The CBSA's Electronic Commerce Unit (ECU) provides support to clients currently using or seeking to use Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) to meet their obligations.
The following is a sample of the types of services provided by the ECU:
- setting up/maintaining client profiles to allow access to transmit to the CBSA's EDI systems and receive messages from the CBSA;
- troubleshoot CBSA EDI system problems and connectivity issues;
- assist clients in the interpretation of system reject messages;
- distribution of CBSA/EDI information bulletins.
Due to the high demand for technical assistance, the ECU is exploring opportunities to help clients enhance their self-sufficiency in resolving routine problems, thus affording the ECU the opportunity to focus their resources on urgent, complex and time-sensitive issues.
A Frequently-Asked Questions (FAQ) section has been posted, providing clients with solutions to some of the issues that are easy to identify as well as easy to resolve.
Should clients still require assistance, the following are guidelines for using the Electronic Commerce Unit's business support service for production clients:
- If the client experiences a system problem or slowdown lasting more than an hour but is uncertain of the source of the problem, the procedure is for the client to call the EDI Hotline, press 1 and listen to the recorded message describing the current status of EDI systems. Whenever the CBSA is alerted of a problem relating to EDI, a message is recorded and regularly updated as new information becomes available. This recorded message may answer the client's question.
- If all systems are functioning normally, the next step is for the client to contact their service provider, if applicable, to determine if they are experiencing problems.
- Also, clients must allow the following time frame for CBSA to review the transaction and render a decision:
- Post arrival service option: 1 hour
- PARS service option: 1 hour prior to ETA – clients should check the ETA on the release data
- Clients should keep in mind that release decisions may take longer for transactions that relate to ACI marine or air cargo.
If after reviewing the steps outlined in 1, 2 and 3, clients still have a situation requiring assistance, then clients may contact the ECU to speak to an agent.