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Canada’s eManifest for commercial trucks to start late summer, early fall

eManifest will require the electronic transmission of advance cargo and conveyance information from carriers for all highway and rail shipments. In addition, the electronic transmission of advance secondary data will be required from freight forwarders and the electronic transmission of advance importer data will be required from importers or their brokers.

By DOROTHY COX
The Trucker Staff

7/29/2011

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Commercial carriers and drivers whose routes regularly take them across the U.S.-Canadian border are already familiar with the U.S. government’s Automated Commercial Environment or ACE program in which manifest data has to be provided to U.S. Customs and Border Protection one hour before arrival at the border.

What they may not know is that the third part of Canada’s mirror-image program, Advanced Commercial Information (ACI), is set to be phased in during August or early this fall.

Similar to ACE, under ACI’s eManifest program truckers crossing over into Canada will have to provide Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) officials with their cargo and conveyance data an hour before they arrive at all 99 land border ports-of-entry.

eManifest will require the electronic transmission of advance cargo and conveyance information from carriers for all highway and rail shipments. In addition, the electronic transmission of advance secondary data will be required from freight forwarders and the electronic transmission of advance importer data will be required from importers or their brokers.

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According to CBSA, eManifest, a Canadian government initiative, “is about getting the right information at the right time to enhance the ability of the CBSA to identify potential threats to Canada, while facilitating the movement of low-risk shipments across the border.”

The eManifest initiative is the third phase of the ACI program. ACI phases 1 and 2 required air and marine carriers to submit pre-arrival cargo and conveyance information electronically within advance time frames.

Both programs were deployed in 2004 but unlike the U.S., Canada focused on air and marine components of its program first and has been gearing up for the commercial truck and rail portion since Oct. 31 of 2010.

When fully implemented, eManifest will require trade partners in all modes of transportation (air, marine, highway and rail) to submit cargo, crew/passenger, conveyance, secondary and importer data to the CBSA prior to arrival at the border. eManifest is being implemented over a number of years, by client type, using an 18-month implementation timeline.

CBSA is offering a 12-month “awareness” period followed by six months of “informed compliance” in which no penalties will be issued for non compliance. After that compliance will be mandatory and monetary penalties and/or shipment delays are likely for non compliance.

To help carriers make the transition to ACI and eManifest, the CBSA is offering a secure eManifest Portal to facilitate data transmission and compliance. “The Portal will allow carriers to electronically submit their e-Manifest information, store data, query and verify the status of their shipments through the Internet,” according to the CBSA website.

According to eCustoms, a 30-year-old trade solutions company with some 100 employees, the CBP claims that e-manifests are processed 21 percent faster than paper manifests.

The company is offering Visual Gateway, designed to help ease carriers’ compliance by combining solutions for both ACE and ACI into one, Web-based service.

“We are right at the cutting edge of the CBSA’s highway plans,” said Jackson Wood, corporate business manager for eCustoms. “More importantly it means that carriers can submit all relevant information to customs within the required time period to ensure their trucks cross the border as quickly and effectively as possible.”

eCustoms’ trade solutions include customs compliance, tariff management and import/export documentation in addition to brokerage services.

For more information e-mail info@eCustoms.com, visit www.ecustoms.com or call (877) 328-7866.  

Dorothy Cox of The Trucker staff may be contacted at dlcox@thetrucker.com

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