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CBSA’s new E-Manifest Rules

Sealion Cargo | December 22, 2020
CBSA’s new E-Manifest Rules

Starting on January 1st, 2021, there are new CBSA E-Manifest Regulations

Freight Forwarders, on behalf of Canadian Importers, are now responsible for ensuring information on HBL (back-to-back shipments) on imports are electronically submitted via e-Manifest.  Sealion Cargo’s Compliance Team has put together the following guide to help familiarize you with e-Manifest.

Submission by e-Manifest started November 1st 2020. Our team at Sealion encourages you to join the compliance program now to avoid any potential for fines, penalties, or delayed shipments.

Canada is taking a phased-in approach and delaying monetary penalties until Q2 2021. However, we know that some carriers are setting compliance deadlines for Q1 2021 — which may include no longer filing ACI or denying carriage. Many Carriers and Canadian Freight Forwarders require participation as of January 1st under mutual management of shippers agreements.

Submission Deadlines

As a registered e-Manifest Forwarder, your Freight Forwarder electronically submits shipment information to the Canada Border Security Agency (CBSA).  This information is required from you for each shipment as detailed below — earlier is always better.

Minimum Time-Frame

Ocean Imports to Canada
24 hours prior to vessel loading
Air Imports to Canada
Within 4 hours of ETA

Recommended Time-Frame

To allow time for corrections, amendments, and/or clarifications during typical Canadian businesses hours, we recommend importers provide this information:

Ocean Imports to Canada
1 Business* Day prior to international shipper tendering cargo to carrier

Air Imports to Canada
1 Business* Day prior ETA

*A Business Day is during operating hours. For example, Sealion Cargo considers 9am-17:00 EST, Monday to Friday (closed on Statutory Holidays only) to be our Business Days. Most Canadian Freight Forwarders operate under similar hours.

Submission Process

Your registered freight-forwarder will electronically submit the following information to the Canada Border Security Agency (CBSA). The Booking Party (you) must provide the below information before each shipment leaves for Canada. You can download our form here.

In most cases, the HBL DRAFT will provide most of the required information. This data can usually be provided inside the body of an email to your forwarder.  If you’re partnering with Sealion Cargo for your next shipment, please submit this information to the assigned Freight Coordinator and always cc e-manifest@sealioncargo.com.


The CBSA’s monetary fines for non-compliance range up to CAN $25,000. Starting January 1st, almost all Canadian Freight Forwarders will not allow shipments to be loaded at origin if the required data has not been received prior to ETD. Canadian Freight Forwarders will also not be liable for the full amount of any fees/penalties assessed based on their contracts with you.

Final Notes

Any questions about our compliance policy or need further information? Contact Paola Suarez, Certified Customs Specialist: paola@sealioncargo.com

If you’re engaged with another Freight-Forwarder, ensure you’ve submitted this information to them by the recommended time so your shipment doesn’t experience any delays.

Learn more about our Customs Clearance.


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