How Canadian e-Manifest Rules Could Affect Your Bottom Line

April 25, 2014
By Michelle Kelley

Highway carriers moving goods across the border into Canada will soon have to comply with Canada’s e-manifest rules, which require carriers to electronically submit cargo and conveyance information to the Canada Border Services Agency at least 1 hour prior to arrival.

U.S. companies arranging their freight transportation as exporters or non-resident importers should pay close attention to the implementation date for this requirement (which has yet to be announced). It will be imperative for the U.S. exporter to confirm the highway carrier’s e-Manifest capabilities before this date. Once the rule goes into effect, if a highway carrier fails to submit the e-manifest within the required time limit, the goods they are carrying will be delayed at the border—or worse—turned away by the Canada Border Services Agency.

Highway carriers have two options for submitting this information:

  1. Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) method, recommended for high-volume carriers
  2. e-Manifest Portal, recommended for small to medium sized businesses

Read more about these options on the Canada Border Services Agency’s website, here.

U.S. companies that hand carry or transport goods in company owned/private vehicles will want to review the requirements for Hand Carried Goods, which are exempt from the e-Manifest requirement. Hand Carried Goods are defined as “goods being transported into Canada by a person other than a commercial carrier.” Read more about Hand Carried Goods here.

Why it matters

Although the regulations place the onus for compliance on Canadian highway carriers and importers, leaving them vulnerable to penalties of up to $25,000, it’s the U.S. company shipping to Canada who may pay the ultimate price through delays and bruised business relationships with their Canadian customers.

One simple question to your cross-border highway carrier can make all the difference between losing and keeping your Canadian customer. You just have to remember to ask.