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ACI eManifest – Time is Running Out!

(Oct. 19, 2012) — ACI eManifest will be mandatory for all highway carriers arriving at the border to enter Canada on November 1st, 2012.  This date marks a period of six months of informed compliance where drivers will be notified when they have failed to present an eManifest upon arrival and instructed to do so.  Carriers have six months to prepare to submit eManifest.  In May 2013 enforcement of eManifest requirements will begin and carriers that are not submitting eManifests will be subject to monetary penalties and may have trucks turned around at the border and forced back to the US until they are able to comply.

According to stats from CBSA, there are 25951 active highway carriers.  Of those, only 1270 (1.9%) are submitting eManifests. According to the CBSA, depending on the reporting option selected and the carrier’s preparedness to test eManifest, it can take anywhere from 2 – 3 months to complete testing.  The length of time it will take for a carrier to test their eManifest submission systems will increase as the number of carriers in the testing phase increase. Additionally, carriers in production will be prioritized over carriers in testing.

CBSA reports that it may take anywhere from 3 – 5 business days to process an application from a highway carrier once received, however 10 – 20% of applications are rejected due to improperly completed forms.

To reduce potential for a rejected application, carriers should:

• Ensure that the name of the applicant is the legal name of the carrier company as it is listed for the carrier code.

• Ensure that the address provided is the same address as listed with the carrier code.

• Ensure that the person that signs the application has signing authority for the company, e.g. President, Vice President, Owner, Partner, Director, Manager.

For more information and how to begin submitting eManifests, carriers are encouraged to visit CBSA’s web site (click here).

As carriers have come onboard with eManifest, CTA has been receiving feedback on the process.  One of the biggest challenges being noted by CTA members is the need for greater education of US shippers to understand the data required by CBSA. It is important that US shippers provide accurate data to carriers well in advance, in order to facilitate carrier compliance with eManifest requirements resulting in more efficient movement of goods across the border.  CTA has prepared this Business Brief to assist carriers in communicating with US shippers about the information that is required.

Furthermore, CBSA has indicated the top areas for improvement.


Carriers are arriving at the border less than  one hour after receiving the eManifest accepted message from CBSA.  Carriers are not to arrive at the PIL until one hour from receipt of the CBSA accepted message.  Arriving sooner than the one hour timeframe could result in penalties as of May 2013.


Complete address including postal/zip codes and civic number.

Commodity Descriptions

Too vague – greater detail is required – plastics versus PVC pipes.

Mismatch CCN

The CCN on the pre-arrival transmission does not match the CCN on the release request. This is causing processing delays at PIL. Carriers are reminded that both CCNs must match in order to ensure accurate processing.

Missing Conveyance Reference Number

Numerous instances where carriers are not submitting both Cargo AND Conveyance Reports for shipments. A processing delay by the BSO occurs when only the cargo report is on file.  To facilitate processing of eManifest, carriers must ensure to attach the conveyance report and link all cargo one hour prior to arrival at PIL.

CTA has been encouraging carriers to prepare for ACI eManifest, and now the countdown to the mandatory deadline quickly approaches.  Do not delay!  Get onboard today!