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

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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.