Pre-Arrival Review System and Release on Minimum Documentation
As of April 1, 2008, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) no longer accepts paper versions of the Release on Minimum Documentation (RMD) and the Pre-Arrival Review System (PARS) service options. This means that all customs brokers, including sub-agents, must be capable of transmitting release requests using EDI. There will be certain exceptions to this requirement.
Frequent Importer Release System
Effective January 31, 2008, the Frequent Importer Release System release option was eliminated. Currently, those who import goods under the new Automotive System – Highway Mode (Form A49) and the Aerospace Program are exempt from transmitting release requests using EDI.
Reducing paper for release purposes will enable border services officers to move away from data capture to an environment that focuses on safety and security while facilitating the flow of commercial goods into Canada. This change also reflects the CBSA's commitment to simplifying and streamlining its commercial processes as part of the Government of Canada's Paper Burden Reduction Initiative. Further, carriers and importers already using electronic reporting options are making an early investment in complying with the third phase of the Advance Commercial Information program known as eManifest.
EDI alternatives have some limitations and it is not possible to use the electronic method in all situations and locations. The exceptions to transmitting release requests using EDI are the following:
- Goods subject to the requirements of other government departments (OGDs) or agencies, and there is no EDI link between the CBSA and the OGD or agency:
- Paper shall be used in situations where an OGD or agency does not have an EDI link with the CBSA. The CBSA is currently working with OGDs and agencies to address the issue of paper permits and certificates.
- Paper shall be used in circumstances where an EDI link with the CBSA does exist; however, this link is incapable of accepting the electronic transmission of the data necessary to satisfy OGD or agency requirements (e.g. meat certificates).
- Paper release requests shall also be submitted for goods classified under tariff item Nos. 9813.00 or 9814.00, Canadian Goods Returning, whereby the same goods, if classified in chapters 1-97 of the Customs Tariff, would otherwise be subject to OGD or agency requirements.
- The invoice for the release transaction contains more than 100 invoice lines:
- Release requests with 100 or less invoice lines must be transmitted electronically. Brokers and importers may electronically transmit up to 999 invoice lines to the CBSA.
- There is more than one warehouse sub-location code per release transaction:
- Because only one Release Notification System message can be generated for one transaction, a broker can only transmit one warehouse sub-location code per EDI RMD. Therefore, the electronic option cannot be used if, for example, an importer has an invoice for one shipment that has been transported in more than one load and is located in more than one warehouse.
- The release transaction is covered by multiple highway cargo control numbers (CCNs) at the border:
- Currently, the Accelerated Commercial Release Operations Support System (ACROSS) does not permit the transmission of release requests with more than one CCN under the PARS option. When multiple CCNs are involved, the RMD option must be used. However, at highway border points, the EDI RMD option is not permitted; therefore, the paper RMD option must be used.
- The CBSA has issued a paper Y50 form, Reject Control Document, to the importer/broker for courier/low-value shipments:
- The CBSA matches the paper Y50 attached to the release package to the Y50 in the CBSA control file. The system remains paper-based.
- Goods that are moved into a bonded warehouse using the RMD option (grey wrapper):
- The actual authorization by the CBSA to move goods into a bonded warehouse location remains paper-based.
- Goods that are to be released from a Queen's warehouse:
- The CBSA requires a paper copy of Form E44, Customs Notice – Unclaimed Goods, to accompany the release request from a Queen's warehouse. This process remains paper-based.
- There is a CBSA, importer and/or broker system outage:
- When a system outage occurs, clients must revert to a paper-based system. The CBSA will determine, on a case-by-case basis, under what circumstances and for how long paper copies will be accepted from a client who is experiencing a system outage.
These exceptions will be updated as systems improve and more stakeholders and OGDs use EDI service options.
Paper release requests shall be accompanied by an EDI Exception Lead Sheet. The broker or importer shall indicate on the lead sheet the reason for the paper release request. Border services officers will review the paper request and, in circumstances where it is deemed by the officer that the request does not meet the requirements for submitting a paper request, will issue a Y50 form indicating that the request must be transmitted electronically or that a Form B3, type C must be submitted.
PARS and RMD
ACROSS enables clients to use EDI to transmit both PARS and RMD release requests to the CBSA. These include requests relating to goods controlled or regulated by OGDs or agencies that have established an EDI link with the CBSA. Follow the procedures for becoming an EDI client to learn more.
EDI PARS release requests can be transmitted up to 30 days before the arrival of shipments. In situations where the carrier has not notified the importer or broker before the arrival of shipments, the release request can be transmitted as an EDI PARS with the driver waiting (DW) indicator once the carrier has arrived. At the primary inspection line, the border services officer will issue a Y28 form, Report to Warehouse, to the driver. Once the importer or broker has transmitted the PARS release request using the DW indicator and it has been processed by the CBSA, the importer or broker will receive a processed message from the CBSA. The driver must then report to the CBSA commercial office with a copy of the cargo report (i.e. the cargo control document) and the Y28 form to obtain the release decision.
PARS DW release requests are not permitted at the Ambassador Bridge. As an alternative, a joint initiative between the Government of Canada and the Ambassador Bridge is offered for all commercial importations entering Canada at this location.
You are not yet EDI-capable in order to submit electronic release requests?
- The importer or broker has the option of preparing a B3 Form, type C.
- Solicit the services of a broker who is EDI-capable. This must be done in accordance with Customs D Memoranda 1-6-1, sections 5 and 6. A copy of the Agreement must be submited to the Electronic Commerce Unit prior to transmitting release requests under the Agreement.
You use other paper-based service options?
- What about other service options, such as Form E29B, Temporary Admission Permit; Value Included; and Entered to Arrive?
- These paper-based transactions will be accepted until the CBSA provides for an electronic service option.
The service location is not typical?
- What about those situations where the broker office is not staffed 24 hours a day for EDI transactions?
- Unless the transaction falls under the exceptions for paper RMD and PARS release requests, the goods will not be released until one of the acceptable service options is used.
- What about a CBSA office that operates as an Inland Alternative Service site?
- Importers who currently fax a Form B3, type C to a hub location will continue to be allowed to do so. However, importers faxing PARS or RMD release requests will be required to transmit these using the EDI option. The exceptions to EDI apply.
There are system outages?
- What happens in the case of a CBSA and/or an importer or broker system outage?
- In situations where clients must revert to paper because of a CBSA or importer or broker system outage, a paper RMD, accompanied by an exception lead sheet indicating that a system outage has occurred, will be accepted.
- A paper RMD will also be accepted in cases where a system outage is being experienced by an OGD. In these cases, the client will have been advised by the OGD that they must revert to paper.
- The Agency is currently exploring new alternatives to the current requirement of submitting paper release requests when there is a CBSA system outage.
For more information, refer to the procedures to follow during system outages/interruptions.