CBSA and CBP Guidance for Diverted Cargo at the Northern Border

blog | Feb 14, 2022

CBSA and CBP Guidance for Diverted Cargo at the Northern Border

In light of the trucker protests at the Canada-United States border, we have received a notice from the CSCB entailing the CBSA and CBP guidance for diverted cargo at the northern border.  

Border Wait Times 

  • Ambassador Bridge in Windsor, ON is open as of this morning. 
  • Coutts border in Coutts, AB is temporarily closed as of this morning. 
  • Emerson, MB is temporarily closed as of this morning.  
  • Pacific Highway, BC – The CBSA issued a notice advising the following:
    • “The Pacific Highway port of entry is experiencing service disruption. While the port of entry remains open, travelers should use an alternative processing site due to protest activity in the area. The ports of Aldergrove and Abbotsford-Huntington, BC are the closest alternative processing sites for commercial traffic.” 

Source: CBSA 

CBSA Guidance 

The CBSA has advised: 

“The client sends data (cargo and release) set-up for a FPOA port. Upon arrival or just before arrival, if the client is diverted for whatever reason to a different port, no corrections to cargo, conveyance or release are made. Instead, CBSA systems update the conveyance with the new FPOA port and documents are processed and released as per normal. No client corrections required. 

Should they know in advance that they will be diverted to another FPOA, then an update should be made by the client. This is documented in the ECCRD Chapter 4, reprinted below.”  

Cargo and Conveyance Arrival and Release Processing EDI Cargo and Conveyance Business Flow 

9. The Release Notification System (RNS) will transmit a response message to RNS participants, indicating whether each shipment has been released or referred. The RNS message will be associated to a CCN, and a transaction number where a related release request exists as follows: (a) For CSA shipments: (i) When an “authorized to deliver” decision is entered, the response message “Authorized to Deliver” is transmitted if the carrier is an RNS participant. (b) For PARS shipments at FPOA: (i) When the conveyance is authorized to move, the response message “Goods Released” will be transmitted if a “to be released” recommendation is on file and if the carrier is an RNS participant. (ii) If a “refer” or “reject” decision is on file, the conveyance will automatically be referred at the FPOA for further processing. 19 (iii) If the cargo control number has no release request associated with it in the CBSA system, the request must be updated with the new port of clearance. This can either be captured by the BSO upon arrival or transmitted as a post-arrival amendment to the cargo. (iv) If an examination of a shipment is performed, and the status of the shipment is updated to “released” after the examination, the response message “Goods Released” will be transmitted if the carrier is an RNS participant. 

US CBP Guidance 

Effective immediately, CBP ports are encouraged to consider maximum flexibility to ensure that legitimate cargo is processed. 

Ports should enhance communication with trade partners to identify alternate clearance locations within their area of responsibility. Ports should be actively communicating with customs brokers to remedy any issues caused by entry diversions. 

When cargo is diverted to alternate ports of entry, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers (CBPO) should accept the diversion in the Automated Cargo Environment (ACE). This process works in both the ACE Truck Manifest system and ACE Cargo Release for most shipments where Partner Government Agency (PGA) requirements do not apply. 

When ACE does not allow diversion based on system edits, CBPOs should review shipment entry/release information to ensure there are no open enforcement or compliance holds or issues. These shipments should be manually released as soon as possible with information (documents, cover sheets, etc.) retained to allow for entry correction measures with brokers and importers to be taken later in a post release environment.