Consolidated vs. Deconsolidated Shipments

There is much confusion surrounding what is considered a consolidated and deconsolidated shipment. Considering one requires multiple Cargo Control Numbers (CCN) and therefore multiple declarations while the other does not, it's important to understand the difference. So let's first take a look at the definitions of each.

Consolidated Shipment

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) considers a consolidated shipment to be a number of separate shipments grouped together by a consolidator or freight forwarder and shipped under one cargo control document.

Deconsolidated Shipment

A deconsolidated shipment is a consolidated shipment that is divided into individual shipments consigned to individual consignees and reported to the CBSA on individual cargo control documents.

Consolidated Shipment Scenario

Consolidated shipments have additional requirements for eManifest submission. Here is a typical consolidation shipment scenario:

  1. CBSA would expect one eManifest cargo transmission from the highway carrier per single contract of carriage or Bill of Lading (BOL).
  2. The highway carrier would be required to indicate "yes" for the consolidated freight indicator field of the cargo map within the eManifest. A consolidated freight indicator is an indicator that specifies whether house bill(s) are expected to follow by indicating if the freight is consolidated.
  3. Electronic house bill submissions that will be further deconsolidated must be identified as "consolidated" in order to ensure the cargo matching the process is complete for authorization to move, release and referral notifications to take place. A house bill close message is required for each cargo document or house bill that includes freight identified as consolidated.
  4. The CBSA would expect multiple eManifest house bill transmissions from the freight forwarder.
  5. CBSA would expect freight forwarders to transmit a house bill CLOSE eManifest message once all the house bills within a consolidated shipment have been sent to the CBSA and accepted by the system. For clarity a "house bill close message" is provided by the freight forwarder to identify all house bills to a consolidated primary document or consolidated house bill document for closure purposes.
  6. Multiple Pre-Arrival Review System (PARS) or other release request types would be submitted by the importer or customs broker, quoting the multiple house bills. This can only be initiated with the arrival of the conveyance in Canada.
  7. The consignee would be listed as the Canadian freight forwarder or other consolidator who will de-consolidate the cargo(s) in Canada.
  8. Additionally, entry declarations, or releases, which are submitted by the importer or their customs broker, are required to be linked to the house bills of lading submitted by the freight forwarder and not the primary cargo(s) or CCNs submitted by the highway carrier to report (section 12(1) of the Customs Act) the goods at the First Port of Arrival (FPOA).

Consolidated shipments do not require specific commodity descriptions due to multiple cargo descriptions within the house bills attached. Instead a general description can be used such as "freight of all kinds."

Consolidation shipments require the involvement of CBSA registered freight forwarders. These freight forwarders must possess a valid 8000 series Carrier Code. Freight forwarders are not involved in the international movement of freight unless bonded. Freight can not be moved or transported internationally by a freight forwarder, the freight must be transported across the border by a valid CBSA approved highway carrier.

Freight forwarders who are not already registered and participating in electronic house bills should contact the CBSA Technical Commercial Client Unit (TCCU) at [email protected] to register and get a copy of the Electronic Commerce Client Requirements Document (ECCRD) Chapter 5.

Freight forwarders can transmit their data on their own via an EDI transmission option or engage a third party such as our Carrier Assistance Team to transmit their data.

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About Author
Ronnie Rai
CCS

Ronnie Rai is a Business Relationship Specialist with Pacific Customs Brokers, Canada she has over 25 years experience in logistics, customs and supply chain management. Ronnie had her start in running small freight company in the early nineties. Ronnie has vast experience in distribution, lumber, and manufacturing industries. Her credentials include the following Office Administration Diploma at CDI, Certified Customs Specialist Designation (CCS) and Certified Trade Compliance Specialist Designation (CCTS) with the Canadian Society of Customs Brokers.

While we strive for accuracy in all our communications, as the Importer of Record it is incumbent upon your company to ensure that you are aware of the requirements under the new regulations so that you maintain compliance as always.