The focus of governments on facilitating trade has now been overshadowed by the idea of “securing” the trade chain. Regulatory bodies are now focusing on being proactive instead of reactive when it comes to goods arriving at the border. Many countries have implemented strict timeframes as to when security filings must be submitted, often before the goods are even in transit from the originating country.  Canada is no different with its Advance Commercial Information (ACI) program.

The ACI program allows the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to complete the assessment of commodities and parties entering Canada using the Enhanced Automated Risk System.  This allows the CBSA to assess if the importation is a security risk before it arrives on Canadian soil.

The ACI Highway (eManifest) mandate is currently being launched by the CBSA which increases the responsibility on the Carrier to provide trade data before goods arrive at the border.   Following the implementation period there will be six months of informed compliance where penalties will be waived.  After this grace period expires the CBSA will assess Administrative Monetary Penalty System (AMPS) if the goods arrive at the border without a prior ACI security filing.

Once ACI is fully implemented the CBSA will focus on the importer filing requirements called “Advanced Trade Data” (ATD).  This is Canada’s equivalent to the U.S. Importer Security Filing (10+2) program.

As an importer – here are questions that you need to ask about the upcoming ACI mandate:

  • How will these changes affect the way I do business?
  • Is Senior Management aware of these changes?
  • Who will champion these changes?
  • Am I technologically ready for these changes?
  • Can I even send ATD data? Is this data electronically accessible at this early point in the supply chain?
  • How much money will it cost?

To find out more information on the upcoming ACI program and solutions to help you comply to these changing requirements, visit:

Written by Glenn Palanacki

Former Product Manager, North American Customs at Descartes.