Who Needs To Use CARM? And Other Questions and Resolutions for 2024

Who Needs To Use CARM? And Other Questions and Resolutions for 2024

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.


A new year has arrived, and with it, a fresh bouquet of challenges for those who work in the world of international trade. In this blog, we will look ahead at two of the largest Canadian trade issues looming on the horizon of 2024 and, with them, the import resolutions and trade services you should consider taking on to turn those challenges into ripe opportunities. 

CARM: What Does CARM Mean for Canadian Importers?

The short answer is - everything. If you are just skimming this post and you’re only going to take away one piece of information, let it be this:

CARM is imminent.

If you are not registered when it goes live, you can expect SIGNIFICANT DELAYS at Canadian Customs.

If you are not already in the portal, you are behind. 

CARM, which stands for CBSA Assessment and Revenue Management, is what could reasonably be described as the biggest challenge to Canadian importers in the last decade. It is a fundamental shift in protocol and practice for even the most experienced businesses, and it is a brave new world for the industry as a whole. If you are an importer into Canada, CARM will either be a gentle realignment of your current protocols, or it will be a time-consuming problem when you most want things to go smoothly. Which it ends up being will come down to how well you prepare now. 

Getting your business registered in the CARM portal is vital to continuing your imports without issue, and a failure to do so before CARM launches early this year will land your shipments with significant delays. If it sounds like we are trying to scare you - we are. In short order - inaction by Canadian importers today can have substantial consequences tomorrow. Our advice? Make your New Year's resolution to “get in the portal.” 

Having said that, if you’re anything like us - making resolutions and keeping them isn’t always easy. Fortunately, PCB Global Trade Management can help with that, too. If you’ve ever wondered what a trade advisory service is at PCB, now is the time to check them out. The most relevant service we offer for taking advantage of CARM is the CARM Management team, which is standing by to help register and educate you on the intricacies of the new system while also guiding you on ways to leverage it to your advantage.

Trade Compliance Verification List: How Can an Importer Prepare for the Latest Trade Compliance Verification List?

The CBSA’s updated Trade Compliance Verification List has been released. For some, it is an interesting document and a look at the mechanisms at work in the CBSA; for others, it is a golden opportunity just waiting to be taken advantage of. 

For the uninitiated, CBSA releases a list of high-priority verification targets twice a year, the last one being in July of 2023. While many of the CBSA’s audit targets are chosen randomly, many are targeted, and this list indicates what those targets will be for the coming months. Typically, it consists of imports with a history of misclassification by importers, and it is, in effect, a signal from the CBSA to any business that imports those goods that an assessment is an extremely likely scenario. 

Fundamentally, these post-assessments look at three areas of compliance: 

  1. Tariff Classification: Do you have the right HS Codes?
  2. Valuation: Have you appropriately applied one of the six methods of valuation to ensure the correct payment and taxes on your goods? 
  3. Origin: Have you applied accurate origin rules in accordance with legislative requirements? 

Your resolution should be clear - familiarize yourself with this list. If you see something you import in one of these categories, consider taking advantage of PCB’s Pre-Verification Services. We can help ensure that when that audit arrives, you are ready for it. 

Make 2024 Your Best Year Yet

If we can offer a single piece of advice to the Canadian importer in 2024, it would undoubtedly be to place your trust in industry experts whenever possible. Research PCB’s Trade Advisory Services and take advantage of the ones that are most relevant to your business. Each of our services leverages decades of expertise in a wide range of fields to keep international businesses running smoothly and headache-free. 

Whether it’s working with a long-time importer through the results of an audit with our post-verification services or helping a brand new international business understand what a free trade agreement is and why these trade agreements are important in Canada, there is significant money to be saved and peace of mind to be earned by leaving the intricacies of your international trade in the hands of industry experts. 

2024 is already shaping up to be a dynamic one in the world of international trade, and opportunities abound for those with open eyes and a willingness to work with the experts. If you have any questions about how to get your new year started on the right foot, contact our team today.

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
Gloria Terhaar
CCS (CA/US), CTCS, CBSA Prof. Designate

Gloria Terhaar began her career in Canadian customs brokerage 2007. She currently works in our Canadian division as a Trade Compliance Supervisor and Regulatory Compliance Specialist. Gloria has extensive experience in all aspects of documentation and regulatory requirements as they relate to importing products into Canada. Gloria is often called upon to train industry with some recent talks for MNP, the Surrey Board of Trade, TFO Canada and the BC Produce Marketing Association. In 2018, Gloria also participated in the Canadian Produce Marketing Association and the Canadian Horticultural Council advocacy event "Fall Harvest" in Ottawa where she participated in advocacy efforts for the Canadian produce industry.

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.