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Canada eManifest Update for Freight Forwarders

Last updated on April 6th, 2021

An important change written into CBSA Notice 20-28 went into effect as of January 4, 2021. Starting on this date only electronic house bills may be used for consolidated shipments, if not specifically exempted. This requirement directly impacts Freight Forwarders arranging shipments into Canadian ports. Freight forwarders are liable for the transmission of house bill data for all consolidated import, in-bond and in-transit shipments.

Summary of CBSA eManifest Requirement

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) requires Advance Commercial Information prior to entry into Canada. This is similar to the U.S. CBP’s Automated Manifest System (AMS) requirements. The data is received and validated by the CBSA prior to arrival within prescribed, mode-specific time frames:

CBSA Notice 20-28 outlines the updated requirement for electronic filing of manifest data. January 4, 2021 is the required implementation date for electronic transmission of Advance Commercial Information (ACI) data. A six month period of informed compliance and zero-rated penalties began as of this date. The informed compliance period will then cease on July 4, 2021, and full monetary penalties will be issued going forward.

Bonded Carrier Requirements for Non-Canadian Freight Forwarders & NVOCCs

Freight forwarders must be bonded in order to move or transport goods that have been reported but not released within Canada. Foreign based freight forwarders and NVOCCs are required to apply for a Canadian carrier code as explained in CBSA Notice 16-29  [1]. For bonded carriers including freight forwarders and NVOCCs, the CBSA requires a $25,000 Canadian carrier bond. There is an option for non-bonded status, but it is limited to only filing the eManifest ACI data. The chart below provides a comparison between a bonded freight forwarder vs non-bonded freight forwarder:

Bonded Freight Forwarder vs Non-Bonded Freight Forwarder


ActivityBonded StatusNon-Bonded StatusNote
Access to eManifest (mandatory)
Ability to Transmit Consolidated House Bills
Shipment does not have to be released at First Point of Arrival (FPOA)Non-bonded requires release at FPOA
Movement of Cargo Inland for Clearance
Movement of Cargo between Sufferance Warehouses
Movement of Cargo In-Transit through Canada to another point outside of Canada
Ability to apply to a Trusted Trader Program
One time CBSA application for full service (save time & no shipment delays)Non-bonded must re-file new CBSA application

How to Apply for Bonded Status with CBSA

Either a  BSF722 or BSF329-9 form must be submitted along with an executed CBSA bond.

  • The BSF722 form is “Changing Bonded Status for Existing CBSA Carriers”:  Use this form to update status from non-bonded to bonded.
  • The BSF329-9 form is the “Application to Transact Freight Forwarder Operations with the Canada Border Services Agency”: Use this form to obtain new authority.

Roanoke’s Bond Program

We have teamed up with our Canadian surety partner, Guarantee Company of North America, to provide the required bond for non-Canadian freight forwarders and NVOCCs. Roanoke has authority to execute and file these bonds.

CBSA requires an original paper bond signed by the principal and the surety which must be filed with either of the forms referenced above. We file the required documents with CBSA for our clients

If you are a freight forwarder or NVOCC and planning to apply for bonded status to file a CBSA eManifest, we can assist you with the bond requirement.  All we need is an application to get started with the process.

Contact your Roanoke bond service team for assistance with your Canadian carrier bond or reach out to us with general questions at and 1.800.ROANOKE ext. 1066.