Steps To Take When Your PARS Is Not On File

Steps To Take When Your PARS Is Not On File

There 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.

The Importance Of A Bill Of Lading | Part 1

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

Understanding The Pre-Arrival Review System (PARS)
carrier assistance
Disclaimer: While reading, kindly note the date of this blog. At PCB we do our due diligence to write on the most relevant topic every week and naturally content may become dated as developments in a certain program/topic occur. For this reason, we greatly appreciate your readership and hope you continue reading with the posting date in mind. For the latest information on this topic please use our website's search function, or better yet, subscribe to our "Trading Post" newsletter to receive these updates directly to your inbox.
Share this post
About the Author
Sonia Stanton

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.