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Status Report on Transformational and Major Crown Projects


1. Description:

eManifest represents Phase III of the Advance Commercial Information program, which is aimed at improving the CBSA's ability to detect shipments that pose a high or unknown risk to the safety and security of Canadians. eManifest will help the Agency protect and secure Canadian frontiers by “pushing the border out.” It will accomplish this by requiring carriers to electronically submit all pre-arrival commercial information (including cargo, conveyance and crew data) in the highway and rail modes of transportation. It will also require freight forwarders and importers to electronically submit advance secondary cargo and advance trade data for all modes (marine, air, rail and highway). This will enable the CBSA to more effectively analyze risk, assist with ensuring that efficient border procedures are in place, and help secure the international trade supply chain.

2. Project Phase:

The CBSA is deploying eManifest in multiple phases, whereby deliverables are being implemented at various stages throughout the project, according to client group. During the life cycle of the project, the CBSA will undertake activities related to the electronic receipt and automated risk assessment of pre-arrival data including:

  • primary and secondary cargo information;
  • conveyance information;
  • crew/driver information; and
  • importer release / advance trade information.

The project will also see the development of the following:

  • alternative methods of communication (Internet portal);
  • cargo messaging/notification system;
  • linkages between cargo, importer admissibility and release information (including arrival status);
  • a multi-modal manifest suitable for all modes of transportation;
  • improved information for border services officers at the primary inspection line;
  • integrated examination results;
  • a mechanism for risk assessors to make pre-arrival admissibility recommendations;
  • trend analysis and pattern detection (supported by business intelligence and a data warehouse);
  • compliance management and data quality review;
  • information reporting to senior management; and
  • capacity and infrastructure that are sufficient to meet established pre-arrival reporting time frames and volumes.

In addition, some activities included in the list above will be implemented or retrofitted for the air and marine modes because the activities were not included as part of Phases I and II of the Advance Commercial Information program. These are:

  • electronic receipt and automated risk assessment of pre-arrival data, including secondary cargo, crew and importer release / advance trade data;
  • development of trend analysis and pattern detection;
  • linkages between cargo, advance trade data and release information (including arrival status); and
  • multi-modal manifest suitable for all modes of transportation.

3. Leading and Participating Departments and Agencies
Lead Department Canada Border Services Agency
Contracting Authority Canada Revenue Agency
Public Works and Government Services Canada
Participating Departments n/a

4. Prime and Major Subcontractor(s)
Prime Contractor n/a
Major Subcontractor(s) n/a

5. Major Milestones
List of Major Milestone Date
Rail carriers to transmit cargo and conveyance data will begin an 18-month implementation timeline 2012
Freight forwarders in all modes of transportation to transmit house bill / supplementary cargo data will begin an 18-month implementation timeline 2012
Importers begin transmission of importer data (beginning with the marine mode) 2013
Full implementation of eManifest in all modes of transportation expected 2014

6. Project Outcomes

eManifest has the following immediate outcomes:

  • enhanced knowledge and capacity to risk assess pre-arrival data and monitor trade community compliance;
  • enhanced co-operation with U.S. Customs and Border Protection through harmonized commercial processes;
  • enhanced innovative systems and technology to effectively and efficiently assess data;
  • increased success of detection activities to intercept high-risk goods and travellers;
  • increased compliance by the trade community with CBSA legislation;
  • enhanced flow of low-risk people and goods; and
  • improved stakeholder satisfaction.

eManifest has the following strategic outcomes:

  • International trade and travel are facilitated across Canada’s border and Canada’s population is protected from border-related risks.

7. Progress Report and Explanations of Variances:

The following eManifest project achievements were realized between 2007 and 2010:

  • completed successful consultation and communication activities with external stakeholders within the trade community through the eManifest Stakeholder Partnership Network and the Border Commercial Consultative Committee;
  • implemented the foundations for an automated border process with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to support the secure movement of commercial goods through Canada and/or the United States by land;
  • introduced the ability to extract U.S. marine cargo data on U.S.-destined cargo;
  • made changes to the Accelerated Commercial Release Operations Support System / Canadian Food Inspection Agency interface;
  • implemented a notification system (carriers are notified when primary cargo reports are matched with supplementary cargo reports);
  • improved TITAN/Accelerated Commercial Release Operations Support System linkages;
  • introduced the ability to validate appraisal quality data with the Harmonized System Code;
  • introduced the ability to perform an historical search to view all details of the cargo/container/conveyance;
  • Bill S-2, an Act to amend the Customs Act, received Royal Assent on June 11, 2009 (the Act contains modifications to the requirements for advance commercial reporting that provide the CBSA with the authority to mandate that carriers, importers and freight forwarders, in all modes of transportation, provide the CBSA with electronic shipment information prior to arrival in Canada);
  • implemented Phase I of the electronic data interchange for rail reporting, enabling facilitated electronic processes for use by rail carriers;
  • developed an interim solution to manage the CBSA's information technology infrastructure to support the future increase in the receipt of electronic data volumes and processes from trade-chain participants;
  • implemented electronic data interchange for highway carriers;
  • highway carriers began transmitting cargo and conveyance data to the CBSA through the electronic data interchange system in advance of their arrival at the border;
  • trained nearly 1,500 staff across Canada (border services officers, superintendents and clerks in the highway mode, and client services officers) through WebEx, a Web-based interactive learning environment, and conference calls. Other employees will be trained with an eLearning product;
  • developed and distributed multiple training products (manuals, quick reference guides); and
  • conducted multiple consultations with the eManifest Stakeholder Partnership Network.

The following eManifest project achievements were realized in 2011:

  • Implementation of highway carrier reporting. Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) systems are now available to highway carriers who have completed registration and testing of their systems with the CBSA to begin transmitting their pre-arrival cargo and conveyance data before arriving at the border. The CBSA continues the registration of new carriers clients;
  • Passage enhancements to the existing system now provide border services officers with the ability to retrieve, view, update data online and through reports, log arrival of the conveyances in highway mode, make decisions and retrieve trip information by alternative keys;
  • Phase I of infrastructure upgrades support an expected increase in eManifest volumes and process requirements for highway carriers;
  • The first iteration of development of the Agency’s first Internet-based service window, the eManifest Portal, was delivered to the business community in the summer of 2011.  This secure data option was developed primarily for small to medium sized enterprises to facilitate their compliance and make the transition from paper to electronic reporting more manageable.
  • The distribution of the Electronic Commerce Client Requirements Document for highway carriers to the trade community was completed; and
  • Consultations took place with stakeholders on the design, development, implementation and communication activities of eManifest.

The spending profile was adjusted to reflect figures in the effective project approval submission dated November 2007. The total amount spent during 2008-09 was primarily related to the design and development of components towards the implementation of electronic reporting in the highway mode. Such components include electronic reporting interchange, the Internet portal, and improved systems integration for border services officers at the primary inspection line. Additional spending was to carry out the further development and implementation of capacity and infrastructure enhancements to support future electronic reporting time frames and volumes.

The 2008-09 carry-forward amounts are attributed to a further refinement of the project schedule and associated implementation dates. Rollout of systems functionality has been aligned to meet the requirements of specific client groups, which necessitated the realignment of project spending. Furthermore, in response to the economic environment, the Government of Canada requested a temporary rollback of $85 million (to be repaid over two years commencing in 2011-12) to support other government pressures. This rollback necessitated a complete review of project spending profiles and the project deployment strategy. As such, project components were realigned to account for yearly pressures related to this budget reduction, which included moving procurement activities for infrastructure and hardware to future years. A significant number of yearly carry-forwards are associated with procuring a data warehouse and associated tools. As a result of this realignment of project funds, the last project release is now scheduled for 2013-14, a delay of two years from previous reports.

Starting in 2011-12, the eManifest major project will only receive maintenance funds as detailed in the Preliminary Project Approval (PPA). As previously planned, the funds used for development in fiscal year 2011-12 are derived from carry-forward amounts from previous years and from the first installment ($50 million) of the $85 million temporary rollback by the Government of Canada.

8. Industrial Benefits:

eManifest will provide the following industrial benefits:

  • Enhanced prosperity: eManifest will contribute to a strong economy by facilitating the flow of low-risk trade in a high-volume, time-sensitive, trans-border environment.
  • Enhanced security: Canadian society will be better protected from health, safety, security and terrorist threats as eManifest will “push the border out” as a means to obtain the right data at the right time. eManifest will use sophisticated tools and technology and rigorous risk assessment systems to interdict threats prior to their arrival at the border.
  • Streamlined border processing: Obtaining and risk assessing commercial information from trade-chain participants before the arrival of goods in Canada will minimize the processing required at the border, streamline the clearance process and reduce border congestion.
  • Consistent application: As eManifest will expand the existing requirements for marine and air carriers to those in the highway and rail environments, there will be a consistent application of risk assessment across all modes of transportation in line with CBSA requirements.
  • Reduced costs of compliance: Members of the trade community will be able to leverage the investment they are making to comply with both international and U.S. requirements. To the greatest extent possible, eManifest will develop system requirements using recognized international and North American standards.
  • Enhanced systems performance: Given the high volumes and compressed time frames associated with trans-border trade, the CBSA will make enhancements to its information technology infrastructure that will improve system performance and reliability.

Temporary Resident Biometrics Project

1. Description:

The Temporary Resident Biometrics Project (TRBP) is a major crown project led by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) in partnership with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).  The business objective of TRBP is to streamline identity management within the Government of Canada temporary resident program. Against the backdrop of the rise of identity fraud globally and the use of ever more sophisticated means to evade detection, a key challenge in Canada’s immigration program is identifying applicants and managing their identity with confidence.  The TRBP is not aimed at a re-engineering of processes and systems, but rather an enhancement to existing processes for visa/study and work permit applications and visitor entry and leveraging of investment in existing CIC, CBSA and  RCMP systems to the maximum extent possible.

Budget 2008 provided the CBSA with funding of $12.7 million. With this funding, the CBSA will design and develop a photo verification solution on Primary and Secondary Inspection at all Ports of Entry (POE), as well as a discretionary biometric verification solution in Secondary at select POEs.  The CBSA is currently on schedule to implement the above-noted work components by March 2013.

2. Project Phase:

The TRBP is currently in its analysis and design phase and will begin the construction and implementation phases in late fiscal 2011–12. During the analysis and design phase, CIC, the CBSA and the RCMP are working collaboratively to define and develop the solution, as well as the approaches and plans for implementing the TRBP. Partners have developed business and supporting infrastructure requirements, and these will be used to define the business solution and how it will work (functional design), how technology will enable the solution (technical design), and how all the pieces will fit and work together (supporting architectures).

During the construction and implementation phases, the project will focus on developing, monitoring and controlling deliverables (as defined by the business requirements), while meeting schedule commitments.

3. Leading and Participating Departments and Agencies
Lead Department CIC
Contracting Authority Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC)
Participating Departments CBSA and RCMP

4. Prime and Major Subcontractor(s)
Prime Contractor N/A
Major Subcontractor(s) N/A

5. Major Milestones
List of Major Milestone Date
Building of the technical solution Fall 2012
Completion of the Memorandum of Understanding between the CBSA and the RCMP Fall 2012
Finalization of training manuals and standard operating procedures Fall 2012
Deployment of the solution to the regions Fall 2012
Provision of training Winter 2013

6. Project Outcomes

The objectives of the TRBP are to:

  • Strengthen identity management: Ensure that the Government of Canada is using accurate and robust tools to store and safeguard client identity information so that only legitimate holders of Temporary Resident Visas / Study Permits / Work Permits and Temporary Resident Permits gain entry to Canada;
  • Enhance security: Reduce the likelihood that known criminals or immigration violators will gain access to Canada through the temporary resident visa program;
  • Improve program integrity: Introduce additional tools that make it more difficult for illegal migrants, previous deportees and people smugglers and traffickers to exploit identity loopholes for economic benefit by assuming different identities.  Identity and nationality information of refugee claimants, gained through biometric checks, will support decision making at the Immigration and Refugee Board; and
  • Facilitate processing of legitimate clients: For returning clients, biometric identifiers will improve operational efficiency by reducing the burden on paper and the time taken at POEs to re-establish identity.  More efficient and effective identity management is one of a number of key enablers in support of ongoing processing improvements that will enable CIC to increasingly automate service delivery — and help guide CIC service delivery.

7. Progress Report and Explanations of Variances:

  • With the $12.7 million that the CBSA received in Budget 2008, the project has been re-scoped to complete only photo verification at Primary and in Secondary Inspection at all Canadian POEs with immigration processing capabilities, and discretionary biometric verification in Secondary Inspection at selected POEs.
  • The effort required to conduct the cost analysis, the uncertainties in terms of project scope, and the need to revisit project plans have delayed the Effective Project Approval submission, which had been planned for fiscal 2009–10.  The Effective Project Approval was granted in February 2011.
  • Business Use Cases have been developed and approved and system use case development is currently underway. 
  • Partners are holding ongoing discussions on how to operationalize the business requirements through the development of an implementation plan.
  • Due to delays in the Request for Proposal process, it is unlikely that the CBSA will procure any equipment in Fiscal Year 2011–2012.  Funding required for the purchase of the equipment and software development kit will be carried forward to Fiscal Year 2012–2013.
  • Pending no further delays with the Request for Proposal, the CBSA will be ready to implement the Temporary Resident Biometrics reduced scope solution by March 31, 2013 as originally envisioned.

8. Industrial Benefits

This major Crown project does not directly benefit Canadian industry; it is a project to improve the safety of Canadian citizens. Immigration and the granting of Canadian citizenship are vital to the continued growth and prosperity of Canada. To support the Government of Canada outcomes of strong economic growth and a safe and secure world, a balance must be maintained between the desire to welcome newcomers to Canada and the obligation to protect the health, safety and security of Canadian society. Criminals, terrorists and other known inadmissible persons must not be allowed to enter or stay in Canada.

Air Cargo Security

1. Description:

The primary objective of the Air Cargo Security Program is to develop a comprehensive air cargo security regime in Canada. The program will align Canada's approach with the regimes of international partners, and will ensure that it mitigates the risks associated with both the introduction of explosives in cargo or mail and the use of cargo aircraft as weapons. Supply-chain programs to identify low-risk cargo will be developed and procedures identified to screen high-risk and targeted cargo.

2. Project Phase:

The priority initiatives of the Canadian Air Cargo Security Program major Crown project to be implemented in 2012-13 are as follows:

3. Leading and Participating Departments and Agencies
Lead Department Transport Canada
Contracting Authority Public Works and Government Services Canada
Participating Departments Canada Border Services Agency

4. Prime and Major Subcontractor(s)
Prime Contractor N/A
Major Subcontractor(s) N/A

5. Major Milestones
List of Major Milestone Date
Agreement on the risk assessment process for Transport Canada participants 2012
Interoperability between CBSA and other Government departments 2012-2013
Evaluate areas of harmonization and international approach for mitigating risk 2012-2013

6. Project Outcomes

The beneficiaries of this program are air travellers. Benefits include:

  • Enhanced regulatory regime;
  • Oversight, training and compliance;
  • Screening technologies and processes;
  • Mutual recognition and interoperability;
  • Support for risk assessments undertaken by Transport Canada; and
  • Screening of air cargo items at small and remote class II and class “other” airports.

7. Progress Report and Explanations of Variances

  • Work on this initiative commenced in May 2010 and was approved by Treasury Board;
  • Continuing the work on the agreement on the risk assessment for Transport Canada participants;
  • Participating in the Interoperability Working Group; focusing on interoperability opportunities between the CBSA and other Canadian Government departments; and
  • Participating in the World Customs Organization Technical Experts Group on Air Cargo Security focusing on areas where harmonization could be perused and discussing an integrated international approach for mitigating risks posed by ACS.

8. Industrial Benefits

The industrial benefits include:

  • Protection of the Canadian public and those working in the air cargo supply chain;
  • Streamlining of trade through risk management;
  • Promotion of the movement of goods, both domestically and internationally, through effective trade supply chains;
  • Improvement in the ability of the CBSA to detect high-risk cargo;
  • Improvement in the controls and the ability to make better, more efficient allocations of CBSA resources; and
  • Assurance of the efficient flow of goods contributing to Canada's economic prosperity.