ACI eManifest Software User Guide (CBSA)

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Disambig1.pngThis article is part of the BorderConnect ACI eManifest Software Guide.


ACI (Advance Commercial Information) is CBSA's eManifest program. It is intended to provide Customs officers with electronic pre-arrival information.[1] For highway carriers, it involves filing an electronic manifest at least one hour before the driver arrives at the border. ACI eManifest entered a period of informed compliance on November 1, 2012, in which highway carriers were being encouraged to participate in the program. CBSA also announced at that time, that they will provide at least 45 days advance notice when it is confirmed.[2]

On May 6, 2015 Canada Border Services Agency announced a mandatory transition timeline for highway carriers to comply with ACI eManifest. On July 10, 2015 carriers who do not comply with eManifest requirements may be issued zero-rated penalties (non-monetary) under the CBSA’s Administrative Monetary Penalty System (AMPS). And beginning January 10, 2016 carriers who do not comply with eManifest requirements may be issued monetary AMPS penalties.[3]

BorderConnect ACI eManifest software offers an extremely user-friendly web-based solution to comply with eManifest requirements, complete with 24/7 technical support.

ACI eManifest Requirements

One Hour Prior Notice

  • Under ACI eManifest regulations highway carriers must ensure that the complete ACI eManifest, including the trip and shipments are on file with CBSA for at least one hour prior to the driver's arrival at the border. Failure to do so could result in refused entry into Canada and/or an AMPS penalty.

ACI Lead Sheet

  • When arriving at the border in Canada, the driver must present an ACI lead sheet to the customs officer. The lead sheet allows the officer to bring up the ACI eManifest in their system.
  • The lead sheet must have either:
    1. A barcoded Conveyance Reference Number (aka Trip Number), or
    2. A barcoded Cargo Control Number and a handwritten Conveyance Reference Number, or
    3. A handwritten Conveyance Reference Number on the lead sheet presented with a separate page with a barcoded Cargo Control Number (e.g. invoice with a PARS sticker)
  • The officer will stamp the lead sheet only as proof of report, they will no longer stamp individual shipments. The carrier has a responsibility to keep the stamped lead sheet as proof of report.
  • ACI lead sheets can be generated from within BorderConnect, either from the manifest or as a set ahead of time. The carrier can also design and produce their own lead sheets, provided that they meet the barcode requirements listed above.

As always, if you have any questions please contact us for further assistance and support.

Getting Started

If you have not already done so, the first step is to register for ACI with CBSA. Even if you are already set up for ACI with CBSA's eManifest Portal or another software provider, you will need a separate registration in order to use ACI through BorderConnect. You can generate the registration forms at any time when logged into BorderConnect account under Account and Company. You can also call a BorderConnect representative at any time to have the forms emailed or faxed over to you.

The next step is create profiles for any drivers, trucks and trailers that may be crossing the border. Please note that if you are also a user of BorderConnect's ACE eManifest software you should not need to enter any additional data as the profiles are shared between the ACE and ACI software. Otherwise, it is recommended that you enter the profile information ahead of time to facilitate creating eManifests. Please refer to the individual sections for instructions on entering and maintaining:

Once you are registered to use ACI with BorderConnect and you have created the driver, truck and trailer profiles, you are ready to begin creating and submitting eManifests to Customs!

ACI eManifest Instructions

Please refer to the individual sections for complete instructions on the following:

ACI eManifest Tutorials

How to create an ACI eManifest in BorderConnect.
How to create an empty ACI in BorderConnect.
How to create an ACI In-Bond in BorderConnect.
How to change and correct an ACI in BorderConnect.
How to create an A49 Automotive Release in BorderConnect.
How to create a CSA shipment in BorderConnect.
How to create IIT shipments and Cargo Exemptions for ACI in BorderConnect.
How to create an Orders In Council shipment in ACI using BorderConnect.
How to create a referenced shipment in ACI using BorderConnect.