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When Do You Use PARS/PAPS Labels?

Cross-border shipping can be a complex endeavor, with numerous customs requirements and regulations to navigate. However, thanks to advancements in technology, the process has become more streamlined and efficient. One crucial aspect of this improved shipping experience is the utilization of PARS/PAPS labels. These labels play a vital role in simplifying cross-border shipping and ensuring a seamless journey for importers and exporters alike. By understanding the use and significance of these labels, businesses of any size can optimize their cross-border shipping operations. 

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Technology has created a new way of clearing customs. Now, a system of bar code labels, which are attached to important customs documentation, can be used to help identify the shipment, and provide more information. Through the use of digital pre-arrival tools, such as the ACI and ACE manifest systems; you can electronically submit information regarding a shipment ahead of time, for assessment.  There are two types of labels that you will become familiar with, when using these electronic submissions systems.

  • PAPS (Pre-Arrival Processing System): Used by US Customs to assess goods entering the country.
  • PARS (Pre-Arrival Review System): Used by Canadian customs to assess goods entering the country.

PARS and PAPS labels are typically required by highway carriers, or goods transported into the country via ground, as they help customs assess the shipment. The carrier needs to include the port, estimated date and time of arrival and carrier’s contact information when mailing any of the documents to the customs broker. It is important to give your broker some time to reach out to all relevant parties.

Prior to introduction of technology, trucks carrying goods would arrive at the border unannounced and the review process would begin there, on the spot, while the trucks waited. As you can imagine, this is a lengthy process and can end up wasting a lot of the truck driver’s time, as well as creating unnecessary complications. With digital submission, long wait times can be avoided and truck drivers have more control over their schedule. 

When Do You Use PARS/PAPS? 

PARS and PAPS labels contain information such as the shipment identifier, carrier details and customs release information. They are generated by the importer or carrier, and attached to the shipment or accompanying documents such as the BOL or customs invoice. Any shipment entering the US or Canada by highway is required to use PARS/PAPS labels. By understanding the scenarios that call for these labels and the benefits they offer; businesses can ensure smooth customs clearance, expedite border crossings, and enhance overall efficiency in their shipping processes.


PARS and PAPS labels provide vital information to customs regarding the goods which are entering the country, ensuring that the goods are legally able to come in. The labels provide advance information about the shipment which is being imported, so that it can be assessed, and determined if there is a need for any further inspections or paperwork. All imports are subject to regulations of the country you are importing to, so the goods need to be assessed before they can clear customs and paperwork needs to be checked, thus the barcode labels contain some of this key information. 

The use of PARS/PAPS labels can significantly improve efficiency, as businesses can save time or money associated with storage, demurrage and other costs. The PARS and PAPS both work through the ACI or ACE electronic manifest systems, where importers and brokers can submit information digitally, ahead of time for review by customs. The process speeds up release or processing of shipments, because they can be referred for further examination or released before the goods and driver even arrive at the border.  



Need PARS and PAPS labels that are customs compliant? Look no further! Zipments offers affordable PARS, PAPS and A8A labels that ship within one  day, making the process a breeze. Say goodbye to delays and hassles—get your compliant labels with ease, so you can focus on your business.  

Crossing today and have no labels? If you are crossing and need emergency  same day use labels, you can contact and get labels emailed to you for emergency use! We provide temporary labels you can use to cross the border while your labels are on the way! 


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Even if you are sending goods out into another country, having PARS/PAPS labels is essential, as the labels help notify the customs in the destination country about a shipment coming in. The system allows customs in the destination country to review the shipment before it arrives, and determine whether the shipment meets customs criteria. 

Simplifying Border Crossings 

The primary purpose of PARS/PAPS labels is to speed up customs clearance at the border, by allowing customs to do its job before the driver arrives, so that the driver is not kept waiting. The electronic submission can simplify the border crossing process, by providing accurate and complete information about a shipment well in advance. Information should be sent to customs for review, via the digital systems, no less than 2 hours before arrival at the border. 

The labels are associated with EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) systems, which allow for seamless communication between customs authorities and carriers. The electronic exchange of information speeds up border clearance, as it automates data verification and reduces manual paperwork. Customs authorities can quickly verify shipment details, and then release the shipment for entry.

Streamlining Customs Clearance

PARS and PAPS labels are designed to streamline the customs clearance process, by reducing the amount of effort or time required to inspect and assess each shipment. Advance information is provided through the use of these labels, to help customs authorities prepare for the arrival of the shipment. When the information pertaining to the goods is submitted ahead of time, customs can look into the shipment, before it arrives at the border. Using PARS/PAPS labels ensures compliance with customs regulations, which can simplify the customs process and ensure fewer delays.

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Say goodbye to the hassle of tracking PARS and PAPS status across multiple brokers' websites and worrying about your clearance. Whether you are tracking FedEx, Livingston, DHL or more, we've got you covered! 

With Zipments, you can now monitor all your shipments in real time and know exactly when they're ready to cross the border, all on one platform. No more jumping between different sites. Simply enter the PARS/PAPS you want to track, and add a comma to track multiple at once.

✔️Make notes or Set Tags

✔️Share Status Updates

✔️Track Multiple PARS/PAPS At Once

✔️Quickly Contact The Parties Involved

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By utilizing PARS and PAPS labels in the correct manner, importers and carriers can significantly expedite the border clearance process, reduce wait times and ensure a smooth flow of goods across international borders. All stakeholders involved in the shipping process can use these labels to monitor shipments and ensure better supply chain management. Whether you are importing or exporting goods, using PARS/PAPS correctly ensures compliance with customs regulation and minimizes delay, which can help optimize your shipping process.