The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has developed an improved risk management system for facilitating the import and export of freight across the American-Canadian border. The system, called the Advance Commercial Information (ACI) program, is equipping border officers with pre-arrival information that will facilitate health, safety and security threats before they get to the border. The eManifest program is an integral element of ACI.
There are certain measures that are now required of freight carriers who plan to cross the border. Here are useful resources for understanding and complying with the new regulations.
- You must have a valid business number for your import-export account prior to importing goods into or exporting out of Canada. Follow this Step-By-Step Guide to Importing commercial goods into Canada or this Step-By-Step Guide to Exporting in conjunction with the checklist for exporting and be prepared ahead of time. You can apply online at cra-arc.gc.ca or you can call the Canada Revenue Agency at 1-800-959-5525.
- Exporters also need to be aware of Customs Tariff and export documentation regulations.
- eManifest is a new initiative that will modernize and improve cross-border commercial processes tremendously. All carriers, freight forwards and importers in all modes of transportation (air, marine, highway and rail) are required to electronically transmit advance commercial information to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA.)
- Freight carriers must choose a transmission method. There are 3 options: Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) method, A tested service provider, or the eManifest Portal.
- All freight carriers, regardless of how often they cross the Canadian border, are required to have a carrier code in order to transact business with the CBSA. Visit the CBSA’s commercial carrier section for more information.
- Consult the Electronic Commerce Client Requirements Document for technical assistance.
- Review the tools, resources and client support information provided on the eManifest pages of the CBSA website.
- Stay up-to-date on new information related to eManifest by visiting the eManifest section of the CBSA website.