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CTA: Fairness and Use of Volumetrics Key in AMPS Penalty System

The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) is calling for greater fairness and the use of “volumetrics” in the AMPs (Administrative Monetary Penalties) system used for Advanced Commercial Information (ACI) compliance.

Following an extended period of penalty mitigation, and the issuing of zero-rated AMPS to allow carriers to adjust to these new processes, CBSA stated an intent to return to a graduated AMPS penalty system as of Nov.1, 2016.

The resulting fines that were issued caused major concerns for carriers, who contacted CTA to say the system was too punitive. Many carriers feel the agency is expecting, unreasonably, 100-percent compliance, which simply isn’t possible due to the sheer volume of entries and probability of minor human administrative errors. Furthermore, the penalty amounts are out of line with many types of offences.

“The AMPs penalty regime needs to recognize the difference between a clerical error and what truly is a national security risk,” says Stephen Laskowski, Senior Vice President, CTA. “The industry has already demonstrated a high level of compliance, and CTA feels it is necessary for CBSA to take steps to address the effectiveness of a penalty system using volumetrics, which creates fairness for all sizes of carriers and continues to measure risk for the Government of Canada.”

In the meantime, CTA has been appreciative of CBSA’s willingness to work with the carrier community to help them transition and correct ACI errors as well as their efforts to mitigate some of the issues with the current system.

“CTA has long argued that an AMPS penalty system should be corrective, rather than punitive, in nature and should encourage carriers to work with CBSA to develop compliance plans that work for all parties involved. To the credit of CBSA officials, the agency has indicated a willingness to continue working with carriers through additional outreach to address ongoing issues with non-compliance and by introducing temporary, AMPS mitigation policies until the end of December 2016,” added Laskowski.

Examples of temporary AMPs mitigation policies are:

  • Only conveyance penalties to be issued until December 31, 2016 – CBSA will only issue a penalty for non-report of conveyance and not also for non-report of related shipments until the end of December. For repeated non-compliance, this means you will receive a penalty at $4,000 for that conveyance only and not $8,000 if you have one non-reported shipment. Without this mitigation, less than load (LTL) carriers could receive a penalty for non-report of conveyance as well as a penalty for each non-reported shipment. For example, 10 shipments plus conveyance, would have resulted in a penalty of $44,000 (level 2) or $88,000 (level 3 post December 1.)
  • Bundling of penalties – CBSA will bundle each carrier’s non-compliance per week and issue only one penalty for conveyance only. As an example, large volume carriers who currently are non-compliant six times per week would only get one penalty at $4000 (level 2) and $8000 (level 3 post December 1); instead of $24,000 and $42,000 respectively.

“We remain hopeful that a volumetric solution, along with a review of fine levels based on these volumetrics, can be developed over 2017 leading to a clearer and fairer system of AMPs enforcement,” added Laskowski.

CTA members who want to learn more about this issue should contact the CTA staff. Leading the charge on these matter are VP operations & safety Geoffrey Wood and policy assistant Lak Shoan. They can be reached at customs@

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