The global trade community, and more specifically Canada’s trade community, is alight with discussions about CARM – CBSA’s new framework for Assessment & Revenue Management (also known as CARM = CBSA’s Assessment Revenue Management Project). We have previously discussed what CARM entails, exactly, but for those that haven’t seen that piece, CARM is: 

“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.

[…] CARM is a highly significant project, designed to streamline the collection of commercial revenue through electronic payment and document collection through a centralized platform.”

(To read that full piece, click here: What Importers Need To Know About CARM

Beyond understanding what the project is, it’s critical that importers keep themselves informed so that they can take full advantage of CARM. There is a major opportunity here for those that import goods into Canada to leverage this framework in order to benefit their business in the long run.

Companies that import goods into Canada must get a D120 customs bond to sort out duties and taxes, however CARM will enable importers to manage payments directly within the platform.


As a refresher… here are the benefits of CARM, once the project is fully implemented: 

  • Simplify the importing process across-the-board
  • Create a modern, online interface for importing into Canada
  • Empower importers with access to self-service for their own info
  • Drive the cost of importing into Canada down for all stakeholders
  • Improve consistency of application for trade regulation and decisions
  • Streamline compliance and fraud detection

What information will be available to Importers in CARM?

Within the platform, importers can expect to have direct access to all your transactions, duty calculations, amounts owed, adjustments, and more!

So, what can importers do to be ready for CARM’s launch? – May 21, 2021!

At a glance, taking on the responsibility of managing duties yourself, there are some major positives for importers for using CARM. In CARM, importers can determine goods classification, submit requests, and sort out any outstanding payments directly — removing a layer of middle management. This means that things will ultimately move faster and more efficiently. In order to be ready to take advantage of this as soon as possible, importers must…

  • Create a client portal user account
  • Delegate authority to teammates and brokers so they can use the platform on your behalf.
  • Align with your customs broker on how you’ll process payments.
  • Make sure that your internal systems/software is updated to match up with CARM’s requirements.
  • Get your bond for Release Prior to Payment (RPP). 

However, importers must proceed with caution…

CARM places some risk on the importer. As a result of the project, the importer will be required to have a functioning portal account and a security bond in order to benefit from RPP. Your customs broker will send over the amounts owed to the importer for processing. This will be quite a big change to the current routine for some importers, that aren’t currently managing their own payments.

If you have any more questions about how you should prepare for CARM (and benefit from it!), get in touch with a customs broker today