Compliance checklist for Canadian import filing requirement


The Canadian Border Services Agency’s (CBSA’s) implementation of the ACI/eManifest import filing requirement for freight forwarders has now entered the enforcement phase. Monetary penalties for non-compliance takes effect in July 2017. Here are some tips to ensure a smooth transition.

  1. Filing productivity
    1. View security filings as a subset of your shipment data. That way, most of the security filing data elements are at your fingertips. 
    2. Look for patterns in your filings and reuse data for frequent and similar filings. Shipper, consignee, notify party, stuffing and delivery addresses are great candidates for reuse.
    3. Filing service providers, such as Tech Tech, takes advantage of this to simplify filings and keeps the data required to be entered to a bare minimum.
  2. Filing accuracy and completeness
    1. Ensure you validate Cargo Control Numbers (CCNs) and carrier/forwarder codes. Nothing works without them.  Trade Tech ensures proper CCN’s and that other codes are validated before being transmitted to CBSA. This greatly improving accuracy.
    2. Code confusion is the most common cause for rejections. Understand which data elements are required and the appropriate codes to populate them. For example, Port codes, Sub location codes, Port of discharge codes, HS Codes, Dangerous Goods codes and Carrier codes).
  1. Filing visibility
    1. Although CBSA notices are not mandatory they are essential for tracking filing completeness and disposition, especially for consolidated shipments. Use them! Unfortunately, the CBSA eManifest portal doesn’t support a full set of notices until next deployment (D5). Currently, those are only supported by direct CBSA EDI feeds or through service providers, such as Trade Tech.
    2. Evolve procedures and tools to coordinate filings with co-loaders. CBSA requires all filing in a consolidation to be of the same type either eManifest or Supplementary Reports. Only the absence of a CBSA Cargo Complete notice, alerts master loaders that co-loader filings are incomplete or missing. Trade Tech has developed a unique process to automatically close consolidated HBLs in addition to a dashboard of security filings in progress.
    3. Think globally. Electronic filing can enable all supply chain participants to come together on the same page, provided by a shipping portal. Therefore, design your SOPs so filing data is entered by the folks closest to its source (usually at origin).
  1. Filing compliance
    1. Get familiar with filing eManifest ASAP, it’s complex.
    2. Make sure you archive your filings for the required 3 years
  1. Internal SOP Readiness – is your staff trained?
    1. Forwarders must educate their internal staff
    2. Is your company matched up with a global service provider to accommodate your needs?  Trade Tech has helped many forwarders develop SOPs.
    3. Timeliness – eManifest has defined filing cut-off times that must be clearly communicated
  1.  External SOP Readiness – have you educated your customers?
    1. Forwarders must educate their customers
    2. Consider how you will support your customers in multiple time zones and multiple languages?
    3. Timeliness – eManifest has defined filing cut-off times that must be adhered to – Trade Tech delivers support for a global 24/7/365 operation to keep your cargo moving.

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