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How Many PARS / PAPS Stickers Should I Print?




In today’s time sensitive cross-border environment there is an increasing requirement for supply chain visibility.  When a shipper acts as an importer, they are responsible to ensure the goods are properly declared.  Consignees and /or importers and shippers (acting as importers) need to know the customs, FDA or CFIA shipment status of their goods.  Shippers, importers and/ or consignees may be looking for a quick and easy method of determining a shipment’s status.  One way U.S. – Canada highway carriers can easily assist their supply chain partners is by providing a common readily available data variable that a shipper, importer / customs broker or consignee could refer to.  That data variable could be the cargo control (CCN) or shipment control (SCN) number which most carriers affix onto the international documentation sent to the customs broker to declare the shipment to CBSA or CBP.  Parties needing to know a shipment’s customs status could easily use this number to query a customs broker’s website to determine a shipment’s status. 


Today many carriers only print and affix a single PARS or PAPS number onto the pro forma, commercial, or Canada Customs Invoice.   Even though this process is common, I am a proponent of improving supply chain visibility by creating PAPS or PARS sticker booklets with each page of the booklet having multiple stickers with the same number.  Then drivers can affix the same PARS or PAPS sticker onto multiple documents automatically increasing supply chain visibility for the shipper, importer, customs broker, consignee and carrier. In many cases this eliminates the need to make photocopies or write the PARS or PAPS number onto documents by hand. The remaining question is how many stickers should each page of the booklet include.  I would recommend at least four stickers per page yet if additional stickers are available the stickers may be affixed to additional documents or forms.  


Some of documents the PARS or PAPS sticker could be be affixed to include:

Carrier’s bill of lading

Pro forma, Canada Customs or Commercial Invoice

Shipper’s bill of lading

Consignee’s bill of lading


Additional PAPS & PARS stickers could be affixed to:

ACI Lead Sheet (if the carrier elects to use this ACI option (i.e. hand write the conveyance reference number and affix a PARS number onto the bottom of the lead sheet))

A second copy of the CCI or an additional copy of the Canadian destined bill of lading.

Fax Lead Sheet

LTL consist sheets 

CBSA Multiple Shipment Release Query form (i.e. Contingency Plan document)


Note:  Carriers obligations are to declare all the goods onboard their conveyance and their primary document should be the bill of lading.  Carriers who affix their PAPS / PARS stickers on the bill of lading and forward the bill of lading along with the supporting customs documents to the customs broker will provide the customs broker with additional information they may be able to use to look for potential discrepancies and prepare their customs declaration.

Note: The CBSA Border Service Officer will only stamp a PARS bar coded document as a proof of release for PARS shipment.

Note: CBSA's Contingency Plan requires highway carriers to present two copies of a cargo control document (e.g. PARS sticker).

Note: In some instances, carriers may also encounter multiple importations associated with a single bill of lading.  In these instances, carriers will be required to affix separate PARS or PAPS stickers for each importation and will need to work with the customs broker(s) to ensure each shipment is properly declared.  Carriers must also ensure each PAPS / PARS declaration is included within their eManifest declaration and should review their declaration to ensure the totals between the bill of lading and all the declarations balance. If the totals between the bill of lading and the declarations do not balance carriers should investigate and resolve any discrepancies to ensure they meet their customs reporting requirements.