What is the WACM Message?

The WACM message is a component of the Release Notification System (RNS) of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).

The WACM message is sent by a warehouse operator to the Canada Border Services Agency when an unreleased consignment headed to the warehouse finally arrives. It is required to be sent to the CBSA for each CCN (cargo control number) whose final destination is that warehouse.

Is the WACM Mandatory

Since May 6, 2015, the Customs Sufferance Warehouses Regulations made WACM a mandatory requirement for all sufferance warehouses updated via Customs Notice 15-028 amendment.

The new amendment replaces Customs Notice 14-002 that governed the manual arrival and transfer of cargo liability at inland warehouses. The manual processes required warehouse operators to use bills of lading, cargo control documents or other similar documents as provided by carriers to endorse receipt of goods.

The new WACM requirement is mandatory for all CBSA licensed sufferance warehouses since July 10, 2015, noncompliance results in monetary AMPS penalties by the CBSA.

Who Transmits the WACM?

Warehouse operators who physically receive the goods into their sufferance warehouse are required to transmit the WACM. The warehouse operator charged with transmitting the WACM is typically indicated on the cargo as the final destination warehouse.

Under Section 14 of the Customs Sufferance Warehouse Regulations, all CBSA licensed sufferance warehouses are mandated to acknowledge the physical receipt of goods electronically. This requires that they are registered in the CBSA Release Notification System (RNS) and make use of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) to transmit their WACM message. Prior to the Customs Notice amendment, warehouse operators could endorse the bill of lading as proof of the transfer of liability. Now that the WACM is mandatory for all receipts, there are only two options available:

  • Use a third-party service provider accredited by the CBSA to send/receive the WACM message, or
  • Work with the Technical Commercial Client Unit (TCCU) to set up for Release Notification System. Note: To participate in the Release Notification System service warehouse operators or/and their third-party service providers have to register and then have their systems tested by the Technical Commercial Client Unit (TCCU) of the CBSA.  The detailed information on how to participate in the RNS program may be found in the Electronic Commerce Client Requirements Document or by contacting the TCCU on 1-888-957-7224 or by email at tccu-ustcc@cbsa-asfc.gc.ca

WACM Scenarios: When is WACM Required?

  1. Flying Trucks – Warehouse operators need to submit WACM for flying trucks given that such trucks are exempted from transmitting eManifest cargo. Nonetheless, the warehouse operator will receive an ERC 01 – no CCN on file” rejection message. Still, this will be deemed to be enough to fulfill the obligation to transmit the notification before the physical arrival of the goods.
  2. Non-commercial goods – Operators are required to submit the WACM on casual goods that arrive at the sufferance warehouse if the goods come into Canada on a commercial conveyance. (For instance, retail goods or personal/settler effects sold to a person and imported into Canada).
  3. Split-shipments – You will not need to send the WACM for split shipments but you will be required to submit it when the last split shipment arrives at the warehouse.
  4. Consignments with exemption or exception to eManifest Data or Paper Cargo Control Documents – Warehouse operators need to transmit the WACM for all types of paper cargo control documents such as house bills, A8A, and re-manifests. The transmission usually returns an “ERC 01 – no CCN on file” rejection message when submitting a paper controlled consignment. Despite the rejection message, this submission is deemed enough to fulfill the mandatory obligation for transmitting the WACM to the CBSA.

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