The No.1 Contentious Issue With ACI eManifest - Consolidation
Over the course of the ACI eManifest implementation period, the question that keeps cropping is "Will CBSA alter their stance on the 'one shipper, one consignee, one entry' position?"
Monitoring this regulation closely, all indications and communications from CBSA point to a firm "No."
In an effort to stick-handle around this regulation, many importers and carriers were looking to have multiple shipments consolidated at one U.S. facility and then moved on one BOL (bill of lading) showing the consolidation point as the shipper. One shipper, one consignee, one entry. Problem solved, right? Not so fast...
In 2012 and recently, CBSA clarified their position on what does and what does not qualify as a consolidation. It is important to note that often when CBSA refers to a "
consolidation," especially as it relates to filing an ACI cargo report, they are talking about a group of shipments that is moved by a freight forwarder on one bill of lading, and shipped to an agent or freight forwarder as one shipment, which is then "de-consolidated" onto multiple "house bills" and customs cleared on individual entries. Regardless of that, the scenarios and guidelines listed below paint a pretty clear picture of what qualifies as a consolidation and when it is acceptable to file a single cargo report.
Multiple shippers transport their goods to one common location in the country of export. The location consolidates the shipments onto one new bill of lading for transportation from the consolidation location to the consignee in Canada.
- This scenario can require different eManifest submissions depending on what is stated on the Bill of Lading.
- When CBSA reviews books and records, this review includes the billing documents, record of payment, individual bills of lading etc.
- CBSA must be able to follow the audit trail from the pick-up of the cargo to the delivery of the cargo through the source documents that must be retained and provided to the CBSA upon request. (Section 22 of The Customs Act)
4 Individual Bill Of Ladings From 4 Different U.S. Shippers To 1 Canadian Consignee
The shipments arrive at a U.S. carrier's terminal or warehouse location to consolidate the shipments for transportation from the terminal/warehouse to the consignee in Canada (they could have been transported to this location by different transportation companies or by the same one).
- Each U.S. shipper has a separate contract of carriage with the carriers and each shipper has prepared their own bill of lading indicating a U.S. shipper and a Canadian consignee.
- These are international movements.
- A new BOL is created indicating the U.S. carrier terminal/warehouse as the shipper and an agent or freight forwarder as the consignee.
- This example will require house bill submissions from Freight Forwarders.
This would be a consolidated shipment:
- The CBSA would accept one ACI cargo transmission from the carrier as per the single contract of carriage or bill of lading. Carrier would be required to indicate “Yes” for the Consolidated Freight Indicator field of the cargo map as the audit trail and source documents will reflect a true consolidation with multiple shippers and one consignee.
- The CBSA would expect multiple paper house bills or ACI house bill transmissions (voluntary eManifest release) from the freight forwarder.
- Multiple PARS would be submitted by the importer/ customs broker quoting the multiple house bills.
* It is important to note that, for highway carriers wishing to border clear all four shipments on PARS at the port of arrival, the above scenario would require four ACI cargo transmissions and four customs entries.
4 Individual Bills Of Lading From 4 Different U.S. Shippers To 1 Central U.S. Carrier Terminal/Warehouse
The shipments arrive at a U.S. carrier's terminal or warehouse location to consolidate the shipments for transportation from the terminal/warehouse to a single consignee in Canada
- Each U.S. shipper has a separate contract of carriage with the carriers indicating a U.S. shipper and the terminal/warehouse as the consignee.
- These are domestic movements.
- A new BOL is created indicating the U.S. carrier terminal/warehouse as the shipper and a Canadian consignee.
This would be a non-consolidated shipment:
- The CBSA would expect one ACI cargo transmission as per the single contract of carriage or bill of lading. Carrier would be required to indicate "No" for the Consolidated Freight Indicator field of the cargo map.
- The Carrier is required to submit one CCN for this scenario even though the cargo is originally shipped from multiple shippers.
- One PARS would be submitted by the importer/ customs broker quoting the single CCN.
So, if you were able to make it through the above without nodding off, you will have picked up that the key issue here is the original bill of lading and CBSA's ability to establish and follow an "audit trail." Quite simply, if multiple shipments are moved from various points in the U.S. into a central terminal location, on domestic bills of lading showing that terminal as the destination, and, if a new bill of lading is generated showing that central location as the shipper, and the Canadian destination as the consignee, you can submit one cargo transmission and one PARS entry.
It is important to note that this bill of lading is a legal document and must be supported by the domestic bills of lading that moved the cargo into the consolidation point. Further to this point, it is critical to know that this procedure should not be used merely in an attempt to circumvent the regulations and that in the case of a CBSA audit, you will be required to present all original bills of lading.
In virtually all other scenarios involving multiple shippers to a single consignee, you will be required to file multiple cargo transmissions, and multiple PARS entries will be required for customs clearance.
It appears as though it may be time for importers, carriers and customs brokers to prepare themselves for the inevitable fact that the clearance of multiple shipments on one entry will soon be a thing of the past.
We hope that this helps to bring some clarity to what we have found to be the most contentious and hotly debated issue surrounding the implementation of the ACI eManifest program. If you have any questions about ACI eManifest, please do not hesitate to contact our Carrier Assistance at 855.542.6644 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Should you need assistance in filing eManifests, Pacific Customs Brokers offers both self and full-service eManifest filing.
If you are just getting on board with ACI eManifest and are a little unsure of how the program works and how it will affect your business, we recommend attending our upcoming ACI eManifest Seminars and Webinars wherein we will discuss how the program works in-depth and answer your questions.