Q 1. How can I get my advance cargo data electronically to Customs?
A 1.There are currently five Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) options for clients to transmit to Customs' host system. Below is a brief description of each.
Third Party Service Provider : There are several third party service providers who have expressed their plans to test and transmit ACI data to Customs, using a variety of different communication modes. A list of these service providers is available on request from the Electronic Commerce Unit (ECU).
VAN (Value Added Network): A VAN is a public EDI network which provides an opportunity to exchange EDI transactions with a large number of trading partners using a single communication interface. VANs generally offer a wide range of EDI services. A list of VANs is available on request from the ECU.
Customs Internet Gateway (CIG): Customs developed the CIG to provide clients a method to transmit and receive data over the Internet. Customs adopted a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) to provide for the security and integrity of the data. Clients are required to purchase the Entrust software for encryption and decryption and to develop or purchase the protocol software to connect to the CIG. Clients would need to transmit the data from a Canadian office as the certificate is only assigned to a device residing in .
Direct Connect to Customs: The Direct Connect is a more expensive alternative (approximately $45K in set-up costs and $15K in annual costs), but provides clients with a direct connection to Customs.
CADEX Communication Line : A CADEX line consists of a point-to-point connection (3770 SNA/RJE protocol) between the host program at Customs and the remote device on the client's side. For information on acquiring a CADEX communication line, please contact the Electronic Commerce Unit.
Please note: Customs does not endorse any particular service and its responsibility is limited to making this information available to clients. Any decision on transmission services is the client's and any agreement to purchase is strictly between the vendor and the client. Before submitting an application for EDI services, the client is to ensure that the transmission option chosen is available for the Customs application they wish to use. The client is responsible for all transmission costs to Customs.
The Electronic Commerce Unit can be contacted by telephone at 1-888-957-7224, for callers from within and the United States . Otherwise, please call 1-613-946-0762 between the hours of 08:00 and 17:00 EST or 1-613-946-0763 between the hours of 17:00 and 08:00 EST. Service will be provided in English and French during normal business hours.
Q 2. When will the test environment be available to start testing the changes with Customs?
A 2. The test environment will be available on or before February 23, 2004 .
Q 3. What if my system is not ready to begin transmitting data on April 19, 2004 ?
A 3. The LINKINGBRIDGES is committed to implementing ACI and the 24-Hour Rule. Every effort is being made to ensure that our systems are ready and external testing processes are initiated in a timely manner. It is our clear intention to proceed with implementation on April 19, 2004 . The external client testing process is anticipated to be available on or before February 23, 2004 . Clients located in or the United States should contact the Electronic Commerce Unit (ECU) at 1-888-957-7224 to arrange their testing schedule. For clients outside Canada/U.S. please contact the ECU at 1-613-946-0762 between the hours of 08:00 and 17:00 EST or 1-613-946-0763 between the hours of 17:00 and 8:00 EST. Service will be provided in English and French only
Clients who fail to provide accurate data electronically in a timely manner will be subject to loading delays in the foreign port and increased examination rates. Clients who believe that they will not be ready to initiate testing by April 1, 2004 should contact a service provider to arrange for transmissions to be conducted on your behalf. In the case of freight forwarders, the option to provide the detailed data to the carrier for direct transmission is also available.
Clients who are testing with the before April 19, 2004 but are not yet approved will have their readiness status assessed and may be authorized, in special circumstances, to temporarily submit paper cargo and supplementary reports to the in the required timeframes. Details regarding presentation procedures and processes will be established with the individual clients as required.
Q 4. What Administrative Monetary Penalty System (AMPS) provisions have been developed for ACI? Under what circumstances will penalties or sanctions be assessed? Will penalties be applied against carriers or freight forwarders?
A 4. No specific AMPS have been created for the initial implementation of ACI. Instead clients who fail to provide accurate data electronically in a timely manner will be subject to loading delays in the foreign port and increased examination rates. In extreme circumstances, vessels may be refused entry to a Canadian port or containers could be refused authorization for unloading in a Canadian port. In addition, freight forwarders who fail to provide accurate data electronically in a timely manner will lose their direct transmission privileges and be required to provide detail data to the carrier.
Existing AMPS related to the Report of Goods and Conveyances and Transportation will continue to be applicable. Eventually, new AMPS provisions will be introduced. In the case of the 24-hour rule for marine these AMPS will only be applicable to carriers. However, it must be emphasized that carriers will not be assigned penalties where they exercise due diligence to ensure accurate data is provided in a timely manner but are misinformed by shippers or freight forwarders..
We will also be initiating changes to legislation to require Canadian freight forwarders to provide secondary data and importers to provide key import data in advance of arrival. In the case of the marine mode, we expect to require this data 24-hours prior to arrival in
Q 5. What constitutes a detailed commodity description?
A 5. A detailed commodity description is a description of an item that is clear and concise. The description should be in plain language and detailed enough to allow Customs to identify the size, shape and characteristics of the commodity. Only the commodity description should be included in this field of the EDI transmission. Superfluous information, not relevant to the commodity description i.e., type of packaging, carrier disclaimers, etc., should not be transmitted in the commodity description field..
The following descriptions are not acceptable and may result in "Hold for Examination" or "Hold for More Information" notices. Unacceptable descriptions include: freight of all kinds (FAK); said to contain (STC); shippers load stow and count (SLAC); general merchandise and other similar vague descriptions. A less detailed description will be accepted from the marine carrier if the complete and accurate description is being provided in a supplementary cargo report from the freight forwarder.