CTA: CBSA Issues Policy Direction on ArriveCAN


On February 14th the Government of Canada issued an Order in Council declaring that all travellers must use the ArriveCAN App for the purpose of re-entering Canada. As truck drivers are essential travellers, CTA has worked on clarifying the impact of this Order in Council on truck drivers that cross the border for work purposes. Late this evening, CTA received this clarification from the agency.

As of February 21st, 2021, at 11:59:59 PM, it will be required for all travellers to submit their information electronically before or when entering Canada. Commercial transporters will continue to be able to submit the mandatory information before or when entering Canada. For travellers who have not submitted their information in advance, they will be asked to provide it on entry. No Canadian driver will be denied entry into the country.

So in summary: truck drivers, for the time being, will have three options to comply: (i) ArriveCan App (ii) Web Portal (iii) oral declaration. However, the oral declaration is only being allowed to facilitate the movement of cross-border trade until a reasonable transition timeframe has elapsed, which is still to be determined. CTA will be working closely with its members and CBSA on this transition timeframe.

CBSA stated the following to CTA: “Commercial transporters will continue to be able to submit the mandatory information before or when entering Canada. For travellers who have not submitted their information in advance, they will be asked to provide it on entry.  While it is not mandatory for the information to be submitted in advance of crossing the border at this time, the use of ArriveCAN for travellers to submit their information in advance of the border is strongly recommended. ArriveCAN is a secure and user-friendly tool to help travellers comply with Canada’s enhanced border measures. ArriveCAN is available as a free mobile app available for download from Google Play or the App Store or by signing in online via Canada.ca/ArriveCAN.”

To accommodate drivers who do not have access to a smartphone, drivers have the option to sign-in online on any personal computing device (e.g. tablet) to use the non-app version of ArriveCAN. This will require the driver to have an e-mail address. If a driver does not have an e-mail address, CTA has included a link below for carriers to assist drivers on how to set-up a Gmail account.

CTA has also clarified that drivers can submit this required ArriveCan information in advance of their trip. For example, a driver leaving from Montreal to Los Angeles, can submit the required information from their carriers Montreal terminal before they leave for their trip to Los Angeles via the portal or a smartphone.

CTA has been told by CBSA that it is their intention to facilitate the movement of the supply chain and not be punitive in the early stages of the new policy. This message has also been delivered to the regional directors of all ports of entry across Canada. These directors have educated frontline border officers on this guidance. If a member experiences enforcement action/fines over providing an oral declaration of ArriveCAN information, please contact lak.shoan@cantruck.ca.

There are many issues that will need to be dealt with regarding this new border policy in the coming days/weeks. CTA will be issuing a FAQ next week based on questions received from members and answered by CBSA. Questions regarding this policy should be directed by e-mail to lak.shoan@cantruck.ca. The Government of Canada has assured CTA that they will “engage with industry to allow for the appropriate measures are in place to allow for a seamless implementation, to the greatest extent possible.”

CTA will also be monitoring border delays as a result of this policy and its enforcement approach. Members experiencing significant border delays please contact lak.shoan@cantruck.ca

Below is a series of links and guidance to assist industry in meeting compliance:

  • Members can download the ArriveCAN app for free on Google Play and Apple App stores.
  • Access to the app is also available through the web using a computer/laptop for those who do not have access to a smartphone. This will require you to create an account which will need an email address, such as Gmail. Creating an email is free of charge, and you can follow the instructions to setup an account here.
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