Sameday Worldwide

ACI eManifest Requirements for Northbound Shipments

What Is ACI/eManifest?

As defined by Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), eManifest is a major transformative initiative that is modernizing and improving cross-border commercial processes. eManifest is the third phase of the Advance Commercial Information (ACI) initiative which was introduced in the marine mode in 2004 and in the air mode in 2006.

eManifest expedites the northbound customs clearance process by allowing pertinent information about shipments to be assessed by CBSA in advance of any shipment’s physical arrival.

Why Do I Need to Know? I’m not a Carrier.

Starting January 10, 2016, CBSA will implement a fine system for carrier non-compliance. As a shipper or consignee, you are expected to comply with the following requirements for any shipment destined for Canada:

  • Proper completion of the Commercial Invoice and Bill of Lading as outlined below.
  • Concise and clear description of commodities as per CBSA.

Your failure to comply with basic Bill of Lading (BOL) and Commercial Invoice requirements may impact transit times for your shipments from the US.

Commercial Invoice

The Commercial Invoice must provide the following information:

  • Full names and addresses, including postal and zip codes for shipper, consignee, buyer (importer) and seller.
  • Detailed description of the merchandise, including the common name by which each item is known, marks, numbers or symbols.
  • Quantities: number of shipping packages, weights and dimensions.
  • The value of each item and currency.
  • The country of origin.
  • Harmonized Tariff Schedule Code (HTS).
  • Canadian Broker’s name and their account number.

Bill of Lading (BOL)

The Bill of Lading must include the following information:

  • Shipment date.
  • Customer name and account number.
  • Canadian Broker’s name and their account number.
  • Shipper and consignee address.
  • Contact name.
  • Detailed commodity description including the common name by which each item is known, marks, numbers or symbols.
  • Contact phone number.
  • Shipping quantity.
  • Number of pieces and weight (LB’s or KG’s).
  • Bill to information.
  • The HAZ MAT/TDG UN code, contact name and phone number.

Note: the quantity indicated on the Bill of Lading must match the quantity on the Commercial Invoice.

Commodity Descriptions

Aligned with the new eManifest requirements, CBSA has provided specific instructions on how commodities transported across the border must be described on the shipping documents.

For a list of acceptable descriptions, please click here.

When describing your shipment, answer the following questions: 1) What is it? 2) What is it made of?; 3) What is its intended use?; 4) How many are there? For example, “1 skid is not sufficient. As per CBSA requirements, the description should read “1 skid < Brand Name laundry detergent>”.

Why Has eManifest Been Implemented?

The purpose of the ACI eManifest is to:

  • accommodate the number of shipments crossing borders every day;
  • allow for increased attention to health and safety regarding shipment of dangerous or potentially harmful goods;
  • facilitate more intricate screening – if required – when the shipment arrives at the border;
  • allow low risk shipments to pass through without additional screening.

For more details about eManifest, please visit the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) website.

Possible Shipment Delays

Effective January 10, 2016, shipments that lack proper and basic commodity description information may be refused entry into Canada. On a proactive basis, Sameday Worldwide will hold a shipment to ascertain proper descriptions on the Bill of Lading before sending it to Canada. Your efforts to ensure complete commodity descriptions on your Bill of Lading and Commercial Invoice will help avoid delays.

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