U.S. CBP Cross-Border Requirements

Crossing Into the United States as a Trucking CompanyIn order to cross commercially into the United States, the carrier will need to register with the Department of Transportation where the carrier must get a US DOT or MC number. Once a DOT number has been assigned the carrier must then register their company with National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA.org) to get a valid Standard Carrier Alpha Code (SCAC). Once the carrier has a valid Standard Carrier Alpha Code the carrier can then move forward in ordering barcode labels and processing ACE electronic manifests.

Below are helpful articles that cover the process of crossing commercially into the United States:

U.S. Customs Compliance Documents (CBP)

Trusted Trader Programs

Free and Secure Trade (FAST), is a joint initiative between CBP and CBSA designed to enhance border security while speeding up the processing of low risk shipments. Carriers that are FAST approved for the U.S. are able to transport FAST shipments, and are afforded special processing at the border including dedicated lanes and front of line line processing in the case of inspections.


Customs Self Assessment (CSA) allows for the clearance of goods imported by a CSA Approved importer and transported by a CSA Approved carrier. For a shipment to clear under CSA both the importer and carrier must be CSA Approved, and the driver must be registered with either the Commercial Driver Registration Program (CDRP) or the Free And Secure Trade (FAST) driver registration program.


Partners in Protection (PIP) is a cooperative program between private industry and the CBSA aimed at enhancing border and trade chain security. This voluntary program has no membership fee. It is designed to streamline and make border processes more efficient for low-risk, pre-approved businesses recognized as trusted traders.


Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) is a voluntary public-private sector supply chain security program led by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Through this program, CBP works with the trade community to strengthen international supply chains and improve United States border security.

ACE e-Manifest Requirements

The Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) is U.S. Customs and Border Protection's electronic manifest program. It is intended to facilitate trade while strengthening border security. Since 2007, highway carriers have had to comply with ACE Manifest requirements when bringing goods into the United States by filing an ACE Manifest at least one hour prior to arrival at the border. For more information on ACE guidelines, refer to the following ACE Manifest Training Resources from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

ACE Program Overview

ACE is the backbone of CBP's trade processing and risk management activities and provides a single, centralized access point to connect CBP, Partner Government Agencies (PGAs) and the trade community.

ACE Requirements for Trucks

Under ACE Manifest regulations trucks must ensure that BOTH the ACE Manifest and the entry number by the customs broker (for PAPS shipments) are on file with CBP for at least one hour prior to the driver's arrival at the border. Failure to do so could result in delays at the border, refused entry into the U.S. and/or an penalty action.

For more information on CBP Penalties Program: https://www.cbp.gov/trade/programs-administration/penalties

ACE Manifest Arrival Requirements

When arriving at the border in the United States, the driver must present customs paperwork (ie customs invoice and/or Bill of Lading) with a legible trip number or shipment control number. Although CBP officers capture the trip information from the truck licence plate, a PAPS barcode and/or barcoded ACE lead sheet can expedite the border processing time and also helps the officer to bring up the ACE Manifest in their system.

The officer will then verify the information is correct, and it is their discretion to move the driver to secondary inspection or not for further verification. CBP officers do not stamp paperwork upon release of the shipment, and the only way to prove that a shipment was released with CBP is to use a signed proof of delivery document.

ACE Manifest lead sheets can be generated from within BorderConnect, either from the manifest or as a set ahead of time. The carrier can also design and produce their own lead sheets.

Shipment Release Types Required for ACE Manifest

The following shipment types are used for goods entering United States via highway carrier:

PAPS - default shipment type for commercial goods entering the U.S., allows pre-clearance of goods.
In-Bond - allows for inland movement of goods that are not considered 'released' by CBP.
Section 321 - allows for import of goods valued under 800 USD.
IIT - used for empty racks and containers that cross the border in international transportation.
ATA Carnet - type of temporary import.
BRASS - type of pre-clearance, can only be used by FAST-approved drivers. (phasing out)
Personal Shipment - used when non-commercial goods are transported by highway carriers.
Free of Duty - used for duty free merchandise not exceeding 2000 USD in value.
Returned American Products - type of informal entry that allows for the release of shipments of products of the United States being returned.
Goods Astray - used for the return to the U.S. of refused or undeliverable shipments or goods brought into Canada accidentally.
International Mail - used to report shipments of mail moving from a foreign postal service to the U.S. Postal Service.
Intangibles - used for the release of certain specific commodities including business records and articles returned from space.

The information contained on this page was generated from the BorderConnect Support Wiki.