Carriers should habitually ensure what is loaded on their trailers matches what appears on the shipper's bill of lading and importer's instructions to ensure what they have loaded is correct before they leave the shipper's yard. When eManifest came into play an additional step was added: ensure the cargo on the Bill of Lading (BOL) matches the eManifest Cargo Report. If they do not match, carriers may be delayed at a border crossing for something that could have been easily avoided prior to the truck's arrival.
What Can A Carrier Do To Avoid This Mismatch?
Carrier's have access to both the Bill of Lading and eManifest Cargo Report and are therefore able to find discrepancies. They can relay those discrepancies to the Importer and/or Customs Broker at the time of loading. The Importer and/or Customs Broker can promptly make the necessary edits to ensure that the shipment on the trailer is matched to the Bill of Lading eManifest (more specifically, the electronic pre-arrival cargo and conveyance information) and Release Request submitted to Canada Border Services Agency's (CBSA) through the Advance Commercial Information (ACI). The officers at the First Port of Arrival (FPOA) will then risk assess the shipment prior to its arrival in Canada.
What Happens If The Bill Of Lading And Cargo Report Do Not Match?
In a recent case the Carrier presented an eManifest lead sheet to the CBSA Officer at the Primary Booth. The truck was carrying a shipment of trunks and cases as reported on the eManifest Cargo Report. During the interview with the driver, the Officer asked to review the Bills of Lading and compared them to the electronic eManifest cargo report. One Bill of Lading did not match what was reported on the eManifest Cargo Report. The conveyance was referred to the Secondary Examination Warehouse for examination where the entire trailer was offloaded. The examination for contraband was non-resultant but the non-reported shipment needed to be correctly reported. The eManifest needed to be amended to include the missing shipment. The Importer was assessed an Administrative Monetary Penalty of $2000.00 for not accounting for the shipment on the release request.
Non-compliance is considered high risk by CBSA and therefore carries a hefty fine. Failure to account for goods upon submission of a release request to CBSA impairs their ability to risk assess the admissibility of the goods. In the case study above, the shipment was found upon examination and prior to the release of the goods. The penalty is applied against the Importer as it is their responsibility to account for all goods represented in the release request submitted to CBSA. The carrier is not responsible for the accounting of the goods and therefore not liable in this case, however will experience delay, which they could have helped to avoid.
What Are The Fines For Non-Compliance?
The CBSA assesses $2000.00 per shipment on the first offense and $4000.00 on the second offense and $8000.00 on the third and subsequent offense.
Communication between the Carrier and Importer is crucial to ensure that the cargo is reported by the carrier and the Importer accounts for the goods on the release request. Failure to do so can be a costly mistake. Pacific Customs Brokers is here to assist Carriers and Importers and always compares a shipment's invoice against a bill of Lading for discrepancy. Unfortunately, we cannot compare against an eManifest, unless we have been contacted to submit it on the Carrier's behalf. For more information on our eManifest services please call our Carrier Help Desk or email us.
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