Background

U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Canada Border Services Agency have issued guidance for Canadian domestic truck carriers that do not normally cross into the U.S. but may need to at present to circumvent the road closures and other supply chain disruptions caused by extreme weather conditions in British Columbia and deliver shipments to Canadian destinations. The agencies add that any Canadian carriers (both rail and truck) that do currently operate between the U.S. and Canada as well as domestically are expected to follow the standard procedures for transit, including the advance filing of an electronic truck manifest and utilization of an in-bond or in-transit transaction.

CBP and the CBSA have set forth the following emergency protocols for Canadian and international carriers carrying Canadian domestic shipments.

- All equipment, trailers, and containers moving under these procedures must be sealed at or before arrival at the U.S. border. These seals should be clearly identified to CBP and the CBSA for verification and inspection as necessary.

- If a carrier is using automated methods of transmission under these procedures, the data available for those shipments may not be the same as for cargo intended for import into the U.S. To mitigate this, carriers should describe the merchandise in general (i.e. foodstuffs, groceries, and other products destined to Canadian stores, moving through the U.S. due to flooding emergency). 

- For transportation and exportation (T&E type 62) in-bond shipments filed electronically and moving under these procedures, HTSUS 9804.00 may be used and value should be estimated based on shipping valuation. If necessary and no values are known, US$2 per pound may be used for this process.

- CBP will exercise maximum flexibility but carriers should have normal clearance documents (bills of lading, invoices, etc.) readily available to facilitate clearance.

- Consolidated express carriers may file a single bill of lading electronically using a general description under a single type 62 (T&E) in-bond as described above.

- To facilitate crossing, express carriers should be prepared to provide a list of all individual shipments at the border. This information may be on paper and accompany the conveyance or may be sent to a specific port electronically based on arrangements between the carrier and the port of entry.

CBP has also issued a number of guidelines to facilitate the movement of goods under this special interim measure, including those listed below. CBP states that while it will exercise “maximum flexibility” to facilitate legitimate shipments, carriers’ and importers’ failure to follow the stipulated workaround procedures (which can be found here) may be subject to enforcement and compliance actions that may delay clearance.

- The area of operations will be initially limited to the following ports: Emerson, MB, and Pembina, N.D.; North Portal, SK, and Portal Station, N.D.; Coutts, AB, and Sweetgrass, Mont.; Kingsgate, BC, and Eastport, Idaho; Osoyoos, BC, and Oroville, Wash.; and PAC Highway, B.C., and Blaine, Wash.

- Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative-compliant documents are required for all drivers and passengers/co-drivers.

- Bond requirements for carriers within the containment area will be waived for non-traditional small time trucking companies.

- Containers must be properly sealed prior to arrival or at the border. CBP personnel will record and/or verify seal numbers upon entry at ports of entry. 

- Carriers will not unload or load any additional cargo or break the seal on the container/trailer while in the U.S. Upon arrival to the U.S. border CBP primary booth, identification and any documents including bills of lading, packing lists, invoices, foreign government certificates, etc., as well as trailer license number, will be provided to the CBP officer and/or agriculture specialist.

- Upon re-entering Canada, carriers transiting under this procedure will present themselves to CBSA personnel for verification of seals and collection of seal numbers and provide supporting documentation used for entry into the U.S. as well as driver identification.

- Prohibited items currently legal in Canada but not in the U.S. will not be authorized for movement under these procedures.

- Restricted merchandise, such as medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, agriculture commodities, and live animals, may require further review by CBP at the port of entry as well as additional documentation as mandated by the appropriate regulatory agency.

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