What is eManifest?
The eManifest program is an answer to increased border security requirements and the need for carriers to cross the border in a timely manner without delays. eManifests are submitted to Canadian and American customs agencies by the carrier, prior to crossing the border.Because screening is done in advance, carriers don't have to wait at the border to have their paperwork inspected.
How do eManifests work?
At least one hour prior to crossing the border, a carrier submits their eManifest electronically to the respective border agency. If entering Canada, they would submit to the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA). If entering the United States, they would submit their eManifest to Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
Upon receiving an eManifest, CBSA or CBP automatically runs the information through several filters to ensure the truck and its load can legally cross the border. The eManifest is either accepted or rejected. If it is accepted, the carrier is free to proceed to the border. If the eManifest is rejected, the carrier must make changes to the eManifest and re-submit it prior to arrival at the border.
There are many reasons why an eManifest can be rejected, with the most likely due to inaccurate data being submitted. CBSA and CBP send back a "Reason Code" that indicates why your eManifest was rejected. If your eManifest is rejected, you should promptly check the reason code, fix the error, and resubmit the eManifest.
Who needs to submit eManifests?
Generally speaking all carriers bringing commercial goods into the United States or Canada must submit pre-arrival eManifests. The United States Customs Border Protection have been enforcing this under the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) program for several years now. The Canada Border Services Agency is planning on actively enforcing the eManifest requirement under the Advance Commercial Information (ACI) program starting November 2012.
What if I don't submit an eManifest prior to crossing the border?
If you show up to the border with commercial goods and have not submitted your pre-arrival eManifest, you are likely to be penalized by the respective border agency. In several cases, you will be issued a monetary penalty.
It's best to avoid these penalties for three main reasons. First, a carrier that has been issued many penalties is often subject to more scrutiny and delays when crossing the border. Second, you will be held up longer at the border if you have not submitted your eManifest. Thirdly, some of these monetary penalties are quite large and may have a significant impact on your operational expenses.
How do I begin submitting eManifests?
The first step to being able to submit eManifests is to apply for a Canadian Carrier Code and/or an American SCAC Code. The code(s) that you apply for depend on whether you plan on only bringing commercial goods into one country, or bringing commercial goods both ways. Most carriers bring goods both ways.
You can apply for these codes below:
- National Motor Freight Traffic Association - SCAC Code Application
- Canadian Border Services Agency – Carrier Code Application
Receiving your code typically takes a couple of days. Once you have your Carrier Code or SCAC Code, you can begin submitting eManifests. Although each of the customs agencies do offer their own software for submitting eManifests, their software is out of date, does not keep a record of your information, and is cumbersome to use. The best, most accurate, and most efficient way to submit your eManifests is through EasyManifest.
Easy Manifest is a web-based tool that enables highway trucking carriers to submit eManifest data to American and Canadian customs agencies. The software is 100% compliant with customs requirements and is built entirely around the goal of helping carriers submit error-free eManifests with the least possible effort.
Ready to get started?