ACI eManifest | Best Practices For Processing Your Highway Shipments

ACI eManifest | Best Practices For Processing Your Highway Shipments

Based on the Canada Border Services Agency's (CBSA) recommendations for processing highway shipments, we have compiled a list of best practices to help highway carriers adapt to ACI eManifest requirements.

1. Submit Accurate Cargo Control Numbers (CCNs)

When the CCN transmitted in advance to the CBSA does not match the bar-code CCN presented by the driver on arrival at the border, carriers will experience delays.


  1. It is not a requirement to embed the letters "PARS" into the PARS number but if this has been done then the carrier must use the identical combination of letters and numbers in the eManifest cargo transmission.
  2. Do not use the letters "PARS" in the Conveyance Reference Number (CRN).
  3. Provide a separate CCN for each shipper on the Bill of Lading.
  4. Ensure the cargo description is in plain language sufficient to identify it for Customs purposes.

2. Provide Accurate Conveyance Reference Numbers (CRNs)

The conveyance operating carrier must prepare and transmit an electronic submission to the CBSA with the required conveyance data. All cargo data must be accepted by the system and on file in order to be linked to the conveyance or the conveyance transmission will be rejected. The conveyance operating carrier must provide the port code of arrival where the conveyance is destined to cross into Canada and the ETA must be accurate.

3. Provide Accurate Conveyance Reference Numbers (CRNs) On Brokered Loads

If a highway carrier contracts other carrier (secondary carrier) to transport goods on their behalf, known as "brokered loads", the primary carrier is responsible for transmitting the advance cargo data using its own carrier code. The secondary carrier is responsible for transmitting the advance conveyance data using its own carrier code and also quoting the CCN(s) transmitted by the primary carrier. The first four digits of the CRN must be the carrier code associated with the carrier that is physically transporting and reporting the goods at the First Point of Arrival (FPOA).

Note: A carrier arriving at the FPOA using another carrier's code in its CRN is only acceptable if the transporting/secondary carrier is operating under an exclusive contract with another carrier and the driver is able to present, upon request, a copy of the contractual agreement.

5 Frequently Asked Questions About ACI eManifest | Part 1

4. Match The Port Of Destination (In Cargo Data Transmissions) And The Port Of Release (In PARS Documents)

If the CBSA has received a carrier's advance cargo data before receiving the release request from the customs broker (i.e. PARS) and the port of destination on the cargo does not match the port of release on the release request, the CBSA will reject the release request. If the carrier arrives at the border before the information has been corrected and re-submitted and the ports do not match, the carrier would be required to wait for this to be completed before being authorized to move. Alternatively, if the carrier is bonded and the goods qualify, the carrier may move the goods in-bond for later release at an inland destination.

5. Present The Correct Document(s) To The CBSA Officer

On arrival at the border, the driver must present a machine-readable bar code that will link to the advance electronic data transmitted by the carrier, using one of the following three options:

  • (Preferred option) Present an eManifest lead sheet that contains a bar-coded CRN, or
  • Present an eManifest lead sheet that contains a bar-coded CCN with a handwritten CRN, or
  • Present an eManifest lead sheet that contains a handwritten CRN and also present an alternative document with a bar-coded CCN. Examples of alternative documents include PARS document(s) with a bar-coded CCN (PARS) number, or a Cargo Control Document (form A8A-B) with a bar-coded CCN.

Note: As long as the information described above is provided on the eManifest lead sheet, no additional information is required. However, it is acceptable if a carrier chooses to include additional information on its eManifest lead sheet for its own business purposes (e.g. CCNs, licence plate numbers, etc.).

6. Retain The "Proof Of Report" And "Proof Of Release"

"Proof of Report" and "Proof of Release" may be requested and verified by the CBSA and must be provided to the CBSA upon request.

Proof of Report includes:

  1. Stamped eManifest lead sheet
  2. Receipt of Section 12(1) Report in the eManifest Portal or EDI message

Proof of Release includes:

  1. RNS message sent to EDI-capable clients
  2. CBSA stamped individual release documents

Note: Stamping of the eManifest lead sheet does not provide "Proof of Release."

ACI eManifest: Proof Of Report And Proof Of Release - Know The Difference

7. Communicate With Your Trade Chain Partners

To help avoid potential delays at the border because of incorrect or mismatched data, the CBSA strongly encourages businesses to establish communication links with their trade chain partners. For example, to facilitate more efficient release processing, carriers should clearly identify CRNs and CCNs when submitting information to customs brokers.

Meeting the various demands of ACI eManifest regulations can seem challenging. These seven best practices will enable highway carriers to significantly reduce wait times and increase efficiencies.

Learn More About ACI eManifest:

Attend one of our upcoming 90-minute sessions (seminar or webinar) and learn more about ACI eManifest. We will answer your eManifest related questions, offer practical solutions and help you comply with this regulation that is now in effect. For details and to register »

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About the Author
Jan Brock

Jan Brock joined PCB Customs Brokers in 2015 as a Senior Trade Advisor. She retired from Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) in 2015 after serving more than 37 years. Jan started her career with CBSA as a summer student in 1976 and worked part-time until she graduated from U.B.C. with a Bachelor of Education Degree in 1980 . Shortly after graduating from U.B.C. Jan worked full time as an inspector with CBSA and within three years was promoted to Superintendent. She served some time in the Regional Operations office as an Operations Review Officer before she was promoted to Chief of Operations first at the Customs Mail Centre, then in the Metro District as the Commercial Chief and ending her career as a Chief at Pacific Highway Commercial Operations where she served as Chief from 1992 to 2015. During her career she was a member of the Customs Drug Team and a trainer in the National Enforcement Program. Jan also served as the Regional Coordinator Officer Powers and Use of Force for the Pacific Region. Jan served on many Commercial Program Reviews and committees both national and regional during her career and possesses an expansive knowledge of importing and exporting into and from Canada.

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.