Ottawa, December 3, 2019
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This memorandum has been revised to:
- Update the definitions.
- Add details under carrier obligations, with regards to examination.
- Update information on empty and in-transit conveyances covered under Customs Notice 15-030.
- Remove information on some unique processes, which have now been moved to Memorandum D3-1-1.
- Update information error messages.
- Update instructions for presentation of form BSF673, House Bill, Cargo and Conveyance Manual Correction Request Form – Post Arrival - All Modes.
- Add section on direct delivery of consolidated freight.
This memorandum outlines and explains specific Canada Border Services Agency's (CBSA) requirements and procedures for reporting and controlling cargo imported into Canada by rail carriers.
This memorandum does not outline the policies and procedures for the reporting of goods under the Customs Self-Assessment (CSA) Program; consolidated cargo reporting requirements and process for freight forwarders; goods whether commercial or personal transported by an individual who does not meet the criteria for designation as a carrier; goods being exported from Canada; and, Other Government Departments (OGD) requirements pertaining to the commercial importation/in-transit movements of regulated goods.
Memorandum D3-1-1, Policy Respecting the Importation and Transportation of Goods, should be referred to for the general CBSA requirements and administrative policies that apply to all modes of transport. For guidance in regards to the Customs Self-Assessment (CSA) Program guidelines and procedures, please refer to Memorandum D23-2-1, Customs Self-Assessment for Carriers. For information about the reporting and transportation of goods being exported from Canada, refer to Memorandum D3-1-8, Cargo – Export Movements. For information on the release of commercial goods, please refer to Memorandum D17-1-4, Release of Commercial Goods. OGD requirements can be found throughout the D Memoranda series.
Guidelines and General Information
1. The following definitions apply to this memorandum:
- Administrative Monetary Penalties (AMPs)
- A system whereby the CBSA issues monetary penalties to commercial clients for violating the Canada Border Services Agency’s (CBSA) trade and border legislation. The purpose of AMPS is to provide the Agency with a means to deter non-compliance by its clients and create a level playing field for all Canadian businesses.
- Advance Commercial Information (ACI)
- A set of prescribed electronically transmitted pre-arrival cargo and conveyance data elements sent to the CBSA within prescribed timeframes, for the purpose of facilitating the process of commercial goods and risk assessing threats to health, safety and security prior to the arrival of the shipment into Canada.
- Ancillary equipment
- Any equipment which enhances the safety, security, containment and preservation of goods carried in vehicles falling within the terms of tariff item 9801.10.10. Ancillary equipment can be imported pursuant to tariff item 9801.10.20 without documentation in accordance with the Reporting of Imported Goods Regulations, when it is used in international service.
- In respect of any railway rolling stock, that it is available when needed from Canadian production or other Canadian sources in sufficient quantities at a reasonable cost.
- Buffer car
- A rail car that can be either empty or loaded with a non-hazardous inert material, that makes up a section of the train for the protection of the train crew from hazardous or combustible materials and the materials themselves, from sources of ignition.
- A term used to describe a collection of goods or shipment. It consists of a grouping of related goods. The cargo is detailed on the waybill, the manifest and/or a cargo control document.
- Cargo Control Document (CCD)
- A manifest or other control document that acts as the record of a shipment entering or exiting Canada e.g. A8A(B), In Bond - Cargo Control Document.
- Cargo Control Number (CCN)
- The cargo control number is a number assigned to a transport document. It uniquely identifies cargo detailed on a cargo submission. The cargo control number consists of the Carrier code followed by a unique reference number assigned by the carrier/representative and cannot contain spaces. 1st 4 characters = CBSA approved carrier code.
- A carrier is a person involved in international commercial transportation who reports cargo to the CBSA and/or who operates a conveyance used to transport specified goods to or from Canada.
- Carrier code
- As stated in the Customs Act, means the unique identification number issued by the Minister either under subsection 12.1(4) or before the coming into force of that subsection.
- Anyone who:
- sends to the CBSA a collection of information; or
- receives notices from the CBSA.
- Commercial goods
- Goods that are or will be imported for sale or for any commercial, industrial, occupational, institutional or other similar use.
- The definition of consignee is to be understood as follows given the applicable context:
- The consignee definition to be used by carriers when transmitting electronic ACI/eManifest data: The name and address of the party to which the cargo/goods are being shipped as shown on the carrier's contract of carriage (for example: bill of lading, air waybill or other shipping document).
- The consignee definition used with respect to freight forwarders who are providing the CBSA with detailed information pertaining to a consolidated shipment : The name and address of the party to which the cargo/goods are being shipped as shown on the carrier's contract of carriage (for example: bill of lading, air waybill, or other shipping document).
- The consignee definition used with respect to freight forwarders who are providing the CBSA with detailed information pertaining to a deconsolidated shipment : the name and address of the party to which the goods are being shipped as shown on the commercial sales contract (for example: commercial invoice, bill of sale, or other sales contract).
Example: For business or legal reasons, goods are consigned to a bank (foreign or Canadian domestic) or "to order" of a bank. In this case, the consignee field of the house bill transmitted by the freight forwarder will reflect the party to whom the goods are legally consigned at the time of transmission (the bank). If the goods are sold while en route, and/or if the bank chooses to endorse the goods to a third party (as per the "to order") or if the consignee information otherwise changes, the freight forwarder will submit an electronic update to the house bill data as soon as they become aware of the change, updating the consignee field.
- A number of separate shipments grouped together by a consolidator or freight forwarder and shipped to an agent or a freight forwarder as one shipment under one bill of lading and reported to the CBSA on one cargo control document (CCD).
- Any vehicle, aircraft or water-borne craft or any other contrivance that is used to move persons or goods.
- Conveyance Arrival Certification Message (CACM)
- An electronic notification that carriers transporting specified goods must transmit to the CBSA at their First Port of Arrival (FPOA) using Electronic Data Interchange (EDI).
- Conveyance operating carrier (COC)
- The carrier company operating the conveyance transporting goods to Canada. This is true whether the carrier company owns the conveyance outright, leases the conveyance, or whether any type of security interest is registered on the conveyance.
- Conveyance Reference Number (CRN)
- A unique reference number given by the conveyance operating carrier (COC) to the CBSA to a certain journey or departure of a means of transport.
- Customs Self-Assessment (CSA)
- A Program designed to simplify import border requirements for low-risk, pre-approved importers, carriers and registered drivers.
- Domestic In-transit
- The movement of goods from a point in Canada to another point in Canada through the United States, as well as the movement of goods from a point in the United States to another point in the United States through Canada. This movement is different from an In-transit movement. See definition in the present section.
- Means any fees or taxes levied or imposed on imported goods under the Customs Tariff, the Excise Tax Act, the Excise Act, the Special Import Measures Act, or any other Act of Parliament.
- Electronic Commerce Client Requirements Document (ECCRD)
- Document that provides comprehensive information about business and system requirements of various electronic transactions for multiple import and export programs.
- Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)
- A method to electronically transmit import or export data and accounting documents to the CBSA.
- A Commercial function in which all carriers and freight forwarders transmit advance commercial information about their shipments electronically to the CBSA.
- First Port of Arrival (FPOA)
- The port of entry in Canada where a commercial conveyance arrives from a foreign country.
- Freight forwarder
- A person who, on behalf of one or more owners, importers, shippers or consignees of goods, causes specified goods to be transported by one or more carriers.
- Hand-carried goods (HCG)
- Goods that will be released after they have been accounted for and all duties with respect to them have been paid under subsection 32(1) of the Customs Act if:
- the goods are or will be in the actual possession of a person arriving in Canada; or
- the goods form or will form part of a person's baggage and the person and the baggage arrive or will arrive in Canada on board the same conveyance.
- High Value Shipment (HVS)
- A commercial shipment that is valued over the low value shipment (LVS) threshold.
- International commercial transportation
- Any transportation resulting in, or intended to result in, the carriage of persons or goods for hire or reward, or any transportation of persons or goods by or on behalf of an enterprise engaged in an activity of financial return, where the persons or goods are conveyed:
- from outside Canada to a place inside Canada; or
- from a place inside Canada to a place outside Canada;
- from a place outside Canada in-transit through Canada to another place outside Canada.
- International service
- Means the use, while loaded or empty, of railway rolling stock dispatched on a direct route from a place in Canada to a place in the United States, or from a place in the United States to a place in Canada, and includes loading and unloading in Canada while on the direct route.
- Instruments of International Trade (IIT)
- Empty shipper or importer owned containers and also those registered under Ottawa file or with container bank numbers, which are used to transport commercial goods to and from Canada. For example: shipping tanks, pallets, baskets, bins, boxes, cartons, crates, gaylords, load lock/spacers, racks, trays, totes or similar goods used to ship goods internationally.
- The movement of foreign goods through Canadian territory from a point outside of Canada to another foreign point. This movement is different from a Domestic In-transit movement. See the definition in the present section.
- Low Value Shipment (LVS)
- Commercial goods with a value for duty not exceeding CAD $2,500. LVS goods are not exempt from the eManifest process.
- Monthly rental charge
- In respect of any railway rolling stock, the average monthly rental charge for the use in Canada of that railway rolling stock.
- Multi-modal movement
- A cargo documented on a transport document (e.g. air waybill, bill of lading) used for a specific mode of transportation, but arrives in Canada using a different mode of transport.
- Other Government Department (OGD)
- Federal Departments or Agencies such as: Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) or Global Affairs (GAC), etc.
- Any excess in the number of pieces transmitted in the same shipment and found by the carrier post arrival.
- Port of report
- The port where cargo physically arrives in Canada.
- Prior to a conveyance or cargo arriving in Canada.
- Pre-Arrival Review System (PARS)
- A line release option allowing importers and brokers to present release documents prior to the arrival of a shipment in order to obtain release upon arrival.
- Railway rolling stock
- Means wheeled railway equipment, such as passenger cars, baggage cars and freight cars.
- Any material on which data are recorded or marked and which is capable of being read or understood by a person or a computer system or other device.
- Release Notification System (RNS)
- A system message sent to the client regarding the status of cargo.
- A new cargo control document (CCD), with a new cargo control number (CCN), that is presented to change a CCD that had previously been submitted to the CBSA. Re-manifests are generally presented to change destination office or carrier code.
- a shipment for which a carrier is responsible is one that consists of:
- a specified good or collection of specified goods that is listed in a single bill of lading, waybill or other similar document that is issued by the carrier and that relates to the carriage of those goods; or
- a specified good that is an empty cargo container that is not for sale that is transported by the carrier but that is not listed in a bill of lading, waybill or other similar document; and
- shipment for which a freight forwarder is responsible is one that consists of a specified good or collection of specified goods that is listed in a single bill of lading, waybill or other similar document that is issued by the freight forwarder and that relates to the carriage of those goods.
- a shipment for which a carrier is responsible is one that consists of:
- Name and address of the party shipping the goods as stipulated on the contract of carriage (Bill of lading, air waybill, etc.).
- Where pre-arrival data was transmitted and a quantity of goods was initially reported upon arrival at the first port of arrival (FPOA), and subsequently the number of pieces found, by the carrier, is less than the number of pieces reported to the CBSA pre-arrival and upon arrival.
- Specified goods (under the Reporting of Imported Goods Regulations)
- Commercial goods, goods that are or will be imported to Canada for a fee and empty cargo containers that are not for sale but does not include:
- goods that will be released after they have been accounted for and all duties with respect to them have been paid under subsection 32(1) of the Customs Act if;
- (i) the goods are or will be in the actual possession of a person arriving in Canada, or
- (ii) the goods form or will form part of a person's baggage and the person and the baggage arrive or will arrive in Canada on board the same conveyance;
- commercial goods that are used in a repair that is made outside Canada to a conveyance that was built in Canada or in respect of which duties have been paid, if the repair is made as a result of an unforeseen contingency that occurs outside Canada and is necessary to ensure the conveyance's safe return to Canada;
- a military conveyance within the meaning of subsection 18(1) of the Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act or goods that are transported on board that conveyance;
- an emergency conveyance or goods that are transported on board that conveyance; or
- a conveyance that returns to Canada immediately after being denied entry to the United States or goods that are transported on board that conveyance.
- goods that will be released after they have been accounted for and all duties with respect to them have been paid under subsection 32(1) of the Customs Act if;
- Warehouse Arrival Certification Message (WACM)
- An electronic message sent by warehouse operators to the CBSA to report that a cargo has arrived and accepted liability in their warehouse.
2. The Customs Act, the Reporting of Imported Goods Regulations and the Transportation of Goods Regulations, establish the time, manner and who is required to send eManifest data pertaining to cargo and conveyances entering or moving in-transit through Canada. These documents also establish the report, time of report, manner of report and who reports goods entering or moving in-transit through Canada.
3. The receipt of pre-arrival cargo and conveyance data enables the CBSA to:
- More effectively manage higher risk goods and identify threats to health, safety, and security prior to the arrival of cargo and conveyances in Canada;
- Allow lower risk goods a more efficient, streamlined process at the border; and,
- Control the movement of in bond goods.
4. Except as otherwise prescribed in the above-noted Regulations, all goods that are imported or moving in-transit through Canada must be reported to the CBSA at the first port of arrival (FPOA) in Canada, even when exempt from the requirement to provide advance electronic information (ACI). The requirement to report goods to the CBSA is effected electronically, orally or in writing, in the prescribed manner as described in the Reporting of Imported Goods Regulations.
5. A carrier or Canadian freight forwarder wanting to become bonded under general authorization must complete an application and file security in a format as outlined on the CBSA website.
6. To become a bonded carrier or freight forwarder, security must be filed in accordance with Memorandum D3-1-1, Policy Respecting the Importation and Transportation of Goods.
Carrier Identification Requirement
7. Any carrier transporting or causing specified goods to be transported into Canada must have a CBSA assigned carrier code.
8. The CBSA carrier code forms the prefix of the CCN and the CRN.
9. For the purpose of identifying carriers and freight forwarders, a bonded or non-bonded CBSA carrier code will be assigned to a company upon authorization. This carrier code number must be shown on all cargo control documents presented or transmitted to the CBSA.
10. CRNs must have the CBSA assigned carrier code of the legal entity (carrier) physically arriving at the border.
11. For information pertaining to carrier code requirements and how to obtain a carrier code, please refer to Memorandum D3-1-1, Policy Respecting the Importation and Transportation of Goods.
12. All carriers transporting specified goods into Canada must electronically transmit to the CBSA specified data pertaining to the cargo and conveyance within the prescribed timeframes as described in the Reporting of Imported of Goods Regulations. Provision of this data within prescribed timeframes satisfies the requirement set out in section 12.1 of the Customs Act.
13. Transmission of electronic pre-arrival conveyance/cargo data does not constitute "reporting" for the purposes of section 12(1) of the Customs Act. Report, as defined in section 12(1), is not achieved until the operator or of the rail conveyance transmits an electronic Conveyance Arrival Certification Message (CACM). This message must be received and can occur within a 30 minute window for electronic arrivals allowing rail carriers to send in their request for an arrival up to 30 minutes in advance of their actual arrival at the Canadian border.
14. When the conveyance arrives at FPOA and the status is updated to "reported", the CBSA will send a notification to the carrier who is the operator of the conveyance, as identified by the CBSA carrier code on the conveyance report detailing the Cargo Control Numbers (CCNs) of the related cargo transmissions that are deemed to have been reported as per section 12(1) of the Customs Act. This message will serve as the carrier's "proof of report".
15. As per section 7.1 of the Customs Act, carriers are liable to ensure all information provided to the CBSA, including pre-arrival information is true, accurate, and complete. Furthermore, as per section 22 of the Customs Act and section 7 of the Transportation of Goods Regulations, the information transmitted must be supported by source documentation (i.e. bills of lading, invoices, contract of carriage) and made available to the CBSA upon request.
16. If the CBSA has to unload to move a load to examine it, the moving will be done by and at the expense of the carrier.
17. In addition to all other monitoring and verification activities, the CBSA will perform periodic monitoring of the records kept by carriers related to electronic conveyance and cargo information. The monitoring will confirm whether the conveyance and cargo data were submitted in a timely manner and that information transmitted pre-arrival is true, accurate and complete and corresponds to the information contained on the source documents on file. This includes the use of exception/exemption codes.
Cargo Reporting and Control Procedures
18. The cargo report must be electronically transmitted to the CBSA by the carrier, or a service provider authorized by that carrier to transmit on their behalf, within the prescribed timeframes as outlined in the Reporting of Imported Goods Regulations. A rail cargo report is mandatory for all non-exempt import cargo.
19. Before or upon arrival of the goods in Canada, the rail carrier may submit, in addition to the electronic transmission, form A1, Train Report Inward, identifying shipments for which the CBSA has received and accepted cargo details. Rail crew must also report to the CBSA.
20. When the in bond freight arrives at its final destination (rail sufferance yard), the warehouse operator will transmit the warehouse arrival certification message (WACM) to the CBSA. Information on WACM and other notifications can be found in Chapter 11: Advance Commercial Information (ACI)/eManifest Notices - Electronic Commerce Client Requirements Document (ECCRD).
21. Shipments that cannot enter Canada due to CBSA prohibitions or the regulations of other government departments, such as the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), must be returned immediately to the United States under CBSA control.
22. If the CBSA is releasing the goods from a railway operated sufferance warehouse, the release notification message (RNS) or manifest forward notice will be the warehouse operator's authority to release the shipment to the consignee.
23. An authorization is not required if the importer holds a license for a type PS (private railway siding) rail sufferance warehouse for full carload lot shipments. In such cases, the carrier can deliver the car and its load directly to the consignee's premises. When applicable, it is the consignee's responsibility to ensure that the seals are not broken and that the goods have not been removed before the CBSA has authorized its release.
24. When the CBSA authorizes the release, the CBSA will transmit an electronic release message to the rail carrier authorizing the release of the goods.
Cargo Control Number and Conveyance Reference Number Reuse Timeframes
25. Rail CCNs and CRNs must be unique and cannot be reused for 3 years starting January 1st of the year following its initial use.
Electronic Communication with the CBSA
26. Carriers must transmit data using the CBSA's electronic data interchange (EDI) systems. Before initiating the application process (outlined below), carriers must have a valid CBSA assigned carrier code as per section 12.1 of the Customs Act.
Application to Transmit Electronic Data to the CBSA
27. Carriers using EDI are required to complete an application form and submit it to the Technical Commercial Client Unit (TCCU).
28. EDI clients may choose to transmit their own data to the CBSA or they may choose to use a service provider. More information can be found on how to participate in EDI and methods of electronic communication by obtaining a copy of Chapter 3: ACI/eManifest Rail - ECCRD.
29. For all enquiries related to any problems with electronic transmission of data and the related application process, contact the TCCU at:
Technical Commercial Client Unit
Canada Border Services Agency
355 North River Road, 6th floor, Tower B
Ottawa ON K1A 0L8
Phone: 1-888-957-7224 (Option 1) calls within Canada and the U.S.
Transmitting Accurate Data
30. When using the Pre-Arrival Review System (PARS), the electronically transmitted CCN on the cargo data must exactly match the CCN quoted in the PARS release request, inclusive of the acronym "PARS", where applicable.
31. It is not a requirement to embed the letters "PARS" into a PARS number, but if a carrier does embed letters into the PARS number, then the carrier must use the identical number in their pre-arrival cargo transmission.
32. If the CCN quoted in the PARS release does not exactly match the electronically transmitted cargo data, this will affect the Release Notification System (RNS) capabilities and subscribers will not receive RNS messages. Inaccurate CCN transmissions by carriers could result in sanctions for non-compliance including the issuing of AMPS. Release may also be negatively affected.
Pre-arrival Data Transmission Guidelines and Cargo Data
33. The cargo data must be electronically transmitted to the CBSA by the carrier, or a service provider authorized by that carrier to transmit on their behalf, within the prescribed timeframes as outlined in the Reporting of Imported Goods Regulations. A rail cargo report is mandatory for all non-exempt import cargo.
34. All cargo data must be accepted by the system and on file in order to be subsequently linked to a conveyance. If a conveyance is transmitted quoting a CCN that is either not on file or in reject status, the conveyance transmission will be rejected.
35. Electronic cargo submissions must be transmitted with an applicable movement type/service option, as found in Chapter 3: ACI/eManifest Rail - ECCRD.
36. A sub-location code is mandatory for in bond shipments and optional for shipments requesting release at FPOA. This option is available to provide a secondary (inland) port of release should the shipment not be able to obtain release at the border (i.e. failed PARS) and the goods qualify for in bond movement.
37. A complete list of the information that a rail carrier must include in the cargo transmission can be found in Chapter 3: ACI/eManifest Rail - ECCRD.
38. The multi-modal cargo process applies to both highway and rail modes of transport. The owner or person in charge of the conveyance will link the cargo to the conveyance transmission.
39. A multi-modal movement is a cargo documented on a transport document used for a specific mode of transportation, but arrives in Canada using a different mode of transport. The cargo carrier will be required to electronically transmit the multi-modal cargo within the prescribed timeframes specific to transportation mode used to physically transport the goods in Canada.
40. For example, highway cargo is loaded onto a rail car for transport into Canada. The carrier will transmit a multi-modal cargo submission. The conveyance operating carrier (COC) will transmit a rail conveyance report and link the multi-modal cargo to the rail conveyance. The multi-modal cargo and the rail conveyance data must be received by the CBSA within the rail transmission timeframes.
41. The COC or a service provider authorized by that carrier must prepare and transmit an electronic transmission to the CBSA with the required conveyance data within the timeframes as specified in the Reporting of Imported Goods Regulations.
42. All cargo data must be accepted by the system and on file in order to be subsequently linked to a conveyance. If a conveyance is transmitted quoting a CCN that is either not on file or in reject status, the conveyance transmission will be rejected.
43. For an empty conveyance, an "empty" indicator must be utilized to indicate a conveyance with no cargo.
44. Rail carriers who arrive at the First Port of Arrival (FPOA) with empty conveyances (with no specified goods on board), and who have not transmitted ACI/eManifest data will not receive any Administrative Monetary Penalty System (AMPS) penalties for failing to transmit ACI/eManifest for that empty conveyance, until further notice. During this period, carriers arriving with no specified goods will be exempt from the mandatory provision of pre-arrival information. This forbearance does not remove the requirement to report to the nearest CBSA office upon arrival to Canada.
45. A complete list of the information that must be included in the conveyance data can be found in Chapter 3: ACI/eManifest Rail - ECCRD.
46. Carriers (or an authorized third-party provider acting on a carrier's behalf), are required to prepare and transmit the required cargo and conveyance information within the timeframes specified in the Reporting of Imported Goods Regulations.
47. In the rail mode, the conveyance and cargo information for specified goods must be received and validated by the CBSA, as outlined in the Reporting of Imported Goods Regulations, at least two hours prior to the conveyance arriving at the FPOA.
48. For exemptions from cargo data requirements, please refer to Chapter 3: ACI/eManifest Rail - ECCRD.
49. Properly formatted messages received less than two hours prior to the transmitted estimated time of arrival at the border will be accepted by the system, but the client will also be warned via error message of "insufficient review time", and penalties may be applicable.
Company Seals Applied Prior to Arrival at FPOA
50. If a railcar or part thereof that contains in bond goods is sealed with a company seal, the seal number must be noted correctly on the pre-arrival conveyance transmission. The company seal will remain intact, unless the CBSA performs an examination.
Conveyance Arrival Certification Message (CACM)
51. To meet the reporting requirements under section 12(1) of the Customs Act, the COC must transmit an EDI CACM upon arrival at the FPOA.
52. The CACM is required in addition to the cargo and conveyance ACI/eManifest previously transmitted according to the prescribed timeframes as described in the Reporting of Imported Goods Regulations.
53. The COC or a service provider authorized by that carrier to transmit on their behalf, prepares and transmits a CACM to the CBSA through EDI.
54. An arrival in the rail mode is defined as when the rail conveyance has physically arrived in Canada. The CACM must be transmitted and received within a 30 minute window, allowing rail carriers to transmit their arrival request up to 30 minutes in advance of their actual arrival at the Canadian border.
55. Upon receipt, validation and acceptance of the CACM, the CBSA system updates the status of the conveyance and related cargo, and acknowledges the arrival of the conveyance with a section 12(1) "Reported Notice" to the originator of the arrival message. This notice indicates the carrier operating the conveyance (as identified by the CBSA carrier code transmitted within the conveyance report) has met their obligation to report under section 12(1) of the Customs Act for the conveyance and all shipments detailed on cargo documents that are linked to that conveyance. The CACM will generate any release (for shipments requesting FPOA release) or referral notification messages accordingly. Please refer to the Advance Commercial Information (ACI)/eManifest Non-Highway Conveyance Arrival Certification Message Implementation Guide (found in Chapter 3: ACI/eManifest Rail - ECCRD) for more information.
56. All section 12(1) "Reported Notices" sent to the carrier must be kept on file and made available to the CBSA when requested during compliance monitoring, supported by the requirements in the Transportation of Goods Regulations.
57. For a complete list of the information that must be included in the CACM, please refer to the Advance Commercial Information (ACI)/eManifest Non-highway Conveyance Arrival Certification Message Implementation Guide. For a copy of this guide, please contact the Technical Commercial Client Unit.
Conveyance Report – Transiting Through Canada From/to a Foreign Point
58. Rail carriers are responsible for reporting cargo transiting through Canada to the CBSA at the FPOA by using the Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). Form A5, Train Report Outward will be used to report the conveyance at point of exit. Alternatively, reported cargo transferred to a vessel for export to a foreign country will be acquitted by the Marine outward report.
59. Form A5 must list the cargo control numbers associated with the cargo that is exiting Canada on that particular conveyance.
60. Additional information may also be included, such as:
- Carrier name and contact information
- Carrier Code
- Date and time the A5 is being sent to the CBSA
- Date and estimated time of arrival to the port of export
- Train number or report number (not railcar number)
- Port of export
- Order number (order of rail cars built on the train)
- Rail car number
- Container number (if containerized)
Cargo Reporting and Control Procedures for U.S. Goods In-transit Through Canada (U.S. – Canada – U.S.)
61. EDI rail carriers no longer have to use form BSF708, Rail In-transit Manifest to report freight shipments in-transit through Canada (U.S. – Canada – US) or the United States (Canada – U.S. – Canada). Instead, the rail carrier has the option of transmitting eManifest pre-arrival cargo data. If electronic cargo is being transmitted, rail carriers are reminded to not use the in-transit cargo exception code on the conveyance report, and to notate "in-transit" in the special instructions field of the cargo transmission. If using the form BSF708 paper option, the CBSA will not issue AMPS penalties for failing to electronically transmit in-transit conveyance data, until such time as the CBSA implements and mandates a complete in-transit solution.
Note: This is an interim procedure until an electronic in-transit cargo process is available.
62. Form A5, Train Report Outward, is to be presented upon exit from Canada. Carriers must export loaded cars at the point of exit with the seals intact. If the seals are broken, the cars must go to the local rail examination facility where a border services officer may do a physical check of the contents against relative waybills. Upon approval, the cars will be released to return to the United States.
Note: If the border services officer takes note of shortages in a car, the carrier must pay duties and taxes on all missing shipments.
63. Carriers cannot divert in-transit cars to Canadian destinations. If the carrier does divert the in-transit cars or holds the cargo for disposal in Canada, a border services officer will detain the cars immediately for determination.
64. Carriers can export in-transit cars at any CBSA office where railways cross the international border. The CBSA will allow a route change from one point of exit to another. This is not considered as a diversion for CBSA purposes.
Procedures for Canadian Goods In-transit Through the United States (Canada – U.S. – Canada)
65. The paper A5, Train Report Outward, is required to be presented upon exit from Canada for the first leg of the in-transit cargo move. Upon re-entry, rail carriers are required to transmit Canadian origin cargo as an import to Canada. Rail carriers are asked to include the text "in-transit Canadian origin goods" in the special instructions field of the cargo transmission.
Note: This is an interim procedure until an electronic in-transit cargo process is available.
66. Rail carriers may transfer in bond goods to a secondary bonded rail carrier for export under the original carrier's cargo control document (CCD), provided that the final destination is indicated on the original CCD.
67. The transferring rail carrier will maintain full liability for the goods and will be absolved of liability to the CBSA once the goods have been acquitted by the conveyance operator upon export by reporting the CCN on the form A5, Train Report Outward.
68. This section will outline circumstances in which pre-arrival cargo data is not required under section 12.1 of the Customs Act. A complete list is found in Chapter 3: ACI/eManifest Rail - ECCRD.
69. Should clients choose to transmit data for any of the listed exemptions and/or exceptions they must do so within the timeframes specified in the Reporting of Imported Goods Regulations. A complete list of the information that a carrier must include in the conveyance and cargo transmissions can be found in Chapter 3: ACI/eManifest Highway - ECCRD.
Note: The CBSA will perform periodic monitoring of the records kept by carriers related to electronic cargo information, as identified in paragraph 17 in this memorandum. This will include information that may be transmitted, should clients choose to do so, for goods that otherwise fall under cargo exemption.
Exceptions from Cargo Data – Only Conveyance Data Required
70. The following are exempt from cargo data where only conveyance data is required:
- Goods that are being imported into Canada under the Courier Low Value Shipment (LVS) Program by an approved courier under the CBSA Courier LVS Program.
- HVS/LVS mixed loads (cargo required for HVS). Note: Low value shipments not imported under the LVS Program require cargo and conveyance advance data.
- Instruments of International Trade (IIT) – empty shipper or importer owned containers and also those registered under Ottawa file or with container bank numbers, which are used to transport commercial goods to and from Canada. For example: shipping tanks, pallets, baskets, bins, boxes, cartons, crates, gaylords, load lock/spacers, racks, trays, totes or similar goods used to ship goods internationally.
- Mail (Canada Post, US Mail, International) – as part of a mixed load.
- Emergency Repairs – includes conveyances that have been repaired outside Canada as a result of an unforeseen contingency that occurred outside Canada; and the repairs were necessary to ensure the safe return to Canada of the conveyance.
- Domestic In-transit Movements – interim period (an electronic in-transit process is under development, and will be available in a future iteration).
- Dunnage – Packaging material such as boards, blocks, planks, metal or plastic bracing, used in supporting and securing packages for shipping and handling.
- Loaded Buffer Cars – used for the protection of the train crew from hazardous or combustible materials and the materials themselves, from sources of ignition.
- Empty Conveyances – conveyance transmission requires an indicator identifying the conveyance as being empty.
71. Report on arrival requirements under section 12(1) of the Customs Act, for all of the above exemptions are outlined in paragraph 14 of this memorandum.
Unique Shipment Processes
72. The following rail specific processes are not exempt from pre-arrival data; however the reporting and or pre-arrival requirements differ in some manner.
73. Where there are discrepancies between transmitted data and/or reported cargo and the actual number of pieces found on arrival, the process documented in the Memorandum D3-1-1, Policy Respecting the Importation and Transportation of Goods must be followed.
Failure to Submit Pre-arrival Information
74. The CBSA requires complete information pertaining to all specified goods arriving in Canada. Where no pre-arrival information was transmitted and no other exception exists, the carrier must transmit a cargo report as soon as it is discovered. Should the CBSA discover goods for which no pre-arrival data was transmitted, and for which no report was made to the CBSA, penalties may be issued to the carrier for failure to provide advance information.
75. When the conveyance is known, the CRN must also be amended to add this post arrival cargo.
76. Post arrival cargo that is not attached to a related CRN will be presented to the nearest CBSA office to have the status electronically updated to "Arrived". This must be done to enable release of the goods.
77. For repairs to conveyances that were completed outside of Canada and do not meet the definition of emergency repairs, carriers must transmit cargo and conveyance data to the CBSA within the prescribed advance timeframes, identifying the repair as the cargo.
Electronic Freight Ex-vessel (Transportation of Marine Containers)
78. The following procedures will apply except if the marine carrier is using overland movement and form A6, General Declaration, under security of the marine carrier's bond.
79. Containerized freight landed at US ports for transport to Canada are to be manifested by the rail carrier based on ocean bill of lading information. Each ocean bill of lading has to be covered by a separate cargo control document. If a bill of lading covers a multi-container shipment, each container load will be manifested except where all the relative containers arrive in Canada on the same train. For more information on freight ex-vessel, refer to Memorandum D3-5-1, Marine Pre-load/Pre-arrival and Reporting Requirements.
80. The conveyance transmission must state the container and seal numbers (when available from documents in the carrier's possession).
81. At the seaport of initial discharge, the rail carrier uses a rail CCN (re-manifest) to report each marine shipment ex-vessel going to a point in Canada or for in-transit movement to a point outside Canada. The cargo must show the same information as that shown on the relative ocean bill of lading and bear a reference to the name of the vessel, agency code number, inward report number, and ocean bill of lading number.
82. The vessel inward report will be acquitted by the railway cargo control number(s). The master of the vessel or the agent has to account for the missing goods under normal procedures, as outlined in Memorandum D3-1-1, Policy Respecting the Importation and Transportation of Goods.
83. The purpose of the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations is to protect the public from potential hazards of transporting dangerous goods by establishing and regulating safety standards, safety marks, and safety requirements for these products.
84. Dangerous goods, hazardous wastes, explosives, and radioactive materials are examples of products that pose a hazard or risk to human health or the environment, and as such, are regulated and require special handling while being transported.
85. The Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations require that all shipments of dangerous goods be classified, labeled, placarded, packaged, and documented in a specific manner by the shipper. For more information, refer to Memorandum D19-13-5, Transportation of Dangerous Goods.
Derailments and Wrecks
86. Cargo control transmissions and waybills that cannot be properly acquitted at the receiving CBSA office due to a railway derailment or wreck should be referred to the CBSA office where the rail carrier originally reported the wreck. The responsibility to ensure correct acquittal of waybill quantities, and the merit of any application to account for damaged goods rest with the CBSA office so notified.
Additional Unique Processes
87. Report empty cars by EDI only when the car is a freight shipment (importation) and the railway assessed a freight charge for the movement.
88. The carrier must report all shipments of Company Owned Material (COMAT) on an EDI transmission.
89. When the cargo is carried under the shipper's load and count contracts, the cargo transmission must clearly be marked "shipper's load and count" and all units must be sealed by the shipper before transferring to the carrier.
90. In the case of car, container, or trailer-on-flatcar load lots (one type of commodity), show the actual number of cartons, cases, barrels, etc., of the commodity.
91. In case of bulk commodities, the quantity on the cargo control document or electronic report will be shown as "1", representing one railcar.
92. Other unique shipment processes are referenced in Memorandum D3-1-1, Policy Respecting the Importation and Transportation of Goods. They are as follows:
- Carnet and other temporary imports
- Goods Found Astray (Misrouted Goods)
- Non-resident Importer
- Transporting “to order” Shipments
- Moving Company and Personal Effects
- Entered to Arrive (ETA) and Value Included (VI) Shipments
- Duty Free Shops (Goods Imported by Duty Free Shops)
Railway Rolling Stock
93. All locomotives, railway rolling stock, and miscellaneous railway equipment arriving in or departing from Canada are required to report to the CBSA.
94. If they are being imported temporarily for the purpose of international commercial service they are classified under tariff item 9801.10.10 and are customs duty free. Pre-arrival cargo and conveyance data are required and when exported, they are reported on a form A5, Train Report Outward.
95. The determination of whether or not locomotives, railway rolling stock or miscellaneous railway equipment are engaged in international commercial transportation is based on the origin and destination of the goods carried and not the actual route of the locomotive, railway rolling stock or miscellaneous railway equipment.
96. Foreign railway rolling stock imported into Canada to be temporarily engaged for domestic use under tariff item 9801.20.00 may do so with goods on board.
97. All locomotives, railway rolling stock and miscellaneous railway equipment arriving in or departing from Canada must be reported and are normally not accounted for but are documented on pre-arrival conveyance transmissions and on a form A5, Train Report Outward.
98. Companies wishing to temporarily engage foreign railway rolling stock for domestic use do not require pre-authorization from the CBSA. However, the importation of the railway rolling stock must be under a lease or contract, for a period not exceeding 12 months, signed prior to the importation.
99. The foreign railway rolling stock so engaged cannot be removed from Canada for any reason, including being placed in international service. Foreign railway rolling stock that is being used for in-transit movements from one place in Canada to another place in Canada, through the United States, is not considered to have been placed in international service.
100. Importers of foreign railway rolling stock that is owned or controlled by United States railway companies must report the diversion of any railway rolling stock that is removed from international service and temporarily diverted into Canadian domestic service.
101. Importers of foreign railway rolling stock that is not the property of or under the control of a United States railway must report the diversion of any railway rolling stock that is removed from international service and temporarily diverted into Canadian domestic service. The railway rolling stock that has been diverted from tariff item 9801.10.10 must be classified under Chapter 86 of the Customs Tariff.
Note: Goods of tariff item 9801.20.00 must be owned or under the control of a railway company in the United States. The period of diversion cannot exceed 90 days in one calendar year. The 90 days does not have to occur consecutively. The origin may attract customs duties which would be paid the first time only.
102. The importer is required to monitor the length of time the railway rolling stock is diverted to Canadian domestic use.
103. Importers of railway rolling stock that has been manufactured in Canada that is diverted temporarily from international service and placed into Canadian domestic service must report the diversion. In this case, the Canadian railway rolling stock would have been manufactured in Canada for export and never entered into domestic service. If the Canadian railway rolling stock is owned or under the control of a railway company in the United States it is being diverted from tariff item 9801.10.10 to tariff item 9801.20.00. The railcars are being diverted to Chapter 86, if they are owned or under the control of a foreign railway other than a United States railway. The period of diversion cannot exceed 90 days in one calendar year. The 90 days does not have to occur consecutively.
Exportation Process of Railway Rolling Stock
104. It is the importer's responsibility to advise the regional CBSA office at the place where the goods were accounted for, that the railway rolling stock has been exported. Proof of export must be provided within 30 days of the exportation of the last railcar or when the lease or contract expires, whichever is earlier.
105. Proof of export can be provided by any of the following, on condition that it clearly demonstrates that the diverted railcar has left Canada and the date of departure is evident:
- a validated A5, Train Report Outward;
- a certified E15 (identification of goods exported or destroyed);
- a U.S. customs report;
- an internal off-line report;
- an interline report with a U.S. railway company.
Contingency Plan in the Event of System Failure
106. The CBSA System Outage Contingency Plan sets out the procedures for importing commercial goods in the event of a full CBSA system outage in all modes. This contingency plan as well as Summary Outage Sheets (SOS) for each mode can be found on the CBSA website. Clients may contact the Technical Commercial Client Unit at 1-888-957-7224 for additional clarification.
107. Clients must retain the ability to produce hard copy cargo/conveyance declarations in the event of disruption of CBSA systems.
Notification and Error Messages
108. All pre-arrival data received will be validated and processed through CBSA's systems, and the CBSA will transmit response messages back to the sender. Notices are sent to the sender via the same route as the incoming transmission.
109. There are two types of response messages clients can expect to receive from CBSA systems when transmitting pre-arrival transmissions by electronic means:
- Positive Responses.
- Error Responses.
110. Positive responses are issued in the form of “Acknowledgements”. Acknowledgements are generated when the EDI transmission has successfully passed all syntactical, conformance and validation edits.
111. Error messages will be transmitted to the sender indicating the nature of the error, in the form of reject notices. Carriers must make corrections to transmissions in error and re-send to the CBSA in a timely manner. The rejected report will be considered by the CBSA as non-transmission of the conveyance and/or cargo data until the identified errors have been addressed and the data is in “Accepted” status by the CBSA system.
Corrections to Cargo and/or Conveyance Data
112. Changes or amendments to cargo and/or conveyance data shall be made as soon as they are known.
113. An "Add" is used for the first transmission (original) of any data, whether it is cargo or conveyance data. It must be transmitted within the timeframes as prescribed in the Reporting of Importing Goods Regulations.
114. A "Change" involves the pre-arrival re-transmission of the entire record (all applicable data elements), which will then replace the entire record on file. As a rule, the carrier will be required to transmit a change to update the current conveyance record or cargo record when any of the data elements on the current transmission to the CBSA change. Individual data elements are not to be transmitted separately.
115. However, if a CCN on a cargo submission or the actual CRN on a conveyance transmission needs to be changed, the client must first transmit a record to delete the cargo or conveyance, and then transmit an "Add" for the new report with the new CCN or CRN. A change request will not be accepted in that case.
116. A "Delete" (cancel) is used for the complete removal of records or packages of records. If individual data elements or loops of segments are to be deleted, these must be processed as changes. The specific data transmitted on the delete does not necessarily have to be identical to the original add or change – only the "key" data (i.e. CCN or CRN and whether the record is a cargo or conveyance) must be identical.
117. Deletions may be made at any time up until arrival at the port of report. If a conveyance transmission is on file, it must be changed or cancelled before an associated cargo can be cancelled. Note: un-arrived cargo and conveyance records are to be deleted (cancelled) if unused within 90 days.
Post Arrival Amendments
118. Cargo and Conveyance data transmissions, if found by the carrier to be in error post-arrival, must be amended as soon as the error is discovered.
119. Some key data elements cannot be electronically amended or deleted post arrival. If amendments/deletions to these data elements are required, the online form, BSF673, House Bill, Cargo and Conveyance Manual Correction Request Form – Post Arrival - All Modes must be completed. Carriers/freight forwarders have up to 90 days to present the correction request to the local CBSA commercial office.
Delivery Requirements and Transfers to Sufferance Warehouses
120. Cargo arriving in Canada as rail traffic can be transferred to a highway carrier and move forward to its destination on the primary rail cargo control transmission provided that:
- The highway sufferance warehouse at the destination is licensed to receive shipments on rail cargo control documents;
- The CBSA office at the destination is indicated on the primary cargo control transmission; and
- Cargo can be transferred to another sufferance warehouse after presentation of a re-manifest. This applies only if the warehouse is licensed to receive the freight.
121. The rail carrier can transfer consolidated shipments consigned to a bonded freight forwarder to the freight forwarder's type CW sufferance warehouse (or agent thereof) providing the warehouse has been licensed to receive the freight. For more information on electronic house bills and transference to a CW Warehouse, please see Memorandum D3-3-1, Freight Forwarders Pre-Arrival and Reporting Requirements.
122. Consolidated shipments consigned to a bonded freight forwarder and reported by the primary carrier at the First Point of Arrival (FPOA), may be authorized by the CBSA to move directly to the freight forwarder CW type, sufferance warehouse. See Memorandum D3-1-1, Policy Respecting the Importation and Transportation of Goods, or Memorandum D3-3-1, Freight Forwarders Pre-Arrival and Reporting Requirements, for required conditions.
123. The rail carrier can deliver cargo arriving by air, highway, or marine service for transport in bond under a rail cargo transmission directly to the rail terminal.
124. The rail carrier can deliver intact containers arriving under a rail cargo transmission for transport in bond for export to the exporting carrier's sufferance warehouse, if the rail cargo shows that the goods are for export.
125. Cargo arriving under a highway cargo transmission must be delivered to the highway sufferance warehouse.
126. For information on administrative penalties, please refer to Memorandum D22-1-1, Administrative Monetary Penalty System. Information on AMPS is also available on the AMPS web page.
127. Other administrative sanctions, such as the revocation of program privileges and penalties of Other Government Departments, may also be applicable.
128. Failure to comply with the CBSA requirements outlined in the Customs Act, may result in the seizure and forfeiture of the goods and/or conveyance, and in serious cases, criminal charges may be applicable.
129. For additional information, within Canada, call the Border Information Service at 1-800-461-9999. From outside Canada, call 204-983-3500 or 506-636-5064. Long distance charges will apply. Agents are available Monday to Friday (08:00 – 16:00 local time / except holidays). TTY is also available within Canada: 1-866-335-3237.
- Issuing office:
- Transporter and Cargo Control Programs Unit
Program and Policy Management Division
Commercial and Trade Branch
- Headquarters file:
- Legislative references:
Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)
Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act
Excise Tax Act
Reporting of Imported Goods Regulations
Special Import Measures Act
Transportation of Goods Regulations
Plant Protection Act
Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations
- Other references:
- D3-1-1, D3-1-8, D3-3-1, D3-5-1,
D4-3-4, D4-3-5, D22-1-1, D17-1-4, D19-13-5, D23-2-1, ECCRD
- Superseded memorandum D:
- D3-6-6 dated May 26, 2017
- Date modified: