ACE Truck eManifest (ACE Highway)

There are over 15,000 trucking companies in Canada. More than 18,000 trucks cross the US/Canada border every day.  E-commerce shipments are exploding.  The US/Canada border is a busy place and along with that a lot of complex rules and regulations to follow.

In the new age of cargo security, information about the cargo is becoming more important than the cargo itself.  ACE Highway or Automated Commercial Environment is the US Customs Single Window which the trade community sends truck eManifest data to.  The government determines release decisions letting the truck driver know that its ok to cross the border. The ACE Single Window automates and streamlines the release process and eliminates paper.

ACE Highway is currently only mandatory for import shipments but an Export eManifest is currently in a pilot phase and expected to be mandatory in the future.

Customs & Border Protection (CBP) back-end risk management system is called the Automated Targeting System (ATS).

The fines for non-compliance are steep.  First occurrence fines are generally $5,000 USD and subsequent fines are $10,000 USD.   Trucking companies need an eManifest Solution that is robust, dependable and brings efficiencies to your operations.

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What Kind of Data is Submitted with ACE Truck eManifest?

Building a trip in ACE is similar to how you would create a paper manifest or truck pro-bill. The ACE eManifest can be broken down into the following areas:

Trip Details

  • SCAC Code
  • Trip #
  • Arrival date & time
  • Arrival port i.e Detroit
  • Truck information (Truck #, VIN#, Licence plate #, country & state of registration)
  • Trailer information (Trailer #, Licence plate #, country & state of registration)
  • Seal #’s
  • IIT’s or Instruments of International Traffic (IIT is something you use to carry the cargo i.e engine racks but you’re not actually importing the IIT) IIT’s are covered under the importer or carrier bond
  • Insurance information (mandatory if carrying HAZMAT cargo)
  • Driver information (Name, DOB (date of birth), citizenship, commercial DL# (driver’s licence), travel document # ie. NEXUS, FAST card, passport
  • Passenger or team driver details

Shipment Details

  • SCN (Shipment Control Number)
  • Shipment type
    • Regular or PAPS (Pre-Arrival Processing System)
    • In-bond
      • IT (Immediate Transport) ie. Importing an in-bond shipment
      • T&E (Transportation & Exportation) ie. Transiting an in-bond shipment via the US
      • IE (Immediate Exportation) i.e Exporting an in-bond shipment out of the US
    • CF-7523- Free of duty with a value less than $2,500 USD
    • CF-3311- US goods returned
    • CF-3299- Personal Effects ie. Moving personal items if you’re moving from Canada to the US
    • QP-in bond- Use this in-bond shipment type if you’re linking to the Customs Broker bond for your shipment
    • Residual Cargo- Oil tankers sometimes have residue in the tank. This residue needs to be reported
    • Section 321- Low-value shipments valued at $800 or less. The importer can not exceed the $800 on a given day
  • Shipper name & address
  • Consignee name & address
  • Commodity description, quantity, weight, UOM (unit of measure)

What are Section 321 Shipments?

Section 321 shipments have increased in popularity due to the growth of e-commerce.  De Minimis value is the dollar amount that a country allows the entry of cargo without duty or tax.  The de minimis value in the US for duty and tax is $800.  Section 321 shipments are cleared on the manifest by including some additional data elements:

  • Country of origin
  • Value

Since the Customs Broker does not need to clear section 321 cargo there will be no entry-number matching to your shipment in ACE.

As of January 1st, 2019 all section 321 shipments will need to be reported.   There will still be an exemption if your truck has more than 5,000 shipments on the truck but this exemption will also be lifted in the future.

What about PAPS?

PAPS or Pre-Arrival Processing System is the process that trucking companies used to use when entering the US.  The way PAPS worked was as follows:

  • The trucking company would pick up cargo from the shipper
  • The truck driver would affix a PAPS sticker to the pro-bill and together with the commercial invoice, fax this paperwork to the Customs Broker
  • The truck driver would follow up with the Customs Broker via phone (or use a PAPS checker service on the Customs Broker website). The truck driver could not approach the border unless there was a confirmation that the Customs Broker had cleared the cargo
  • When the truck driver arrived at the border, the paperwork would be handed to the Customs Agent and the PAPS barcode would be scanned. If the Customs Broker released the cargo then the PAPS verification would be ok and it was up to the Customs Officer if an inspection of the cargo was necessary.

The term “PAPS Sticker” is still used as trucking companies still commonly use PAPS stickers on their paperwork.  In fact, the PAPS number has continued to be used very commonly as the SCN or Shipment Control Number in ACE.

Some Customs Brokers insist that the carrier continue to affix PAPS stickers on the paperwork when faxing to some Customs Brokers.  In fact, you can use any number as your SCN and don’t need to use a PAPS sticker.  PAPS stickers from printing companies are convenient though since they will ensure the PAPS number does not duplicate for a period of 3 years.  In ACE your SCN needs to be unique for a period of 3 years.

Do I Need an ACE ID?

ACE ID’s are required by ACE service providers who programmed their software using the EDIFACT file format.  ACE Service providers who programmed their software using ANSI X12 do not need to include the ACE ID requirement.

Most trucking companies prefer not to use ACE ID’s as they create another dependency within the ACE program i.e your ACE ID is invalid and your ACE eManifest will get rejected by CBP.   Also when including passenger details in ACE and your passenger does not have a commercial drivers licence then they can not get an ACE ID.

ACI Truck eManifest (ACI Highway)

CBSA (Canada Border Services Agency) introduced ACI Highway (Advance Commercial Information) a few years after CBP introduced ACE Highway. The ACI Highway program is very similar to ACE Highway with a few notable differences.
• There are no ACI ID’s
• There are different shipment types
Similar to ACE Highway, ACI Highway requires the trucking company to send information about the truck, trailer and shipment a minimum of 1-hour before the arrival of the truck at the Canadian border. Failure to provide this information will result in refusal of entry and subject the carrier to AMPS (Administrative Monetary Penalty System) penalties.

What are AMPS Penalties?

CBSA introduced the AMPS (Administrative Monetary Penalty System) penalty system in 2002. There are hundreds of different infractions for commercial shipments entering or exiting Canada.  An AMPS penalty can rise up to $25,000 CAD depending on the severity and frequency of the infraction.   Some common AMPS penalties related to ACI are the following:

  • C382- Advance Commercial Information submitted was not true, accurate and/or complete
  • C378- Failure to submit the Advance Commercial Information related to their cargo and/or conveyance.
  • C379- Failure to submit Advance Commercial Information in the prescribed time or prescribed manner.
  • C380- Failure to comply with a notification issued by the CBSA regarding the goods on board or expected to be on board the conveyance.
  • C381- Failure to submit a notification within prescribed timeframes of any correction to any Advance Commercial Information.
  • C023- Person failed to transmit the Conveyance Arrival Certification Message (CACM) The person failed to report conveyances inbound and/or upon arrival.
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What Kind of Data is Submitted with ACI Truck eManifest?

Trip Details

  • Carrier Code
  • Trip #
  • Canadian port of arrival
  • Estimated date/time of arrival
  • Truck information (Truck #, VIN#, Licence plate #, country & state of registration)
  • Trailer information (Trailer #, Licence plate #, country & state of registration)
  • Seal #’s
  • Exemption cargo
    • LVS Shipments (courier shipments valued $2500 CAD or less)
    • IIT’s (Instruments of International Traffic) IIT is something you use to carry the cargo i.e engine racks but you’re not actually importing the IIT) IIT’s are covered under the importer or carrier bond
    • Postal shipments
    • Flying trucks- a truck crossing the border using the AWB (airway bill) number
    • Emergency repairs

Shipment

  • Cargo Control Number (PARS Number)
  • Shipment Type
    • Regular (PARS)
    • In bond
    • CSA (Customs Self-Assessment)
    • Linked CCN (linking to a CCN created by another party. This would mean you are creating the trip but linking to a cargo created in another system)
  • Shipper name & address
  • Consignee name & address
  • Commodity description, quantity, weight, UOM (unit of measure)

What About PARS?

PARS or Pre-Arrival Review System was the previous system that trucking companies used to enter Canada.  The way PARS worked was as follows:

  • The trucking company would pick up cargo from the shipper
  • The truck driver would affix a PARS sticker to the pro-bill and together with the commercial invoice and fax this paperwork to the Customs Broker
  • The truck driver would follow up with the Customs Broker via phone (or use a PARS checker service on the Customs Broker website). The truck driver could not approach the border unless there was a confirmation that the Customs Broker had cleared the cargo which included referencing the trucking company PARS number.
  • When the truck driver arrived at the border, the paperwork would be handed to the Customs Agent and the PARS barcode would be scanned. If the Customs Broker released the cargo then the PARS verification would be ok and it was up to the Customs Officer if an inspection of the cargo was necessary.

The term “PARS Sticker” is still used as trucking companies still commonly use PARS stickers on their paperwork.  In fact, the PARS number has continued to be used very commonly as the CCN or Cargo Control Control Number in ACI.

Some Customs Brokers insist that the carrier continue to affix PARS stickers on the paperwork when faxing to some Customs Brokers.  In fact, you can use any number as your CCN and don’t need to use a PARS sticker.  PARS stickers from printing companies are convenient though since they will ensure the PARS number does not duplicate for a period of 3 years.  In ACI your CCN needs to be unique for a period of 3 years.

RNS (Release Notification System)

The RNS system provides notice of cargo release directly to the following participants;

  • Transportation carriers that have a Canadian carrier code
  • Warehouses that have a sublocation code
  • Importers/customs brokers that have an account security number

Once set up with CBSA (Canada Border Services Agency) the above parties will be automatically notified when the importer or customs broker submits cargo release data to CBSA.  The participants are notified with the following messages:

  • Declaration Accepted, Awaiting arrival of goods– this message means the transportation carrier can approach the Canadian border with their cargo.
  • Goods Released– this message is received when either the transportation crosses the border and the Customs Officer has released the conveyance and cargo allowing the conveyance to enter the country
  • Status Query– this message allows the participant to query the latest release status of the cargo or trade declaration. Once the status query is submitted the response back from CBSA will either be Declaration Accepted, Awaiting arrival of goods or Goods Released
  • WACM (Warehouse Arrival Certification Message)- this message is sent by the warehouse when in bond cargo arrives into their warehouse. Once this message is submitted CBSA is informed and a cargo inspection my optionally happen
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ACI eManifest Notices (D4 Notices)

D4 Notices are eventually going to replace RNS messages.  Currently, most participants are still using RNS messages while some participants are using both messages at the same time.  The new D4 Notices are the following;

  • Matched
  • Not Matched
  • Cargo Complete
  • Document Package Complete
  • Reported
  • Arrived
  • Document Not on File
  • Authorized to Deliver
  • Released
  • Held for CBSA
  • Deconsolidation

Submission Options

Highway carriers may transmit eManifest data to CBP or CBSA using the following options;

  • Web account- Carriers access the Customs City eManifest portal via the Internet. The eManifest is submitted by the carrier and responses viewed on the portal. This option is good for companies submitting 20- 300 shipments per month.
  • Fax/Email- Carrier faxes or emails their request to the Customs City eManifest Support team. The manifest details are submitted to CBP or CBSA. Customs City will notify the driver when they can cross the border. This plan is a good option if you cross the border infrequently or your dispatch is not open 24 hours a day. Some carriers will use both the web account and the fax/email plan during weekends and after-hours.
  • XML API- Carriers integrate their dispatch system with Customs City using our XML API. Full automation of sending and receiving messages saves time and money. This is a good plan option if you have an in-house dispatch system that is capable of exporting and importing files. Also if a carrier is creating more than 300 shipments per month on the web portal the XML API automation option should be explored.

Please click the link below to explore our pricing plans.

CBSA ACI Application

CBSA RNS Application

ACE eManifest Request Form (USA)

ACI eManifest Request Form (Canada)

ACE/ACI eManifest Online Request Forms

Click below to complete an ACE eManifest request online

Click below to complete an ACI eManifest request online