Regulatory Update: Canada eManifest Requirements

In an ongoing effort to streamline the import clearance process, improve border security and make Canada’s border procedures compatible with international standards, Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has begun the implementation of the eManifest requirements.

Under eManifest, highway and rail carriers will be required to provide CBSA with advance cargo and conveyance data by January 11, 2016. Once eManifest is fully implemented, which is planned for as fall of 2016, freight forwarders will be required to provide advance house bill / supplementary cargo data and importers will also be required to provide importer advance trade data (ATD) either directly or through their designated broker.

Shipment data required by eManifest must be submitted within the prescribed time and in the prescribed manner and failure to do so may result in steep monetary penalties. One of the major data elements required under eManifest are detailed cargo descriptions.

CBSA warns carriers that cargo descriptions must be clear and concise, written in plain language and detailed enough to allow the CBSA to identify the size, shape and characteristics of the cargo. CBSA also encourages shippers to assist their carriers and freight forwarders by providing detailed cargo descriptions on commercial invoices and shipping documents.  An illustrative list is found on CBSA’s website that with examples of acceptable and unacceptable cargo descriptions.

It is important for U.S. shippers to know the importance of declaring their international shipments correctly by providing commercial invoices and shipping documents with detailed cargo descriptions and containing all required trade data. Providing detailed cargo descriptions has always been a requirement according to Canadian Customs laws but now eManifest requirements serve to greatly increase enforcement.

Questions can be forwaded to


Issued 11 JAN 2016

Back to Index