1. The purpose of this notice is to provide information on a risk-based alternative approach for clearing commercial cargo and conveyances, in the marine mode, for specific vessels destined to the Arctic. The Arctic Shipping Electronic Commercial Clearances Program (ASECC) is a pilot program now in its third year underway for the 2017 Arctic shipping season.
2. Under the Reporting of Imported Goods Regulations, carriers, regardless of where they arrive in Canada, whether near a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) Commercial Vessel port (C/VESS) or not, are required to report all cargo and conveyances to the nearest CBSA office destined for that purpose that is open for business.
3. Marine carriers transporting cargo to Canada, with few exceptions, are required to transmit Advance Commercial Information (ACI) for cargo and conveyances to the CBSA prior to arrival in Canada. Additionally, marine carriers are also required to electronically transmit the Conveyance Arrival Certification Message (CACM) upon arrival in Canada.
4. Currently, CBSA regional offices may require a vessel to divert to the nearest designated customs office, or may make arrangements with carriers to clear marine vessels and cargo while they are anchored at sea, on a special service or cost recovery basis.
5. An alternative reporting approach in the Arctic alleviates issues identified in current processes:
- (a) Substantial costs to the carrier of a long distance diversion to a C/VESS port.
- (b) Minimize unnecessary risks to CBSA officers by providing an alternate process to that which requires them to examine Arctic vessels in uncontrolled and/or dangerous environments.
- (c) Lack of resources and facilities in the Arctic often means limited ability to conduct exams.
- (d) Eliminates the risk of clearing vessels without sufficient advance notice for a thorough risk assessment.
6. Approval for the ASECC program is a two (2) part process:
- Part 1 - Carrier, (lowest legal entity that holds a CBSA approved carrier code), submits Business Profile Application form BSF786 one month prior to the Arctic shipping season;
- Part 2 - Cargo, conveyance and crew information, per vessel/per voyage, is provided one (1) week in advance of leaving the foreign port.
7. Other Eligibility requirements:
- (a) ACI and remainder of the Inward Report Package must be submitted within regulated timeframes.
- (b) Carriers must have a solid history of compliance with CBSA policy and regulations.
- (c) Eligibility includes vessels only carrying non-OGD regulated shipments, i.e. shipments that do not require permits or Canadian Food Inspection Agency inspection.
- (d) Carrier must demonstrate that vessel routing would make it impractical/cost prohibitive for the vessel to arrive at a designated C/VESS port.
8. Regardless of eligibility, the CBSA will always maintain the right to require an Arctic bound vessel to report to a designated C/VESS port for examination, or on behalf of our OGD partners.
9. All carriers requesting ASECC alternate processing will be required, wherever possible, to use electronic ACI to submit their pre-arrival data and arrival message.
10. Carriers coming to Canada in-ballast do have the option, at this time, of transmitting their ACI electronically to CBSA. If a carrier chooses this option, they must also report their arrival electronically by sending the CACM.
11. The CBSA strongly recommends that marine carriers hold a bonded carrier code for alternate processing, as a bond is required any time unreleased goods move beyond the first port of arrival (FPOA).
12. Through CBSA Compliance Program initiatives, administrative monetary penalties and through the leveraging of OGDs such as the Canadian Coast Guard, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Department of National Defence and Transport Canada, the CBSA will ensure vessels destined for Arctic ports are compliant with CBSA alternate processing directives.
13. Inquiries related to this notice may be directed to one of the following Arctic Host Regions:
- Quebec Region: 201BLDOU04G@cbsa-asfc.gc.ca, Fax: 418-648-4625
- Northern Ontario Region: Nunavut_Clearance@cbsa-asfc.gc.ca, Fax: 613-991-6912
- Atlantic Region: NP12REXC01G@cbsa-asfc.gc.ca, Fax: 902-426-2129
- Pacific Region: 953NPCU69G@cbsa-asfc.gc.ca, Fax: 604-666-2962
- Prairie: NWTCLEARANCE@cbsa-asfc.gc.ca, Fax: 204-984-7048
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