Canada’s eManifest program now in effect

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has rolled out the latest requirements of its eManifest program.

eManifest requires shippers transporting cargo into Canada to first make the CBSA aware of what’s coming, both in terms of what the shipment includes and when it will be arriving.

Since 2012, eManifest has been a voluntary program that CBSA encouraged shippers to participate in so that they could get used to the new regulation. It’s no longer participatory; officially going into effect on May 5. Just prior to January 2014, more than 10,600 carriers took part in eManifest, according to CBSA, so this number will of course increase substantially now that shippers are required to inform the government of what’s crossing the border.

There will be a short grace period – enabling carriers to avoid compliance penalties. CBSA says that from May 6 to July 10, no penalties will be issued for those that don’t abide by the eManifest program. However, after Jan. 10, 2016, monetary penalties may result for non-compliance, as directed by the CBSA’s Administrative Monetary Penalty System. On July 11, penalties may result, but they will not be financial in nature.

There are a several ways in which carriers can inform CBSA of cargo that will be entering the border. Perhaps the easiest is the online method, through CBSA’s Electronic Data Interchange. This is the recommended means for carriers who transport high-volume loads. For small- and medium-sized companies, a more convenient way is the eManifest Portal, which can also be found at CBSA’s website.

For more information on registration and other aspects of the eManifest system, visit CBSA’s homepage.