Commercial Payments and Accounts
Frequently Asked Questions

Statement of Account Payments

1. Is commercial debt posted to a broker’s account or an importer’s account?

All commercial debt is posted to the client’s import/export (RM) account. Debts associated to a broker’s account security (ASEC) will be tagged with the broker ASEC on the client’s RM account and will appear on the broker’s statement of account.

2. Can importers pay their account through online banking?

Yes. Importers who are filing directly with the Canada Border Services Agency, and those who are on the Goods and Services Tax Option or the Importer Direct Security Option can make online payments directly to their import/export (RM) account through online banking.

3. The cost to implement and use electronic data interchange payment file (EDI820) is too expensive. What can I do?

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is in discussions with various financial institutions (FI) regarding the costs associated with electronic payments and to explore alternative options. FIs have their own costing model when offering services such as EDI820. The CBSA encourages brokers and importers to review the products offered by various FIs, as there is a large range of solutions offered that meet the needs of a variety of trade chain partners.

Memorandum D17-5-1, Payments of Duties and Taxes on Imported Commercial Goods, paragraph 25, provides other payment options if electronic payment is not possible.

4. How can my payment be made if my account balance is more than $50,000 and I am not able to submit my payment through electronic data interchange payment file (EDI820)?

Importers filing directly with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), and those on the Goods and Services Tax Option or the Importer Direct Security Option, must use their financial institution’s online banking service to make a payment.

Memorandum D17-5-1, Payments of Duties and Taxes on Imported Commercial Goods, paragraph 25, provides other payment options for all clients if electronic payment is not possible.

Effective January 24, 2018, when making payment by cheque, a written and signed justification must be submitted with payment to the National Payment Processing Centre.

The CBSA encourages customs account holders to review the products offered by various Financial Institutions, as there are a large range of solutions that meet the needs of a variety of trade chain partners.

5. Can a broker paying by electronic data interchange payment file (EDI820) include payment for an importer who is on the Goods and Services Tax Option or the Importer Direct Security Option whose debt is over $50,000?

No. Regardless of the payment amount, clients on the Goods and Services Tax Option or the Importer Direct Security Option must submit their payment in accordance with Memorandum D17-1-5, Registration and Accounting for Commercial Goods, paragraphs 116 to 120.

Importers filing directly with the Canada Border Services Agency, and those on the Goods and Services Tax Option or the Importer Direct Security Option, must use their financial institution’s online banking service to make a payment.

6. What is the most efficient payment method for importers on the Goods and Services Tax Option or the Importer Direct Security Option?

Online banking is the most efficient payment method for these clients.  Refer to the Commercial Payments and Accounts - Payments page on the Canada Border Services Agency website for additional information.

7. Does ‘payment over $50,000’ for electronic payment apply to each importer’s total on a Broker Statement of Account, or the Statement of Account total payable?

The Statement of Account total amount payable over $50,000 must be submitted electronically, effective January 24, 2018.

8. Is Memorandum D17-5-1, Payment of Duties and Taxes on Imported Commercial Goods, applicable to all commercial clients?

No. D17-5-1 applies only to payment of duties and taxes secured under the Release Prior to Payment Program.

Payments for cash clients, as per paragraph 33 of D17-1-5, Registration and Accounting for Commercial Goods, are not impacted by Memorandum D17-5-1.

9. Which D Memoranda should be followed for commercial payments?

Memorandum D17-5-1, Payment of Duties and Taxes on Imported Commercial Goods, and related Customs Notice 17-33 supersedes any conflicting payment information found in other D Memoranda. The Canada Border Services Agency is updating all impacted Memoranda in relation to commercial accounts payments.

10. When paying by cheque, how is the ‘payer’ defined?

The ‘payer’ is the party responsible for making payment to the Receiver General.

In the case of an importer filing directly with the Canada Border Services Agency, those who are on the Goods and Services Tax Option or the Importer Direct Security Option, the importer is the ‘payer’. In all other cases, the Customs Broker is the ‘payer’.

11. Can an importer with account security send their monthly payments to a port of entry when the balance is being paid in full?

Statement of account payments are not accepted at ports of entry.  All payments for monthly statements of account must be made electronically if over $50,000. When electronic payment is not available, the payment must be sent to the National Payment Processing Centre.

12. Can brokers continue to file cheque packages that contain cheques from importers whose debt is not included on the broker’s statement of account?

Payments over $50,000 must be made via the importer’s financial institution’s online banking service.

If the payment amount is less than $50,000 and/or online payment is not available, the cheque must be written by the importer as the ‘payer’. A Payment Allocation Sheet is required to be submitted with the payment.

Payments, disbursements and off-setting

1. When is my commercial payment due?

Payments are due on the last business day of the month.

For more information and a list of exceptions, visit the Payments page.

2. What are my options for making a commercial payment?

For commercial payment options, visit the Payments page.

3. Does the CBSA offer Electronic Data Interchange payment file (EDI820) for commercial payments?

Yes. The CBSA offers EDI820 for commercial payments.

4. What financial institutions offer electronic payment to the CBSA?

Online banking and electronic data interchange payment file (EDI820) are currently available through:

  • Scotiabank
  • Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)
  • Toronto-Dominion Canada Trust Bank (TD)
  • Bank of Montreal (BMO)
  • Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)
  • Citibank
  • Tangerine
  • Bank of America – online banking only
  • The National Bank
  • HSBC - online banking only
  • Laurentian Bank – online banking only

The CBSA is in discussions with other financial institutions regarding EDI820 and online banking.

For additional information on electronic payments, visit the Payments page.

5. How do I implement an electronic data interchange payment file (EDI820)?

To implement an EDI820 payment file connection, clients should contact their Financial Institution (FI) and the CARM mailbox.  The CBSA will work with the client and the FI to develop and test the EDI820 payment file.

6. When will a payment be reflected on my account?

Clients making electronic payments can expect to see them reflected on their account within two to three business days.

Payments made by cheque will generally take five to ten business days from the date the payment is received by the CBSA mailroom.

It can take up to ten business days for a payment to appear on your Daily Notice or Statement of Account.

If the account information provided on the cheque is incorrect, or is keyed incorrectly in the online banking portal, payment processing may be delayed.

7. Can an electronic data interchange payment file (EDI820) be made in Foreign Currency?

The CBSA accepts payments in Canadian currency only.

8. When is a disbursement issued?

All disbursements are issued as credits to off-set debts on a customs account.

If after off-setting has occurred, a customs account shows a credit balance and there is no debt associated with the account, a disbursement cheque may be issued to the importer. A disbursement may only be issued if the credit balance exceeds $1000; or, if the credit balance is less than $1000, when the account has been showing a credit balance for two consecutive months or longer.

For additional information related to disbursements, visit the Disbursements and Off-setting page. 

9. How long does it take to receive a disbursement cheque?

Once approved, it takes approximately 8-12 business days to receive a disbursement cheque.

10. Why was my credit used to offset debt when I pay my statement in full each month?

For account specific questions regarding credits and debts on your account, contact the CARM mailbox and an analyst will be able to assist you. 

11. How do I request to have a disbursement cheque reissued? 

If a disbursement cheque is due to you and you have not received it, contact the CBSA via the CARM mailbox to check its status.

If the cheque was mailed to an incorrect address, contact the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) either online or by phone (English: 1-800-959-5525, French: 1-800-959-7775) to update the business number (9 digits) and Importer/Exporter account (RM15) mailing address.

Once the update has been made with CRA, the client must inform the CBSA through the CARM mailbox that the address has been changed and to request a reissuance of the cheque.

If the mailing address was correct and the cheque remains outstanding, the CBSA will send you Form 535 – Undertaking and Indemnity – for completion in order to have the cheque reissued.

12. Can an importer's debt be removed from a broker's account when the importer is no longer in business?

No. Brokers are liable for the debts they secure for imported goods on behalf of their clients.

13. Are credits under $2.00 and debts under $7.50 recorded in the Accounts Receivable Ledger?

Yes, they are recorded in the Accounts Receivable Ledger. 

Daily Notices and Statements of Account

1. How do I obtain my Daily Notices and Statements of Account?

Importers can obtain copies of their Daily Notices (DNs) and Statements of Account (SOA) electronically through Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). If you are an importer and do not have your own EDI connection, you can use the services of an EDI-enabled broker or an EDI-enabled third-party service provider.

2. Can I access past Daily Notices and monthly Statements of Account online?

No. Daily Notices (DNs) and monthly Statements of Account (SOAs) are sent using Electronic Data Interchange and should be saved for your records.

For assistance with account reconciliation activities, an importer can contact the CARM mailbox and request an Importer Account Balance Overview Report.

For additional information on DNs, SOAs and the Account Balance Overview Report, visit the Daily Notice and Statement of Account page.

3. I signed up to have my Daily Notices and Statements of Account sent to my service provider, but I have not received any confirmation.

It takes approximately one week for the service provider to start receiving notices. 

Note: During peak periods it may take longer for an account to be activated.  If you do not receive a notice within two weeks of the initial certification email, contact the CARM mailbox

4. When will I receive my monthly Statements of Account?

The transmission of Statements of Account (SOA) begins shortly after midnight (Eastern Standard Time) on the 25th day of each month and takes a few hours to complete. 

When the 25th falls on a Monday or a statutory holiday, there can be a high volume of Daily Notices, resulting in possible delays in issuing the SOAs. If you do not receive your SOAs by 12:00 pm, contact the CARM mailbox.   

5. What do I do if a transaction is missing from my Daily Notice?

If you are an importer, verify the correct transaction date. Review your notices the day of and several days after the date the transaction was made.  If you are still unable to locate the transaction, contact the CARM mailbox.   

If you are a broker and have a copy of the Detailed Adjustment Statement, which includes your broker tag, contact the CARM mailbox for confirmation that it has been tagged correctly in the Canada Border Services Agency's Accounts Receivable Ledger system. 

6. Is the format of the Statement of Account and Daily Notice changing?

Yes. The new layouts will provide more accounting details, such as payment information, amounts outstanding, and improved offsetting and disbursement information for improved account reconciliation.

7. When will the new Statement of Account and Daily Notice formats be implemented?

June 2018, with a four month transition period.

8. Can a service provider or customs broker elect to not implement the changes?

No. All service providers and customs brokers must make the required changes before the end of the four month transition period in order to receive electronic accounting statements.

Account information

1. How do I obtain an Importer Account Balance Overview Report? 

To obtain an Importer Account Balance Overview Report, an importer can submit an e-mail request to the CARM mailbox. The subject line of the email must read "Importer Account Balance Overview Report Request/<Importer BN9> (the Business Number of the importer requesting the report). 

Upon receipt of a request, the importer will be provided with a consent form to complete, sign and returned to the CBSA. Please note that the Consent Statement section of the form needs to be signed by the person identified as the authorized individual on the form. For additional information on how to request the Importer Account Balance Overview Report, please refer to ARL Bulletin 31.

Due to privacy concerns, the CBSA is not able to provide the Importer Account Balance Overview Report to a broker on their clients' behalf.  Your client can contact the CARM mailbox and request an Importer Account Balance Overview Report.

2. What is the difference between an Importer Account Balance Overview Report and a Statement of Account?

A Statement of Account (SOA) provides information on all transactions conducted during a specific accounting period, normally between the 25th of month A and the 24th of the following month. 

The Importer Account Balance Overview Report is available upon request by the importer and provides all accounting activities from January 2016 to the date of the request, to assist with reconciliation. This includes information that allows a client to see how credits were used to offset debt on the account.

For additional information on SOAs and the Account Balance Overview Report, visit the Daily Notice and Statement of Account page.

3. How are Notices of Arrears (NOA) handled?

When accounts become in arrears, a Notice of Arrears (NOA) is issued and the account is sent to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). While payment arrangements must be made with CRA, all payments must be sent directly to the CBSA.

For additional information on NOAs, visit the NOA section of the Payments page.

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