Zero-Rated Penalty Period Ending Soon for Mandatory Electronic House Bills

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) announced that the zero-rated penalty period will end on January 30th, 2022. Customs Notice 21-15 has been revised on December 22nd, 2021 to reflect these changes. These changes affect the freight forwarding industry; if they are not compliant, they may be subject to penalties.

Electronic house bills, house bill close messages and supplementary cargo data for consolidated cargo arriving on or after January 31st, 2022, may be subject to Administrative Monetary Penalties (AMPs) penalties if freight forwarders are not compliant with requirements as per the Reporting of Imported Goods Regulations.

These mandatory requirements apply to bonded and non-bonded freight forwarders who are responsible for consolidated (including back-to-back) imports, and shipments transiting through Canada, unless covered by an exception. The existing processes for consolidated freight remaining on board  shipments will continue in the air and marine modes.

The requirement to transmit electronic house bills, house bill close messages, and supplementary cargo data is the liability of the freight forwarder, as defined in the Reporting of Imported Goods Regulations: “freight forwarder” means a person who, on behalf of one or more owners, importers, shippers or consignees of goods, causes specified goods to be transported by one or more carriers; (agent d’expédition). Freight forwarders or carriers who meet this definition may transmit supplementary cargo data or house bills and house bill close message data using their own carrier code.

As with many CBSA processes, business-to-business communication is essential to ensure the appropriate information is transmitted to the CBSA.

As of January 31st, 2022, Advance Commercial Information (ACI) related AMPs may be issued to freight forwarders when non-compliance is detected. Some examples of AMPs are listed below and can be found in the Master Penalty Document (MPD).


Person failed to submit the prescribed pre-load/pre-arrival information relating to their cargo and/or conveyance.
Level 1 $2,000, Level 2 $4,000, Level 3 $8,000


Person failed to submit advance information in the prescribed time or prescribed manner to the Agency.
Level 1 $250, Level 2 $375, Level 3 $750


Person failed to comply with a notification issued by the CBSA regarding the goods on board or expected to be on board the conveyance.
Level 1 $2,000, Level 2 $4,000, Level 3 $8,000


Person failed to notify the Agency within prescribed timeframes and without delay of any correction to any pre-arrival or pre-load information sent to the CBSA.
Level 1 $500, Level 2 $750, Level 3 $1,500


Person submitted information prescribed by the Reporting of Imported Goods Regulations that was not true, accurate and complete.
Level 1 $500, Level 2 $750, Level 3 $1,500

For email support on eManifest policy and processes, contact the eManifest Help Desk at

For additional information regarding the pre-arrival and reporting requirements for freight forwarders, see the departmental memoranda (D3-3-1, Freight Forwarder Pre-Arrival and Reporting Requirements).