Like a baseball catcher, who knows what is coming at them and when, Customs needs to understand what shipments will be arriving and when.
Pre-Arrival Review System (PARS)
The Pre-Arrival Review System (PARS) allows Customs Brokers to submit release information (provided by the importer and carrier) to Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) for review and processing before the goods arrive in Canada. This speeds up the release or referral for examination process for the carrier when they arrive at the border with the freight.
In order for the system to be successful, all trade chain partners need to do their part. The carrier's role is vital to the PARS process.
At the time the freight is picked up from the shipper, the carrier will affix a PARS sticker/label to the commercial documents and forward them to the customs brokers so they may set up the shipment with the CBSA in advance. When faxing the broker you must advise them what port you wish to cross, your estimated date & time of arrival, as well as your contact information in case the customs broker need to reach you.
The PARS sticker/label is made up of your carrier code and combined with a unique shipment number. This “PARS” or cargo control number is critical because it identifies both the carrier and the shipment to the CBSA at the time of reporting and when release documents are presented.
Providing the customs broker and CBSA sufficient processing time will prevent you or your drivers from being delayed at the border. Always verify that the shipment has been set up and that you are good to proceed to the border. You can verify the status of your shipment by calling the customs broker direct or by using their shipment tracking tool.
Under the PARS process, the customs broker will submit the release information to the CBSA either electronically or in paper format — depending on the release requirements for the goods being shipped. Goods that require permits, licenses or certificates will require additional processing time using PARS.
When you or your driver arrives at the Customs booth, the Customs officer checks all the commercial paperwork presented, and uses the bar-coded cargo control number on the PARS stickers to get access to the recommendation and also to determine whether or not the shipment can be released.
Just remember that the entry can”t be set up in advance under the PARS process, unless you do your part. So be sure to get your documents to the customs broker as soon as possible.