Understanding PARS and ACI : Crossing Borders Efficiently

Clearit.ca's Blog on Customs Brokerage and News Updates

Understanding PARS and ACI : Crossing Borders Efficiently

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) offers the opportunity to importers, via their customs brokers, to submit shipment release information for approval through the Pre-arrival Review System (PARS). The process speeds up the release of the shipment or referral for examination at the moment the goods arrive at the border. But to ensure that this process is executed flawlessly, without too many headaches, all partners need to do their bits.

Tell All PARS Label

It all starts off with the carrier whose role is pivotal to the PARS procedure. From the moment the shipment is picked up, the carrier is responsible to affix a PARS label/sticker to the official documents and forward them to the customs broker so that hey can link with up with the CBSA ahead of the goods being shipped out.

The PARS label in question includes the carrier code with a unique shipment number. Called the PARS number – the Cargo Control Number (CCN), is extremely important as it identifies not only the cargo but also the carrier for the CBSA at the moment when release documents are submitted. The label also contains the point of crossing, an estimated date and time of arrival and the carrier’s contact information.

Pre-Arrival at the Border

Thanks to the PARS process, the CBSA will receive from the customs brokers the required release information – the agents will be able to determine in advance if the goods will require additional permits, licenses, and certificates. In fact, since January 2016 with the implementation of the Advance

Commercial Information (ACI) eManifest, the transmission of pre-arrival cargo data is mandatory – a definite do-not-forget for carriers as they prepare their cargo heading off to the border.

If you find that the PARS and the ACI eManifest are similar, the truth is: they are. But both are still required – you cannot submit your shipping information to your customs broker and expect them to set-up your PARS and file in your ACI eManifest and vice versa. Both important documents require particular attentions and so it’s best to verify with your customs broker ahead of time that he has the capability to prepare and submit both documents.

pre arrival review system

At the Border

Thanks to the PARS sticker that the CBSA agent will scan at your arrival, he’ll be able to quickly make the call: good to be release or not. To avoid the latter, it is recommended to have both the ACI eManifest and PARS paperwork sent in as soon as possible in order to avoid any hiccups at the border. Paperwork submitted within a respectable amount of time ahead will allow the broker to better review the information, allowing your shipment to roll on by at the border without any unnecessary hold-ups.

To find out more about the Pre-Arrival Review System, contact us today!