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F-aci Canada Rail

F-aci Canada Rail is a fully automated processing system that is currently available on Flagship’s Virtual Host System.  This system provides rail carriers with an automated interface into Canada Border Services Agency’s (CBSA) Advance Commercial Information (ACI) system.  Each F-aci Canada Rail system is completely customized to the rail carrier’s specific requirements and is designed to integrate easily with their existing systems.

Data can be entered or edited manually, but this is not the preferred use of the system.  Generally, the data is received electronically from the rail customer and is automatically processed into their F-aci Canada Rail database.  The data is automatically submitted into ACI.  All responses from ACI are then automatically processed back into the F-aci Canada Rail database.  Customers can receive automated e-mails for any updates, as needed.  Some of these include status notifications of holds, broker notifications, cargo control documents, consist processing, CUSRES notifications, etc.

Processing data into F-aci Canada Rail can be as automated as the customer needs.   For example:

  • The rail customer sends EDI-417 waybill files.  These files are automatically processed into the rail database and a cargo control number is automatically assigned (calculated from the car number and the waybill date).  After the cargo control number is validated, it is automatically submitted to Customs (by sending an EDI-309 file – Customs manifest).
  • For cars entering Canada – Canada Customs sends back an EDI-824 message (Application advice) and that is automatically processed into the rail database.  The bill status is updated and logged).
  • The rail customer also sends EDI-418 (rail advance interchange consist) files.  These files are automatically processed into the customer’s rail database and the train ID is automatically assigned (calculated from the train symbol, a table in the system and EDA provided in the file).  After the consist is validated, it is automatically submitted to Customs (by sending an EDI-358 file – Customs consist information).
  • Amendments/corrections are also processed automatically/electronically – via the same process.
  • Manual amendments and corrections are also processed.  The system forces the users to submit any amended data to Customs prior to exiting the option.
  • Any actions are logged into the transaction log for every bill of lading and consist.  Therefore a complete history is available.
  • Shipper, consignee, broker and other party information is automatically processed from the EDI-417 files.  Tables can also be used that will also automatically assign brokers for specific shippers or consignees.  Line release tables are also available.  These can be as specific or general, as preferred.
  • We have automated e-mail processing lists for processing cargo control documents, processed/rejected consists, and CUSREPs.  The customers can be notified automatically (via e-mail) of any problems or errors on their cars, containers or trains.
  • A variety of reports are also available.  The most common are Inward Train reports, Outward Train reports, Broker Entry status reports, Report of cars on-hold, and Manifest Errors reports.  Customer-specific customized reports are also available.

CBSA is modernizing and improving their cross-border commercial processes.  Their new system eManifest will be replacing their legacy ACI system.  Flagship is working closely with CBSA and is currently converting our F-aci Canada rail system to the new e-Manifest requirements.  This new system will be released, once available.