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.