Best Practices for Processing Highway Shipments

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To help stakeholders adjust to eManifest requirements for commercial border processing in the highway mode, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) offers the following best practices.

Provide accurate Cargo Control Numbers (CCNs)

When the CCN transmitted in advance to the CBSA does not match the bar-coded CCN presented by the driver on arrival at the border, highway carriers will experience delays. For example, if the CCN that the carrier electronically transmits prior to arrival is "1234PARS56789", the bar-coded Pre-Arrival Review System (PARS) number that the driver provides at the border must also be "1234PARS56789".

Note:  It is not a requirement to embed the letters "PARS" into a PARS number. However, if letters are embedded in the PARS number, the carrier must use the identical combination of numbers and letters in their eManifest cargo transmissions. In addition, clients should refrain from using "PARS" in the Conveyance Reference Number (CRN) to avoid the release request being inadvertently linked to the CRN (conveyance) instead of the CCN (cargo).

Provide accurate Conveyance Reference Numbers (CRNs) on brokered loads

Highway carriers may contract with other carriers (secondary carriers) to transport goods on their behalf. This is commonly referred to as “brokered loads”. In such business relationships, the primary carrier is responsible for transmitting the advance cargo data using its own carrier code. The secondary carrier is responsible for transmitting the advance conveyance data using its own carrier code and also quoting the CCN(s) transmitted by the primary carrier. The first four digits of the CRN must be the carrier code associated with the carrier that is physically transporting and reporting the goods at the First Point of Arrival (FPOA).

Note: A carrier arriving at the FPOA using another carrier's code in its CRN is only acceptable if the transporting/secondary carrier is operating under exclusive contract with another carrier and the driver is able to present, upon request, a copy of the contractual agreement.

Match the port of destination (in cargo data transmissions) and the port of release (in PARS documents)

The port of destination for cargo is the CBSA port where the shipment is expected to obtain release.  If the CBSA has received a carrier's advance cargo data before receiving the release request from the customs broker (i.e. PARS) and the port of destination on the cargo does not match the port of release on the release request, the CBSA will reject the release request.

If the carrier arrives at the border before the information has been corrected and re-submitted and the ports do not match, the carrier would be required to wait for this to be completed before being authorized to move. Alternatively, if the carrier is bonded and the goods qualify, the carrier may move the goods in-bond for later release at an inland destination.

Present the correct document(s) to the CBSA officer

On arrival at the border, the driver must present a machine-readable bar code that will link to the advance electronic data transmitted by the carrier, using one of the following three options:

  1. (Preferred option) Present an eManifest lead sheet that contains a bar-coded CRN, or
  2. Present an eManifest lead sheet that contains a bar-coded CCN with a handwritten CRN, or
  3. Present an eManifest lead sheet that contains a handwritten CRN and also present an alternative document with a bar-coded CCN. Examples of alternative documents include PARS document(s) with a bar-coded CCN (PARS) number, or a Cargo Control Document (form A8A-B) with a bar-coded CCN.

Note:  As long as the information described above is provided on the eManifest lead sheet, no additional information is required. However, it is acceptable if a carrier chooses to include additional information on its eManifest lead sheet for its own business purposes (e.g. CCNs, licence plate numbers, etc.).

What are “Proof of Report” and “Proof of Release”?

“Proof of Report” and “Proof of Release” provide proof that the imported goods have been reported to and released by the CBSA. Both must be retained by the carrier in accordance with section 22 of the Customs Act and section 7.1 of the Transportation of Goods Regulations. “Proof of Report” and “Proof of Release” may be requested and verified by the CBSA and must be provided to the CBSA upon request.

Once the carrier has met their obligation under section 12.(1) of the Customs Act to report the goods to the CBSA at the FPOA and the conveyance has been authorized to move, the CBSA officer will stamp the eManifest lead sheet as “Proof of Report”. Receipt of a “Section 12.(1) Report” in the eManifest Portal or an Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) message from the CBSA also constitute “Proof of Report”.

Note: Stamping of the eManifest lead sheet does not provide “Proof of Release”.

If a driver is also presenting PARS documents for release of the goods at the FPOA, the CBSA's electronic system will automatically send the release request linked to a cargo into “released” status when the conditions for release have been met and the conveyance and subsequent cargos have arrived. Currently, the CBSA provides “Proof of Release” in a Release Notification Systems (RNS) message to EDI-capable clients or by stamping individual release documents.

Note: Until new eManifest electronic notifications are introduced, carriers that would like their individual PARS documents stamped should instruct their drivers to request that the CBSA officer stamp these documents. Depending on traffic volumes and the number of documents to be stamped, the CBSA officer at the Primary Inspection Line (PIL) may direct the driver to the counter area to have this completed.

Communicate with your trade chain partners

With the implementation of eManifest, the CBSA is receiving advance electronic information on commercial goods from the trade party in the best position to provide it. To help avoid potential delays at the border because of incorrect or mismatched data, the CBSA strongly encourages businesses to establish communication links with their trade chain partners. For example, to facilitate more efficient release processing, carriers should clearly identify CRNs and CCNs when submitting information to customs brokers.

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