Liability of Advance Commercial Information
Customs Notice 17-26

Ottawa, September 11, 2017

1. This notice provides clarification regarding the responsibility to provide pre-arrival/pre-load Advance Commercial Information (ACI) by cargo carriers and Conveyance Operating Carriers (COC) in a business agreement (consortium, code share, interline, brokered load and variations thereof) in all modes (Air, Highway, Marine, and Rail).

2. On , regulatory amendments supporting the Canada Border Services Agency’s (CBSA) eManifest initiative were published in the Canada Gazette, Part II. The publication of these regulatory amendments made eManifest requirements legally binding.

3. For greater clarity, the COC is the carrier company operating the conveyance that transports goods into Canada. This is true whether the carrier company owns the conveyance outright, leases the conveyance, or whether any type of security interest is registered on the conveyance. The ‘cargo carrier’ is the carrier that causes goods to be transported into Canada by the COC.

4. To transport specified goods (cargo) into Canada, there are two (2) separate obligations:

5. Under section 12.1 (1) of the Customs Act, the COC is liable to provide the CBSA with electronic pre-arrival information about the conveyance and about the goods onboard or expected to be onboard that conveyance. Section 2.1 (a)(i) of the Reporting of Imported Goods Regulations, mandates the cargo carrier to provide ACI for all cargo it is responsible for onboard that conveyance and, if applicable, the COC to provide ACI cargo information for any cargo it is responsible for.

6. As per section 12(1) of the Customs Act, the COC must report the conveyance and all goods onboard that conveyance upon arrival in Canada.

7. Carriers must ensure that all information provided to the CBSA is true, accurate and complete, including pre-arrival and at arrival information as per section 7.1 of the Customs Act. Additionally, carriers are liable to ensure all information provided to the CBSA is sent within mode prescribed timeframes.

8. When pre-arrival/pre-load information has not been transmitted for any cargo on board the conveyance, the COC may be subject to penalties for non-report, as the cargo report was not on file when the transmission of the Conveyance Arrival Certification Message was sent. The cargo carrier who has not transmitted pre-arrival cargo information for which they are responsible may also be subject to penalties.

9. In a business to business arrangement, it is possible for both the COC and the cargo carrier to be held individually liable for two separate contraventions related to one shipment:

10. For additional information regarding the liability of ACI clients may refer to the Border Information Service at 1-800-461-9999 within Canada. From outside Canada call 204-983-3500 or 506-636-5064. Long distance charges will apply. Agents are available Monday to Friday (08:00 – 16:00 local time / except holidays). TTY is also available within Canada: 1-866-335-3237.

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