Skip to content Logo

How to get Shared Secret and Access the eManifest Portal

Technology is making our lives simpler, allowing us to do more in less time – now, border agencies can communicate with carriers electronically, eliminating long wait times and tedious paperwork involved with crossing the border. But this move toward electronic tracking of cargo has brought on its own set of requirements for accurate records and documentation. Luckily, knowing some of the key parts of the systems can help you simplify the process and speed things up when crossing North American borders. If you are in the business of cross border trade, then you are likely using the eManifest portal, so you're also likely to hear about Shared Secret.Modern Black Orange Coming Soon (Banner (Landscape)) (1)

If you are hearing about a “Shared Secret”, this is a one time, temporary access code a company or business needs to access the eManifest portal for the first time and register with CBSA (Canada Border Services Agency) online.

A Shared Secret is the alpha-numeric code provided by the CBSA to an authorized representative of a business, used to prove the identity of said business during the eManifest Portal registration process. This information is only known to the CBSA and the business, so your privacy is protected. 

  • Your ACI/ACE eManifests are a required component to cross border transport, and you may face penalties if you don't participate. For reference, ACE is used by CBP, meanwhile the CBSA uses the ACI eManifest. 

The eManifest portal is used to electronically transmit highway carrier and freight pre-arrival data to customs officials, before a shipment arrives at the border. A little preview of what’s coming in, so that it can be dealt with safely and efficiently. The ACI eManifest program is a mandatory security protocol, giving CBSA advanced notice of transport.

Do I need Shared Secret? Yes. You need Shared Secret if you want to open a business account on the eManifest portal. A business setting up an account on the portal will use the Carrier Code and Shared Secret, as the account owner. The Shared Secret authenticates the business on the online portal.

How do I get Shared Secret?  If you're a highway carrier company, you can apply for your carrier code and shared secret via one application (if you do not have a carrier code yet). A company must have a valid Carrier Code and a Shared Secret issued by the CBSA to do business using the Portal. You can use the Zipments Carrier Code application generator, to create and submit your carrier code application with ease and speed. There is an option to choose "Will you require a "shared secret" yes or no, within the form.  Simply fill the selected parts of the form, and an industry team will review and submit your application to CBSA. 


For those who have a valid carrier code already, applying for a Shared Secret can be done by submitting a signed letter request to the CBSA on company letterhead. The letter must be signed by an authorized representative for your company. The information on the request also must match the company contact data on the CBSA records. 

When you are approved to create your portal business account, the Shared Secret will be included as an attachment to the approval email.

These digital methods allow for the transport goods with ease, reducing risks and potential delays. Businesses can use the portal to communicate necessary documents and information, speeding up the border crossing process. Say goodbye to delays, paperwork and waiting at the border!

Blog comments