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Cross-border Freight: Understanding the Canadian eManifest for Carriers

a view of the border of the United States and Canada
Beginning January 11, 2016, the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) enacted updated regulatory amendments supporting its eManifest requirements. This change impacts cross-border carriers in a big way, including possible monetary penalties for carriers who do not comply with the requirements. The amendment also requires freight forwarders to electronically transmit advance house bill data.

What are the requirements for highway carriers?

eManifest regulations require carriers transporting goods into Canada to transmit cargo and conveyance data electronically to the CBSA prior to arrival at the border. The data must be received and validated by the CBSA a minimum of one hour before the shipment arrives at the border. For more information, refer to Memorandum D3-4-2, Highway Pre-arrival and Reporting Requirements.

How do I submit data?

Carriers have two options when it comes to submitting information to the CBSA. Generally, one option is best for large enterprises (electronic data interchange, or EDI) while the other is intended for use by small- and mid-sized carrier companies (CBSA eManifest Portal).

Electronic Data Interchange

EDI refers to the electronic transfer of information from one company to another, eliminating the need for paper transactions. To begin the process of registering for EDI, follow these steps:
  1. Complete the EDI application form and submit it to the eManifest Technical Commercial Client Unit (TCCU)
  2. Select EDI communication method
    • EDI clients may choose to transmit their data to the CBSA or use a service provider – read here for further information.
For more information on EDI, click here.

eManifest Portal

The CBSA developed the portal to allow the trade community to electronically transmit information via an internet connection. This technology provides small and mid-size businesses with an easy transition from paper to electronic data reporting. The eManifest Portal is a self-serve system, providing the ability to:
  • Securely transmit trade data to the CBSA
  • Confirm receipt of information
  • Verify status of the trade data, whether it is transmitted through the portal or by EDI
  • Receive system messages from the CBSA updating users on important information related to their cross-border carrier activities
  • Access online help and reference material
For more details on the eManifest Portal, click here.