OTTAWA, ON--Canada Border Services Agency has advised marine carriers and marine agents it is extending the transition period for marine mode carrier codes. Marine agent carrier codes were set to expire on September 30, 2013. To ensure carriers have sufficient time to obtain a customs bond (if required) and to apply for their carrier code, the CBSA has extended the transition period until January 30, 2014.
As announced in Customs Notice 13-014, Marine Mode Carrier Codes, marine agents are not eligible to receive or hold a carrier code. All marine carriers, regardless of how often they cross the Canadian border with commercial goods, require their own carrier code in order to transact business with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), said the notice.
During the extension period, the CBSA "will continue to work with marine agents and carriers to ensure carriers are fully prepared and compliant prior to the removal of marine agent codes."
The CBSA encourages current marine carrier code holders who received a letter (titled: CBSA Carrier Codes Required For All Carriers) from the CBSA requesting confirmation of their role in the trade chain to respond immediately to ensure that their carrier codes are not affected if they are carriers. A non-response will result in the cancellation of the carrier code, said the agency.
The CBSA also strongly recommends that marine carriers apply for a bonded carrier code. A bond is required anytime unreleased goods, including freight remaining on board, move beyond the first port of arrival (FPOA) to a subsequent Canadian port under the care and control of the same carrier (no liability transfer). In the future, the CBSA "will examine bond policies in consultation with external stakeholders," it said.
In the marine mode, the FPOA is defined as the first Canadian port that a vessel stops for any reason – including but not limited to the loading and or discharging of cargo, anchoring, bunkering, safety inspections, crew changes, diversions, etc. – and transmits their Conveyance Arrival Certification Message to fulfill their obligation to report.
The following scenarios provide further clarification regarding when a bond is required in the marine mode:
• (a) The port of report (FPOA) is different from the port of destination for unreleased cargo on board – A carrier will be discharging cargo in Prince Rupert and in Vancouver. The port of report is Prince Rupert, but the port of destination for some of the cargo is Vancouver. In order for the vessel to be authorized to move from Prince Rupert to Vancouver the carrier must be bonded.
• (b) Unforeseen Diversions – A vessel has indicated the port of Montréal as theFPOA but is then diverted to the port of Halifax by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency for an Asian gypsy moth inspection. In this scenario, the carrier is required to send an amendment to their “Advance Commercial Information” indicating the new port of report (port of Halifax). Should the vessel continue on to the port of Montréal with unreleased cargo, the carrier must be bonded.
Further information on CBSA carrier codes and carrier code application forms may be found on the CBSA Web site.