Skip to content.

The CBSA Sunsets the Interim Turnaround Policy For Highway Carriers

The Interim Turnaround Policy (“Turnaround Policy”) implemented by the Canada Border Services Agency (“CBSA”) under Customs Notice 17-19 expired as of midnight on November 2, 2020. The customs notice, entitled “Interim Measures and Issuance of penalties to highway carriers for non-compliance of Advanced Commercial Information (ACI) [“ACI”] requirements”, allowed for highway drivers who did not meet ACI/eManifest regulatory requirements to turn around and return to the United States to properly report cargo information, avoiding Administrative Monetary Penalties (“AMPs”).

Cargo and Conveyance Data Submission Requirements

Highway carriers have been required to transmit cargo and conveyance data electronically to the CBSA a minimum of one hour prior to arrival at the Canadian border since January 2016. The CBSA implemented the Turnaround Policy as an interim solution back in June 2017, providing itself with the time to review and enhance its compliance monitoring and enforcement activities related to ACI and electronic manifests (eManifests). This interim solution also afforded the cross-border highway carrier industry the opportunity to develop and implement their own internal policies and procedures to ensure satisfaction of the ACI/eManifest obligations.

Carriers who arrive at a Canadian port of entry are required to have transmitted ACI cargo and conveyance reports prior to arrival at the Canadian border. Pursuant to the Policy, carriers who failed to meet these pre-transmission obligations were permitted to either return to the United States to await correction of ACI data, or park and wait for correction at the port of entry. In both cases, following the expiration of the Policy, AMPs may now be imposed on highway carriers arriving in Canada without being fully compliant with ACI/eManifest pre-arrival cargo and conveyance data.

Potential Penalties

All ACI-related penalties are issued by the CBSA’s centralized Carrier, Postal and Courier Compliance team. Penalties are assessed based on the type, severity and frequency of the contravention. The following AMPs may be levied against highway carriers who arrive in Canada and are not in compliance with ACI/eManifest data submission requirements:



1st Penalty

2nd Penalty

3rd and Subsequent Penalty


Person failed to submit the prescribed pre-load/pre-arrival information relating to their cargo and/or conveyance.





Person failed to submit advance information in the prescribed time or prescribed manner to the Agency.





Person failed to comply with a notification issued by the CBSA regarding the goods on board or expected to be on board the conveyance.





Person failed to notify the CBSA within prescribed timeframes and without delay of any correction to any pre-arrival or pre-load information sent to the CBSA.





Person submitted information prescribed by the Reporting of Imported Goods Regulations that was not true, accurate and complete.




What Carriers can do to avoid AMPs

Carriers remain responsible for ensuring all ACI provided to the CBSA is timely, true, accurate, and complete. Highway carriers should work closely with their trade-chain partners to ensure they are provided with a clear and concise description of their cargo for CBSA reporting purposes. In the wake of the expiry of the Policy, carriers should review their internal procedures and systems to ensure they facilitate compliance with pre-arrival ACI/eManifest reporting requirements.

McCarthy Tétrault's Transportation and Logistics group regularly advises shippers and highway carriers in respect of customs issues. For more information, please contact David F. Blair or Brian Lipson.



Stay Connected

Get the latest posts from this blog

Please enter a valid email address