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Are Your PARS Stickers Costing You Money? 




Did you know that your PARS stickers can cost you money?  Yes it is true!  Customs Brokers and Importers enter in the Cargo Control Number (PARS Number) based on the Human Readable Number on the PARS barcoded sticker and on occasion may enter it incorrectly.  This is not necessarily an intentional error but can easily happen when the font (i.e. number) is to too small, blurred or even potentially changed after the PARS barcoded document has been faxed or scanned before it is sent to the customs broker.  


A simple method of reducing this type of error is to review the human readable numbers of your PARS stickers to determine whether they may be altered or misunderstood after they are faxed.  If it is possible, maximize the size of the human readable format within the bar code specifications in D3-1-1 Appendix C.  We recommend using a font which will ensure the numbers are clearly legible and are not altered when they are faxed or scanned.  Typically 4's and 7's may look like 9's  and 5's can look like an 8's.


I made this change in the early 90's and improved clearance ratios by approximately 5% overnight while at the same time reducing the rejects the customs brokers were getting!  Carriers should be aware customs brokers will also get declaration rejects for duplicate Cargo Control Numbers when they submit their declarations if another broker / importer has previously submitted an incorrect PARS number.  In some instances the only way a carrier can resolve the problem is by introducing a new PARS /cargo control number especially if you want to keep the truck / shipment moving.   


Please note: It may be possible to tell when a incorrect PARS number has been submitted. Carriers will receive a "Document Not on File" message from CBSA every time a customs broker / importer successfully submits a declaration that is not matched with a carrier's cargo control number.  Carriers can monitor and use this message to spot customs declarations where the cargo control number may have been entered incorrectly.