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7/19/2013
Agencies assist U.S. carriers in preparing for future crossings into Canada
By David Tanner, Land Line associate editor

Later this fall, all U.S. carriers that cross the border into Canada will be required to send vehicle and cargo information to the authorities ahead of time or risk being held up or turned away. The Canada Border Services Agency offers online courses, called webinars, to help small carriers and owner-operators navigate the changing world of documentation known as eManifest.

The U.S. Embassy in Canada is assisting the Canada Border Services Agency in promoting a live webinar taking place Wednesday, July 24. The webinar is designed to help U.S. highway carriers become familiar with eManifest – focusing on the documentation that truckers will need to possess and transmit to border authorities once the full program goes live in September or October.

“We just want everyone to be aware of it because they could be turned away if they’re bringing something across the border, says Tracey Ford, commercial specialist with U.S. Commercial Service, part of the Department of Commerce.

The live webinar takes place at 1 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, on Wednesday, July 24. To register, visit http://export.gov/canada/forms/emanifest/index.asp. The agency will send out a live link to participants just prior to the event.

The consequences of not transmitting information through eManifest prior to arriving at the border could mean the difference between delivering and not delivering, Ford says.

“They can either be held at the border for a significant period time or be turned away. And if it’s perishable goods, hours matter,” she said. “That’s why we decided to step in and help, because we don’t want to see our U.S. highway carriers find those types of difficulties when they get to the border.”

Truckers may not have the option of participating in a live midday event during the week. But the Canada Border Services Agency has lots of information online including some archived webinars to help highway carriers understand eManifest.

Follow this link to eManifest presentations, including a form to request a copy of past presentations: http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/prog/manif/presentation-eng.html.

“We’ve been delivering it live for a couple of years, but this gives trade an opportunity to view it at their leisure instead of tuning in at a certain time,” said Kristoffer Rodney, an eManifest stakeholder consultant for the Canada Border Services Agency.

According to the agency, eManifest will help modernize and improve cross-border commercial processes. The agency’s mandate to phase-in the program stems from a 2009 law. Canadian carriers are already using eManifest to cross the border into the U.S.

In March, the Canada Border Services Agency delayed the date for hard enforcement of eManifest until the fall, but an exact date has not been set. The agency will provide 45 days notice before hard enforcement takes effect.

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