Skip to content Logo

PARS vs PAPS: Know the Difference

What is the difference between PARS vs PAPS or PAPS vs PARS? Which one do I need?

There is a simple and easy way to organize all your transportation documents and know which one you need. Let's get into it...
What is the definition of PARS?

The Pre-arrival Review System (PARS) allows importers and brokers to submit shipment information to the CBSA (Canada Customs) for review and processing before their goods arrive in Canada. This speeds up the release or referral for examination process when the goods arrive in Canada.

Believe it or not, before PARS - trucks or shipments would just arrive at the border, unannounced, and everything was reviewed right there while the truck waited. When PARS was introduced, it allows CBSA to review the shipment information before the truck arrived, making processing the shipments much faster.

What is a Canada Carrier Code?

A Canadian Carrier Code is a 4 digit alphanumeric identifier that is assigned by the CBSA to identify a carrier. Only one carrier code is issued to each legal entity (corporation, partnership or sole proprietorship) per mode of transport (highway, marine, air or rail). You can also use the Zipments Canada Carrier Code application generator to quickly submit your form and have your carrier code issued to you. 

What is a PARS number?

A PARS number is a combination of the Carrier Code and the cargo control number (CCN), which must be a minimum of 5 characters to a maximum of 25. Characters are defined as numbers between 0-9, letters between a-z and dashes (-). 

If the PARS number was 1234PARS56789 - then the 1234 is the Canada Carrier Code, and the PARS56789 is the Cargo Control Number.

What is the definition of PAPS?

PAPS (Pre-Arrival Processing System) is a U.S. Shipment Type for goods to clear through CBP (Customs Border Protection) and in ACE Manifest. It is the default shipment type for commercial goods entering the United States by truck. That is, any goods transported to the United States by a highway carrier must clear under PAPS unless they qualify for another shipment type or other exemption.

PAPS was designed to expedite the release of commercial shipments while still processing each shipment through CBP's automated risking systems.

What is a USA SCAC Code?

The Standard Carrier Alpha Code (SCAC) is a unique two-to-four-letter code used to identify transportation companies. SCAC codes can be obtained from the National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA), located in Alexandria, VA.

What is a PAPS number?

A PAPS number is a kind of Shipment Control Number (SCN). An SCN is a unique code that is assigned to a shipment of goods coming into the U.S. It helps Customs and Border Protection (CBP) tell shipments apart and identify the carrier moving the goods. Some type of SCN is mandatory for all shipments entering the U.S. on a truck. 


PARS is for shipments going to Canada.
PAPS is for shipments going to the USA.

They are very, very similar and they are systems and numbers to identify shipments that are crossing the border.

Where can I get PARS or PAPS labels printed?

Order digital and printed labels from Zipments.


Blog comments