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What is CARM?

The CBSA Assessment and Revenue Management (CARM) project is a multi-year initiative that will transform the collection of tax and duty for goods imported into Canada.

Through CARM, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) will also introduce a new suite of online tools to help streamline the process of importing commercial goods into Canada.  

Read more on CBSA’s CARM webpage

Features & Benefits of CARM Initiative

Watch the CBSA’s CARM video

The development and release of this new program is on a very rapid timeline.  Although design and policy has not yet been finalized by CSBA, the agency has released information about many of CARM’s upcoming features, requirements, and functions. 

Keep in mind these may be subject to some change before the full program launches. Please visit this site regularly or subscribe to our CARM e-bulletins for ongoing updates.

CBSA's Implementation Timeframes

COMPLETE: CARM Release 0 will have no impact on importers. CBSA will simply move the existing Accounts Receivable Ledger (ARL) system from its current data centre configuration to the more robust SAP S4/HANA system in the cloud.

Target Date: May 25, 2021: CARM Release 1 will provide businesses with the first opportunity to register for access to the CARM Client Portal (CCP). The CCP will allow them to see their amounts owing and manage their accounts with the CBSA , including the receipt of Daily Notices (DN’s) monthly Statements of Account (SOA) and the ability to make payments directly to CBSA. Payment directly to CBSA will require almost all importers to post a yearly surety bond.  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to request a bond or contact your local account representative.

Spring 2022: CARM Release 2 will introduce a new electronic commercial accounting declaration (CAD) that will replace the current customs coding form (B3) and request for adjustment form (B2). As well, new features for payment and billing processes will make it easier to make corrections and adjustments. Importers will have to be enrolled on the CCP as of the start of this phase or risk having their shipments held at the border.

 Subscribe to CARM Updates

Need more information?

Cole is ready to help. If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact your local account manager or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. today.

Require a customs bond? CLICK HERE to submit a request and one of our CARM representatives will contact you directly. 



 

Most of CARM’s key features have been established and will be part of the new CARM Client Portal (CCP).

With the implementation of the CCP, all importers will be required to register for access to the portal and participate in managing their own customs activities and profiles in closer coordination with customs brokers and other service providers.

CBSA has advised that failure to apply for CCP access will prevent your goods from crossing the border. 

Primary features of the CCP

Account management 

  • All importers will be required to self-manage access to their profile in the secure CCP site by delegating authority to their employees, customs broker/s or other service providers, to allow them to manage specific tasks within the portal.

Customs payment

  • Under CARM, importers will be responsible for making all payments for duty and taxes directly to CBSA.  
  • Payment will be facilitated via electronic funds transfer (EFT), electronic data interchange (EDI) payment, credit card, or pre-authorized debit (PAD). CBSA will be phasing out payment by cash or cheque.

Release prior to payment (RPP) bond

  • The new program will require all importers to supply CBSA with a surety bond to guarantee the payment of all duties and taxes before goods will be released from Customs control. 
  • Importers will be required to proactively review security requirements for their bond through the CCP and proactively increase bond levels as required to meet their on-going import needs. 
  • Customs has advised that the system will also prompt importers as their levels approach the maximum limit of the current bond. 

Customs Accounting Declaration (CAD)

  • Once a customs release is arranged by a customs broker or a customs authorized courier, the CCP will allow the importer to prepare and electronically submit their own CAD should they choose.
  • Customs brokers will still be able to file CADs on behalf of any importer that designates that broker as their agent within their CCP profile.

Corrections

  • The CCP will allow the importer to file corrections to almost any field within their CAD, without penalty or interest, up until the payment due date. 
  • Customs brokers, when designated, will also be able to file these corrections via their existing EDI programs with CBSA.

Mass claims

  • The new CCP will give importers the ability to prepare and electronically submit mass blanket adjustments or refunds. 
  • It will also allow importers to delegate portal access to their customs broker or customs consultants so they may prepare these claims through the portal on their behalf.

Customs rulings

  • Importers will be able to file requests for customs rulings directly with CBSA via the portal or delegate CCP access to their customs broker, allowing them to prepare and file these rulings on their behalf.

E29B temporary import permit

  • Importers will be able to file requests for an E29B temporary import permit directly to the CBSA via the portal or delegate their customs broker to access their CCP to prepare and file these permits on their behalf.

HS tariff search engine

  • The CCP will incorporate a search engine to assist importers with identifying the correct 10-digit Harmonized System Tariff (HS) codes for their product. 
  • It is important to note that the HS tariff provided by the CBSA CCP portal will not be considered binding on CBSA, unless the importer files for a Customs ruling on the product.

The development and release of this new program is on a very rapid timeline.  Although design and policy has not yet been finalized by CSBA, the agency has released information about many of CARM’s upcoming features, requirements, and functions. 

Keep in mind these may be subject to some change before the full program launches. Please visit this site regularly or subscribe to our CARM e-bulletins for ongoing updates.

Subscribe to CARM Updates

Need more information?

Cole is ready to help. If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact your local account manager or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. today.

Require a customs bond? CLICK HERE to submit a request and one of our CARM representatives will contact you directly. 



 

The first impact to importers will be the release of the CARM Customs Portal (CCP).  

CARM Customs Portal (CCP)

All importers will need to register for CCP access once it is released in the second quarter of 2021. Please note that this is mandatory. Failure to register will prevent customs release of your goods at the border.  

Through the CCP, importers will have the ability to manage a variety of customs processes. Read more about the portal’s features here.

You’ll be able to:

  • manage your CBSA daily activity notices and monthly statement of account
  • electronically pay your customs duties, taxes, and fees directly to CBSA
  • apply for customs rulings
  • apply for temporary import permits
  • prepare a Commercial Accounting Declaration (CAD)
  • make individual corrections and prepare mass adjustments to a CAD
  • research HS tariff codes

Importer responsibilities 

CARM changes the customs landscape for importers, requiring you to manage and oversee some tasks your customs broker may currently handle. CARM does include delegation to your customs broker, however some things need to be handled by your internal operations.

Payments and account management

  • Under CARM, importers are responsible for paying CBSA directly for duties, taxes, and fees. 
  • Importers must manage their own statements, account balances, discrepancies, and payments through the portal.
  • Payments are required within specific timelines, which may differ from your current payment timelines with your customs broker.  

Importers will have the ability to assign/delegate some or all of these functions to their customs brokers or other service providers. However, you will still need to proactively monitor and manage the delegation of those authorities.

Surety bond

  • Almost all commercial importers will be required to purchase a surety bond to indemnify CBSA relating to the payment of duty and taxes to CBSA.
  • It is expected (but not yet finalized) that the bond amount will be based on the importer’s highest level of monthly duties, taxes, and CBSA fees (including GST) for a single month, from their past 12-month history. 
  • The minimum bond level is proposed at $25,000 and the maximum bond will be $10 million.
  • For any importers exceeding the minimum bond threshold, CBSA has proposed a bond equal to 50% of the highest monthly duties, taxes, and fees (including GST) for a single month, from their past 12-month history. 

For example: if the highest monthly payable to CBSA is $200,000, the bond amount will be $100,000. If the highest monthly payable is $80,000 then the importer will need a $40,000 bond.

CARM does not affect the customs release process. Customs release will still be done by customs brokers and customs authorized couriers in the same manner as it is done today.

The development and release of this new program is on a very rapid timeline.  Although design and policy has not yet been finalized by CSBA, the agency has released information about many of CARM’s upcoming features, requirements, and functions. 

Keep in mind these may be subject to some change before the full program launches. Please visit this site regularly or subscribe to our CARM e-bulletins for ongoing updates.

Subscribe to CARM Updates

Need more information?

Cole is ready to help. If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact your local account manager or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. today.

Require a customs bond? CLICK HERE to submit a request and one of our CARM representatives will contact you directly. 



 

CBSA has not finalized all of the processes and policies for CARM, but here are a few things you can do now to prepare. We advise you to take these steps as soon as possible.

Step 1: Get your customs bond now 

There will be approximately 300,000 importers and trade chain partners that will have to obtain and register their customs bonds within the next 12 months. To avoid backlogs, delays, or the inability to get a bond before the go live date for CARM, obtain and register your bond with CBSA now. 

Step 2: Register for your CCP portal access as soon as it becomes available

The CCP portal is scheduled to tentatively go live Spring 2021 and the full CARM program has been delayed due to COVID-19 issues. We will provide an update as soon as the final date is announced. Once live, register for your account as soon as possible to avoid potential backlogs in filing for on-line access.

IMPORTANT: CBSA has advised that without a CCP portal account and a surety bond, you may not be allowed to import your goods once the CARM program goes live.

  • All importers that obtain a bond prior to the release will automatically be set up with a basic sign-on as soon as the CCP goes live.  
  • For all other companies, you will need to apply for a CCP sign on/account as soon as the portal system goes live. Each CCP user will also need to create and account and request access to their business portal account.
  • As noted above, there will be thousands of importers that have to register within a relatively short period of time.

Some questions to consider before CCP is released:

  1. Who will act as your primary account holder for CCP access?
  2. Who will be the alternate account holder? 

You may wish to have the primary account holder be your main in-house customs contact, someone familiar with customs issues. The alternate may be someone within your Accounting or Finance group that will manage the statement and payment processes.

Step 3: Review your payables process well in advance

CBSA has very specific guidelines for when payments must be made. On time payment is critical under this new system.

In most cases, the payment terms/timelines you currently have in place with your customs broker will not be the same as the required CBSA timelines. 

You will need to review your payables process and payment timeframes to:

  • Confirm your bank is set up to receive and transmit payments on behalf of CBSA
  • Ensure your payment process is set up to meet the payment deadlines mandated by CBSA, including allowing sufficient timelines for any internal approvals
  • Verify you have the resources and processes in place to regularly review your daily activity notices and monthly statement of account to catch any potential errors and discrepancies
  • Confirm any applicable third-party payment companies at home or offshore have the ability to manage this process for you. This process is crucial to the ongoing movement of your goods across the border. You may need to reconsider these partners’ involvement with customs payments and bring this process back in-house so you have direct control of the process.
  • Non-resident importers may need to establish a Canadian bank account to support this payable process, as all payments must be in Canadian dollars. Many of the main US banks are not set up electronically with CBSA.

Step 4: Decide how you will manage your service providers

CBSA will require you to confirm, within your CCP profile, which customs brokers you use, including couriers. 

You will need to decide:

  • The level of information and features each broker will have access to, and
  • What each company will manage on your behalf. 

For importers with multiple brokers this may present a significant challenge.  

Some questions to consider:

  1. Do you have a primary broker that manages the bulk of your business? Will they have access to all your import information or just what they handle? 
  2. Do you have consultants that will need access to import records for one or all of your brokers?  
  3. How will you manage changes in brokerage firms and other service providers and changes to delegation options?  
  4. Will you need to consolidate some of your customs business or service providers to reduce the number of firms you need to manage? 
  5. What services within the portal will you manage yourself and what will you have managed by your service providers?

The final information relating to how access authority will be granted and how you can delegate that access has not yet been released by CBSA. Please visit our website or sign up for e-bulletins for further changes.

Step 5: Stay informed

Sign up for Cole’s electronic CARM updates
Regularly visit our CARM web page
Regularly visit CBSA’s CARM web page

The development and release of this new program is on a very rapid timeline.  Although design and policy has not yet been finalized by CSBA, the agency has released information about many of CARM’s upcoming features, requirements, and functions. 

Keep in mind these may be subject to some change before the full program launches. Please visit this site regularly or subscribe to our CARM e-bulletins for ongoing updates.

Subscribe to CARM Updates

Need more information?

Cole is ready to help. If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact your local account manager or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. today.

Require a customs bond? CLICK HERE to submit a request and one of our CARM representatives will contact you directly. 



 

Monitoring CBSA notices

  • Importers will need to monitor their CBSA notices and messages daily.
  • This may require additional resources in some companies depending on how many business units are importing under the company’s 9-digit business number.

Strict penalties

  • Failure to fully pay your statements to CBSA within time limits or maintain appropriate levels of security may result in CBSA restricting your ability to clear goods at the border.
  • Your payables department will need to have access to your CCP account and will need to establish new procedures for reviewing your customs statements and paying CBSA electronically, within regulation guidelines. 
  • Importers will pay CBSA directly for all duties and taxes and pay their customs broker separately for their fees. Confirm that your bank is set up with CBSA for electronic payments.

New internal processes

  • Two contacts will need to be established as the primary and alternate CCP account managers within your organization. 
  • We would recommend the person in your organization interfaces with your customs broker act as the primary and someone in your accounts payable department that will manage your daily and monthly statements and payments to CSBA act as the alternate.

The development and release of this new program is on a very rapid timeline.  Although design and policy has not yet been finalized by CSBA, the agency has released information about many of CARM’s upcoming features, requirements, and functions. 

Keep in mind these may be subject to some change before the full program launches. Please visit this site regularly or subscribe to our CARM e-bulletins for ongoing updates.

Subscribe to CARM Updates

Need more information?

Cole is ready to help. If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact your local account manager or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. today.

Require a customs bond? CLICK HERE to submit a request and one of our CARM representatives will contact you directly. 

 


 

Glossary of Terms - Credit: Canadian Society of Customs Brokers (CSCB)

ACI – Advance Commercial Information

A program that provides Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers with electronic pre-arrival cargo information so that they are equipped with the right information at the right time to identify health, safety and security threats related to commercial goods before the goods arrive in Canada.

API – Application Programming Interface

An application programming interface (API) is a computing interface which defines interactions between multiple software intermediaries. It defines the kinds of calls or requests that can be made, how to make them, the data formats that should be used, the conventions to follow, etc. It can also provide extension mechanisms so that users can extend existing functionality in various ways and to varying degrees.

AR – Advance Ruling

The CBSA publishes advance rulings to help the importing community determine the proper tariff classification of goods. These rulings provide information on the importation of particular goods, including their 10-digit tariff classification and ensures that the tariff classification number used is deemed correct by the CBSA. The ruling is binding until it is revoked or amended.

ARL - Accounts Receivable Ledger

The Accounts Receivable Ledger (ARL), which was implemented in 2016, is the official system of record for commercial accounting and payment at the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). It is the first phase of the CBSA Assessment and Revenue Management (CARM) project to modernize commercial payments.

ASEC – Account Security Number

Today, the ASEC is a 5-digit number assigned to Importers and Customs Brokers who post Release Prior to Payment (RPP) financial security with the CBSA and is used to facilitate Release on Minimum Documentation (RMD). The ASEC forms the first five digits of the Transaction Control Number, and is used to identify the bond holder securing the shipment when released on minimum documentation. As of CARM Release 2, the ASEC is no longer linked to RPP privileges and would exclusively note the Customs Broker or Importer clearing the shipment / obtaining Release on Minimum Documentation.

BAM – Business Account Manager

The Business Account Manager (BAM) is the primary CCP user with complete administrative access and functionality who registers and sets up the business account on the CCP, requests and establishes access to client accounts, and delegates access to all other subsequent CCP users. Business refers to the BN9 level of your company.

BN – Business Number (BN9)

The legally registered 9-digit Business number assigned by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The BN identifies the Trade Chain Partner responsible for the payment of duty and taxes, as well as any outstanding penalties.

BN15

The legally registered 15-digit import/export business number assigned by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), also known as the RM account.

CAD – Commercial Accounting Declaration

The CAD is a digital document which will replace the existing B3 Declaration and B2 Adjustment documents. The CAD will provide a single document to submit accounting information to the CBSA which will use version management to allow for changes while maintaining the history of the document and eliminating the requirement to account for changes on separate documents types and create a single accounting declaration of record.

CARM – CBSA Assessment and Revenue Management

The CARM project is a multi-year initiative to transform the collection of duties and taxes for goods imported into Canada. CARM targets the revenue and cash management systems currently in place, and replaces them with a simplified process, including electronic payment options. Release 1 of CARM will be implemented in May 2021.

CBSS – Customs Broker Summary Statement

With the implementation of CARM, the Customs Broker Summary Statement will replace the Customs Broker SOA and include accounting summaries for all importers (by BN15) for which the Customs Broker has submitted import declarations. The summary statement will provide a summarized view (count and amount) of import declarations and payment transactions per importer BN15 made in the billing period.

CCP – CARM Client Portal, also known as the portal

The CARM Client Portal (CCP) is the central feature of the CARM project which, once fully functional, will become the main communications interface between the CBSA and trade chain partners. Through the portal, users will have online self-service access to manage their customs

transactions, including electronic submission of corrections and adjustments, applying for classification rulings, accounting and payment of any applicable duties, taxes and fees on their imported goods, as well as access to a duty and tax calculator and HS classification tool.

CLVS – Courier Low Value Shipments

The CLVS Program is an express/expedited program designed for the clearance of express shipments. ...

Couriers authorized by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to participate in the program may have qualifying goods released by presenting a cargo/release list to the CBSA.

CSA – Customs Self-Assessment

Customs Self-Assessment (CSA) is a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) trusted trader program designed to streamline the import process for authorized low-risk importers who have the systems capability to self-assess the accounting for imported goods to the CBSA, revenue reporting and the payment of duties and taxes.

CTC – Continuous Transmission Commodities

Continuous Transmission Commodities (CTC) describes electricity, crude oil, natural gas, and other tangible personal property transportable by wire, pipeline or conduit.

Delegation of Authority

Delegation of Authority refers to approved CCP access to business and program accounts. Business Account Managers have the responsibility for delegating access to employees as well as requesting delegated access to client business and accounts.

DN – Daily Notice

Daily Notices (DN) combine multiple transaction types into one statement, enabling account-level management and reconciliation, and helps to manage payment due dates. Daily Notices contain information about payments made, interest owing, credits on account and disbursements issued. DN are issued at the business number (BN9) level.

ECCRD – Electronic Commerce Client Requirements Document

The ECCRD is a CBSA document which provides comprehensive information about business and system requirements of various new and amended electronic transactions. When a CBSA program is either added or modified, an ECCRD is issued by the CBSA mapping the electronic details of the program.

EDI – Electronic Data interchange

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is a standardized way of electronically exchanging information between and within businesses, organizations, government entities and other groups. These standards specify the formats, character sets, and data elements used in the exchange of business documents and forms.

Editor

Editors are able to create, view and edit all transaction information on the CCP within an RM program account for either their employer’s or importer client RM accounts.

Expired User

A CCP user defaults to Expired status if the business relationship in the portal between the importer and customs broker is terminated.

Financial Security

Financial security is a key area of change impacted by the implementation of CARM Release 2 at which time the CBSA will require all importers who want to participate in the RPP program to enroll and post security with the CBSA. Security may be posted in the form of a cash bond, a (continual) surety bond, or a one-time single entry bond.

Financial Statements

Includes Daily Notice, Statement of Account, and Customs Broker Summary Statement

HVS – High Value Shipments

High Value Shipment (HVS) describes commercial goods with a value for duty exceeding $3,300 CAD

Importer

An individual or business that imports commercial goods into Canada. The importer is responsible for the payment of all duties and taxes to the CBSA; the accuracy of the information presented to the CBSA; payment of any fines or penalties resulting from missing or inaccurate information; and for providing any necessary import permits and special certificates required.

IT – Information Technology

Information Technology (IT) refers to anything related to computing technology, such as networking, hardware, software, the Internet, or the people that work with these technologies.

LVS – Low Value Shipment

Low Value Shipment (LVS) describes commercial goods with a value for duty below $3,300 CAD

NCR – National Customs Ruling

A National Customs Ruling (NCR) Is a written statement by the CBSA, outlining how provisions of existing customs legislation apply to goods imported into Canada. An NCR will provide instruction concerning the CBSA's origin (Most–Favored Nation Tariff or non-Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Preferential Tariff Treatment), valuation, or marking programs. NCRs are provided as an administrative service for the convenience and guidance of importers, foreign exporters, and foreign producers.

Nudge

An alert issued by the CBSA on the portal when there is an issue to be addressed in regards to the financial security status for the account.

Orphan User

An Orphan User has registered on the CCP and created their personal profile, but has not yet been accepted or linked to the business or program account.

PAD – Pre-Authorized Debit

Pre-authorized debits (PADs) are a convenient way to pay bills and make other payments automatically. Instead of sending a payment, the funds are automatically withdrawn from your bank account with your prior authorized consent.

PAM – Program Account Manager

The Program Account Manager (PAM) has the ability to modify program (BN15) registration information, grant access to employees as either Editors or Readers, and create, view and edit all the transaction information within a program, their assigned BN15.

POE – Point of Entry

A seaport, airport or land border crossing where people and merchandise can enter or leave Canada.

Program

Program refers to a BN15 (import account, RM identifier).

R1 – Release 1

CARM Release 1 will provide businesses with new tools to allow them to see their amounts owing and manage their accounts with the CBSA. It will include an online CARM Client Portal with self-service tools for invoicing and payments. If you are an importer or broker that currently interacts with the CBSA, plan to create your secure account in the CARM Client Portal so you can take advantage of these tools and be ready for future releases. The release date for Release 1 is planned for May 2021.

R2 – Release 2

CARM Release 2 will introduce a new electronic commercial accounting declaration that will replace the current customs coding form (B3) and request for adjustment form (B2). As well, new features to the payment and billing processes will make it easier to make corrections and adjustments. CBSA will continue to offer the Release Prior to Payment Program (RPP). However, changes are being made so that importers will have to secure their commercial imports directly. The release date for Release 2 is planned for May 2022.

Reader

Readers are able to view all transaction information on the CCP within an RM program account for either their employer’s or importer client RM accounts, but are unable to create or edit information.

Release Notice

The Release Notice informs clients when goods have been authorized to be removed from a CBSA office, sufferance warehouse, bonded warehouse, or duty-free shop for use within Canada.

SCR – Same Condition Rulings

CUSMA allows full drawback or deferral of customs duties on goods exported in the same condition in which they were imported. Imported goods may undergo certain operations in Canada and still be considered to be exported in the same condition.

SOA – Statement of Account

SOAs will be issued to all TCPs who have incurred a financial transaction with the CBSA on their own account (BN15). SOAs will include a summary of the transactions posted on the TCP’s client account in CARM and for which the Account Holder is liable to make payments

TCCU – Technical Commercial Client Unit

The Technical Commercial Client Unit (TCCU) at the CBSA is your primary point of contact for most issues involving the transmission of commercial electronic data.

TCP – Trade Chain Partner

Trade Chain Partner (TCP) is an enterprise that is directly involved in the importation or cross-border movement of goods imported.

Version

With the introduction of the CAD, corrections and adjustments will be recorded as new versions of the original CAD, where the transaction number submitted on the original CAD remains for life, no matter how many versions are created. All previous versions of the CAD are recorded in the transaction history for audit purposes.

VFD – Value for Duty

The value for duty is the base figure on which duty you may owe on your goods is calculated. Even if you do not owe duty, the value for duty of goods must still be established so that any applicable assessment of the goods and services tax, provincial sales tax or harmonized sales tax, may be calculated, if applicable.

Subscribe to CARM Updates

Need more information?

Cole is ready to help. If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact your local account manager or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. today.

Require a customs bond? CLICK HERE to submit a request and one of our CARM representatives will contact you directly. 

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