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Importers: The Final Countdown to CARM Is On!

On May 13, 2024, the Assessment and Revenue Management (CARM) becomes the official system of record for importers and other trade chain partners to pay duties and taxes. If you have not yet registered your business in the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) portal, it is essential that you are registered ahead of time, so you are prepared to account for your imported commercial goods on May 13.

CARM is a multi-year digital initiative that changes how CBSA assesses and collects duties and taxes for goods on commercial goods imported into Canada. Its initial phase was launched in May 2021 allowing importers, customs brokers, and trade consultants to view importer transactions and statements of account, request rulings, and pay invoices with new electronic payment options. As an upgrade to the agency’s 35-year-old legacy systems, it enhances the way trade chain partners facilitate accounting and revenue management processes with the CBSA, through the introduction of a digital client portal. Trade chain partners include, but are not limited to, importers, customs brokers, carriers, freight forwarders, customs bonded and sufferance warehouse operators, and duty-free shop operators.

The system upgrades the way that an importer or customs broker accounts for goods by implementing a Commercial Accounting Declaration (CAD) form to replace the B3 and B2 forms, providing the following enhancements:

B3/B2 FormsCAD Form
Limited ability to make correctionsCorrections supported by CCP and EDI
Adjustment process using paperElectronic Adjustment process
B2 process duration is 3 –6 monthsCAD adjustment process duration could be minutes
To communicate with a CBSA officer, would need to send in documentsCan upload PDF and communicate directly through portal
Need to call in to learn about statusCan check status directly through portal

The CARM system also adds enhancements enabling users to

  • Request advance rulings
  • Register and enroll in CBSA commercial programs
  • Select from customizable electronic notification options
  • Submit new commercial accounting declarations and make corrections and adjustments
  • Use a harmonized billing cycle that aligns payment due dates and provides more time to make interest-free corrections
  • Create temporary importation forms, to be submitted at the Port of Entry with complete documentation, and the ability to monitor the expected date of export and request an extension
  • Further enhancements are expected to become available in fall 2024. A forum will be established with key stakeholders to discuss implementation of this phased approach and application of regulations in support of CARM.

To ensure your business is ready, the CBSA recommends the following, with more information provided in the links:

  • Importers should register their businesses and delegate authority to their customs broker in CARM now.
  • If you are a new customs bonded warehouse licensee, you will need to submit a warehouse inventory – and confirm how you will submit this information before the deadline.
  • Customs brokers should continue working with importers to ensure they are registered and have delegated the necessary access. 
  • Trade consultant, financial security providers, or other trade chain partners should review what they can do to get started with CARM.

If you have questions on the new system or need assistance with any aspect of importing to Canada, give us a call. Our experts can help!


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