eManifest Stakeholder Partnership Network

ARCHIVED - Communications Working Group

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October 1, 2013

At this meeting, held via Webinar, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) confirmed that due to timelines associated with the regulatory process, eManifest requirements for highway and rail carriers will not be mandatory in fall 2013 as previously communicated to stakeholders. The CBSA remains committed to providing carriers at least 45 days' advance notice of the eManifest mandatory compliance date.

The working group discussed the approach for communicating this extension to highway carriers, including communication objectives, audiences and key messages. The CBSA will expedite the updating of Web site content and send direct mass mail-outs to registered carriers, to inform clients of the change.  Once the mandatory date is confirmed, the CBSA will deliver extensive communication products and activities to communicate the new timeline.

Members also discussed the possibility of implementing benefits for early adopters, and provided suggestions on what potential benefits could be. The CBSA agreed to bring these suggestions to management for further consideration, and encouraged members to provide any additional ideas to the CBSA as they arise.

August 15, 2013

At this meeting, held via Webinar, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) provided an update on eManifest implementation, noting that as of June 2013, 94% of the top 500 carriers by volume are now engaged with eManifest, representing 72% of total volumes. In addition, eManifest Portal Shared Secrets have been issued to 78 freight forwarders since the June 9, 2013, deployment of house bill functionality.

The working group reviewed a draft of the eManifest Notice, a communication product designed to inform non-compliant highway carriers about eManifest requirements. This was followed by an overview of the Government of Canada's Web Renewal Action Plan (WRAP). Under WRAP, the eManifest Web pages are being reviewed to ensure that usability is optimized while streamlining information and enhancing accessibility. Members were encouraged to provide comments and suggestions to improve eManifest Web content.

The CBSA updated working group members on outreach activities, including implementation conference calls, presentations and Webinars for both highway carriers and freight forwarders. It was also noted that 24/7 eManifest regional client support was implemented at 10 ports of entry in June 2013. In addition, 10 open house eManifest information sessions will be held at various highway ports of entry across Canada in September 2013 to reach out to commercial clients.

Members responded positively to these updates and encouraged the CBSA to continue engaging highway carriers and freight forwarders in moving toward eManifest compliance.

February 13, 2013

At this meeting, held via WebEx conferencing, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) confirmed that due to timelines associated with the regulatory process, the Agency will be extending the eManifest informed compliance period for highway carriers until fall 2013.

The working group discussed the approach for communicating the extension to highway carriers, including communication objectives and proposed key messages. The CBSA will expedite the updating and distribution of tools and information to communicate the change to stakeholders.  This includes updating the CBSA/eManifest Web pages and eManifest publications targeted to highway carriers, and providing members with updated products for distribution to their membership.

The CBSA also provided members with updated eManifest highway carrier statistics that show a steady increase in eManifest participation. As of February 11, 2013, there were 2,385 active Business Accounts in the eManifest Portal and 2,143 pending Business Accounts. In addition, 90% of the top 500 carriers by volume are now engaged with eManifest, representing 72% of total volumes. Members responded positively to these statistics, stating that carriers using eManifest are generally satisfied, and the ongoing distribution of publications and timely updating of information will encourage the continued rise in carrier participation.

July 18, September 18 and November 7, 2012

Three meetings of the eSPN Communications Working Group were held via Webinar in July, September and November that primarily focused on the Canada Border Services Agency's (CBSA) communication and outreach activities in support of eManifest implementation in the highway mode.

During these meetings, the CBSA provided regular updates on ongoing activities to support highway carrier clients in becoming eManifest-compliant, and on highway carrier uptake statistics including a notable increase in carrier engagement following focused outreach to high-volume carriers. The CBSA gratefully acknowledged members' extended outreach efforts and, in particular, the collaboration of the Canadian Trucking Alliance and Private Motor Truck Council of Canada in establishing biweekly conference calls for highway carriers to receive feedback and share best practices with early adopters of eManifest requirements. Trade members provided significant feedback on the communication of the highway informed compliance period, and on products and media outlets tailored to highway carrier clients and their drivers.

The CBSA also presented information on other activities that concentrate on the timely identification and resolution of implementation issues and on officer training and support. In particular, the CBSA has established an eManifest Commercial Transition Framework to focus on the alignment of eManifest with other commercial programs, and on national consistency of processes and operations. The CBSA received positive feedback from trade members on these activities, and it continues to consider members' input on implementation support activities.

With new eManifest requirements and system functionalities being introduced in 2013, future meetings of the working group will focus on communication products and activities geared toward impacted client groups.

June 16, 2011

The half-day meeting of the working group was held via WebEx conferencing. The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) provided an update on eManifest highway carrier implementation, noting that more than 140 carriers and seven software/service providers are now in production, with data transmission volumes higher than the CBSA anticipated at this time. Working group members were also updated on the CBSA's outreach activities, including the delivery of more than 40 cross-country presentations and information sessions since April 1, 2011, to both internal and external stakeholders. Trade members supported the CBSA's plans to offer eManifest presentations online including the hosting of live Webinars, as well as plans for promoting eManifest Portal availability.

The CBSA walked members through a visual mock-up of updates planned for the CBSA eManifest Web pages. The updates will better organize expanding content and provide user information on, and access to, the eManifest Portal. Members' overall feedback was favourable and suggested modifications will be considered.

The meeting ended with a roundtable discussion on the future of the working group with all members agreeing that the group continues to have an important role in the implementation of eManifest and that membership should be expanded to include more widespread industry representation.

November 30, 2010

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) provided updates on eManifest communications and outreach products and activities, including those aimed at reaching carriers in the United States, on the Other Government Departments (OGD) Single Window Initiative and on training CBSA employees who will be involved in processing eManifest shipments.

In addition, using a draft Portal mock-up, the CBSA demonstrated the steps involved in setting up eManifest Portal User and Business Accounts, entering data and managing shipment information. Trade members provided significant feedback on language used within the Portal and its supporting documentation, now in development. As well, feedback was provided on the development of a progressive messaging strategy to reinforce highway carriers' awareness of when eManifest requirements will become mandatory. The CBSA will ensure that the eManifest Portal development teams are informed about trade members' recommendations for client-friendly language and terminology, and will explore the possibility of including additional usability testing in the production schedule. The CBSA also agreed that the group's resources could be better utilized in terms of their input on which communications products are best suited for their stakeholders and soliciting the working group's feedback on communication products before they are finalized.

June 8, 2010

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) provided updates on recent organizational changes, eManifest implementation activities and eManifest Stakeholder Partnership Network (eSPN) consultations.

In addition, the CBSA delivered a presentation on the status of trusted trader programs (e.g. Partners in Protection and Customs Self Assessment). Trade members emphasized the importance of increasing the CBSA's outreach efforts with other government departments to harmonize border-related requirements and processes. The CBSA will explore the possibility of including information on trusted trader programs in eManifest messaging.

The working group reviewed and provided feedback on the structure of eSPN consultations, the new proposed versions of eManifest communications products, outreach activities, marketing strategy development, staff training and client support.

November 5, 2009

The eSPN Communications Working Group reviewed its revised terms of reference and offered suggestions for expanding membership. The group also looked ahead to the eSPN plenary and provided input on how the meetings can offer the most value to trade members.

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) provided an overview of its communications and outreach efforts and plans including participation in industry events, development of information material and Web site management. In addition, trade members were encouraged to notify the CBSA of conferences or trade shows they believe eManifest representatives should attend. Members were pleased with the proposed activities and noted that practical, audience-specific information will be of most use to clients.

The CBSA provided an update on the Electronic Commerce Client Requirements Document (ECCRD) for the highway mode and an overview of the strategies for eManifest employee training and external client service. Trade members acknowledged the significant progress made and identified communications issues for the CBSA to consider as eManifest moves forward.

November 12, 2008

The working group reviewed recently implemented communications and outreach products including new Web site content and the first edition of the eManifest newsletter.

The meeting included a brainstorming session to discuss and identify new and joint communications and outreach activities. A recent newsletter article prepared in collaboration between the CBSA and the Canadian Association of Importers and Exporters was referenced, and members were encouraged to participate in similar opportunities.

Members suggested different approaches to expand the audience reach and to raise awareness about eManifest.

The group looked ahead to the eSPN plenary and members provided input into the planning of the event.

July 8, 2008

The CBSA provided updates on the outreach activities and products. Members were debriefed on the recent eManifest Stakeholder Partnership Network (eSPN) design working group meeting. Comments were received and discussed regarding a draft eSPN communications process plan and the update to the communications working group's terms of reference.

May 28, 2008

Members revisited the group's terms of reference and discussed communications with the eSPN steering committee and the design working group about the consultation process with the trade community at large. Members reviewed the most recent versions of the eManifest Internet content and the eManifest generic presentation deck. Members discussed the frequency of the e-newsletter (semi-annual basis).

January 23, 2008

Members reviewed the eManifest Internet content and layout and provided feedback. They were also encouraged to provide any additional feedback as soon as possible. Members also offered suggestions for planning for the plenary, as well as general comments on the overall eSPN structure and other communications issues.

December 6, 2007

Members reviewed internal and external eManifest communications messages for further revision by the CBSA and suggested the creation of communications products for the outreach activities of industry representatives.

October 18, 2007

Members reviewed the group's terms of reference for a second time and asked for an updated deployment plan and project status update. They also indicated their desire for a semi-annual eSPN plenary. Members also reviewed possible communications initiatives to inform stakeholders about eManifest and the consultation process.

August 15, 2007

Members approved the group's terms of reference. The main topic was the eManifest project's communications plan, which was presented and discussed at length. Members asked for a preliminary map of communications activities and for the eSPN governance model to be distributed to them. Members brainstormed on ways forward for the working group by looking at desired results and expectations and agreed that simple and clear communications with all trade-chain partners is critical to the project's success.

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