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Advanced EDI Documents You Should Be Using

EDM-ImageThe first one is a bit silly. 95% of all EDI users are spokes and they use what their hubs tell them to use. So the only companies that this can possibly apply to are Hubs. But perhaps there is a little bit more. The one that specifically comes to mind is the 820 Remittance Advice. It can be used to both inform your trading partner that they are getting paid and it can instruct the bank to make the payment (SWIFT or ACH).


It really completes the supply chain process and removes any need to cut checks. Of course, the bank routing and account numbers will need to be shared. It is actually something that spokes could implement independently of their Hubs for their own benefit. They should contact their bank and see what is possible. But now we have another one that will grow to several transactions.

Advanced Commercial Information (ACI), also known as eManifest, Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) for Highway Cargo and Conveyance. Not just like the old days when you just downloaded a form like the 850 Purchase Order and gave it too your support staff to figure it out, This is like a whole set of systems specifications. It comes from the Electronic Commerce Unit (ECU) of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) which will endeavour to provide as much advance notice as possible of major system changes and will notify clients of upcoming changes via e-mail. ANSI map is based on Version 5050.

There are four options for Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) clients to transmit electronic commerce data to CBSA's host system. To participate in EDI, one of these methods must be implemented:

Value Added Network (VAN)


Third Party Service Provider
There are many CBSA approved third party service providers who currently transmit data to CBSA, using a variety of communication modes. Companies who have completed testing their software/service for ACI – HIGHWAY currently has 27 companies listed. Some are familiar names like, Kleinschmidt Inc., FedEx.


Customs Internet Gateway
CBSA developed the Customs Internet Gateway (CIG) to provide clients with a method to transmit and receive data over the Internet. CBSA adopted a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) to safeguard the integrity and confidentiality of the data. Clients are required to purchase specific software for encryption and decryption and to develop, or purchase, the protocol software to connect to the CIG. Clients would need to transmit the data from a Canadian office as the certificate is only assigned to a device in Canada.


Direct Connect to the CBSA
The Direct Connect is an alternative that provides clients with a direct connection to CBSA. This communication method requires an initial investment of $25,000 (+/-5,000) to set-up and 6,000 (+/- 2,000) in annual maintenance fees.

Government requirements (from the government) and views from interested parties are very helpful.

Next CBSA implementation is rail. This one gets “delicate”. Easy to park a few trucks at a border crossing. But what do you do with a mile-long train if a railroad's EDI system “crashes”?

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