The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has been experiencing significant delays in trade-related data processing as of Tuesday afternoon. CBSA indicated the issue is being caused by very high processing demand on CBSA IT systems related to specific recurring transactions in their systems. This has led to a severe backlog and much slower processing times for cross-border shipments.
CBSA indicated the issue could have been caused by the combination of several updates and maintenance being performed on IT systems over the last few weeks, but the agency is still trying to identify the root cause of the issue and is working 24/7 to fix the problem as soon as possible. CBSA is hopeful that the issue will be fully resolved by sometime this Friday.
CBSA’s regional directors have indicated they are actively trying to ensure all commercial lanes are open to deal with the backlog at the border, mitigate border wait times and volume at secondary. They also mentioned that contingency plans have been enacted at the port level and that border officers are trying to facilitate the movement of trucks via paper processing. A link to CBSA’s current contingency plan can be found here: https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/eservices/contingency-urgence/menu-eng.html
As of this morning, CBSA indicated that some of the processing issues have been resolved and the backup is beginning to clear, although they are still seeing significant delays at some ports of entry related to processing paperwork manually. This is especially more pronounced where a decision is required on Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) related shipments.
Although there is no way to expedite a resolution until a root cause is found, CBSA is well aware and understands the significant concerns and costs being incurred by industry. CTA will continue to provide any meaningful updates when they are provided by the agency.