Importing goods into the United States can be an overwhelming process for first-time importers....
PARS Tracking: Expediting the Shipping Process
Truckers or carriers importing into Canada are quickly familiarizing themselves with PARS tracking, as this is an essential component in transportation of commercial goods.
PARS tracking refers to the Pre-Arrival Review System used by CBSA (Canada Border Services Agency) to track the shipment and assess it before the actual shipment arrives at the Canadian border. Brokers and importers submit documentation pre-arrival so that approval can begin before the shipment is even at the border. It is no wonder PARS label is at the top of any "what do I need to cross into Canada" lists.
What is a PARS sticker/label?
The PARS label is an eight digit code that is scanned by the CBSA, and it is comprised of your Canadian Carrier Code (view our checklist for US carriers importing to Canada) + unique shipment number. Your PARS sticker or label gives CBSA access to information pertaining to the shipment and helps determine whether the shipment can be released. This PARS number identifies the shipment and carrier to border services, allowing CBSA to anticipate them ahead of time. The PARS is to be used at an automated port.
How does PARS work?
Once freight is picked up from the shipper, the PARS sticker will be attached to the shipment, and this information will be forwarded to a customs broker, so they can work with the CBSA in advance to get the shipment cleared at the border quicker.
A carrier needs to include the port, estimated date and time of arrival and carrier’s contact information when mailing documents to the customs broker. Give your broker some time to reach out to all relevant parties, so try to get your documents in as soon as you can.
The broker then forwards the information to CBSA for review minimum 2 hours before arrival.
Why do I need PARS?
You as a carrier can verify the status of your shipment ahead of time. Using the PARS tracker at Zipments.io, truckers can know if they are cleared to cross the border, before arrival, so they do not need to wait.
Word of advice: do not confuse your PARS with your ACI eManifest, because though the two are similar, they are both still used in the shipping process, as of now. You are responsible for both, and cannot assume your broker will file your eManifest as well. Make sure you communicate with your broker ahead of time to know what part of the process they are actually doing.