The eManifest (electronic manifest) is one of the key documents that must be submitted to customs before a shipment transported by highway, rail, ocean and air can enter or exit a particular country. An eManifest provides a detailed summary of all bills of lading issued by a carrier for every trip, listing the shipper, consignee, origin, destination, quantity, description, value and other information about the cargo, vessel and crew.
Customs officials use eManifest data to determine admissibility and assess the level of risk associated with inbound and outbound shipments. In the United States and Canada, carriers are required to submit advance, electronic cargo and conveyance information (eManifest data) to customs officials as part of the import/export process.
For example, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) both require highway carriers to submit eManifest information at least an hour before the truck arrives at border crossing. Submission timeframes and required information depend on the mode of transport and type of shipment.
Most commercial shipments crossing the U.S.-Canada border by truck are released as PAPS/PARS (Pre-Arrival Processing System/Pre-Arrival Review System) unless the shipment qualifies for another release option. PAPS/PARS requires carries and importers/brokers to submit eManifest and entry information in advance to allow for faster processing and immediate release upon arrival.
Besides expediting cargo release, the eManifest initiative eliminates manual paper processing, which is labor-intensive, time-consuming and expensive. eManifest improves data accuracy and integrity because information is submitted only once. It also helps customs agencies better target high-risk shipments while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade.
Global eTrade Services (GeTS) is a CBP and CBSA-approved provider of industry leading eManifest solutions for all modes of transport.
eManifest requirements for highway carriers in the U.S. and Canada have been mandatory for some time, with high compliance among trucks and railway carriers. In 2017, eManifest requirements for freight forwarders were also made mandatory in Canada. The last phase of the eManifest program covers importers and is yet to be rolled out. Importers will be responsible for transmitting some advance data elements to customs, including information relating to the movement of shipments that only the carrier, broker, or freight forwarder might know.
Some carriers are already asking shippers/suppliers to provide a commercial invoice and packing slip when booking containers for transport. The transport company then matches the information with that on the purchase order before the cargo is released. While some suppliers provide the data, others don’t and need a follow-up from the carrier. When these data elements become mandatory in the future, the importer will be responsible for ensuring compliance.
Logistics providers advises all parties involved in a transaction to match information and have a shared database when it comes to HS (harmonized system) tariff classification, a critical piece of information that importers should not be getting from their shipper.
Under the Advance Commercial Information (ACI) initiative, carriers in all modes of transport are required to submit electronic cargo and conveyance information to the CBSA within specified timeframes. The eManifest requirement for freight forwarders became mandatory early in 2017. Starting July 12, 2017, freight forwarders who fail to transmit advance house bill data on consolidated freight may receive monetary penalties under the CBSA’s Administrative Monetary Penalty System (AMPS).
To avoid non-compliance, carriers and freight forwarders must submit accurate, complete, true and timely eManifest information to the CBSA. Filers are also responsible for notifying CBSA about changes to the original eManifest information and for correcting errors.
The majority of filers transmit eManifest data to customs via Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), a system-to-system connection, but highway carriers and forwarders may use the ACI eManifest Portal to transmit information. However, the eManifest Portal is mainly an account management tool and only supports low-volume filing. Dedicated EDI connectivity and ACI eManifest software are recommended for large businesses and high-volume filers.
To comply with the Trade Act of 2002, carriers transporting goods into the U.S. are required to submit eManifest data to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) via the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) within specified timeframes. ACE is the single window through which the traders and the government exchange information.
Like Canada, eManifest data transmission in the U.S. is often done via EDI. However, truck carriers (low-volume filing only) may use the ACE Secure Data Portal, an online access point, to submit electronic manifests to customs before arrival at land border crossings. The ACE Portal allows eManifest preparation and submission, data validation, lookup, report generation, printing of eManifest lead sheets and online shipment status tracking.
For high-volume filers, CBP recommends EDI connection and eManifest software (self-developed or purchased from an approved third party) for quick and seamless data transmission.
The ACE Portal and ACI eManifest Portal are free to use, but neither are designed to support multimodal or bulk filing. It’s also difficult to share data among multiple systems or offices. EDI, combined with eManifest software that can interface with the ACE and ACI systems, is the best option for large firms and carriers that cross the border frequently.
EDI provides standards for exchanging data via any electronic method. Unlike Portal eManifest filing, EDI filing means faster transaction processing, import and export manifest filing for all modes of transport, sharing of data between customs and other government agencies, entry and entry summary filing, remote location filing (RLF), post-summary corrections, and more. Before transmitting data to customs via EDI, filers must first test with CBP and CBSA to ensure that all programming is correct. CBP and the CBSA will assign a client representative to help first time filers get started.
eManifest software can be customized to business needs and come with additional features like SMS and email notifications, data storage, real-time shipment tracking, 24/7 customer support, and advanced integration options. If you are a multimodal carrier, required customs information can be stored, managed and retrieved from a single application that is connected to your existing ERP or similar systems.
Global eTrade Services (GeTS) is a CBP and CBSA-approved provider of industry leading eManifest solutions for all modes of transport. With 30 years of trade facilitation experience, GeTS has helped global businesses grow and optimize compliance. GeTS processes millions of transactions for thousands of satisfied customers via comprehensive, one-stop trade facilitation applications.
With GeTS eManifest solutions, carriers and freight forwarders can prepare and submit eManifests, print cover sheets and receive shipment status notifications within minutes. All eManifest applications feature a secure corporate account, 24/7 expert assistance on customs compliance and other matters, real time updates, 24/7 web portal access, report generation, and advanced integration, with data streaming from multiple sources to a single transaction. Shipment tracking is easier with the free GeTS mobile app from the Google Play store. No need to log in; simply enter the PARS/PAPS number to view the shipment status.
In addition to standalone eManifest applications, GeTS also processes thousands of eManifests for companies of all sizes. Clients submit paperwork to GeTS via fax or email, and the GeTS team prepares and submits the information to customs. Clients receive shipment status and other notifications in real-time via email or SMS.
Visit our eManifest page to learn more about eManifest filing and sign up for a 30-day free trial today.