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    What is the Pre Arrival Processing System (PAPS)?

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    The Pre-Arrival Processing System (PAPS) is a U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection border cargo release mechanism that utilizes barcode technology to expedite the release of commercial shipments while still processing each shipment through Border Cargo Selectivity (BCS) and the Automated Targeting System (ATS). Each PAPS shipment requires a unique barcode label, which the carrier attaches to the invoice and the truck manifest while the merchandise is still in Canada. The barcode consists of the U.S. Standard Carrier Alpha Code (SCAC) and Pro-Bill number. This information is then faxed ahead to the Customs broker in the U.S., who prepares a BCS entry in ACS. Upon the truck’s arrival at the border, the Customs Inspector scans the barcode, which automatically retrieves the entry information from ACS. If no examination is required, the Inspector then releases the truck from the primary booth, reducing the carrier’s wait time and easing congestion at the U.S. border. How to use PAPS 1) To obtain your U.S. Standard Carrier Alpha Code (SCAC), contact the National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA) at (703) 838-1868 or at www.NMFTA.org 2) Fax a copy of your NMFTA letter of notification with your assigned SCAC to: Customs and Border Protection Office of Applications Development ATTN: Charles A. Bennett (703) 921-7173 (Fax number) 3) Creating a PAPS barcode: Some carriers develop their own and others use commercial printers. Remember, the SCAC, Number, and Check Digit should be continuous without spaces or dashes. Bar Code Label Design 2 7/8” wide by 1 1/4” high SCAC and PRO must be less than 16 characters Medium density code 3 of 9 4) To ensure barcode compatibility with Customs technology, a sample of your PAPS designated barcode must be tested at the ports of entry where PAPS entries will be processed. This action must be completed prior to the processing of PAPS transactions. 5) Inform your Customs Broker of your intent to use PAPS and acquire their broker/filer code. Also, establish fax procedures to transmit entry information, which will includes, invoice, SCAC, and pro bill number and an agreement on the amount of advanced notice needed for submitting ABI entry information. Important Note: PAPS is for U.S. bound commercial vehicles and is NOT INTERCHANGEABLE with the Canadian PARS System which is designed for Canadian bound commercial traffic.

    Customs & Border Protection (CBP), Department of Homeland Security

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