The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) recently heard from members about increasing outreach conducted by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) about potential non-compliance with customs regulations. The agency has reaffirmed to CTA they continue to follow an education-first approach and remain committed to outreach with carriers to promote awareness and improved compliance levels, prior to issuing significant monetary penalties to fleets.
In discussions with CTA, CBSA reiterated they regularly interact with trucking companies to better understand the origin of their issues or other scenarios that lead to non-compliance, including why compliance problems continue to rise in certain areas. The agency also indicated that issuing administrative monetary penalties (AMPS) can become an option after repeated instances of non-compliance, or if a lack of commitment or plan to address these concerns is being exhibited, amongst other considerations.
The agency also recently added additional staff to monitor compliance trends across all modes of transport. This will allow the CBSA to identify and review additional areas of concern more meticulously. CTA is strongly encouraging carriers to review their internal processes, and ensure they are meeting all requirements related to Advanced Commercial Information (ACI) submission, and other compliance areas.
Carriers should also closely review data elements that fall under the Electronic Commercial Client Requirements Document (ECCRD). For example, the ECCRD indicates that seal numbers must be transmitted through ACI on all shipments by Trusted Trader members. This policy has remained a non-conditional data element for Trusted Traders since the inception of the Partners in Protection (PIP) program. Additionally, carriers that are non-PIP members must also transmit seal numbers when a seal is present on either the cargo or conveyance.
CTA also continues to remind the CBSA about varying factors that continue to impact the trucking sector from a regulatory and business perspective, like labour shortages, staff turnover, technology challenges and other operational constraints that fleets must continue to manage in a highly regulated environment.
Furthermore, the pace and complexity of trucking operations can occasionally lead to unintended mistakes or clerical errors, which in some instances can potentially lead to significant monetary penalties. CTA members believe the issuing of large monetary penalties are punitive and difficult to justify considering the exceedingly high compliance rates the industry consistently exhibits.
CTA will be working with CBSA and other trade chain partners on potential volumetrics-based compliance system, which not only positively recognizes investments made by trusted traders, but also reflects a carrier’s exposure to ACI processes by implementing fair and realistic compliance thresholds for both industry and government.
The Alliance will continue to work collaboratively with the CBSA to ensure that carriers are meeting compliance requirements to the greatest extent possible, while also ensuring that outreach, education, and greater awareness with CBSA policies remains the first point of engagement for the carrier community.
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To obtain a copy of the ECCRD or to learn more about carrier compliance issues, please contact CBSA’s Technical Commercial Client Unit at: firstname.lastname@example.org