A: The documentation required is dependent upon 1) the country of origin for the goods, 2) the total value of the shipment and 3) whether the freight is going from the U.S. to Canada or from Canada to the U.S. The following chart indicates which documents are appropriate.
|Bill of Lading (BOL)||Contract between shipper and carrier; include PRO and barcode (if possible) and customs broker's contact information|
|Canada Customs Invoice (CCI)||
(required for Can$2,500 or more)
(if less than Can$2,500)
|The bill of sale featuring all relevant shipping information|
|Certificate of Origin (CTO) or NAFTA CTO||Used by customs broker to determine duty rates; NAFTA version used if claiming NAFTA status|
|Rapid Clear Form||Replaces CCI and BOL for occasional, simpler northbound shipments|
Direct documentation requirement questions to the importer's customs broker.
A: Yes, a customs broker is required in virtually every case, but it's usually the importer who chooses the broker. The importer can either be the consignee or a non-resident importer. If the importer does not have a broker for southbound freight, Estes has in-house U.S. Customs broker capabilities through Estes Forwarding Worldwide. You can reach them at 1-866-ESTES4U (378-3748) and press 45.
A: The best way to schedule a shipment to or from Canada is to call your local terminal and request a pickup. You can also call 1-866-ESTES4U (378-3748), press 43, and choose the pickup option.
A: The Canada Customs Invoice contains a description of the goods, the cost of each item and a total value as well as the country of origin. The Certificate of Origin can be a separate document, or the information can be included in the customs invoice. A totally complete Canada Customs Invoice is one of the best ways to achieve PARS clearance. It can be used for northbound shipments of any value, but it is required for shipments of Can$2,500 or more.
A: The Pre-Arrival Review System (PARS) is used to process customs paperwork for each individual shipment before northbound freight reaches the U.S./Canada border. This helps the freight to cross into Canada much more quickly.
A: Submitting complete and accurate documents to the correct customs broker on a timely basis is critical in order for PARS to work. To submit your documents, scan them into one email attachment as a PDF or a TIF and email them to email@example.com and provide a copy for the Estes driver at the time of pickup. (See the FAQ section on Emailing Documentation below.)
A: In the rare instance when freight doesn't clear PARS en route to Canada, it goes to a licensed sufferance warehouse in our network for temporary storage until the freight is released by Canada Customs. Canada sufferance bond fees will apply, which the importer in Canada or the non-resident importer in the U.S. must pay.
A: The best way to help ensure that your freight clears the Canada border in a timely manner is to email a PDF or TIF of your customs documentation to us as early as possible and no later than the day of pickup. (For next-day Canada shipments, you must email your documentation no later than 2:00 p.m. the day of pickup.) An auto email box at firstname.lastname@example.org is set up to automatically convert your documentation and transmit it to our PARS center as quickly as possible. Make sure that the first page of the document is the BOL with the PRO number (and barcode if possible) on it. Only one PRO per email is allowed.
A: The Rapid Clear Form is a time-saving document that can simplify the paperwork needed to send occasional shipments northbound into Canada. Be sure to read the Rapid Clear instructions in our Forms Library carefully to determine if you'll need additional documentation for your shipment. If you're claiming NAFTA status, you'll still need to provide a NAFTA Certificate of Origin unless your customs broker already has a current version on file.
A: The Rapid Clear Form is most appropriate for occasional northbound shippers with less-complicated characteristics (e.g., freight origin is clear, there aren't a lot of different kinds of commodities, etc.). It takes the place of the Canada Customs Invoice and the straight Bill of Lading. A NAFTA Certificate of Origin may still be required when claiming NAFTA status.
A: To obtain Estes PRO stickers, contact the local terminal personnel, or your Estes account manager will be glad to help you. Note that for fastest border-crossing service, the PRO number (and barcode if possible) should be on the first page of the scanned BOL when you email your northbound documentation to email@example.com.
A: Advance Commercial Information (ACI) is a project of the Canada Border Services Agency. ACI requires that all commercial cargo entering Canada be electronically registered with the Agency prior to arrival at the border. The project's aim is to improve Canada border security and efficiency.
A: Simply email your northbound customs documentation—one PRO per email—in a single file (as a PDF or TIF) to firstname.lastname@example.org, and provide a copy for the Estes driver at the time of pickup. We take it from there.
A: Email your documents to email@example.com as soon as you have them ready. However, they should be sent no later than the time of pickup and no later than 2:00 p.m. the day of the pickup for next-day freight. The following simple steps will help ensure that your shipment is processed in a timely manner:
A: The first page of the document you attach to the email needs to be the Bill of Lading with
the PRO number (and barcode if possible) on it. The order of any additional documentation is
not as important.
A: Please only include one PRO in each email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A: The email@example.com inbox is specially designed for the sole purpose of accepting customs documentation (in a single PDF or a TIF) and downloading it to the system. Any messages in the body of the email will not be read. To send a message to the Canada team, use Canada@estes-express.com, which is actively managed by our corporate team of Canada specialists.
A: ACE is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) program that gives CBP and other participating government agencies the ability to access data throughout the international supply chain to anticipate, identify, track and intercept high-risk shipments at borders and ports. With ACE, carriers are able to file electronic manifests in advance of freight arrival at the customs check point for faster entry into the commerce of the U.S.
A: The Pre-Arrival Processing System (PAPS) is the United States equivalent of PARS. PAPS allows customs paperwork for individual shipments to be processed before southbound freight reaches the Canada/U.S. border. This facilitates the freight's entry into the U.S.
A: In the rare instance when freight doesn't clear PAPS en route to the United States, it goes to a licensed in-bond facility in the Estes network for temporary storage until it is released by U.S. Customs. U.S. in-bond fees will apply, which the importer typically pays.