On 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.

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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.