial decision must be submitted within 90 days from the day the NPA was served. In exceptional circumstances, this may be extended to one year. The requests should be sent to the CBSA Recourse Directorate, 1686 Woodward Drive, Ottawa ON K1A 0L8. The Ministerial decision will be communicated to the client in writing. If the penalty was justified by the facts and the law, the decision will confirm that the penalty assessment will be maintained and any money and/or interest owing on the account of the penalty are payable. If, on the other hand, the penalty was not justified by the facts or the law, the penalty assessment will be cancelled and any money paid on the account of the penalty will be refunded and any interest.

Further information on the correction and redress processes can be found on the CBSA website.

 

Payment

If a carrier requests a correction or redress, the payment can be deferred until a decision is rendered. However, if it is determined that there was a contravention and that the penalty was correctly issued, and the penalty is not paid within the 30 days, interest will apply and be calculated from the day after the date of the NPA being served until the date the amount owing is paid.

 

Penalty Reduction Agreement (PRA)

The CBSA has a program called the Penalty Reduction Agreement (PRA). This is a formal agreement between the CBSA and the client whereby the payment of the penalty is partially reduced by CBSA for the client to reinvest in the correction of the client’s commercial information system.

A PRA must be approved first before penalties are reduced and information on how to apply for this program is in Memorandum D22-1-2, Penalty Reinvestment Agreement (PRA) Policy. The Agreement  and reduction of penalty amounts are specific to the client’s information system (eg. purchase of software, upgrade etc) and does not apply to ongoing costs for training employees, overhead and administrative costs, renovation costs, and salaries for hiring employees conversant with the CBSA policies.

Be sure to speak with a customs professional before agreeing to participate in a penalty reduction program.

What Carriers Can Do to Avoid AMPS?

A clear understanding of ACI eManifest requirements, comprehensive compliance monitoring and record keeping system will  ensure that you avoid monetary penalties and high risk scoring.

Minimize Your Risk of AMPS

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. For details and to register »

 

Trade Advisory Services:

Pacific Customs Brokers can review and prepare AMPS appeals. Our Trade Advisors will work with you to guide your business through the appeal process and avoid incurring further penalties.

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 [email protected]

We also welcome your questions and comments in our comments section below.

Should Commercial Carriers Crossing into Canada Have a Carrier Code?

Should Commercial Carriers Crossing into Canada Have a Carrier Code?If you are driving a vehicle and transporting commercial goods from the U.S. into Canada, the following blog will help you understand why you should consider applying for a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) carrier code.

ACI eManifest is in place and a carrier code is mandatory for carriers to transact business with CBSA.

If you are a carrier “for-hire” meaning you are transporting commercial goods to Canada you must have a carrier code. A carrier “for-hire” who arrives at the border without a carrier code will not be permitted to haul the commercial goods into Canada.

 

Before we assess carrier code eligibility, let’s understand a couple of related terms.

 

What is a carrier code?

A carrier code is a unique four-character code issued by the CBSA to identify a carrier. There are two main types of carrier codes:

  1. Non-bonded carrier code – Carriers in possession of a non-bonded carrier code must have freight coming into Canada released at the border (first port of arrival).
  2. Bonded carrier code – Bonded carriers have posted security which allows them to transport shipments (not cleared at the first point of arrival) inland to a bonded warehouse of their choice.

 

Who is a carrier?

CBSA defines a carrier as a person involved in international commercial transportation who operates a conveyance used to transport specified goods to or from Canada. To operate a conveyance means to have legal custody and control of the conveyance as an owner, a lessee, a charterer, a mortgagor, or on a hire purchase agreement.

Specified goods are:

  1. Commercial goods;
  2. Empty cargo containers to be imported into Canada and that are not for sale; and
  3. Any other goods to be transported to Canada for a fee

We can now review the eligibility to hold or receive a carrier code from the CBSA. When a company or carrier applies for a carrier code, it is the responsibility of the applicant to demonstrate to the CBSA that they are in fact a carrier and that they meet the definition of a carrier.

If you meet the definition of a carrier and transport goods for a fee, then you are eligible to receive or hold a carrier code.

 

The following are examples of parties who are NOT eligible for a carrier code:

  1. An importer transporting their own goods into Canada under the definition of “hand-carried goods”.

“Hand-carried goods” are defined as commercial goods carried by a paying passenger on board traveller’s commercial conveyances (bus, taxi, plane, ship, etc.) or commercial goods being imported and accounted for at the port of entry by the owner of a business, or an employee, driving a “not for hire,” non-commercial conveyance described as:

(a) an owner of a business or an employee of a business driving a vehicle registered under the business (fleet car) transporting commercial goods for the business; or

(b) an owner of a business or an employee of a business driving its own personal vehicle transporting commercial goods for the business

  1. The conveyance is the goods being imported.

For example, a car dealer purchases a vehicle in the United States and drives the vehicle into Canada for commercial importation purposes. The vehicle is considered “hand-carried” goods.

  1. A ships agent in the marine mode who is not directly engaged in the international commercial transportation of goods.

For example, a ships agent who applies for a carrier code for the sole purpose of providing Advance Commercial Information (ACI) to the CBSA on behalf of other carriers under the ships agent’s carrier code.

  1. Companies who do not own or operate a conveyance and are not involved in the actual transportation of goods.

For example, a logistics provider who does not have an exclusive contract with a third party and hires that third party to transport the goods into Canada.

 

  1. Companies who do not have a conveyance or cannot provide a history of leasing/renting vehicles for carrier purposes at the time they will be requesting a carrier code from the CBSA.

For example, a company who is interested in becoming a carrier to transport goods into Canada; however, it intends to lease or purchase a conveyance once it determines its business volume and after it obtains a carrier code from the CBSA.

 

Should you surrender your carrier code?

For-hire carriers have reporting and recordkeeping requirements which include eManifests under Advance Commercial Information (ACI). If you currently hold a carrier code and do not transport commercial goods for hire we recommend you contact CBSA at the contact information provided below  and surrender your carrier code thus removing your responsibility for eManifest reporting.

Commercial Registration
Canada Border Services Agency
191 Laurier Avenue West, 12th Floor
Ottawa, ON K1A 0L8
Email: [email protected]
Phone (Toll-free in North America): 1.866.749.6623
Phone: 1.613.960.1702

 

How to get a carrier code?

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 [email protected]. If you have questions, call toll-free 866.749.6623.

 

Carrier Code Assistance

Pacific Customs Brokers offers assistance with the carrier code application process. Please contact our Carrier Help Desk at 855.542.6644 or [email protected] for more details.

 

Have questions or comments on this blog post? Leave them in our comments section below.