The marine carrier, or its agent, prepares and transmits the Marine Cargo Report (SO83) to the CBSA through Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). The Marine Cargo Report must be transmitted electronically to the CBSA at least 24 hours before loading the cargo at a foreign port (not including the U.S.). For cargo loaded in the U.S., the Cargo Report must be transmitted at least 24 hours before arrival. If the duration of the voyage is less than required ACI cargo timeframe, the Cargo Report must be transmitted before departure of the vessel.
For additional information on conveyance pre-arrival procedures, refer to Memorandum D3-5-1 - Marine Pre-load/Pre-arrival and Reporting Requirements
The following provides information on ACI Marine Cargo Reports (SO83) to assist clients in meeting CBSA requirements:
Cargo Control Number (CCN)
The Cargo Control Number (CCN) is a number assigned to a document, which consists of a CBSA-approved carrier code followed by a unique reference number assigned by the Carrier. The CCN is the identifying reference number of the Marine Cargo Report (SO83).
The CCN is a unique number and cannot be re-used for a period of three years. As per the Transportation of Goods Regulations, the three-year period commences on the first day of January following the calendar year during which the goods were transported.
The CCN should reflect the CBSA-approved carrier code of the marine carrier that is responsible for reporting the goods. The format for a CCN is:
First four characters: Carrier Code
Remaining characters: unique reference number assigned by the carrier or his representative
Various ACI Marine Circumstances
- Carriers making emergency or forced stops at Canadian port
Carriers that are carrying commercial goods are required to report anytime they are stopping at a Canadian port.
- Ballast vessels (empty vessels)
Carriers are not required to report empty vessels under ACI. Empty vessels should be reported on a paper A6 to the local CBSA office.
- Bunkering vessels (those stopping at a Canadian port for fuel)
Carriers are required to report vessels carrying commercial cargo in accordance with ACI regulations, including bunkering and seaway inspections.
- Ferries transporting commercial cargo
Ferries transporting commercial cargo are an extension of highway and will be covered in the highway mode in a future phase of ACI.
- Cruise Ships transporting commercial cargo
Cruise ships transporting commercial cargo must report a conveyance report as well as cargo reports in accordance with ACI regulations.
- A tug pulling one or more barges with cargo
A conveyance report would be transmitted electronically to report the tug. An electronic conveyance report would also be transmitted for each barge. Cargo reports would be transmitted for the cargo on each barge, referencing the corresponding conveyance report number. The voyage number for the tug, the barge(s), and the cargo must be the same. The number of crew is to be reported on the tug conveyance report. Report a zero in the number of crew field for the conveyance report for each barge.
Bulk and Break-bulk Cargo
The CBSA defines bulk cargo as "goods that are loose or in mass, such that they are confined only by the permanent structures of a vessel, without intermediate containment or intermediate packaging." Bulk cargo is composed of either: free flowing articles such as oil, grain, coal, ore and the like, which generally must be shoveled, pumped, blown, scooped or forked in handling; or uniform cargo that stows as solidly as bulk cargo and requires mechanical handling for lading and discharging.
To be classified as bulk, the cargo must not be containerized and must be easily identifiable as laden on the vessel. Any bundling of the cargo must only be for the purposes of securing the cargo. The CBSA's definition of bulk cargo is harmonized with the United States Customs and Border Protection's (U.S. CBP) definition for bulk cargo. Therefore, carriers who report their cargo as bulk to U.S. CBP will report the same cargo as bulk to the CBSA.
Break-bulk cargo is defined as cargo that is not containerized and that cannot be classified as "bulk" cargo under the above definition, but which is otherwise packaged and bundled.
The difference between bulk and break-bulk cargo is based not only on the type of cargo, but also on the way in which the cargo is stowed or loaded.
Application and Process
A carrier of break-bulk cargo may apply to the CBSA for an authorization. Requests for this authorization must be made by the carrier on their letterhead and should be forwarded to the Commercial Unit at firstname.lastname@example.org
Information to be provided in the request for authorization includes:
- the name and address of the applicant and of the marine carrier (if not the applicant);
- the source and list of the goods;
- the ports of departure of the vessels;
- a list of all the ports of call of the vessels;
- the means of packaging or bundling of the goods;
- the number of the vessels;
- name of the vessels;
- the International Maritime Organization number (IMO) assigned to the vessels; and
- the names and addresses of the shippers, importers and Business Number if applicable (identify any who are members of Partners in Protection).
Carriers who have applied to U.S. CBP for a break-bulk authorization for the same goods should also provide a copy of U.S. CBP's authorization with their request.
If, at any time during the year, the information originally provided on the application changes or requires updating (e.g. ports of departure of the vessel, ports of call of the vessel, name of the vessels, etc.), the carrier must inform the Commercial Unit at this e-mail address: email@example.com.
Supplementary Data Required Indicator
A "Y" or "N" indicator on the Marine Cargo Report informs the CBSA that further information is forthcoming in the form of a Supplementary Cargo Report (SO687).
Transmitting "To Order" Shipments
The CBSA acknowledges that "To Order" in the consignee field is a common business practice. Therefore, the CBSA will accept "To Order"; "To Order of Shipper"; or "To Order of Bank"; or "Other Named Entity" in the consignee field provided the name and address of the owner or owner's representative is transmitted in the Notify Party loop.
To help clarify, the following examples illustrate the CBSA's requirements:
Example 1: "To Order" and "To Order of Shipper"
The CBSA will accept "To Order" and "To Order of Shipper" in the consignee name field. The address information, city name, and country code are mandatory fields for the consignee and ideally the Shipper's coordinates would be repeated. However, the CBSA will accept terms such as "Same as Shipper"; "See Above"; etc., in the address information field and city name.
The country code must be reported as a two alpha ISO 3166 Country Code. The name and address of the owner or owner's representative would be provided in the Notify Party loop. The delivery address, if different, would be reported in the Delivery Address loop.
Example 2: "To Order of Bank or Other Named Entity"
The name of the bank or the named entity would be reported in the consignee name field. Again, because the address information, city name, and country code are mandatory fields, the complete address of the bank, or other named entity, would be reported in the consignee name and address fields. The ultimate consignee's name and address would be reported in the Notify Party loop. The delivery address, if different, would be reported in the Delivery Address loop.
Non-Resident Importer as Consignee
The CBSA will accept a non-resident importer name and address in the consignee name and address field. However, a Canadian name and address must also be reported in the delivery address field.
Moving Company (Personal effects)
When personal effects are being imported into Canada the ultimate consignee is always required. The name of the moving company could be provided in the Notify Party field.
Contract of carriage ends in the U.S.
For this scenario, goods are travelling to Canada by ship and will then travel by truck or rail to the U.S. under the marine carrier's bond. The in transit indicator would be provided. The ultimate U.S. consignee name and address would be provided in the consignee name and address fields.
Goods are in transit to the U.S. but the carrier's contract of carriage ends in Canada
Even if the contract of carriage ends in Canada, the CBSA requires that all carriers who are aware that the shipment is in transit, report their cargo as per scenario one above, with the in transit indicator.
The CBSA acknowledges that if the contract of carriage ends in Canada, carriers are not always aware that the shipment is in transit. It would therefore be difficult in these situations for the CBSA to demand that the carrier report the shipment as an in transit when they do not have information or knowledge that the goods will be leaving Canada. If this is the case, the requirements differ based on whether Supplementary Cargo Report(s) were involved.
- If there were no Supplementary Cargo Report(s):
On the cargo report, the import indicator would be accepted. The ultimate U.S. consignee name and address would be provided in the consignee name and address field. A Canadian name and address would also be reported in the delivery address loop. This may be a warehouse or rail yard. If the carrier is aware that this shipment is an in transit but their system will not accept the code, the words ‘in transit' would be reported in the remarks field.
- If there were a Supplementary Cargo Report(s):
The cargo report would be coded as an import. The shipper and consignee would be reported as the freight forwarder.
The Supplementary Cargo Report(s) would be coded as an in transit. The ultimate shipper would be reported in the shipper name and address fields. The ultimate U.S. consignee would be reported in the consignee name and address field.
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