The voice of commercial carriers in the province and across Canada

Border Blackouts

Since January 1, 2017, there have been about 30 outages of CBSA’s EDI portal systems due to an antiquated computer system. CTA has created a messaging campaign that will allow carriers to send a form email each time the system goes down.

CTA has created a messaging campaign that will allow carriers to send a form email each time the system goes down, reminding the ministers from Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, International Trade, Finance, and the Treasury Board how system outages are hurting our industry and weakening cross-border commerce. The email urges the ministries responsible for the border to increase support to CBSA and fix these recurrent problems.

“The EDI/Portal outages are a significant threat to the financial health of our members and their customers,” said CTA President Stephen Laskowski. “The membership needs to remind these ministers their efforts in ensuring efficient trade, including upcoming negotiations with Washington on the future of NAFTA, will be greatly undermined if we don’t first deal with our internal border problems in our own backyard.”

The CTA letter campaign also reminds the ministers that CBSA staffing shortages at various commercial ports – a historic (and growing) problem – needs to be dealt with along with EDI/Portal Outages.

CTA is currently requesting that officials respond to the Alliance with short and long-term plans to fix these systems outages.

Starting today – and to be repeated each time CBSA’s system shuts down –  send an automatic email to the ministries responsible for CBSA and border policies.

Carriers can also fill out CTA’s System Outages survey, which will provide CBSA information on operational challenges and extra costs carriers face when system issues occur.

Members of the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) and the rest of the supply chain have experienced delays and other challenges bringing goods into Canada from the US because of recurring Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) system degradation issues.

In response to the high frequency of these outages, CTA has invited a host of business associations on both sides of the border to join a coalition calling on federal cabinet ministers to deal with the growing problem by providing more funds to fix the system and increase CBSA’s staffing budget.

To date, 14 organizations have joined the coalition:

Canadian Association of Importers and Exporters; Council of Great Lakes Region; Association of International Customs and Border Agencies; Freight Management Association of Canada; Railway Association of Canada; Responsible Distribution Canada; Canadian Chamber of Commerce; Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers Association; International Trade Gateway Association; Can/Am BTA; Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters; Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority and the American Trucking Associations.

“The coalition believes many of these issues can be resolved by investing capital in the CBSA’s IT systems and additional staffing,” said CTA president Stephen Laskowski. “While we all understand that a funding infusion is not an insignificant step, our recent experiences show that the economic consequences of not making this investment are much greater.”

In a recent meeting with CTA, CBSA outlined a strategy to stabilize the system so that northbound transactions move efficiently as possible.

While CTA will be monitoring this process for immediate improvements, the coalition will continue its attempts to persuade the federal government that long-term solutions are only possible with increased funding.

If carriers want to get involved in raising awareness with federal cabinet officials of these CBSA system degradation issues, please click here.

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