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ACI - Marine Mode

Marine Conveyance Arrival Certification Message (CACM)

With the implementation of Phases 1 and 2 of the Advance Commercial Information (ACI) program, completed in 2004 and 2006, respectively, all marine carriers are required to electronically transmit marine cargo, conveyance and supplementary cargo data (if applicable) to the CBSA within prescribed time frames prior to arrival or prior to loading depending on the type and origin of goods.

Under the 3rd phase of the ACI program, known as eManifest, the CBSA introduced new functionality. As of June 9, 2013, the CBSA requires marine carriers operating a conveyance that is transporting specified goods, or their authorized service providers, to transmit a Conveyance Arrival Certification Message (CACM) to the CBSA using an Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) method at the First Port of Arrival (FPOA).

The CACM is required in addition to the cargo and conveyance Advance Commercial Information (ACI) previously transmitted according to the prescribed timeframes as described in the Reporting of Imported Goods Regulations.

The requirement for the CACM replaces the arrival process that is based on the Estimated Date and Time of Arrival (EDTA) provided by marine carriers as part of the advance conveyance data. The CACM allows carriers to meet the reporting requirements under section 12(1) of the Customs Act electronically.

An arrival in the marine mode is defined as when the marine vessel lands at a CBSA office following arrival in Canada. The marine vessel will meet the definition of landing when it first comes to rest in Canada; whether at anchor, at dock or berthed alongside at the nearest CBSA office designated for that purpose.

The marine carrier (conveyance operator), or a service provider authorized by that carrier to transmit on their behalf, prepares and transmits a CACM to the CBSA through EDI when the marine vessel lands at a CBSA office upon arrival in Canada. The marine vessel will meet the definition of landing when it first comes to rest in Canada; whether at anchor, at dock or berthed alongside at the nearest CBSA office designated for that purpose. The CACM can be transmitted and received by the CBSA within a two (2) hour window prior to arrival, allowing marine carriers to transmit their arrival request up to two hours in advance of their actual arrival at a Canadian port. This two-hour window is conditional on the vessel being within Canadian waters at the time the arrival request is submitted to the CBSA. Furthermore, the ‘actual date and time of arrival' transmitted on the CACM must be the actual date and time that the message is transmitted.

Conveyances exempt from transmitting ACI data to the CBSA are also exempt from transmitting the CACM. Exempt conveyances must be reported to the CBSA at the FPOA, under section 12(1) of the Customs Act, in the same manner as they are today. However, if a marine carrier (conveyance operator) chooses to voluntarily transmit an electronic ACI conveyance report (Electronic A6) for a vessel with an ACI exemption, the CACM must be transmitted in order for the arrival status in the CBSA system to be finalized. For example, if a carrier's common practice is to transmit an Electronic A6 for an in ballast vessel, they must also transmit the CACM.

The following data elements must be transmitted as part of the electronic Conveyance Arrival Certification Message:

  • Conveyance Reference Number (CRN)
  • CBSA carrier code
  • First Port of Report, and
  • Actual Date and Time of Arrival

Upon receipt, validation and acceptance of the CACM, the CBSA system updates the status of the conveyance and related cargo, and acknowledges the report of the conveyance and cargo with a section 12(1) "Reported Notice" to the originator of the arrival message. This notice indicates the carrier operating the conveyance (as identified by the CBSA carrier code transmitted within the conveyance report) has met their obligation to report under section 12(1) of the Customs Act for the conveyance and all shipments detailed on cargo documents that are linked to that conveyance.  The CACM will generate any release (for shipments requesting FPOA release) and referral notification messages accordingly.

The carrier must keep on file all section 12(1) "Reported Notices" that it receives and make them available to the CBSA when requested during compliance monitoring, supported by the requirements in the Transportation of Goods Regulations.

Third party service providers may continue to act as agents of carrier companies and submit the CACM on their behalf. However, consistent with the law of agency, the carrier company's CBSA-issued carrier code must be used.

Carriers and authorized service providers must register with the CBSA's Electronic Commerce Unit (ECU) to have their profile created or updated for the new message and notification transactions.

Detailed information on transmitting the CACM is available in the ACI/eManifest Non-Highway Conveyance Arrival Certification Message Implementation Guide available on the ECU section of the CBSA Web site.

For additional information about this requirement, please contact the eManifest Help Desk at eManifest-manifestelectronique@cbsa-asfc.gc.ca.

CACM Implementation – A Phased-in Approach

Transmission of the Conveyance Arrival Certification Message (CACM) will be required immediately upon deployment. However, to assist carriers who may not have had the opportunity to implement CACM functionality by this date, the CBSA has developed the following contingency plan to facilitate the movement of goods upon arrival. Originally scheduled to expire on October 31, 2013, the contingency plan will now remain in effect until January 30, 2014.

During the contingency plan period, carriers may request the CBSA to manually arrive their conveyances by completing and submitting the "Manual Conveyance Arrival Form". The seven fields on the form must be completed with the required information:

  • Field 1: First Name - The first name of the person submitting this form.
  • Field 2: Surname - The surname of the person submitting this form.
  • Field 3: E-Mail Address - Enter a valid email address where the CBSA may communicate successful or unsuccessful processing of this form.
  • Field 4: Confirm E-Mail Address - Re-enter a valid email address where the CBSA may communicate successful or unsuccessful processing of this form.
  • Field 5: CBSA Carrier Code - A carrier code is a four-character unique identifier that is assigned by the CBSA to identify a carrier. Only one carrier code is issued to each legal entity (corporation, partnership or sole proprietorship).
  • Field 6: Conveyance Reference Number - Conveyance reference number as transmitted on the pre-arrival conveyance report.
  • Field 7: Port of Report - The CBSA port code (including any leading zero) of the first Canadian port at which the conveyance arrives, even if cargo is not off-loaded.

Any errors or omissions will result in the form being rejected and the manual arrival process will not be completed.

Time frame: In the marine mode of transport, carriers (conveyance operators) may submit the "Manual Conveyance Arrival Form" within the prescribed ACI time frames (up to two hours prior to arrival as long as the vessel is within Canadian waters). When the contingency plan is expired, carriers will be required to comply with, and adhere to, the electronic CACM requirements and time frames as defined in the regulations.