CCLA welcomes border investment but wants additional issues addressed

by Canadian Shipper

TORONTO, Ont. — The Canadian Courier & Logistics Association (CCLA) is welcoming Ottawa’s announced investment of $396M over five years to reinforce smart, secure borders under the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP) as an important step forward.

“We recognize that the border represents a two sided coin of balancing security and health threats while expediting trade. It’s a difficult but not impossible task. Identifying and separating high-risk from low-risk shipments is important for balancing security with trade,” the CCLA stated in a release.

The investment is to be made in a program called eManifest which will allow carriers, importers, brokers, and freight forwarders to send to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) advance data related to commercial shipments, allowing detection of high risk shipments prior to arrival through use of automated risk assessment tools.

CCLA says the undertaking will streamline cross-border trade, lead to greater harmony between the two countries’ processes and bring increased predictability to trade. But it adds that other important border barriers issues need to be addressed:

Firstly eManifest paperless electronic processing should be broadened to apply to all goods shipped across the border, CCLA states. Controlled goods such as foodstuffs and pharmaceuticals which are subject to requirements of other government departments should be automated as well, it adds. The eManifest environment of electronic processing would revert to paper processing when other departments are involved, as we need streamlined procedures for these goods as well.

“Secondly an inland transit/bonding process for shipments from the border inland must also be part of this process,” CCLA states, explaining not all goods will clear at the border for various reasons. “This coupled with the existing significant investment by business of inland processing facilities means that goods that apply for inland clearance must be allowed to continue inland under the eManifest regime.”

Thirdly CCLA wants carriers to be able to report exceptions such as overages or shortages without suffering penalties under the “Administrative Monetary Penalty System” (AMPS).

“Exceptions are a transportation operational reality; carriers should not be subject to fines under AMPS for correctly reporting what enters the commerce of the country,” it states.

Finally it is asking for changes to the “Low Value Shipment Processing” (LVS) program. LVS is a CBSA program that expedites release of authorized low value shipments. Currently goods with a value of $1600.Cdn. or less are expedited using LVS procedures. The threshold needs to be increased to at least the equivalent value in the U.S. ($2000.00 USD), CCLA states.

“Adopting a harmonious level for LVS in Canada with the U.S. would be consistent with commitments made by Canada under the Security & Prosperity Partnership (SPP) to harmonize border procedures with the US and Mexico in the interests of promoting economic growth, competitiveness and quality of life,” according to CCLA.

The Canadian Courier & Logistics Association (CCLA) represents couriers and time-sensitive logistics service providers operating in Canada. CCLA member companies have combined annual revenues of over $3.4 billion. These companies operate close to 12,000 vehicles, numerous aircraft and maintain over 470 operational centres across Canada.

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