ACI Requirements for Shipments

Notice has been received from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) regarding the Advanced Commercial Information (ACI) /eManifest requirements for commercial shipments. This information is relevant to those who submit ACI/eManifest.

Please find the full message below.

CBSA Message(TCC17-235) – Advanced Commercial Information (eManifest) requirements for commercial shipments – detailed cargo description

Under Advanced Commercial Information (ACI) and eManifest initiatives, carriers must provide electronic cargo and conveyance data to the CBSA in advance of arriving at the Canadian border.

The CBSA encourages shippers to assist carriers in meeting eManifest requirements.

To do this, shippers are asked to provide customs commercial invoice level information to carriers about shipments destined to arrive in Canada. This is to enable the carriers to properly report cargo information to meet the CBSA’s Advanced Commercial Information regulatory requirements. Examples of customs commercial invoice level information that shippers may provide to carriers include:

Detailed Cargo Description (requirement)
The Electronic Commerce Client Requirements Document (ECCRD) requires that a cargo description be “a plain language description of the cargo sufficient to identify it for customs purposes.” It must be a clear and concise description; the description should be in plain language and detailed enough to allow the CBSA to identify the size, shape and characteristics of the cargo. However, information not relevant to the cargo description (e.g. quantity, type of packaging, carrier disclaimers, etc.), should not be transmitted in the cargo description field.
The below link provides a guide to acceptable and unacceptable descriptions.
The provision of accurate, plain language cargo descriptions supports risk assessment and assists the CBSA in identifying low-risk shipments, thus facilitating the free flow of goods.
Any non-compliance with requirements, including the provision of the detailed cargo description, may result in delays and increased examinations of shipments to Canada. Also, clients deemed to be non-compliant may be issued monetary penalties under the Administrative Monetary Penalty System (AMPS).
For more information on eManifest requirements and client support, visit the CBSA Web site at