After much delay, the Regulations Amending Certain Regulations Made Under the Customs Act were finally posted yesterday in Part II of the Canada Gazette by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). The amendments to the Customs Act, specified in these regulations, bring into force Advance Commercial Information (ACI) eManifest requirements for highway and rail carriers, as well as freight forwarders. Importer Advanced Trade Data (ATD) is not within the current scope of these regulatory amendments.
The implementation timelines involved are similar for both highway and rail carriers, with the CBSA providing a transition period from May 6, 2015 to July 10, 2015, during which penalties for non-compliance will not be issued.
For the next six month period after July 10, 2015, non-compliant carriers may be issued “zero-rated” (non-monetary) AMPS penalties. While no monies are owed to CBSA with “zero-rated” AMPS, a penalty is still technically issued which serves as a warning to carriers they must correct the issue that led to the penalty and be prepared to fully comply with ACI requirements.
After January 10, 2016, upon full imlementation of mandatory ACI, non-compliance with eManifest requirements may result in monetary AMPS penalties being issued to carriers.
CBSA has indicated that 90 percent of highway carriers are ready for eManifest and, in fact, most major trucking firms have already been voluntarily submitting eManifests to CBSA for years.
Both the Canadian Trucking Alliance and the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada (PMTC) welcomed the announcement, but continue to ask for more details concerning the treatment of empty vehicles entering Canada. “Without specific and direct guidance about empty vehicles, there is bound to be extra processing costs or delays at the border as we move toward mandatory ACI filings,” Mike Millian, president of PMTC said.
A voluntary compliance period for freight forwarders continues to be in effect and the CBSA will provide advance notice of the mandatory compliance date when it has been confirmed.
The regulatory amendments also address other changes affecting marine and air carriers as well as warehouse operators. Updated additional information about the regulatory amendments and implementation timelines by stakeholder type has been updated on the eManifest section of the CBSA website.
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