CBSA has published its revised contingency plan to the CBSA website. These contingencies are put in place when issues, such as CBSA system outages occur. The revised document was completed in partnership with members of the industry.A highlight for STA Members of the plan is a hotline to assist external partners with technical issues related to the exchange of data with the CBSA. The hotline number is 1-888-957-7224 from within Canada and the United States.

Procedures during CBSA Outages – Key Principals

  1. External partners are required to transmit all trade documents, processed via the contingency plan, once the outage is resolved – thus the recommendation to continue transmission of electronic data for queuing and expediting the recovery process.
  2. External partners unable or that have opted not to transmit the ACI via an alternate method of electronic communication will transmit the ACI information within 24 hours once the system functionality is restored; ACI information includes cargo, conveyance, and house bills and will be reported using the actual date and time of release.
  3. Once the system outage is resolved, the CBSA will provide a buffer time period of 2 hours before resuming normal activities.
  4. After the outage, once the EDI documentation including release requests have been processed by the CBSA, external partners will receive an electronic message and/or release notification.
  5. External partners must transmit data to the CBSA at least 120 minutes prior to the start time of any scheduled outage to ensure that pre-arrival transmission timelines are met for shipments expected to arrive at the border during the outage.
  6. No monetary penalties will be issued to external partners for ACI related infractions that occur during a scheduled or an unscheduled outage and for the two hours following system resumption.
  7. External partners will submit two copies of the complete paper documentation required before receiving their authorization to move or release.
  8. CBSA will stamp both copies of paper documentation, return one copy and retain one copy for post-resumption validation:
    1. Where the goods are released, the Border Services Officer (BSO) stamps each copy of the documentation.
    2. Where goods have been authorized to move in-bond, the BSO stamps the reverse side of the CCD.
  9. BSOs may request more information and/or refer any shipment to the secondary inspection area.
  10. The stamped copy of the carrier documentation serves as proof of report that:
    1. the requirements of section 12(1) of the Customs Act have been satisfied;
    2. the authority for the carrier to deliver goods; and
    3. the indication that the responsibility is now with the customs broker/importer to provide interim release data.
  11. External partners will retain all stamped paper documents presented during the outage as proof that all goods have been reported by the carrier and released or moved in-bond.
  12. Regardless of the outage condition, Other Government Departments (OGDs) requirements must be met prior to release.
  13. The Agency does not consider the presentation of the 14-digit transaction number to be proof that CFIA or OGD requirements have been met.

To view the full procedure, please visit

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