Those that work in global trade, specifically in Canada, may be aware of the CBSA Assessment and Revenue Management Project (CARM). It is a multi-year initiative kicked off by CBSA intended to fully transform and improve the importation process – benefiting both importers and CBSA officers. 

CBSA is one of the highest revenue collecting government agencies in Canada, second to the CRA. This makes CBSA central to the health of the Canadian economy at large. As such, CARM is an incredibly important project to maintain Canada’s competitive advantage in the global trade ecosystem.

“CBSA ensures Canada’s security and prosperity by facilitating and overseeing international travel and trade across Canada’s border. The Agency’s legislative, regulatory and partnership responsibilities include the collection of applicable duties and taxes on imported goods. In addition to duties and taxes, the Agency also collects other fees and penalties as well as revenue on behalf of other government departments.” – Audit of Revenue Collected by the CBSA

In essence, CARM is a highly significant project, designed to streamline the collection of commercial revenue through electronic payment and document collection through a centralized platform.

CARM techology

So, when will CARM be available? 

CARM will be implemented in a series of scheduled product releases.

The 3-phased release schedule has already begun! In January 2021, the ARL system was moved from its original data configuration, to a more robust system. This is more of an internal IT change and external users would not have noticed this.

On May 25, 2021, the CARM client portal will become available. It’s a self-service tool that helps importers submit documents and payments more easily. 

The final stage, slated for Spring 2022, will expand and develop upon the features of CARM’s client portal.

What are the benefits of CARM? 

  • Simplify the border patrol process for CBSA & importers
  • Technologically advanced interface for importing (paperless!) 
  • Provide access to border services 24/7
  • Use online tools to classify imported goods & calculate applicable fees
  • Submit e-declarations easily
  • Self-service access to importers’ information
  • Reduce the overall costs for importing goods into Canada
  • Consistently apply trade rules & regulations
  • Reduce repetitive tasks and data entry 

How should importers prepare for CARM? 

  • Register for a Canadian business number
  • Set up your CARM client portal user account here.
  • Delegate authority to employees and customs brokers so they can use the platform on your behalf.
  • Align with your customs broker on processes for payment privileges. 
  • Make sure that system changes to your customs/importing software to align with CARM. Here is a link to the requirements. 
  • Familiarize yourself with APIs that will allow you to transact online with CBSA.
  • Obtain a bond for RPP. Info here

What will CARM’s features include? 

  • Client portal with user roles (and delegation of authority)
  • Commercial accounting declaration
  • Type entries, HVS/LVS entries, and warehouse entries
  • Streamlined adjustments 
  • Availability of daily notices 
  • Statements

With the first external release of CARM upon us, it is absolutely essential that importers prepare accordingly. CARM is meant specifically to benefit CBSA and importers alike, but in order for importers to benefit from the implementation of the platform, they must set themselves up for success.

If you’d like to be well-prepared for the release of CARM, partnering up with a customs broker is essential. You can click here to start a conversation with a broker today.