CBSA issued a notice to advise freight forwarders who have a bonded or non-bonded carrier code issued by the CBSA and use that carrier code to transmit electronic house bills (eHBs) and house bill close messages, of issues concerning non-compliance.
The CBSA has observed two scenarios involving freight forwarders and the unauthorized movement of unreleased goods in Canada. The scenarios below are described in the CBSA notice.
- Scenario 1: Delivery of unreleased goods
- Scenario 2 – Movement of goods by a non-bonded freight forwarder
This notice is to advise all freight forwarders who have a bonded or non-bonded carrier code issued by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and use that carrier code to transmit electronic house bills (eHBs) and house bill close messages, of issues concerning non-compliance.
The CBSA has observed two (2) scenarios involving freight forwarders and the unauthorized movement of unreleased goods in Canada. The scenarios are described below:
Scenario 1 – Delivery of Unreleased Goods
Example: When eHBs are destined to an inland sufferance warehouse and the primary (master) cargo control document (CCD) is destined to a sufferance warehouse at the first port of arrival (FPOA), a deconsolidation notice will be issued when the primary cargo control number (CCN) is arrived. This deconsolidation notice allows the eHBs to exit the warehouse and proceed to their destination at the inland sufferance warehouse. In some instances, the freight forwarder or carrier contracted to pick up the shipment(s) are delivering the shipment(s) to the importer/consignee instead of transporting the shipments to the inland sufferance warehouse.
The delivery of unreleased goods is prohibited and may result in an Administrative Monetary Penalty (AMP) under Contravention C033 – Person moved, removed, or caused to be moved goods that have been reported but not released from a CBSA office or sufferance warehouse, without CBSA authorization. Note: The current period of zero-rated AMPs for pre-arrival eHB data does not include Contravention C033.
The penalty will be assessed against the owner of the carrier code on the CCN for the shipment. In this scenario that would be the freight forwarder who transmitted the eHBs. It is important that trade chain partners communicate with each other to ensure that CBSA requirements are being met.
Scenario 2 – Movement of Goods by a Non-bonded Freight Forwarder:
Movement between warehouses is not permitted under a non-bonded freight forwarder’s liability and carrier code. In some instances, eHBs with a non-bonded CCN are being moved from the primary sufferance warehouse to an inland sufferance warehouse by a carrier or freight forwarder who is contracted to do so.
The movement of unreleased goods by a carrier or freight forwarder who is not bonded is prohibited and may be subject to an AMP under Contravention C036 – Person transported or caused to be transported within Canada goods that have been imported but which have not been released, without having the appropriate bond or security. Note: The current period of zero-rated AMPs for pre-arrival eHB data does not include Contravention C036.
The penalty will be assessed against the owner of the non-bonded carrier code on the CCN for the shipment. In this scenario that would be the non-bonded freight forwarder who transmitted the eHBs. It is important that non-bonded freight forwarders understand what they are not permitted to do with a non-bonded carrier code. The absence of a systems reject does not imply that a movement is permitted.
The CBSA encourages all freight forwarders to familiarize themselves with eHB requirements and the requirements concerning the movement of unreleased goods in Canada.
The following publications and website references provide detailed information on freight forwarder requirements:
- D3-3-1, Freight Forwarder Pre-arrival and Reporting Requirements
- Electronic Commerce Clients Requirements Document, Chapter 5 and Chapter 9 (eManifest Portal) – These are technical documents on how to transmit electronic house bills.
- CBSA website – Commercial Importing Reporting Requirements:
- How to become a bonded freight forwarder
- Administrative Monetary Penalty System – Master Penalty Document
- The CBSA is also holding Implementation Telephone Sessions for freight forwarders concerning the recent R2 Release, more information and how to register may be found here.
- Customs Notice CN20-18 R2 Release. Starting January 4, 2021, the use of electronic house bills must be used for all consolidated shipments, if not exempted. A 6-month period of informed compliance and zero-rated penalties will begin as of this date.
- Upcoming dates:
- May 6, 2021
- May 20, 2021
- June 3, 2021
- June 17, 2021
For support and assistance contact:
eManifest Help Desk – Policy questions related to cargo, conveyance and house bill pre-arrival and reporting requirements, as well as sufferance warehouse cargo control and arrival requirements: eManifest-Manifeste_electronique@cbsa-asfc.gc.ca
Technical Commercial Client Unit (TCCU) – Technical questions related to a specific shipment here.