Border Commercial Consultative Committee

Bulletin - December 2015

Issue No. 10, Winter 2015
ISSN 2369-1530

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Peter HillAs we near the end of 2015, I am pleased to report progress on a number of Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) commercial priorities. In this issue, we are highlighting news in a range of areas: from systems outages contingency plans, to eManifest regulations and the CARM project.

The end of this year also marks ten years since the Border Commercial Consultative Committee (BCCC) was established to provide the CBSA with a mechanism for receiving new ideas from industry stakeholders, and a forum for sharing information and views on matters related to border operations.

Much has been accomplished in those years, from the transformation of our trusted trader programs to the implementation of the different phases of our Advance Commercial Information initiative, and we are grateful for how the input of our stakeholders has helped the CBSA offer improved programs and services.

I look forward to our continued collaboration as we continue to move forward to modernize and improve commercial border processes.

Peter Hill
Acting Vice-President, Programs Branch and BCCC Co-Chair

eManifest Regulations

eManifest is modernizing and improving cross-border commercial processes. When fully implemented, eManifest will require all carriers, freight forwarders and importers to send advance commercial information about their shipments electronically to the CBSA.


Customs Notice 15-018 on Mandatory electronic notification of cargo arrival at sufferance warehouses replaced CN 14-002 on May 7, 2015.

The purpose of this notice is to inform sufferance warehouse owners/operators licensed by the CBSA that on May 6, 2015, the requirement for the electronic notification of cargo arrival at sufferance warehouses under an amendment to the Customs Sufferance Warehouses Regulations (Customs Act) became mandatory as previously communicated in Customs Notice 14-002.


  • The electronic Warehouse Arrival Certification Message (WACM) must be transmitted by registered participants in the CBSA’s Release Notification System (RNS), using an Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) method, when commercial goods physically arrive at the inland sufferance warehouse to which they are destined.
  • The requirement for an electronic WACM replaces the current manual arrival and transfer of liability process at inland destinations that requires warehouse operators to endorse the cargo control document, bill of lading, waybill or other similar document provided by the carrier.

On May 6, 2015, regulatory amendments supporting the eManifest initiative were published in the Canada Gazette, Part II. eManifest requirements for highway carriers are now mandatory and the Agency is working with carriers on corrective measures to help them comply with requirements. The following implementation timelines apply:

Highway Carriers

eManifest - Requirements for Highway Carriers

From July 10, 2015, to January 10, 2016, carriers who do not comply with eManifest requirements may be issued zero-rated penalties (non-monetary) under the CBSA’s Administrative Monetary Penalty System (AMPS). Beginning January 11, 2016, carriers who do not comply with eManifest requirements may be issued monetary AMPS penalties.

Rail Carriers

eManifest - Requirements for Rail Carriers

From July 10, 2015, to January 10, 2016, carriers who do not comply with eManifest requirements may be issued zero-rated penalties (non-monetary) under the CBSA’s Administrative Monetary Penalty System (AMPS). Beginning January 11, 2016, carriers who do not comply with eManifest requirements may be issued monetary AMPS penalties. The implementation timeline for the Conveyance Arrival Certification Message (CACM) requirement has been adjusted to align with the advance information regulatory requirements. From July 10, 2015, to January 10, 2016, carriers who do not comply with the requirements may be issued non-monetary penalties. Monetary penalties may be issued beginning January 11, 2016.

Freight Forwarders

eManifest - Requirements for Freight Forwarders

On June 9, 2013, the CBSA deployed new electronic systems that allow freight forwarders in all modes of transportation to transmit advance house bill data on consolidated freight to the CBSA. On May 6, 2015, regulatory amendments supporting the eManifest initiative were published in the Canada Gazette Part II. A voluntary compliance period remains in effect for freight forwarders. The CBSA will communicate the implementation timeline for eManifest requirements once confirmed, and in advance of the mandatory compliance date.

Until the transmission of advance house bill data becomes mandatory, electronic supplementary reports will continue to be required in the air and marine modes, using an EDI method. Refer to mode-specific chapters of the Electronic Commerce Client Requirements Document (ECCRD) for more information on supplementary reports. Once the transmission of advance electronic house bill data becomes a mandatory requirement, freight forwarders, in the air and marine modes, will be required to transmit supplementary cargo data for consolidated Freight Remaining on Board (FROB) only.

Administrative Monetary Penalties

Contravention Zero Rated AMP Monetary AMP
Failing to provide advance information C383
Level 1-$2,000
Level 2-$4,000
Level 3-$8,000
Failing to provide advance information in the prescribed time or in the prescribed manner C384
Level 1-$250
Level 2-$375
Level 3-$750
Failing to comply with an electronic customs Risk Assessment notice C385
Level 1-$2,000
Level 2-$4,000
Level 3-$8,000
Failing to correct advance information C386
Level 1-$500
Level 2-$750
Level 3-$1,500
Failing to provide true/accurate/complete information C387
Level 1-$500
Level 2-$750
Level 3-$1,500

eManifest Future Functionality Presentations

Between June and September 2015, a series of successful Webinar presentations about eManifest future functionality were presented to highway carriers, rail carriers and freight forwarders. The eManifest End-State Functionality Walkthrough presentation provided an overview of current and end-state commercial processes, general information about new notices, and a review of eManifest end-state functionality. The Notices Walkthrough presentations provided detailed information about the new eManifest notices scheduled for availability in Fall 2015. Additional Webinars were completed for air and marine carriers, importers/brokers and warehouse operators in November.

CBSA Assessment and Revenue Management (CARM) Project – Firing on all Cylinders

CARM is a multi-year initiative to modernize the programs and systems used to assess, collect, manage and report on import revenue. The CARM project began its deployment in the Spring of 2015 – with the introduction of consolidated client master data and ePayment for Customs Self Assessment (CSA) clients. The Accounts Receivable Ledger (ARL), including new Daily Notices and Statements of Account, is on target to launch in January 2016. Brokers and importers with Account Security for Release Prior to Payment privileges who have not yet registered for certification should visit our website to ensure that the necessary steps are taken to prepare for ARL.

Looking ahead, CARM intends to acquire services to support the design, build and deployment of the next phases. This process began with an Industry Day on May 28, 2015, to provide an overview of the CARM project. This was followed by the submission of vendor answers to a series of initial questions in June 2015, which provided feedback on many aspects of the project. One-on-one meetings were then held to gather additional input to the future stages of the project. The CARM team is currently assessing all input. Please visit for further information.

Arctic Shipping Electronic Commercial Clearances Program

The Arctic Shipping Electronic Commercial Clearances Program (ASECC) is a pilot program that the CBSA undertook during the 2015 Arctic shipping season.

Carriers are required by CBSA regulations to physically report all cargo and conveyances to the CBSA at a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) Commercial Vessel (C/VESS) port, and with few exceptions, to transmit Advance Commercial Information (ACI) for cargo and conveyances to the CBSA prior to arrival in Canada and the Conveyance Arrival Certification Message (CACM) upon arrival in Canada.

The purpose of the ASECC program was to provide a risk-based, alternative approach for clearing commercial cargo and conveyances, in the marine mode, for certain vessels destined to the Arctic.

Carriers had to apply to the CBSA and be approved to be participants in the program. Approval was dependent on vessel routing and cost and/or hardship of physically reporting to a designated C/VESS port.

A lessons-learned exercise will take place during the winter to inform the next steps for the 2016 shipping season.

Aquatic Invasive Species Regulations

The CBSA supports Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) and the provinces and territories to prevent the importation of aquatic invasive species. The Aquatic Invasive Species Regulations, under the Fisheries Act, came into effect May 29, 2015; subsequently, the CBSA published a Customs Notice (15-022) to inform the public, including importers, customs brokers, and service providers, of the CBSA’s responsibilities with respect to import prohibitions under the Regulations. The Regulations prohibit the importation of live Asian carp as well as Zebra and Quagga mussels attached to boats, trailers, vessels, vehicles and conveyances.

Publication of CBSA Trade Rulings

Members of the trade community had asked that the CBSA make its Advance Rulings and National Customs Rulings relating to tariff classification, valuation and origin accessible through an online database as it would assist the importing community in properly reporting and accounting for goods with the CBSA, which would ultimately aid in supporting compliance with Canada’s trade legislation. In September 2014, the CBSA began to publish on its website those rulings for which it had received the applicant’s written consent. The trade community is pleased with this program enhancement and the CBSA will continue to promote the benefits of this rulings database and will encourage applicants to consent to publishing their rulings in order to establish a comprehensive repository of information that will be of assistance to importers.

System Outages Contingency Plan

The BCCC Systems Outages sub-committee is pleased to announce the finalization and implementation of the System Outage Contingency Plan. This plan details requirements and procedures for all impacted parties during system outages that impede normal reporting procedures.

This plan is the result of an extensive amount of work and collaboration between CBSA representatives and key stakeholders within the Trade community. We would like to thank all of those who contributed to the successful creation and implementation of this plan.

Information on our website includes the main document defining the requirements, as well as Systems Outage Summary (SOS) sheets, providing a high-level outline of reporting requirements for TCPs, broken down by client type. The full outage contingency plan annexes can be obtained by request directly to

CBSA-Industry Awareness Sessions

In May 2015, the CBSA conducted a joint awareness-building pilot session with a private-sector customs brokerage firm. The objective of the session was for participants to gain a better understanding of their respective roles and the impact of their decisions through exposure to each other’s reality via job shadowing.

The CBSA and the brokerage firm each identified an equal number of participants to take part in a one-day session. In the morning, customs brokers were given an overview of the CBSA’s roles, responsibilities and commercial process. This included a tour of some of the CBSA’s regional facilities. In the afternoon, border service officers were given an overview of the brokerage company’s activities and processes, followed by a job-shadowing session with expert brokers. 

Overall, participants were very satisfied with the activity and acknowledged that “walking a mile in each other’s shoes” contributed to an improved understanding and respect.

Following this, and in the similar spirit of awareness building, the Shipping Federation of Canada (SFC) delivered two one-day awareness sessions to the CBSA’s Commercial Programs and Operational staff in May of 2015. The presentations provided an explanation of the ocean shipping industry and covered the role of shipping in international trade, commercial processes and main players, and the regulatory framework of shipping. Close to 60 employees registered for each session. Feedback on the presentations found the awareness session to be very informative, comprehensive, and definitely contributed to a better understanding of the ocean shipping industry.

Following the success of the pilot and the SFC awareness session, the CBSA developed best practices and guiding principles, along with a generic presentation providing an introduction to the CBSA’s commercial processes to be shared at a national level to encourage regional offices to organize more of these sessions with their local stakeholders and to aid in providing a consistent approach.

Next steps will include exploring the possibility of providing variations of this pilot and partnering with the private-sector to co-facilitate portions of the CBSA’s commercial training curriculum. For more information on the possibilities of receiving a CBSA Awareness session, please contact the BCCC Secretariat or the closest regional office.

The BCCC Secretariat

The BCCC forms an integral part of the CBSA’s stakeholder engagement activities. If you have ideas for newsletter articles and/or questions about the BCCC and its activities, please contact the BCCC Secretariat at

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