U.S. Importers Could Face Big Fines from Canadian eManifest | Clearit.ca

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U.S. Importers Could Face Big Fines from Canadian eManifest

As of Monday, January 11, 2016, fines will be levied against any trucker who fails to adhere to requirements set forth by the Canada Border Services Agency through the eManifest program.

Statistics between the countries

As of now, there are significant amounts of goods being transported from the U.S. to Canada by way of motor carriers. Roughly 54% of cargo was brought into Canada by motor carriers in 2014.These goods were valued at approximately $354 billion. Another 15.8% of good transported into Canada were brought by rail from the U.S.

As we dive deeper into these statistics – over 70% of all trade between Canada and the U.S. is transported by truck or rail. This equates to more than six million border crossing every single year.

eManifest Information

eManifest are a set of guidelines every carrier must follow when importing into Canada. This data must be submitted before the shipment has arrived. Most of this data is required to be submitted electronically and within a certain timeframe. For example:

  • Ocean carriers must file data within 24 hours before loading.
  • Air carriers must submit data 4 hours before arrival, or when departing.
  • Rail carriers must submit date 3 hours before arrival.
  • Highway carriers must submit data 1 hour before arriving.

This process streamlines the transaction and makes filing options accessible. As such, the process ensures goods don’t get delayed at the border.

Understanding eManifest

While eManifest was put into action last spring, the compliance measures have not been mandatory until now. Penalties are varied – depending on the type, the number of occurrences, and severity of the infractions. Fines from $250 to $10,000 USD will be common.

In order to avoid eManifest penalties, here are four things carriers must understand about eManifest and importing into Canada:

  • Education is key: If you educate your drivers on eManifest protocols, then you’ll give your business the best chance of avoiding fines. By telling drivers that the new regulations can cause delays that would impact performance – you’ll find most will take heed and make eManifest compliance a priority.
  • Find a great partner: By working with a customs expert in Canada, you can avoid fines and delays. Finding a technology provider with broad industry knowledge will keep your fleet up to speed and compliant.


  • Always enroll: Start the process of registering with the CBSA now. You don’t want to be delayed and face fines. All carriers must be registered with the CBSA to ensure they have a carrier portal account.


  • Set procedures: Create a set of procedures your drivers can follow when the one-hour filling window comes around. Easy to follow instructions allows your drivers to flawlessly navigate the eManifest regulations before crossing the border.


New Regulations – Beneficial?


Some have question eManifest, and more regulations, as an unnecessary expense. The added transparency a system like eManifest ensures comes with a high price tag. Only time will tell if the investment in new technology was worth it.