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eManifest Requirements for Tow Truck Operators

1. As of April, 2013, the definition of carrier changed, making tow truck operators eligible for a carrier code.

2. For the purpose of assessing carrier code eligibility, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) defines a carrier as the entity operating a conveyance transporting specified goods to Canada. To operate a conveyance means to have legal custody and control of the conveyance as:

  • (a) an owner,
  • (b) a lessee under a lease or agreement of hire,
  • (c) a charterer under an agreement of hire,
  • (d) as a purchaser under a conditional sale or hire purchase agreement that reserves to the vendor the title to the conveyance until the purchase price is paid or certain conditions are performed, or
  • (e) a mortgagor.

3. As per the amendments made under the Reporting of Imported Goods Regulations, tow truck operators and other highway carriers are responsible for electronically transmitting cargo and conveyance data to the CBSA.

4. The purpose of this notice is to inform tow truck operators of the CBSA‘s interim policy with respect for Advance Commercial Information (ACI) requirements for empty (tow truck) conveyances and conveyances (tow trucks) hauling disabled commercial vehicles.

5. The following chart is a guideline of what is required for the various scenarios that a tow truck operator may be representing:

ScenarioReporting requirement
Empty tow truckVerbal report. No ACI required.
Towing a disabled non-commercial vehicle
(i.e. private automobile)
Verbal report. No ACI required.
Towing a disabled tractorCarrier/owner of disabled vehicle may transmit empty conveyance data to CBSA**
Towing an empty trailerCarrier/owner of disabled vehicle may transmit empty conveyance data to the CBSA**
Towing loaded trailerCarrier/owner of disabled vehicle will transmit cargo and conveyance* ACI/eManifest data to the CBSA

*Note: If there is a trailer loaded with cargo (no conveyance) being towed, only cargo data is required. The CCN (in bar coded format) will have to be provided to the tow truck operator for reporting the cargo at the border.

** CSA approved carriers are not required to transmit empty conveyance data to CBSA

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