What Happens When My Shipment Doesn't Clear?
The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has made many changes and enhancements to their import clearance processes over the past few years. Many of these changes have been made with the goal of expediting clearance times. Unquestionably, the one that has had the most positive impact on carriers is the Pre Arrival Review System (PARS).
What Is PARS?
The PARS system allows carriers to send documents to the customs broker well in advance of their truck arriving at the border. This allows the customs broker to set up the clearance while the shipment is in transit, and if everything goes smoothly, results in virtually instantaneous clearance upon arrival at the port of entry.
What Happens If Your PARS Fails?
There are a number of reasons for PARS failure such as:
- Insufficient documentation
- Truck arriving before the entry has been submitted
- Random inspections
Generally speaking, if your PARS fails, CBSA will allow you to contact your customs broker, or their representative, to determine if the problem is easily resolved. If it is, your load will be cleared and you will be back on the road in no time. If not, you will likely need to take your load to a bonded sufferance warehouse to await clearance.
Once your load is at the sufferance warehouse, it becomes the warehouse operator's responsibility to distribute the Cargo Control Document (A8A) and invoices to the customs broker. In most cases, the customs broker will need to cancel the PARS entry and re-submit it as a Release on Minimum Documentation (RMD) or post-arrival entry. In today's world, most of this is done electronically but there are still some instances where a paper entry is required.
Once CBSA receives the new entry, they will review it and make a determination whether to:
- Release the shipment
- Reject it back to the customs broker or
- Examine it
If the shipment is chosen for an exam, this function will be performed at the sufferance warehouse. If rejected back to the customs broker for administrative reasons, the customs broker will correct and re-submit. When released, you will be notified by the warehouse operator and can retrieve your shipment.
Placing a Less Than Truckload (LTL) shipment in bond allows you to continue on with the rest of your cargo and avoid service failures to clients whose shipments cleared on schedule. Also, placing a full load in bond allows your driver to drop the trailer at the sufferance facility and get back on the road.
Regardless of why your shipment ends up at a sufferance warehouse, you can be assured the warehouse operator will take responsibility for getting the paperwork to the customs broker, as well as notifying you when the shipment is cleared.