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Freight Forwarder Requirements

Canada electronic pre-arrival transmission of House Bill and accompanying close House Bill close message has been introduced in 2016 but has finally been mandated on January 4th, 2021.

As per Customs Notice 20-28, as of January 04, 2021, a six month period of informed compliance has begun regarding the mandatory submission of electronic house bills for all consolidated shipments, if not exempted







Freight forwarders must electronically transmit advance house bill data on consolidated freight to the CBSA. The CBSA must receive and validate data within the time frames specified by mode.







A voluntary compliance period is in effect. Penalties for non-compliance will not be issued during this period. For more information, refer to Customs Notice 20-28 R2 Release.

Key Timelines

To ensure shipments are safely assessed and transported from point of origin to point of destination, freight forwarders required to submit supplementary cargo data to the Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) for any goods that are imported or transiting through Canada. Below are some highlights of the latest arrival regulations below.

Key updates as of November 1, 2020:

Regardless of warehouse type, electronic house bills may be used for all consolidated shipments, including:

  • Single shipments, otherwise known as back-to-back shipments, include the forwarder and the carrier on the same house bill. 
  • Buyer’s consolidations, or shipments from multiple suppliers that are combined on a single Master Bill of Lading.

Key updates as of January 4, 2021:

The use of eHBLs for all consolidated shipments will become mandatory (excluding exceptions):

  • Freight forwarders and NVOCC’s will be required to transmit within the current 24-hour Advance Manifesting time frame.
  • This will mark the beginning of 6-month informed compliance period. Monetary penalties will come into effect as of June 2021.

CBSA Support

CBSA Client support options are available for Freight Forwarders, carriers, or service providers who are involved with the movement and arrival of consolidated freight when assistance is required.

Prior to contacting any of the following help desks, it is recommended that clients familiarize themselves with the requirements for Freight Forwarders.

Freight Forwarder Identification and Eligibility

How can Freight Forwarders get started with ACI Electronic House Bill reporting with the CBSA?

  1. Apply for a bonded or non-bonded freight forwarder carrier code.
  2. Once you obtain a carrier code, subscribe to a service plan and complete the CBSA EDI Application form for ACI.

A non-bonded 8000-series carrier code may only be used to transmit ACI S10 supplementary data and non-consolidated house bill data only. 

A bonded 8000-series carrier code may be used to transmit ACI S10 supplementary data, consolidated and non-consolidated house bill data to the CBSA, and may move goods ‘in bond’ beyond the First Port of Arrival (FPOA).

Click here to view top 10 common questions on ACI Electronic House Bill Reporting

GeTS offers full consultation and guidance to prepare your company to register with the CBSA including carrier code application, ACI application and full onboarding. Contact us today!

Suitable user groups
  • Freight forwarder
* mandatory