What You Need to Know About CARM |

Clearit.ca's Blog on Customs Brokerage and News Updates

What You Need to Know About CARM

CBSA has announced a multi-year initiative, the CBSA Assessment and Revenue Management Project (or CARM). The intention of this project is to modify the way that the collection of duties and taxes for imported goods takes place. CBSA promises that CARM will transform the way in which commercial goods are imported into Canada. 

In an infographic shared by the agency, they lay out the benefits of the program as follows: 

  • Make it easier for businesses to interact with CBSA
  • Reduce repetitive information requirements
  • Improve consistency of compliance
  • Help businesses get it right the first time

This is great news for all involved parties, as businesses not “getting it right the first time” (i.e. having a misstep with their documentation or regulatory compliance), can have a huge impact on the business.

Improper filings can waste business times and even result in fines or seizures. And on the CBSA side, verifying the compliance of all shipments inefficiently slows down the process overall.

What is the purpose of this project? 

The hope is that CARM will simplify the importing process. This will be done through the building-out of a modernized, self-service process that will reduce the cost of importing. In addition, the process will make better use of CBSA resources, while improving the consistency of compliance with regulation.

What is the timeline of CARM? 

CARM will be rolled out in 3 phases — following the COVID-19 pandemic. Of course, as of now, many proceedings for this project are on hold due to the pandemic. The core delivery of the project is expected by Spring 2021.

CARM Release 0 - no external impact. This phase will be the moving of the existing ARL system to a different data center configuration with more capacity.

CARM Release 1 - new tools for businesses to see their owed amounts and manage their accounts. This includes an online portal with self-service tools for invoicing and payments!

If you’re an importer that interacts with CBSA in any way, plan to get an account in the CARM portal so you can take advantage of these tools!

CARM Release 2 – new commercial accounting declaration that will replace the customs coding form B3 (and request for adjustment B2). Please note that CBSA will continue to offer the Release to Prior Payment Program – RPP.

However, RPP will be the responsibility of each importer (along with RPP security!). It should be noted that shipments of commercial goods will not be released under a broker’s RPP.

What will the CARM Client Portal allow me to do?

CARM client portal

  • Manage their accounts and link them up to other business portal accounts
  • Acquire a business number or other CBSA programs
  • Delegate to third parties, like customs brokers
  • Request an accelerated ruling
  • Replace the current customs form (mentioned above)
  • View SOAs, notices, and notifications

CBSA is currently accepting community feedback on the details of this project, as well as making themselves available to answer questions as they arise. You may also register to future CARM communications this way. This is the email address to contact: cbsa.carm_engagement-engagement_de_la_gcra.asfc@cbsa-asfc.gc.ca


If you have any questions about how this might impact your business as an importer going forward, we’ve got you covered. Feel free to reach out to us with your inquiries, so we can ensure a workflow that streamlines your shipments and keeps your business going smoothly! Contact us here.