Posts Tagged ‘PARS’


Why Carriers Care… about Cargo Control Numbers Matching Across All Submissions to CBSA

Why Carriers Care… about Cargo Control Numbers Matching Across All Submissions to CBSA













Highway Carriers will experience delays at the border or risk not reporting cargo they are carrying if the Cargo Control barcodes presented do NOT match the Cargo Control Numbers (CCN) transmitted via ACI eManifest to Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). Inaccurate CCN transmission by carriers could result in sanctions for non-compliance by the Administrative Monetary Penalty System (AMPS).

It is very important that carriers presenting barcoded PARS numbers on arrival at the port ensure that the CCN transmitted to CBSA is identical to the PARS number. The PARS number must include the acronym “PARS” if this was used. It is not a requirement to embed the letter “PARS” into a PARS number, but if a carrier does embed letters into the PARS number that the driver provides at the border, then the carrier must use the identical number in their eManifest electronic cargo transmission.


Tips to ensure compliance:

  1. Carriers should provide the driver with the barcoded PARS number specific to each shipment so the carrier knows which PARS is being used and will also use the same number when transmitting their eManifest cargo data prior to arrival.
  2. The driver should contact the carrier as soon as the PARS number is used for a shipment therefore providing the carrier certainty of which number must be electronically transmitted to the CBSA.
  3. Carriers transmitting cargo numbers MUST pay close attention to the letter “l” and “O” and the numbers “1” and “0” in their CCN and PARS numbers. The transmission MUST match the release documents presented by the customs broker and/or importer. If they don’t match the release document will NOT align with the cargo transmission and the cargo will have been marked “Reported” but not “Released” at the First Port of Arrival (FPOA).


Drivers and carriers are invited to call our Carrier Help Desk with any eManifest or border crossing questions they may have or review the many posts we’ve written on the subject within this Blog. We can be reached by phone at 855.542.6644 or by emails at [email protected]. We are here to help!

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.

Steps to Take When PARS is Not On File

deliverytruck-300There are instances when a shipment has not been processed by the time a carrier arrives at the border. While delays are frustrating, there usually  are reasons as to why this has occurred. Some of which you may be able to avoid with a better understanding of what causes them and what procedures you can follow to help ease your experience at the border.

The first step is to understand some of the reasons as to why your shipment has not been set up. It is possible that:

  • The customs broker never received the paperwork – Did you confirm with the customs broker that they received your fax or email?
  • The customs broker was not given ample processing time – Did you send your paperwork at the time you picked up the freight? Doing this gives the customs broker the maximum time to process the entry. The type of commodity imported and size of the entry also determines how much time is required to process it.
  • There is pertinent release information missing – No invoice has been provided, country of manufacture is missing for all or some of the items, complete description of goods is not clear, licenses, permits or certificates are required and missing etc.
  • The goods being imported can not be set up under the Pre-arrival Review System (PARS) — Some examples: Prime and ETA entries, goods requiring inspection, used self propelled vehicles.

In any of these cases the driver will be directed by the customs officer to see the customs broker for further assistance.

On arriving at the customs broker’s office you will need to present them with the following documents:

The customs broker will need to resolve the issue and resubmit the entry to the CBSA for their release decision. These entries can be resolved either by electronic transmission or in the form of a paper package. “Failed PARS” shipments are either released at the border or forwarded in bond for release at a later date.

Good to Know:

To avoid a possible duplicate release of these shipments, the Cargo Control Number (CCN) submitted with the PARS request must be re-used on the cargo control document Form A8A(B), if the shipment is moving forward in bond. The CCN must be handwritten or typed on a blank cargo control document. This form is free and can be obtained from CBSA, your dispatch or the customs broker handling the clearance.

Carriers using their own pre-printed cargo control documents should cross out the existing bar-coded number and type or neatly hand write the original failed PARS number in the “Previous cargo control No.” field. In either instance, the notation “Failed PARS” must be marked in the description field of the cargo control document.


Handwritten/typed CCNs on A8A(B) forms will only be accepted when a PARS procedure fails. Carriers will be subject to a penalty under the Administrative Monetary Penalty System if they fail to comply with the bar-code requirements for all other reporting and release processes.


Failed PARS shipments should not happen regularly. If you find yourself in this situation, we recommend you consult your customs broker to identify and resolve the problem.

Pacific Customs Brokers’  Carrier Help Desk can also help advise you on this matter and can be reached at  855.542.6644 or [email protected]


Have questions about the Pre-arrival Review System (PARS)? Share them in our comments section below.


Additional Reading:


BorderPro iPhone Application Update – May 2012

BorderPro AppIt has been 3 months since the successful launch of the Pacific Customs Brokers free BorderPro iPhone Application. The BorderPro App allows carriers and clients to track the status of their shipments by PARS or SCN number. In addition, you can also subscribe to the PARS or SCN by email or SMS to receive up to the minute status change updates from our tracking services. This is ideal for our carriers as it provides them an easy way to track their shipments upon their approach to the Canada/USA border.

The BorderPro iPhone App is fast approaching 300 downloads and over 3000 PARS and SCN numbers have been queried from the iPhone since March 1st, 2012. This is well beyond our expectations for version 1.0 of our application and the usage numbers are continuing to show a steady growth. Our development team is currently working on a a software update to address a few minor bugs; we expect that version 1.1 will be available in the next few months. If you are a BorderPro iPhone App user and have noticed any minor usage issues or problems, or if you have any suggestions for enhancements, we would appreciate the feedback. Please take a few moments to send us an email with details to [email protected].

Coming soon will be version 2.  Some features being considered at this time are:

  • support for tracking multiple PARS or SCN numbers
  • support for history of look ups with the ability to get a dashboard type listing
  • support for the push services that are part of the iPhone notification services

In conjunction with these enhancements we will also be providing a similar enhancement to the web based portals for SCN and PARS look ups, available at both Pacific Customs Brokers (Canada) and Pacific Customs Brokers (USA) websites.

If you have not yet had the chance to try the free BorderPro App, download here from the iTune Store. For those of you using Android based Smartphones, we are looking at the feasibility of developing a Android based application; more on that in the future.

For information on the BorderPro App – read more on our website BorderPro iPhone App.


Understanding the Pre-arrival Review System

Canada flag on a shipping containerThe Pre-arrival Review System (PARS) allows customs brokers to submit 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 release or referral for examination process for the carrier when they arrive at the border with the freight.

In order for the system to be successful, all trade chain partners need to do their part. 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 brokers so they may set up the shipment with the CBSA in advance. When faxing the broker you must advise them what port you wish to cross ,   your estimated date & time of arrival, as well as your contact information in case the customs broker need to reach you.

The PARS sticker/label is made up of your carrier code and combined with a unique shipment number. This “PARS” or cargo control number 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.

Providing the customs broker and CBSA sufficient processing time will prevent you or your drivers from being delayed at the border. 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 direct or by using their online PARS look-up tool.

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.

When you or your driver arrives 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.

Just remember that the entry can”t be set up in advance under the PARS process, unless you do your part. So be sure to get your documents to the customs broker as soon as possible.