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Canada Announces Interim eManifest Requirements for Empty and In-Transit Conveyances

Friday, August 28, 2015
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Canada Border Services Agency has issued a notice informing highway and rail carriers of its interim policy with respect to the eManifest requirements for empty and in-transit highway and rail conveyances. eManifest is the third phase of the Advance Commercial Information initiative and when fully implemented will require carriers, freight forwarders and importers in all modes of transportation to electronically transmit advance commercial information to the CBSA within prescribed mode-specific time frames (e.g., one hour prior to arrival for highway carriers and two hours prior to arrival for rail carriers).

On May 6 Canada published regulatory amendments making eManifest requirements legally binding for highway carriers, rail carriers and freight forwarders. However, no monetary penalties under the Administrative Monetary Penalty System will be issued to noncompliant highway and rail carriers until at least Jan. 10, 2016.

The CBSA states that highway and rail carriers arriving at the first port of arrival with empty conveyances (i.e., no specified goods on board) will be exempt from the mandatory provision of pre-arrival information “for an appropriate period of time,” which is left undefined. The CBSA encourages highway carriers to transmit electronic data for empty conveyances but states that those unable to do so will have to continue to verbally report them at the FPOA.

With respect to highway and rail in-transit movements, the CBSA states that until such time as it implements and mandates a complete in-transit solution carriers arriving with only goods moving in-transit will be exempt from the mandatory provision of pre-arrival data and AMPS penalties for failure to comply will not be issued. Highway carriers will continue to report in-transit movements on paper according to existing processes. Rail carriers may continue to report in-transit movements on paper using form BSF708 or may transmit an electronic conveyance report without using the cargo exception code “8” for in-transits.

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