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The Benefits of Tracking Your PARS and PAPS Status

Customs clearance is an important aspect of any business, but getting your shipments across borders is a complex process. More often than not, documents or paperwork can become a blockage to a smooth customs clearance and can result in delays. However, with the use of an electronic document submission, you can track your shipment's progress through customs clearance, right from your smartphone. Access to real-time visibility has many benefits, and tracking your PARS or PAPS status can make any shipping experience easier.

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Customs clearance is a crucial step in the process of receiving and delivering shipments, but it’s one which entails all sorts of considerations. In shipping, delays can block on-time delivery, so having information on the status of a customs clearance process for a shipment is beneficial. PARS and PAPS allows customs officials to assess shipments quicker and speed up the clearance process for carriers or importers.  Tracking PARS and PAPS can then help you manage the process along the way, and there are multiple benefits to the technology.

How Does PARS or PAPS Tracking Work?

In the United States and Canada, shipments go through an electronic document submission process using the ACE or ACI eManifest system. Pre-Arrival-Review-System (PARS) is used by Canada's border services in the process of clearing goods through customs. CBSA agents scan the PARS barcode label and the information allows them to see if a shipment can cross or it needs further inspection. Pre-Arrival-Processing-System (PAPS) is the US version of this step in the customs clearance process. 

All commercial shipments entering the U.S. or Canada via truck will require a PARS or PAPS barcode. A carrier will assign a PARS or PAPS number to a shipment and then forward this to the customs broker. The customs broker uses the barcode number to request a release of a shipment from customs, and the carrier prepares a listing for the shipment using either ACI or ACE eManifest and the PARS or PAPS number. The PARS/PAPS number also allows access to real-time tracking of a shipments clearance status, and all you need is your PARS or PAPS number. 

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How To Use a PAPS or PARS Tracker 

The CBSA has to accept both the broker's entry and carrier's eManifest, before goods can go to the border. The customs official at the border can then use the PARS or PAPS number to verify the shipment status and either refer the goods for further inspection or release them. Technology is accessible to carriers and brokers, as they can also track the customs clearance status as a shipment moves along its journey.

To track your PAPS or PARS, you simply input your number into the tracker and you'll retrieve a status. Part of successful tracking includes becoming aware of the different statuses you may notice on your PARS/PAPS tracker.  Some status updates you may see include:

  • Transmitted: The transaction is transmitted to customs and is awaiting acknowledgement. 
  • Acknowledged: This communicates that the transaction has been set up, and it is okay to proceed for P.I.L.(Primary Inspection Line) processing. You may also see "Accepted: Ready to Cross", when the shipment is ready to clear customs.
  • Released: Shipment has crossed the border and been released by customs. 
  • Blank: The transaction may be in process but has not yet been transmitted to customs, do not proceed until you see "Acknowledged" . 

Benefits of Tracking PARS and PAPS Status 

Avoiding Delays

Knowing what’s ahead, can help you manage any issues before they even happen. In having the clearance status of a shipment available, importers and brokers are informed of any issues which need to be resolved before the driver reaches the border. In order to avoid congestion at the border, document issues can be addressed while the goods are still in transit, which ensures that drivers can immediately be cleared to cross and get the goods to their destination without any issue at customs.  

Improved Driver Autonomy

PARS and PAPS tracking allows truckers to keep up to date with their customs clearance status, so they can know ahead of time if their goods are cleared to cross. Drivers can make judgement calls and know what to anticipate at the border with more ease, if they are able to maintain visibility of their status. Tracking allows drivers to avoid surprises or paperwork issues at the border, and allows them time to contact the relevant parties to resolve any issue if they notice that the clearance status is not ready.

Increased Accountability

Since there is greater visibility of the shipment, due to tracking of a clearance status, there is also increased accountability to ensure that all documentation is submitted and correct.  It is no longer a surprise what may occur at the border, rather importers and brokers can anticipate any errors which need to be fixed before customs can clear goods. The relevant parties can be contacted to fix any paperwork issues and submit the necessary documents, since the shipments clearance status is available with the click of a button.    

On-Time Deliveries 

Knowing your PARS or PAPS status can allow for better trip planning, and the ability to anticipate an exact delivery date for goods, since you can see whether goods have been cleared to cross or not ahead of time. When the status is available online, carriers can make better use of their time and know whether to anticipate any delays. Due to increased visibility, clients can receive a more accurate delivery estimate, thus meeting customer demands.



Having the right tools at hand can make customs clearance go more smoothly. Do you want to know how your shipment is progressing through customs? Zipments real-time PARS or PAPS tracking allows you to follow your clearance status, share status updates, set tags, make notes or communicate with the parties involved; seamlessly.

Zipments easy to use platform allows you track multiple PARS and PAPS at once, for any broker. You can also expand your list and view additional information such as

  • Port
  • Transaction Number
  • Carrier ETA
  • Status History

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PARS and PAPS numbers speed up the movement of commercial shipments across the Canadian and US borders. These numbers allow customs officials to evaluate shipments quicker, and keep your goods moving to their destination. The more time you spend tracking the status of your shipments, the more time you'll have to fix any issues before they even happen. Stay on top of your customs status with a quick and easy PARS/PAPS tracker, and even purchase your PARS and PAPS labels with one day shipping, and emergency use same day labels. Allow Zipments to help you navigate the complex maze of customs regulations.