How Will CBSA's CARM Client Portal Affect You?

How Will CBSA's CARM Client Portal Affect You?

An Editor's Note: While reading this blog, please note on April 19, 2024, the CBSA announced the May 2024 implementation date is postponed to October 21, 2024.


What The CARM Is Going On?

The implementation of CBSA Assessment and Revenue Management (CARM) is structured in a series of releases, the first phase was The Accounts Receivable Ledger (ARL) which was introduced and implemented in 2016. In the Fall of 2020 new functionally will be released which will introduce the CARM client portal. This self-service portal is intended to be importer-centric and is designed specifically for importers to self-manage the accounting activity of their import business. This will eventually include making payments on all amounts owed to CBSA, as well as making corrections, and adjustments to release declarations.

CBSA has a challenging and ambitious timeline for implementation. Importers will be required to set up an account in the client portal that is anticipated to go “live” in the fall of 2020.

What Does CARM Mean To Me?

The portal is a self-service driven access point that provides importers with increased visibility, efficiency and consistency with direct accounting capabilities for their customs accounting activity. Duties and tax liability and payment management is transferring to you, the importer.

Currently, it is likely that your customs broker transmits your B3 final accounting information to CBSA using their liability bond. Your customs broker may also provide you with and manage the payment of your monthly statement of account with CBSA on your behalf. A relationship where the importer returns funds back to their customs broker, based on certain terms and conditions.

A key point of CARM is that all financial risk will now be borne by the importer. The Importer of Record (IOR) will be required to have a client self-service portal account, and their own security bond in place in order to enjoy Release Prior to Payment (RPP) privileges, and manage their payments to CBSA directly. The customs broker will transmit the amounts owing into your online account, for your own action. This is a large change for importers who are not used to managing payments with CBSA separately from their customs brokerage service charges. 

Duties And Tax Liability And Payment, Transferring To You!

Can I Delegate Access To My Customs Broker?

Yes, the portal does allow for third party delegation of account, where importers can choose to provide access to their customs broker(s) at agreed-upon levels of importer information exposure. The CARM client self-service portal will revolutionize the customs broker/importer relationship, and change the way we do business together.

What Are RPP Privileges?

CARM will focus on moving to importer liability for the Release Prior to Payment (RPP) privileges, meaning:

  • Liability will be established at the importer level.
  • All importers will be required to purchase and post their own security to participate in the RPP program.
  • Importers will no longer be able to use their customs broker’s RPP broker bond to clear shipments and receive release prior to payment privileges.
  • It will be the importer’s responsibility to manage and maintain the appropriate amount of RPP security relative to their accounts receivable.
  • Should the importer choose not to obtain security, there is a proposed transition period that may allow the use of RPP as of the go-live date. However, be aware that importers may need to establish ways to pay duties and taxes at the time of entry. Financial security must be obtained prior to the end of the transition period in order to maintain RPP privilege's.

The Portal Is Being Deployed In Stages:

Fall 2020 - Release 1 - Basic functionality will be introduced:

  • CARM Client Portal is accessible only to clients with an RM account
  • Manage payment processing (online payments, pre-authorized debit, etc.)
  • HS classification tool, tariff data management
  • Case management functionality for rulings
  • Revenue reporting

Fall 2023 - Release 2 - Registration and enrollment will be available to all clients, as well as electronic declarations with versioning.

  • New portal functionality and notifications
  • Electronic declarations
  • Digital versioning and mass editing capabilities
  • Basic re-assessment risking
  • Case management functionality for appeals, compliance and risks
  • New offsetting options
  • CBSA pre-collections options
  • Central trade data reporting

When Release 2 is completed CBSA intends to decommission the Customs Automated Data Exchange (CADEX) - the current program being used to transmit accounting information to CBSA - and all accounting for releases must be done in the CARM customs portal.

Wait...So, The CARM Portal Isn’t Changing The Customs Release Process? 

Not yet, the reporting of B3 customs declaration and PGA data which triggers the release/clearance of the shipment using Integrated Import Declaration (IID), transmitted through the Single Window, will remain the same.

We encourage you to go to our website to watch for updates as more information becomes available, including upcoming training seminars and support service packages.

For further information on CARM please visit the CBSA website.

Duties And Tax Liability And Payment, Transferring To You!
What Is The Single Window Initiative?
For Help Setting Up Your Client Portal
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
Taryn Hannah

Taryn Hannah is General Manager for PCB Canadian Operations, directly overseeing the Release, Trade Compliance, and Office Administration teams. Taryn has been a trade professional since 2005, specializing in strategic and operational process building and management. She began her career with PCB in release operations, which built a strong foundation in many entry modes. In 2010 Taryn became the Supervisor of our Trade Compliance Group, working with staff and clients to understand regulatory documentation, labeling, data, and timing requirements for all imports into Canada. Over the years, she has become an expert in Participating in Government Agency dealings and has been called upon to speak at events such as Vancouver Fashion Week and various customized courses for industry and associations. Taryn has been recognized for her expert knowledge by receiving the designations of Customs Compliance Specialist (CCS) and Certified Trade Compliance Specialist (CTCS) from the Canadian Society of Customs Brokers.

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.