Have You Left Your CARM Account Dormant?

Have You Left Your CARM Account Dormant?

An Editor's Note: The features of Release 2 mentioned in this article are now anticipated in May of 2024. Please kindly bare this in mind while reading.

The delay of the Canada Border Services Agency Assessment and Revenue Management (CARM) Release 2 came with a sigh of relief from many Canadian importers that had not yet gone through the process of setting up a CARM Client Portal. However, for those proactive users who did, this delay presented an annoying challenge of having their GC Key deactivated for lack of use. In this blog we will explore why this is happening and how to avoid it whilst still being prepared for CARM in 2023.

CARM is a new multi-phase, multi-year initiative which will modernize and streamline the collection of duties and taxes on goods imported into Canada.

Everything You Need To Know About CARM 

One of the two options to sign in your CARM account is the Government of Canada Key or GC Key. The GC Key lets you securely access any of your Government of Canada online services of which CARM is one. The GC Key includes a username and password that you choose and you must create security questions. This keeps your data secure and lets you recover your account. If you do not already have a GC Key sign up for one.

how will carm affect you?

The CARM system was programmed to automatically deactivate CARM Client Profile (CCP) users who were inactive for a period of 180 consecutive days. Only the personal user access was affected by this issue, business account registration was not affected. This caused a lot of turmoil for trade chain partners who were onboarding to CARM and setting up employees with user profiles in preparation for the original CARM Release 2 date in early 2022. 

The CBSA confirmed March 17, 2022 that the 180 day deactivation functionality if a user did not sign in to the portal was disabled and going forward accounts would not be locked. CBSA further announced that if a user profile was deactivated before March 17,2022 the user must contact the CARM helpdesk to have it re-activated. 

Contact CARM helpdesk online: Client support contact form

Telephone: Call 1-800-461-9999 | Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday 7 am to 5 pm ET

On May 12, 2022 CBSA further announced that all Clients who transmit data using CARM, CERS,eManifest and Trusted Trader Portals and use the GC Key that the government of Canada will be introducing a new optional account recovery process . This was announced with the following Bulletin:

Bulletin 5381 - GCKey Account and Password Recovery

“The Government of Canada branded credential service known as GCKey, will be introducing a new optional account recovery process on May 15, 2022 to help users self-recover a user ID or password through an email address.

You will need to use a unique email address for each GCKey you wish to register for the optional account recovery process. For example, if you have multiple GCKeys, you will need to use a separate email recovery address for each one. Enrolling for the account recovery process is separate from your CARM Client Portal (CCP) account and does not change the email address associated with your CCP profile. 

If you require assistance, please contact the GC Key Service team as listed below.

Contact the GCKey Service:


  • 1-855-438-1102 (Canada & the United States)
  • 1-800-2318-6290 (Outside Canada and the United States)

Text Telephone (TTY/TDD)

  • 1-855-438-1103

Available 24/7”

Should you need any assistance with setting up your CARM account or have any CARM questions please contact us at pcb.ca/carm.

Get your financial security with help from us.
Disclaimer: While reading, kindly note the date of this blog. At PCB we do our due diligence to write on the most relevant topic every week and naturally content may become dated as developments in a certain program/topic occur. For this reason, we greatly appreciate your readership and hope you continue reading with the posting date in mind. For the latest information on this topic please use our website's search function, or better yet, subscribe to our "Trading Post" newsletter to receive these updates directly to your inbox.
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About the Author
Jan Brock

Jan Brock joined PCB Customs Brokers in 2015 as a Senior Trade Advisor. She retired from Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) in 2015 after serving more than 37 years. Jan started her career with CBSA as a summer student in 1976 and worked part-time until she graduated from U.B.C. with a Bachelor of Education Degree in 1980 . Shortly after graduating from U.B.C. Jan worked full time as an inspector with CBSA and within three years was promoted to Superintendent. She served some time in the Regional Operations office as an Operations Review Officer before she was promoted to Chief of Operations first at the Customs Mail Centre, then in the Metro District as the Commercial Chief and ending her career as a Chief at Pacific Highway Commercial Operations where she served as Chief from 1992 to 2015. During her career she was a member of the Customs Drug Team and a trainer in the National Enforcement Program. Jan also served as the Regional Coordinator Officer Powers and Use of Force for the Pacific Region. Jan served on many Commercial Program Reviews and committees both national and regional during her career and possesses an expansive knowledge of importing and exporting into and from Canada.

While we strive for accuracy in all our communications, as the Importer of Record it is incumbent upon your company to ensure that you are aware of the requirements under the new regulations so that you maintain compliance as always.