News 05 Jun, 2013

Canada – Marine Carrier Codes and Advance Commercial Information (ACI) Submissions

The Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) has recently announced changes to its Advance Commercial Information (ACI) requirements, the details of which are set out in a letter recently received by the Shipping Federation of Canada.

Marine Carrier Codes

Under the current system many ACI submissions are made using a Marine Agent’s Carrier Code. However, after 15 July 2013, carriers not doing so already will be required to transmit their ACI submissions using their own Marine Carrier Code.

CBSA currently defines the “carrier” as being “The entity operating a conveyance transporting specified goods to Canada. To operate a conveyance means to have legal custody and control of the conveyance”. Carriers may obtain a Marine Carrier Code by completing a “Carrier Application Form”. Only one Marine Carrier Code is needed regardless of the number of vessels in the company’s fleet. Processing may take up to 10 days.

In accordance with existing requirements, CBSA will normally release the cargo at the first port of arrival. However, if the cargo is to be transported inland for release by another CBSA office or will move though Canada unreleased in transit to another country, the carrier will also need to obtain a surety bond from an Acceptable Bonding Company or a member of the Canadian Payments Association for CAN$ 25,000. In such an event, only one bond per carrier is required.

Members who plan to instruct their Canadian agents to apply for a Marine Carrier Code on the company’s behalf will need to provide CBSA with a completed Third Party Consent form.

There will be a transition period between 15 July 2013 and 30 September 2013 when CBSA may allow expired Marine Agent’s Carrier Codes to be used in exceptional circumstances. No further concessions will be made after the transition period has ended.

Advance Commercial Information (ACI) Submissions

As from 9 June 2013, marine carriers will be required to file their Conveyance Arrival Certification (CAC) via an Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). In practice many carriers are already doing so through an authorised service provider. However, carriers and authorised service providers who have not done so already must register with CBSA’s Electronic Commerce Unit by completing an ACI Conveyance Arrival Registration Form.

If a carrier is unable to comply with the new ACI submission requirements by 9 June, CBSA may allow ACI arrival messages to be sent to a CBSA email address as an interim measure. This temporary arrangement will cease on 31 October 2013.

Additional information may be found on CBSA’s website.

Members requiring further information should contact the Loss Prevention department.