Arctic Shipping Electronic Commercial Clearances Program
Customs Notice 20-16

Ottawa, April 22, 2020

1.This notice has been updated to provide clarification on eligible participants and cargo transported on vessels approved for the Arctic Shipping Electronic Commercial Clearances Program (ASECC) pilot program. This notice also serves as a notification that the online application for participation in the ASECC pilot program has changed. Carriers should ensure they are using the most recent version of the Business Profile Application form BSF786.

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. The ASECC alternate process allows low risk carriers and vessels to report and clear conveyances, crew and cargo virtually in order to meet the reporting requirements. The CBSA maintains the authority to require the carrier to divert to a C/VESS port for examination or to examine through a cost recovery basis.

6. It is important to note that vessels approved for, and using the ASECC alternate process are prohibited from transporting any goods that may be subject to Other Government Department (OGD) requirements. Carriers found to be transporting OGD regulated goods may be diverted, and repeated non-compliance may result in removal from the pilot.

7. The updated two (2) part approval process for the ASECC pilot is:

8. Other Eligibility requirements:

9. All carriers are reminded of their obligation to report any illnesses/health issues related to communicable disease on board to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) quarantine officer for assessment as soon as possible prior to arrival at a Canadian port. In addition to providing this information the CBSA National Targeting Centre, carriers will notify PHAC by emailing Should a carrier need to reach a quarantine officer urgently, they may call 1-833-615-2384. PHAC should be notified only if there are concerns with respect to a communicable disease illness.

10. All carriers requesting ASECC alternate processing will be required, wherever possible, to use ACI to submit their pre-arrival data and arrival message.

11. Carriers coming to Canada in-ballast do have the option, at this time, of transmitting their ACI to the CBSA. If a carrier chooses this option, they must also report their arrival electronically by sending the CACM.

12. 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.

13. Through the CBSA’s 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 Defense and Transport Canada, the CBSA will ensure vessels destined for arctic ports are compliant with CBSA alternate processing directives.

14. Inquiries related to this notice may be directed to:

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