FAQ

What is eManifest?

eManifest is the solution to a problem that began when borders needed increased security while minimizing delays. eManifest allows carriers and shippers to electronically submit their information to the border prior to their arrival. Customs Agents are able to process this information and make inspection decisions in advance. Carriers will not have to wait at the border to have paperwork inspected and to answer questions, the Border Officer already has this information.

How do I know if I need an eManifest?

Generally all commercial shipments require an emanifest. If not sure or someone has suggested you need an emanifest and you would like a second opinion we suggest contacting the border directly. Call eManifest Service Centre and we will provide a current phone number for you. Explain your circumstances to a Customs Border Agent to get the answer you need.

What is eManifest Service Centre?

eManifest Service Centre is a third party service provider specialized in providing personalized service to companies and individuals required to comply with cross border shipping regulations via electronic manifests.

How do I get started?

Call eManifest Service Centre and explain your particular circumstances. We will explain your options and suggest a course of action.

I have been stopped at the border and I am in a hurry. How long will this take?

For carriers with an active SCAC or carrier code we typically see the process taking approximately two hours from the time we receive a phone call until we send the cover sheet. Much depends on your ability to obtain the information we need to create the eManifest. eManifest Service Centre can usually provide you with the cover sheet in less than one hour after we receive your information. Incomplete and illegible information, complicated bonded and hazardous material shipments or problems with the border responding to our submissions will cause delays.

I have been stopped at the border and I do not have a SCAC or carrier code. What do I do now?

Call eManifest Service Centre to discuss your options.

What is an SCAC?

SCAC is the acronym for Standard Carrier Alfa Code. This unique four-letter code issued to your company is used by ACE eManifest to identify carriers and shipments going into the United States. ACE eManifests cannot be created without this code.

How do I get an SCAC?

Standard Carrier Alpha Codes are issued by the National Motor Freight Traffic Association. eManifest Service Centre can provide the SCAC APPLICATION forms.

What do I do when I arrive at the border inspection booth?

Present the Electronic Manifest Cover Sheet to the Border Officer. This may be all they want to see however you should have all your customs paper work available if asked for.

What is an Electronic Manifest Cover Sheet?

This is a plain piece of paper with a Trip Number, the Driver’s Name, the Truck License Plate Number and details of your Shipment printed on it. After Customs has accepted our eManifest submission eManifest Service Centre will create and send you this document.

I am picking up and driving straight to the border. How will I get my Cover Sheet?

A common scenario is for the driver to fax the Electronic Manifest Request to eManifest Service Centre from the shipping department where they are picking up. After allowing a few minutes for the fax to be printed and read the driver will call to confirm receipt of the Electronic Manifest Request. We will verify the information and give an approximate time when the cover sheet will be sent back to the fax in the shipping department. Often the cover sheet is sent before the truck is loaded. Another option is to have the cover sheet faxed to a truck stop. Drivers with notebook computers may request to have their cover sheet emailed.

How can I prevent delays at the border?

 Customs procedures such as random inspections make it impossible to guarantee there will be no delays upon arrival at the border. There are however a few simple suggestions that will help prevent unnecessary delays.

Highway carriers need two documents to be sent to the border. Customs brokers submit documentation necessary to clear the load. Carriers receive an entry number as confirmation. An electronic manifest submits driver, truck and shipment information. Carriers receive an Electronic Manifest cover sheet with a Trip Number as confirmation. Prevent delays by verifying the entry and trip numbers before arriving at the border.

It is also important that emanifest and customs broker submissions to the border agree. A common conflict is quantity. If the shipment has 100 boxes on 10 skids what is the quantity? It could be 100 or 10. Flags are raised if the customs broker entry has a quantity of 10 and the emanifest quantity is 100. Customs wants the smallest package quantity so the correct amount would be 100. Problems begin when the commercial invoice and/or the inward cargo manifest indicate 100 boxes and 10 skids. It could be entered either way. It is best when completing customs documents to only give one quantity. In this example it would be best to put the quantity as 100 boxes. There is no advantage to mention the boxes are on 10 skids.

Consider another example: A machine has been disassembled for shipment. There are 4 main sections and 5 skids with miscellaneous parts. Although the shipment is 1 machine the preferred way to indicate the quantity is 9 pieces. In this example to prevent delays at the border it is also best to avoid indicating the quantity as 1 truckload. This does not provide the information the Border Services Officer is looking for.

Finally, to avoid delays or problems at the border, when submitting an emanifest request or completing any customs documents we recommend printing clearly. The difference between an S and a 5 can be the difference between a successful crossing or not. Taking an extra minute to print clearly may save hours at the border. Be certain your information is accurate. If the name on your passport is Robert do not submit your emanifest as Bob. If you have renewed your passport or any other information has changed ensure your profiles have been updated with eManifest Service Centre.


How do I know how many shipments I have?

A shipment may be described as a pick up at one location and a drop off at another location. There are of course exceptions to any rule:

  • A manufacturer in Canada has a weekly run shipping to multiple distributors in the United States. The customs broker consolidates these shipments into one entry. Although there are various drop offs the electronic manifest only shows one shipment with one shipment control number.
  • A carrier transports horses from a racetrack in Canada to a racetrack in the United States. Different persons or companies own the horses. The customs broker makes a separate entry for each person or company. Although there is one pick up and one drop off the electronic manifest shows multiple shipments each with its own unique shipment control number.
  • A shipment may be too large for one truck or trailer. The shipment may be broken into two separate entries or it could be one entry on two electronic manifests. For example:
    • Company A breaks the shipment into two separate shipments. The customs broker makes a separate entry for each shipment. Each truck has an electronic manifest with one shipment and a unique shipment control number.
    • Company B keeps the shipment as one. The customs broker makes one entry for the shipment. Each truck has a separate electronic manifest with one shipment having the same shipment control number. The quantity and weight entered on the electronic manifest reflects the actual amount each truck is carrying. When added together the total quantity and weight entered on each electronic manifest will equal the total amounts entered by the customs broker.


If I have multiple shipments will I need multiple emanifests?

No. Only one emanifest is permitted per truck per trip. If the carrier has more than one shipment, perhaps picking up at one location and dropping off at two or more separate locations, they will still only have one electronic manifest. The customs broker will make a separate entry for each shipment. The electronic manifest will list all the shipments each with a unique shipment control number.

What is WHTI?

WHTI is the acronym for Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative. WHTI requires travelers to present a passport or other document that denotes identity and citizenship when entering the U.S. For current travel document requirements call eManifest Service Centre or go to www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/.