- Workplace Type: On-site
CBSA Assessment and Revenue Management
Ideally, by now you have taken care of setting up the basics:
- Completed registration in the CCP
- Delegated authority
- Set up your financial security
Now let’s provide you with the knowledge you need to understand your CBSA import account so you can review your payment processes.
Get familiar with your CBSA import account
When it comes to your CBSA account(s) and payment with CARM:
- Importers are responsible for their account status with the CBSA.
- Importer accounts follow a monthly accounting and billing cycle.
- Payments must be made by a broker and/or the importer according to the agreement in place.
- Payments to the CBSA must be made within specific timelines—and these may differ from your current payment timelines with your customs broker.
- In CARM R2, importers will be responsible for the payment of all duties and taxes directly to the CBSA.
What is the Statement of Account (SOA)?
The Accounts Receivable Ledger (ARL) is the accounting and payment system used by the CBSA to post transactions and establish balances owing on an import account. The ARL follows a monthly billing cycle for account activities and timelines. The CCP offers a new form of visibility into these account transactions and access to the monthly Statement of Account (SOA).
A Daily Notice (DN) reflects transactions posted to your import account the previous day. As you might expect, this summary is delivered daily and is a useful tool in managing your import account. As the DN is not available in the CCP, importers need to register to receive this via an Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) connection – usually through their customs broker.
The Statement of Account (SOA) is a monthly statement generated on the 25th of each month. It provides a summary of the account’s DNs, including transactions from the 25th of the previous month to the 24th of the current month. It also shows that period’s account activity and the total payable by you and/or your broker to the CBSA by the end of that month.
Other balances and activity in your account shown on the SOA include:
- payments made
- past due balances
- interest owing
- credits on account
- disbursements issued
There are two types of SOA:
Broker SOA: This only shows transactions and balances associated with that broker.
Importer SOA: This shows all transactions and balances.
Where can I see my SOA?
You can download your Importer SOA straight from the CCP via the financial information page. A notification will be sent to your CCP account informing you that a statement is available. You can find this in the notification section on the top right of the home page in your CCP account.
You can also register to receive your importer DNs and SOA via EDI; this is commonly done through registration via your customs broker and delivered by email if you are enrolled in a Direct Payment Option with them. Speak to your account representative if you are unsure about your payment option in place.
If you are not yet reviewing your importer SOA, it is important you begin doing so as there may be credits available for use or outstanding balances. It can take time to resolve balances prior to CARM R2, and not having this done on time could interfere with securing your bond or import ability. Therefore, the CBSA is encouraging all importers to access your SOAs in the CCP and clear any outstanding balances as soon as possible. The good news is, we can assist with this.
Review your payables process
There are very specific guidelines for when payments must be made to the CBSA. On-time payment is critical under this new system.
In most cases, the payment timelines currently in place with your customs broker will not be the same as the CBSA’s required timelines.
ProTip: Review your payables process and payment timeframes to:
- Confirm your bank is set up to transmit payments to the CBSA;
- Ensure your payment process is set up to meet the payment deadlines mandated by the CBSA, including allowing sufficient timelines for any internal approvals;
- 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 to bring this process back in-house so you have direct control of the process or to centralize to one service provider;
- Non-resident importers need to establish processes for payment in Canadian funds since many of the main US banks are not yet set up electronically with the CBSA.
It is essential to understand that registration in the CCP does not change the payment processes you have in place with your broker.
In other words, you will not immediately start paying duties and taxes directly to the CBSA just because you are registered in the CCP.
What payment category are you in?
Knowing what payment category you are in will help you stay on top of your current payment responsibilities as well as assess your payment preparedness for CARM.
- Broker-backed payment: Your broker pays duties and taxes on your behalf. Note: changes to broker-backed payment agreements cannot be made in the CCP and must be arranged directly with your broker.
- GST Direct payment: Your broker pays duties on your behalf, but you pay GST directly to the CBSA. This program can assist in your CARM preparation; discuss with your account representative or broker.
- Importer Direct Security payment: (you have obtained a surety bond): Your broker charges you a service fee, but you pay duties and taxes directly to the CBSA. Because this payment option incorporates three key future CARM requirements, it is very similar to the CARM program. Obtaining your own bond and remitting duties and taxes directly to CBSA according to a monthly cycle can greatly assist in CARM transition; discuss with your account representative or broker.
ProTip: Always be sure to review your SOA prior to making payments to the CBSA, as this will avoid making duplicate payments in your account. Your SOA will show your direct payment amount as “Importer Total.” Amounts being remitted by your broker will show as “Broker Total.” If you see discrepancies, you can discuss these with your broker.
ProTip: In CARM R2, commercial importers will no longer be able to use a broker’s financial security. This means that all amounts become importer totals and you will be responsible for these payments of duties and taxes to the CBSA.
How to pay?
There are several acceptable payment methods for those importers on a direct payment option (e.g., GST direct payment). However, some of these methods will be phased out in R2, thus it is strongly recommended you adjust your payment systems accordingly.
Payments must be received by the CBSA in Canadian funds and according to specific timelines.
These are the most common payment methods:
- online banking via your financial institution
- online via the CCP (pre-authorized debit (PAD), Interac, credit card)
- Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)
- mail or cheque
- in person at a CBSA Port of Entry
IMPORTANT: Cash and cheque payments will no longer be accepted in R2.
Frequently Asked Questions:
If my payment was sent to the CRA instead of the CBSA, can the payment be transferred?
No. Payments made to the CRA are not transferred to your CBSA import account. In this event, payment must be remitted to the CBSA and the payment to the CRA should be resolved through the CRA directly.
I made a payment to the CBSA, why is my account showing in arrears?
Keep in mind, the CBSA uses a specific clearing cycle for monthly payments. Review your SOA importer balances, confirm your payment history, and check that the payment transaction appears on your CBSA account. Unapplied payments will need instruction to the CBSA to match the amounts. Balances in arrears could occur due to a variety of reasons, your broker and the CBSA can provide additional information.
I am registered in the CCP. Can I start making payments to the CBSA directly instead of my broker?
No. Your registration in the CCP does not change the payment agreement in place with your broker and the CBSA. Continue with the payment processes you have in place with your broker to avoid overpayment by your business to the CBSA.
The credits on my account have not been disbursed by the CBSA. What should I do?
You will receive the CBSA disbursements via a mailed cheque from the CRA, without reference. In an instance like this, it is important to have a process in place with your receivables. Undisbursed credits may be the result of outstanding debt on the account, or awaiting a request to CBSA for disbursement. Review your balances and contact the CBSA to prompt activity.
How do I contact the CBSA for information or directions on my account?
The more you recognize CARM as a simple attempt to streamline systems at the CBSA, the easier the process will become. Moving step by step through the process slowly but surely will always get you there.
As you continue your CARM journey, here is a quick summary of the key things to keep in mind where your account is concerned:
- The amount to be remitted by the importer will be reflected on the monthly SOA as Importer Total Payable.
- The amount to be remitted by a broker to the CBSA will show on the SOA as Broker Total Payable.
- Payments by the importer for broker-owed balances will be duplicate payments.
- Not all importers will have access to or be able to see their SOA. Registration is required to receive it from the CBSA and/or access it via the CCP (we recommend both formats).
- Review your import account balances and activity regularly.
- Engage your broker to assist with your CBSA account.
Keep calm and CARM on!
As importers, if there's anything you are prepared to handle, it's change. Part of your day-to-day operations involve navigating change with flexibility and stamina. CARM is no different. While you do have a responsibility as an importer with CARM, you are also not cast adrift on your own. We are here to help!
NOTE: All details pertaining to R2 processes are based on the current information available at the time of writing. As this is subject to change, it’s recommended you periodically check in with the CBSA or your broker.