There are instances when a shipment hasn't been processed by the time a carrier arrives at the border. While the delays are frustrating there are usually specific 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 why your shipment hasn?t been set up:

  • 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?t be set up under the PARS ? Some examples: Prime & ETA, 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. When arriving at the customs broker?s office you need to present them with all of the documents that you have:

  •  The referral slip (yellow) from CBSA ? Form E67(08)
  • Canada Customs or Commercial Invoices
  • Bills of lading
  • Any licenses, permits or certificates

The customs broker will need to resolve the issue and resubmit 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.

To avoid a duplicate release of these shipments, the cargo control number (CCN) submitted with the PARS request must be re-used on a cargo control document. The CCN must be handwritten or typed on a blank cargo control document, Form A8A(B). 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 handwrite 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.

Please note that 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 this is the case, please check with your customs broker to identify and resolve the problem.

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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.