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  • 03 May 2017
  • Canada
  • ACI
  • ACI eManifest
  • Canada eManifest
  • Advance Commercial Information
  • CBSA
  • Trade
  • eManifest
  • Border Crossing
  • Canada

Canadian Customs Compliance Software

ACI eManifest is the third phase of the Canada Border Services Agency’s (CBSA) Advance Commercial Information Program (ACI). ACI is a modernization of Canada’s trade processing systems, with the goal of improving risk assessment of inbound cargo, facilitating the movement of legitimate shipments, and better identification of potential threats to safety and security.


ACI eManifest is about sending electronic cargo information to Customs at the right time—before the shipment arrives in Canada. Advance transmission of shipment information allows Customs officials to better target high-risk shipments while expediting the release of low-risk goods.

Canadian Customs Compliance Software


Customs officials may delay release of shipments at the border pending further inspection. Shipments chosen for inspection usually have a dangerous goods code, a Harmonized System (HS) code for regulated items, missing information, vague descriptions, multiple eManifest data changes, and very high or very low weight for the shipment.




Under ACI Canada Customs requirements, carriers in all modes of transport must submit advance electronic cargo and conveyance (eManifest) data within the specified time frames. Freight forwarders are also required to submit electronic secondary/supplementary data to the CBSA before the goods arrive in Canada. Secondary data includes house level Bills of Lading (BOLs) and associated Close Messages.


From January 11, 2017 to July 11, 2017, freight forwarders who fail to comply with eManifest requirements may be issued zero-rated or nonmonetary penalties under the CBSA’s Administrative Monetary Penalty System (AMPS). On July 12, 2017, freight forwarders who fail to comply with requirements may receive monetary penalties, as well as risk of delays or denial of entry.




Carriers must submit cargo and conveyance data to CBSA with the following data elements:




Cargo Control Number that starts with the carrier’s CBSA-assigned carrier code followed by a unique reference number assigned by the carrier

Port of report and port of destination

Description of the goods

Shipper and consignee information

Movement Type or Service Option: This is the type of cargo movement (e.g. Import, CSA or In-transit)




Conveyance Reference Number (CRN), also known as the trip number. The CRN starts with the carrier’s CBSA-assigned carrier code followed by a unique reference number assigned by the carrier for a specific conveyance movement type.

Port code of the First Port of Arrival (FPOA) where the conveyance will cross the border

Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA) at the FPOA

Cargo Control Numbers (CCN) of all cargo submissions. For multiple trailers, the CCNs must be organized by trailer or equipment.


Electronic House Bills


Required data elements in the eHBL transmission are the carrier code, CCN and primary CCN, cargo description, weight and quantity, name and address of the consignee, consolidator, shipper, and freight forwarder, mode of transport, movement type, consolidation indicator, and consolidation country.


Close Messages


Close Messages must include the name of the forwarder, the close message number, and list of all associated house bills.




Carrier eManifest


Highway: 1 hour before arrival (non-FAST carriers) or 30 minutes before arrival (FAST carriers)

Rail: 2 hours before arrival

Air: 4 hours before arrival or at the time of departure

Marine: 24 hours before loading or arrival depending on type and origin of goods


Freight Forwarder e-House Bills and Close Messages


Marine: 24 hours before loading or arrival depending on the type and origin of goods

Air: 4 hours before arrival or at time of departure            

Rail: 2 hours before arrival          

Highway: 1 hour before arrival




Freight Forwarders can transmit e-House Bills and Close Messages to the CBSA via the ACI eManifest Portal or EDI connection.  However, the Portal is not intended for high-volume filing or frequent filers or for clients that are looking for value-added features and services.


EDI transmission can be done through software developed in-house, software purchased from a CBSA-approved third-party provider, or a service center. In-house software development can be expensive for small and midsize businesses, so many firms choose to partner with a software as a service provider to access Canadian customs compliance software.


CrimsonLogic GeTS is leading provider of best-in-class ACI software that helps trade participants streamline customs processing while improving compliance. Canada customs compliance software from GeTS helps individuals and businesses facilitate cross border trade and reduce operational costs.


CrimsonLogic GeTS ACI Canada Customs and ACI eManifest applications are designed to reduce manual data entry and associated errors through the automation of import and export customs documentation. GeTS ACI eManifest solutions (ACI Highway, ACI Ocean and ACI Air) simplify customs processes while reducing costs across the supply chain. GeTS provides easy-to-use, intuitive ACI eManifest and ACI eHBL software with multiple connectivity options: online filing, fax or email processing, and integration with in-house systems.




eManifest Processing


GeTS eManifest solutions (ACI Highway, ACI Air and ACI Ocean) for carriers come with multiple connectivity options: web-based submission, fax or email, and integration with existing in-house systems. The online option allows clients to submit eManifests from any location with an Internet connection. GeTS also provides electronic processing via fax or email with confirmation of acceptance via phone, email or SMS. The integration option supports multiple submission protocols and partial data transfer to web portal account for completion and submission.


ACI Bay Plan


The GeTS ACI Bay Plan service allows marine carriers to submit electronic bay plan data to the CBSA 24 hours before the cargo is loaded at the foreign port, including U.S. ports. The bay plan is a document that identifies all containers and their locations on an ocean vessel and allows efficient loading and unloading of cargo and containers for each port.




eHBL is GeTS’ ACI forwarder eManifest solution that enables the transmission of advance electronic house bill data and associated Close Messages to the CBSA. Electronic house bill data provides customs with detailed information about consolidated shipments, while Close Messages establish the link between the previous Cargo Control Number (CCN) and all the lower-level house bills. Close Messages must be submitted once all house bills in a consolidated shipment have been sent to the CBSA.


IID/CADEX (Canadian Data Exchange)


IID/CADEX allows trade participants to file customs accounting documentation electronically. GeTS ACROSS/CADEX application provides a direct link to the CBSA for the release of imported and Other Government Department (OGD) shipments. Clients can use the application to send declarations to the CBSA and other agencies from any computer with Internet connection. Responses are received within minutes so traders can clear their shipments quickly.




Sufferance warehouses must submit Warehouse Arrival Certification Messages (WACM) to the CBSA upon arrival of unreleased inland cargo. WACM must be transmitted to customs via EDI connection. The Release Notification System (RNS) notifies traders of customs trade declarations, notices and release messages. GeTS RNS/WACM software features shipment arrival, release status update, Deployment 4 (D4) Notices, and Manifest Forward functionalities.


ACI Canada Customs: CBSA Registration


Before transmitting eManifest data, the individual or business must first register for ACI with CBSA. Clients who already use the eManifest Portal need a separate registration to be able to use Canadian Customs compliance software from Global eTrade Services. To get started, choose a GeTS subscription plan and complete the GeTS registration and EDI application forms. After registering, you can create profiles for all drivers, crew/passengers, trucks, trailers, and conveyances that cross the border. This step speeds up eManifest creation and submission and keeps profiles organized.


Visit our Canadian eManifest page to learn more about Canadian Customs Compliance Software.



Related Pages:

ACI eManifest Filing Software

ACI eManifest

How can I File ACI eManifest?

Canada eManifest

ACI Highway


ACI Marine


eManifest Canada: 10 Helpful Points in Choosing the Right ACE ACI Provider for your Business

ACI eManifest e-HBL

ACI e-HBL Portal

The ACI eManifest Portal and your ACE ACI Services Provider

ACI Highway Canada eManifest FAQ

Simplifying the Filing Process with eManifest EDI Integration

CBSA eManifest Processing

Canada eManifest: Highway Shipments Made Easy

Mandatory Electronic Notification of Cargo Arrival FAQ with CrimsonLogic

ACI for Freight Forwarders (eHBL)

ACI eManifest Phase III: Canada eManifest House Bill Data & Supplementary Cargo Reports

ACI housebill eManifest: Bill of Lading for Freight Forwarders

eManifest Processing











Canadian Customs Compliance Software