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CBSA Assessment and
Revenue Management (CARM)

Request a Customs Bond Contact our CARM Team Request CARM Updates
  • CARM
  • Basic feature of CARM
  • How does CARM impact importers
  • What steps should importers take?
  • Challenges and strategies
  • Glossary of terms

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.  

CARM is CBSA’s accounting and revenue management program. This system is where your transactions, balances, and status of your CBSA account are maintained. If your business is on the GST Direct or Importer Direct Security payment option, we recommend that you register for your Daily Notice (DN) and Statement of Account (SOA) to assist with CARM. 

The development of this new program is on a very rapid timeline.  Although design and policy have not yet been finalized by CBSA, 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.

Latest CARM Updates

CARM Client Portal (CCP) registration is underway in preparation for CARM Release 2.

Find information and guidance on the registration process via CBSA video tutorialsonboarding documentation, or register for CBSA’s upcoming CCP Onboarding webinars listed below.

For assistance, call us toll free at 1-833-854-CARM (2276).

CBSA Resources

CBSA CARM Client Portal (CCP) onboarding

Webinar Registration
No scheduled dates at this time      
Open Mic Registration – Questions 
Bilingual (English & French) Thursday, November 18, 2021 1:00pm - 2:00pm EST Registration Link

*CBSA has updated the Business Registration Information Sheet. Download the most recent copy - Registering a Business - Information Sheet (English)  or Registering a Business - Information Sheet (French)

Register your business for CARM through the CCP webpage.

CBSA's implementation timeline

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

COMPLETE: CARM Release 1 has launched, allowing businesses the opportunity to register in the CARM Client Portal (CCP). This phase offers the business registration component and basic functionality in the CCP, including delegating access to employees and service providers, visibility of transactions, transaction balances, and the ability to make payments directly to CBSA. Contact CCP Support for registration assistance.

Payment directly to CBSA will require almost all importers to post a yearly surety bond.  CLICK HERE to request a bond or contact your local account representative.

Spring 2022: CARM Release 2 will establish CARM requirements and present the full functionality of the CPP. Some new features include 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 transition the way corrections and adjustments are managed. Importers will have to be enrolled on the CCP and have their financial security processes in place as of the start of this phase, or risk having their shipments held at the border.

Basic features of CARM

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 customs activities and profiles in closer coordination with customs brokers and other service providers.

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.

The development and release of this new program is on a very rapid timeline.  Although design and policy have not yet been finalized by CBSA, 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 Updates.

How does CARM impact importers?

CARM Client Portal (CCP)

CCP registration is now available and importers will need to be registered prior to CARM release 2. Please note that this will be mandatory. Failure to register will prevent customs release of your goods at the border.  Contact us for assistance with the registration process.

Through the CCP, importers and delegated service providers will have the ability to manage a variety of customs processes.

You’ll be able to:

  • manage CBSA notices
  • view transactions and the monthly statement of account
  • electronically pay your customs duties, taxes, and fees directly to CBSA
  • apply for customs rulings
  • apply for temporary import permits
  • work with Commercial Accounting Declarations (CAD)
  • make individual corrections and prepare mass adjustments to a CAD

Importer responsibilities 

CARM changes the customs landscape for importers, requiring a shift in the management of trade information into a new CCP environment. CARM does include delegation to your customs broker, however, the monitoring of Customs Declarations and some functions may need to be handled by your internal operations.

Payments and account management

  • Under CARM, importers are responsible for paying CBSA directly for duties and taxes. 
  • Payments are required within specific timelines, which may differ from your current payment timelines with your customs broker.  

Surety bond

  • Most commercial importers will be required to secure a surety bond to indemnify CBSA relating to the payment of duty and taxes to CBSA.
  • 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 required to be allocated to each BN15 will be $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 offer 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, however, importers must have their financial security in place for release prior to payment privileges (RPP) in CARM.

The development and release of this new program is on a very rapid timeline.  Although design and policy have not yet been finalized by CBSA, 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 Updates.

What steps should importers take?

CBSA has not finalized all of the processes and policies for CARM, but here are a few items and importers can do now to prepare for CARM’s key changes to importers: financial security, payment processes, and CCP registration. 

Financial Security Process

IMPORTANT: Daily and Monthly Statements help manage your importer account!

A Daily Notice (DN) shows CARM transactions made on your import account the previous business day. 

A Statement of Account (SOA) is a monthly summary of Daily Notices from the 25th of the previous month to the 24th of the next month. It shows the total payable for that period’s month-end by you and/or your broker to CBSA and shows other balances and activity on your account.  

There are two types of SOA: 

  • Broker SOA: will show only transactions and balances associated to that broker 
  • Importer SOA: will show all transactions and balances     

Importers can access their Importer Statement of Account by visiting a local office or through the CARM Client Portal once registered, however, there are many benefits to receiving your Daily Notices and your Statement of Account (via Cole’s EDI connection from CBSA) that will enhance the management and assistance on your CBSA account.    

If you are not yet receiving your Importer SOA there may be credits available for use or outstanding balances that your Broker SOA will not show. These can take time to be resolved prior to CARM R2 and could interfere with securing your bond. 

We can help! Contact us regarding your CBSA account or to register to receive your Importer SOA.

Step 1: Secure a surety bond (Customs Bond)

There are several key changes to what may be your usual operations as an importer. One of these changes is that you can no longer rely on your customs broker’s financial security for release prior to payment (RPP).

You’ll need to provide your own financial security through either a surety bond or a cash deposit.

There will be approximately 300,000 importers and trade chain partners involved in the customs bond process to prepare for CARM Release 2. 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. Cole can supply a bond, EMAIL US.

Step 2: Review your payables process  

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 currently have in place with your customs broker will not be the same as the required CBSA timelines. 

Importers need to review their 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
  • 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 servicer.
  • Non-resident importers 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 yet set up electronically with CBSA.

Delegation Process

Step 3: Decide how your business will manage your service providers

CBSA will require importers to confirm (within the CCP profile) which customs broker(s) their company uses, and this could include any couriers.

Importers need to decide:

  • The level of information and features each broker will have access to, and
  • What each third-party service provider will manage on your company’s behalf. 

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

Some questions to consider:

  1. Does your company 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. Does your company use consultants that will need access to import records for one or all of your brokers?  
  3. How will your company 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 your company needs to manage? 
  5. What services within the portal will your company manage internally and what will be managed by your service provider?

Information relating to CCP third-party delegation and visibility is available. Learn more

Before approving any third-party access requests or visibilities in your CCP, be sure to confirm who is requesting access and what functions they currently perform in your CBSA processes.  

CARM Portal Process

Step 4: Register your Business in the CCP

The CCP is now available for importers to register their business. Cole continues to monitor CBSA's program updates and is developing procedures to assist you with the smoothest transition possible.

Items to consider before registering in the CCP:

  1. Is the legal entity information on file with CBSA accurate?
    • Refer to the recent correspondence from CBSA or your business CRA account to verify the legal name, address and contacts on file are current.
  2. Who will act as your primary Business Account Manager (BAM) responsible to register and delegate access in the CCP? Who will be the alternate account holder in your organization?
    • The BAM does not have to be the officer of the company, this could be assigned to who manages the organization’s trade information or CBSA payments.
    • We would recommend the person in your organization who 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.

Once your organization has discussed CARM and have assigned the primary Business Account Managers, prepare for the CCP registration process by gathering information to validate your user account to your business. Registering a Business - Information Sheet (English)Information Sheet (French)

Many importers will need support from their brokers for the financial information required, Contact our CARM Registration Support team for inquires or assistance in completing the onboarding process. Find additional information about registration here Registering in the CARM Client Portal (CCP) and/or find tutorials on CARM's Client Portal on YouTube.

Step 5: Stay informed

The development and release of this new program is on a very rapid timeline.  Although design and policy have 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 Updates.

Challenges and strategies

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 who 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 have not yet been finalized by CBSA, 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.

Glossary of terms

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.
Financial Statements
Includes Daily Notice, Statement of Account, and Customs Broker Summary Statement

Need more information?

Cole is ready to help. If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact your local account manager or EMAIL US 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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