May 4, 2023 | Circular No. 11519

Dear Member,

Please find below updates on two CBSA issues that have recently been brought to our attention:

ACI Reporting – Shipments with Multiple Canadian Ports of Call

CBSA has recently sent compliance verification notices to a number of container carriers regarding ACI reporting requirements for shipments involving two or more Canadian port calls with a US call in between.  The main point of discussion relates to the portion of the cargo on board that is destined to be discharged at the second (or subsequent) Canadian port, which is viewed as FROB from a carrier perspective, but as an import from a CBSA perspective (insofar as it is cargo that is re-entering Canada).

CBSA has been advising carriers that such shipments are being reported incorrectly, and that the appropriate procedure is to use two different CCNs (cargo control numbers) for each of the Canada-bound shipments on board.  This obviously raises significant operational and legal concerns from a carrier perspective, especially insofar as the CCN is usually the same as the bill of lading number, and the bill of lading is itself a legally binding contract of carriage.

We have raised these concerns with CBSA, and they have agreed to return to the drawing board on this issue, with a view to working with us to develop a reporting process that is viable from a carrier perspective while also addressing the Agency’s regulatory requirements.  Consequently, CBSA will not be issuing any additional compliance notices on this matter, and carriers will not need to make any changes to their reporting processes until such time as a more workable solution is developed.

Risk Assessment Notices – Policy Clarification

CBSA has advised that they will be adding the following clarification to Memorandum D3-5-1 (Marine Pre-load / Pre-arrival and Reporting Requirements), highlighting the need for carriers to respond to risk assessment notices regarding pre-arrival data within a 24-hour timeframe.  The specific wording of the clarification is as per below:

If a Hold notice (Hold for Exam and/or Request for Information) has been issued and further information is received that results in a change of decision, a new notice will be sent regarding the change of decision. Clients must comply with all messages sent to them by CBSA. Carriers have twenty-four (24) hours from the time the CBSA issues the risk assessment notice to respond to it with the requested change(s). Failure to respond to a risk assessment notice within twenty-four (24) hours from issuance may result in delays for the shipment such as holding the shipment upon arrival for further information/inspection and/or sanctions for non-compliance including the issuing of administrative monetary penalties (AMPs).


We will keep members apprised of developments on both of these issues as warranted. In the meantime, members with questions or comments on any of the above should contact the undersigned.


Karen Kancens
Vice President