Update to the Implementation of the Accounts Receivable Ledger
Customs Notice 16-19

Ottawa, July 21, 2016

1.    This notice is a follow-up to Customs Notice 16-06 providing further information to Trade Chain Partners (TCPs) about the Canada Border Services Agency's (CBSA) implementation of the Accounts Receivable Ledger (ARL).

2.    On January 26, 2016, the CBSA introduced ARL, a fully integrated and centralized accounting system that allows for the off-setting of account credits (refunds) against debits (amounts payable), and offers TCPs more comprehensive accounting statements and new electronic payment options.

3.    In order to provide TCPs with additional time to adapt to the implementation of ARL, the CBSA delayed the introduction of account off-setting.

4.    The purpose of this notice is to remind TCPs that on August 2, 2016, account off-setting will begin. All credit amounts owing to an importer will automatically be applied to the account to reduce the balance owing. A disbursement will be issued to the importer in accordance with the criteria set out below.

Record for Decision for Adjustment

5.    The Detailed Adjustment Statement (DAS) or the approved drawback claim will continue to serve as the CBSA's record of decision to a request for adjustment.

6.    If an importer wants their agent to receive a copy of the DAS or the approved drawback claim, the importer must authorize this on the Form B2 or drawback form.


7.    All refunds will now be issued as credits on the importer account. When a credit is issued it will appear on the Daily Notices (DN). The off-setting process will occur at the end of the month before the Statement of Account (SOA) is issued.

8.    The fundamental principle of off-setting relies on financial management best practice where a disbursement is not issued to a recipient who has outstanding debt.

9.    Off-setting will follow an importer's use of an agent. An importer credit associated with a specific customs broker will be applied to importer debits associated with that same customs broker. An importer credit associated with an agent that is not a customs broker, will be applied to importer amounts payable that is not associated with a customs broker.

Residual Credits After Off-setting

10.   If, after off-setting has occurred, an importer's account shows a credit balance, and there is no outstanding debt associated to the account, a disbursement will be issued directly to the importer if:

11.   If the importer's account has a credit balance less than $1,000.00, it will remain on the account for the following month, at which time off-setting will occur.

Accounts in Default

12.   If an importer's account is in default and formal collection has begun, any importer credit may be applied against any of the importer's debt.  

Updated D-Memoranda and Forms

13.   As a result of ARL and importer account off-setting, CBSA Memoranda and Forms are being updated and will be published later in 2016.

Additional Information

14.   For more information regarding the implementation of the ARL, visit the CARM page on the CBSA Web site, or within Canada, call the Border Information Service at 1-800-461-9999. From outside Canada call 204-983-3500 or 506-636-5064. Long distance charges will apply. Agents are available Monday to Friday (08:00 – 16:00 local time / except holidays). TTY is also available within Canada at: 1-866-335-3237.

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