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ARCHIVED - Status Report on Transformational and Major Crown Projects

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This table applies to all Major Crown Projects and Transformational Projects in accordance with Treasury Board policies. Please see the policy on Management of Major Crown Projects and the Policy on the Management of Projects.


eManifest represents Phase III of the Advance Commercial Information program, which is aimed at improving the Canada Border Services Agency’s (CBSA) ability to detect shipments that pose a high or unknown risk to the safety and security of Canadians. When fully implemented, eManifest will require carriers, freight forwarders and importers in all modes of transportation (air, marine, highway and rail) to electronically transmit cargo, conveyance, house bill / supplementary cargo and importer data to the CBSA prior to leading in the marine mode and prior to arrival in the air, rail and highway modes. This will enable the CBSA to more effectively analyze risk, assist with ensuring that efficient border procedures are in place, and help secure the international trade supply chain.

Project Stage:

eManifest is being deployed over time, whereby deliverables are being implemented at various stages throughout the project, according to client type. During the life cycle of the project, the following activities related to the electronic receipt and automated risk assessment of pre-arrival data will be undertaken including:

  • Cargo and conveyance data information;
  • House bill / supplementary cargo data;
  • Importer advance trade data.

eManifest will see the development of the following:

  • Alternative methods of communication (an Internet based Portal);
  • Cargo messaging/notification system;
  • Linkages between cargo, importer admissibility information (including arrival status);
  • A multi-modal manifest suitable for all modes of transportation;
  • Improved information for border services officers at all commercial operations, including Front Counter and Secondary;
  • Integrated examination results;
  • A mechanism for risk assessors to make pre-arrival admissibility/release  recommendations;
  • Trend analysis and pattern detection (supported by business intelligence and a data warehouse);
  • Compliance management and data quality review;
  • Information reporting to senior management; and
  • Capacity and infrastructure which are sufficient to meet established pre-arrival reporting time frames and volumes.

In addition, some activities included above, will also be implemented or retrofitted for the air and marine modes to enhance Phases I and II of the Advance Commercial Information program.

Which include:

  • Electronic receipt and automated risk assessment of pre-arrival data, including secondary cargo and importer release/advance trade data;
  • Development of trend analysis and pattern detection;
  • linkages between cargo, advance trade data and release information (including arrival status);
  • Multi-modal manifest suitable for all modes of transportation and;
  • Improved notification to Trade Chain Partners on the status of their shipments/documents

Leading and Participating Departments and Agencies

Lead Department

Canada Border Services Agency

Contracting Authority

Canada Revenue Agency
Public Works and Government Services Canada
Shared Services Canada

Participating Departments



Prime and Major Subcontractor(s)

Prime Contractor


Major Subcontractor(s)



Major Milestones

Major Milestone


Rail carriers to transmit cargo and conveyance data


Freight forwarders in all modes of transportation to transmit house bill / supplementary cargo data


Importers begin transmission of importer data


New border passage system deployed at Ports of Entry (POE) to facilitate commercial cargo processing.


New Decision Support tools deployed to National Targeting Centre to support commercial cargo screening.


Full implementation of eManifest in all modes of transportation


Project Outcomes:

Project outcomes are the measurable results expected at the end of the project and contribute to the sustainment or improvement of one of the activities in an organizational Program Activity Architecture.

eManifest has the following immediate outcomes:

  • Enhanced knowledge and capacity to risk assess pre-arrival data and monitor trade community compliance;
  • Enhanced co-operation with United States (U.S). Customs and Border Protection (CBP) through harmonized commercial processes;
  • Enhanced innovative systems and technology to effectively and efficiently assess data;
  • Increased success of detection activities to intercept high-risk goods;
  • Increased compliance by the trade community with CBSA legislation;
  • Enhanced flow of low-risk goods;
  • Improved communication with Trade Chain Partners through new/enhanced notifications and;
  • Improved stakeholder satisfaction.

eManifest has the following strategic outcomes:

  • International trade is facilitated across Canada’s border and Canada’s population is protected from border-related risks.

Progress Report and Explanations of Variances

The following eManifest project achievements were realized between 2007 and 2012:

  • Implemented the foundations for an automated border process with U.S. CBP to support the secure movement of commercial goods through Canada and/or the U.S. by land;
  • Implemented a notification system (carriers are notified when primary cargo reports are matched with supplementary cargo reports, carriers are notified of compliance with the reporting requirements as per the Section 12(1) of the Customs Act at time of report to CBSA);
  • Improved TITAN/Accelerated Commercial Release Operations Support System linkages;
  • Bill S-2, an Act to amend the Customs Act, received Royal Assent on June 11, 2009 (the Act contains modifications to the advance commercial reporting requirements that provide the CBSA with the authority to mandate that carriers, importers and freight forwarders, in all modes of transportation and provide the CBSA with electronic shipment information prior to arrival in Canada);
  • Implemented Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) for highway carriers. 
  • The first phase of the eManifest Portal was implemented in August 2011 providing highway carriers the ability to electronically transmit pre-arrival highway cargo and conveyance data through the internet. The eManifest Portal was developed primarily for small to medium-sized enterprises to facilitate their compliance and ease the transition from paper reporting to pre-arrival electronic data transmission. The eManifest Portal is the first external facing application for the CBSA;
  • Passage enhancements to the existing system to provide Border Services Officers with the ability to retrieve, view, update data online and through reports, log arrival of the conveyances in highway, make decisions and retrieve trip information by alternative keys;
  • Phase I of the IT infrastructure upgrades will support an expected increase in eManifest volumes and process requirements for highway carriers;
  • Enhancements were made to the electronic transmission and process of advancing cargo and conveyance data for Rail carriers, including the ability to submit multi-modal manifest;
  • Completed successful consultation and communication activities with external stakeholders within the trade community through the eManifest Stakeholder Partnership Network and the Border Commercial Consultative Committee; and,
  • Trained nearly 1,500 staff across Canada (border services officers, superintendents and clerks in the highway mode, and client services officers) through WebEx, a Web-based interactive learning environment, and conference calls. Other employees will be trained with an eLearning product.

The spending profile was adjusted to reflect figures in the effective project approval submission dated November 2007. The total amount spent during 2008-09 was primarily associated with the design and development of components for the implementation of electronic reporting for the highway mode. Some of these components include: electronic reporting interchange, Internet portal, and an improved integration of systems for border services officers to use at the primary inspection line. Additional spending was used towards the development and implementation to enhance the infrastructure to support electronic reporting time-frames and volumes.

The 2008-09 carry-forward amounts are attributed to a further refinement of the project schedule and associated implementation dates. Rollout of systems' functionality has been aligned to meet the requirements of specific client groups, which necessitated the realignment of project spending. Furthermore, in response to the economic environment, the Government of Canada requested a temporary rollback of $85 million (to be repaid over two years commencing in 2011-12) in order to support other government pressures. This rollback necessitated a complete review of project spending profiles and the project deployment strategy. As such, project components were realigned in order to account for yearly pressures related to this budget reduction, which included moving procurement activities for infrastructure and hardware to future years. A significant number of yearly carry-forwards are associated with procuring a data warehouse and associated tools. As a result of this realignment of project funds, the last project release is now scheduled for 2013-14, a delay of two years from previous reports.

Since 2011-12, the eManifest major project only receives maintenance funds as detailed in the Preliminary Project Approval (PPA). As previously planned, the funds used for development in fiscal year 2012-13 are derived from carry-forwards amounts from previous years and from the second installment ($35 million) of the $85 million temporary rollback by the Government of Canada.

Industrial Benefits

eManifest will provide the following industrial benefits:

  • Enhanced prosperity: eManifest will contribute to a strong economy by facilitating the flow of low-risk trade in a high-volume, time-sensitive, trans-border environment.
  • Enhanced security: Canadian society will be better protected from health, safety, security and terrorist threats as eManifest will “push the border out” as a means to obtain the right data at the right time. eManifest will use sophisticated tools and technology and rigorous risk assessment systems to interdict threats prior to their arrival at the border.
  • Streamlined border processing: Obtaining and risk assessing commercial information from trade-chain participants before the arrival of goods in Canada will minimize the processing required at the border, streamline the clearance process and reduce border congestion.
  • Consistency of application: As eManifest will expand the existing requirements for marine and air carriers to those in the highway and rail environments, there will be a consistent application of risk assessment across all modes of transportation relative to CBSA requirements.
  • Reduced costs of compliance: Members of the trade community will be able to leverage the investment they are making to comply with both international and U.S. requirements. To the greatest extent possible, eManifest will develop system requirements using recognized international and North American standards.
  • Enhanced systems performance: Given the high volumes and compressed time frames associated with trans-border trade, the CBSA will make enhancements to its information technology infrastructure that will improve system performance and reliability.
  • Improved communication on status of shipments/document through new and enhanced notification to Trade Chain Partners.