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Canada Border Services Agency's Commercial Transportation Agenda 2020



 I had the opportunity to view a CBSA presentation given to the Canadian Society of Customs Brokers on January 31st, 2017.    The presentation was given to provide members with a vision of where the Canada Border Services Agency may be heading considering their constraints and their mandate to protect the health, safety and security of Canadians. 


To meet their mandate, CBSA will continue to “push the border out” by requesting supply chain participants provide additional, timely and relevant information prior to the cargo either being loaded for or arriving in Canada.  Some of these goals have already being met through the Automated Commercial Information initiatives within the air, marine and truck modes.  The full implementation of the Freight Forwarders ACI deconsolidation requirement is the next step.  This program is scheduled to be completed in July 2017 followed by programs like the upcoming Single Window Initiative, the ACI Multimodal Cargo Manifest, Advanced Trade Data (for importers) and Warehouse Modernization.


Meeting these goals doesn’t necessarily mean they must be done on a transactional or shipment per shipment basis.  Consideration is being given to expand the trusted trader programs and develop client entity management and commodity identification systems.  CBSA is already moving forward with this type of identification and facilitation through the Single Window Initiative where other Government Department information will be maintained on a shared government computer systems most probably based on a client’s BN number allowing CBSA to make more timely release, examination and targeting decisions.


CBSA will also move to perform all health, safety and security examinations at the first port of arrival (FPOA).  Other Government Department’s examinations could be performed at the same time or alternative arrangements may be considered for lower risk examinations.  Since CBSA intends to examine the goods at the FPOA elimination of the inland in-bond movements and inland sufferance warehouse programs is being considered.


Protection of government’s revenue and establishing the amount of revenue due to the government was also a theme.  CBSA is already working on this goal through the CBSA Assessment and Revenue Management (CARM) initiative.


Simplification of the commercial process and client facilitation are additional themes as well.  To facilitate small to medium enterprises (SME) CBSA is considering the development of a government portal.  A SME will be able to use the government portal to declare, release, account for and adjust their customs declarations.   CBSA has already introduced this type of initiative with ACI eManifest Portal available to Highway Carriers and Freight Forwarders.


Identification of all those involved in the supply chain was also identified as an issue.  To address this CBSA is working with their federal, provincial and municipal partners to determine whether they can create a single business number that could be used to identify all participants within a supply chain (including the carriers, freight forwarders etc.).  CBSA would also require every participant to have a portal account where they could use the portal to communicate with the supply chain partners.


Another CBSA area of interest was the goal of capturing different versions of the customs declaration. CBSA would capture each declaration commencing with the initial declaration through accounting including any adjustments.   CBSA could then use analytical tools to look for anomalies to improve their targeting and enforcement.


In conclusion, the CBSA Commercial Transformation Agenda is a huge task that is not been set into stone.  There is plenty of cooperative work ahead to determine the best path forward.  Considering the ever-changing mandates, political environments, e-commerce and technological advances international supply chain participants can expect many changes over the next five to ten years.