Canada: New carrier code regime takes effect 15th July 2013

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has announced that carriers calling at Canadian ports will require a new carrier code to participate in its electronic system for advising cargo information on incoming voyages before arrival. 


This system, known as the Advanced Commercial Information program (ACI), is mandatory for all commercial carriers transporting goods into Canada.  The carrier code is a unique four digit code that enables the CBSA to identify an individual carrier.  The CBSA has a wide definition of carrier, ““the entity operating a conveyance transporting specified goods to Canada”.  It details that definition to include owners, charterers, lessees, mortgagors and other financial interests.

The existing carrier codes used by carriers will expire on the 15th July this year, and all carriers will require a new code to identify them to the CBSA.  The implementation of these new codes is part of the forthcoming “eManifest”facility which will ultimately apply to all carriers, freight forwarders and importers in all modes of transport.

Obtaining a carrier code

Members are strongly recommended to obtain a new carrier code to permit them to use the ACI system after the 15th July 2013.  An application form can be downloaded from the Club website, or from the CBSA website.

The form is published in a dual language format ( English and French).  Members who have any difficulties completing the form should contact either Kevin King at our office in New Jersey, or the Club’s correspondent in Montreal, Canada (Borden Ladner Gervais LLP)

Transition period

The CBSA has advised that it will permit the use of old carrier codes between the initial deadline of 15th July and 30th September 2013 in exceptional circumstances which prevent an agent or carrier obtaining a new code prior to entering Canada.  However, after 30th September 2013 no exceptions will be made.

Key documents

New carrier code application form

CBSA Memorandum D3-1-1 - Policy Respecting the Importation and Transportation of Goods

Link to CBSA website – FAQs on marine section of Advance Commercial Information (ACI) program


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