Cargo Control Number (Canadian Shipments)

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Disambig1.pngThis article is part of the Customs Compliance Guide.


A PARS number is a common use of a cargo control number

A Cargo Control Number, often abreviated as CCN, is a unique number assigned to a shipment of goods entering Canada. It serves as a means of telling shipments apart for CBSA, while simultaneously identifying the carrier transporting the goods. Cargo control numbers are mandatory for almost every type of shipment being transported to Canada by highway carrier.

A cargo control number consists of a CBSA-approved Carrier Code, followed by a unique reference number assigned by the carrier. The unique reference must be between 4 and 21 characters, which can be either numbers or letters. The most common use of cargo control numbers by a highway carrier is in their use of the PARS process, in which the cargo control numbers are usually referred to simply as PARS numbers.

Once used, a cargo control number must not be reused for a period of at least 3 years. It is often best practice though to ensure that they are never reused, as reuse makes record keeping more difficult.