Resource Center

Canada Border Services Agency

Assessment and Revenue Management Project (CARM)

CBSA's Assessment and Revenue Management Project (CARM) is a multi-year project to simplify and modernize their accounting and data management systems to provide the commercial trade community with a streamlined method of interaction with the CBSA. This will be achieved through the replacement of existing revenue and cash management systems, simplified processes, and direct interactive electronic options.

This resource center includes information regarding the CARM project and how Canadian importers and/or Customs Brokers can simplify the importing process.

We encourage you to bookmark this page and to check back often for updated information regarding CARM.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is CARM?

CARM is a project by the Government of Canada aiming to simplify and streamline the process of importing commercial goods into Canada.

CARM is intended to:

  • Simplify the importing process
  • Allow importers to manage their trade activity
  • Improve compliance with trade rules and regulations
  • Increase border security

What is the Purpose of CARM?

Once implemented, CARM will streamline the overall importing process by providing an updated and modernized interface for importing goods into Canada. Through the updated portal, Canada Border Services Agency hopes to improve consistency in trade rulings and decisions while strengthening its compliance verification and fraud detection.

The updated CARM Portal will also provide importers with access to their own filings and data.

How will CARM Impact Importers?

CARM represents a complete shift in responsibilities for importers. Prior to the updates, the liability and financial risk for duty and tax payments were the responsibility of the broker acting on behalf of the importer. Now, CBSA has shifted that responsibility directly to the importer.

As part of this change in duty and tax payments, importers will now be required to obtain a bond, called a Release Prior to Payment (RPP) bond. These can be obtained from any surety company. An importer must have their bond prior to Release 2 which is anticipated to launch in 2022. Any importer who does not have bond in place will be required to pay duties and taxes prior to release of their shipment.

In addition to the shift in monetary responsibility, importers will need to register with the CBSA and secure a Business Number (BN) in order to set up a client profile in the web-based CARM portal. Importers that do not properly register for the CARM portal will not be able to import goods into the country after Release 2.

What is Changing?

CBSA's Assessment and Revenue Management (CARM) will transform how the agency collects, manages, and reports on import revenue and trade information. It is a far-reaching multi-phase project.

The CBSA hopes that CARM will simplify importation, offer a modern interface for importers or their agents to enter information, enable importers to access and amend their information on-demand, reduce costs, and elevate the level of compliance with regulations. The agency is also implementing this new system to better assess inbound shipments and the duties and taxes owed on each shipment.

What are the Phases of Deployment for CARM?

CARM Release 0

Release 0 has already been completed and was the foundational structure for CARM where CBSA professionals shifted the legacy data center structure to a more robust and capable platform.

CARM Release 1

When the CARM Client Portal goes live, importers, customs brokers, and trade consultants (upon request) will be able to log-on.

The CARM Client Portal will feature:

  • The ability to set up a Pre-authorized Debit (PAD) as well as credit card or Automated Clearing House (ACH) withdrawals from financial institutions in order to pay duties and fees
  • Statements of Account (SoAs) and basic client transaction and filing information.
  • The ability to delegate access to business accounts, individuals and/or legal entities (delegation by importers will be limited to customs brokers and trade consultants)
  • Rulings requests
  • Implementation of a new onboarding process
  • New tools available for trade chain partners

CARM Release 2

When Release 2 is implemented, more robust functionality will be implemented. Release 2 will feature:

  • The introduction of a new Commercial Accounting Declaration (CAD)
  • The ability to submit, correct, or adjust a CAD.

What are the Steps Businesses Should Take to Prepare for CARM?

To help businesses navigate the upcoming changes, Descartes has developed The Ultimate Guide to CARM. Download our guide and gain insight into the upcoming changes and what you should do to prepare.

The key takeaway is this: CARM is complex. Market leaders should look to technology providers that can keep pace with CARM and the detailed versioning and correction processes.