How the trade community can prepare

From the Canada Border Services Agency

The CBSA Assessment and Revenue Management (CARM) initiative will offer significant benefits to the trade community.

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CARM Client Portal overview

The CARM Client Portal is now accessible to importers and customs brokers. Trade consultants who currently submit rulings on behalf of importers will also have access to the portal upon request to the agency.

Users are able to:

  • view transactions posted to their accounts
  • make payments by credit card, debit card, or set up pre-authorized debit
  • delegate portal access to employees and third parties (such as customs brokers and/or trade consultants) to manage commercial import activities
  • request and track the progress of rulings electronically
  • classify goods and estimate duties and taxes

At Release 2, the CARM Client Portal will be available to all trade chain partners. Release 2 changes will include:

Release prior to payment

All importers will be required to post security to participate in the Release Prior to Payment (RPP) privilege program. Importers will no longer be able to use their customs broker’s RPP security to clear shipments and receive release prior to payment privileges.

As of Release 2, an importer must post security using one of the following two options to be eligible for RPP:

  • Option 1: a surety bond for 50% of their highest monthly accounts receivable with a minimum bond of $25,000 per import program (RM)
  • Option 2: cash deposit for 100% of their highest monthly accounts receivable

The highest monthly accounts receivable period is the 12-month period between July 25th of the previous year to July 24th of the current year. An estimate will be permitted for importers who wish to post a bond, but do not have a 12-month history of accounts receivable.

Commercial accounting declaration

A new Commercial Accounting Declaration (CAD) will be introduced with CARM Release 2. The CAD will serve as the digital document to account for imported goods into Canada, replacing the current customs coding (B3) and request for adjustment (B2) forms. Any corrections or adjustments made to a CAD will be recorded as a new version of the original declaration.

The CARM system will automatically calculate the duties and taxes based on the information provided by the client on the CAD. Clients will be able to submit, correct or adjust the CAD via the CARM Client Portal or Electronic Data Interchange (EDI).

Corrections to the original CAD submission will be permitted up to the payment due date, interest-free. Changes to the CAD after the payment due date, otherwise known as adjustments, may be subject to CBSA review.

The CAD will not impact the release process. There will be slight changes for the C-type entry process, where the CAD form will replace the B3 form in the release package. A CAD will not be accepted from a customs broker without a proper delegation of authority.

Billing cycles

CARM Release 2 will introduce new billing cycles and alignment of payment due dates of importers. The following billing cycles will be affected by CARM:

  • High Value Shipments (HVS) / Low Value Shipments (LVS)
  • Courier Low Value Shipments (CLVS)
  • Continuous Transmission Commodities (CTC)
  • Customs Self-Assessment (CSA) Program

The payment due date will be 10 weekdays (defined as Monday to Friday, inclusive of holidays) after the 17th of the calendar month.

Importers

  •  Set up your CARM Client Portal user account by using GCKey or using a Sign-In Partner and link to your business account
  •  If you are the designated business account manager for your business, create your business portal account and delegate authority to your employees, customs broker and trade consultant
  •  Prior to Release 2, speak with your customs broker or a surety company for assistance in obtaining a surety bond for Release Prior to Payment privileges
  •  If you have your own customs software to transmit information to the CBSA electronically, you will need to make systems changes

Custom brokers

  •  Set up your CARM Client Portal user account by using GCKey or using a Sign-In Partner and link to your business account
  •  Remind your importer clients to create their portal account and delegate authority to your company so that you can conduct business with the CBSA on their behalf
  •  Prior to Release 2, talk to your importer clients about their financial security options related to the Release Prior to Payment privilege
  •  If you have your own customs software to transmit information to the CBSA electronically, you will need to make systems changes

Trade consultants

At Release 1, trade consultants who currently submit rulings on behalf of importers are able to access the CARM Client Portal upon request to the CBSA. Other trade consultants will have access to the portal at Release 2.

If you are a trade consultant, here’s how you can prepare for CARM:

  •  Contact the CARM Client Support Help Desk (CCSSH) to request portal access
  •  Set up your CARM Client Portal user account by using GCKey or using a Sign-In Partner and link to your business account
  •  Remind your importer clients to create their portal accounts so that you can send rulings requests to the CBSA on their behalf
  •  At Release 2, new trade consultants will be able to acquire a business number (BN) and program identifier (RM) using the portal
  •  If you are contracted to review client accounts and submit adjustments (at Release 2), make sure you have delegation of authority in the portal with your client

Surety companies

 Prior to Release 2:

  • continue to provide importers with Release Prior to Payment (RPP) bonds, as per the current practice
  • ensure that the effective date of the bond is no later than CARM Release 2 go-live date

 At Release 2, the CBSA will receive bonds via an application programing interface. You should:

  • get familiar with publicly available application program interfaces that allow the trade community to transact with the CBSA
  • set up your application programing interface solution with the CBSA prior to Release 2 in order to send bond information to the CBSA
  • set up your CARM Client Portal user account by using GCKey or using a Sign-In Partner and link to your business account
  • register with the CBSA and acquire a program identifier (RM) number through the portal to be designated issuer of electronic bonds

Other trade chain partners

At CARM Release 2, all other trade chain partners such as lawyers, accountants, carriers, foreign exporters, foreign producers, foreign vendors, shipping agents and marine agents will be able to set up a CARM Client Portal account and conduct business with the CBSA.

Here’s how you can prepare for CARM Release 2:

  •  Prior to Release 2, ensure that you have a valid Business Number (BN) and program identifier (RM)
  •  At Release 2, set up your CARM Client Portal user account by using GCKey or using a Sign-In Partner and link to your business account
  •  At Release 2, new trade chain partners will be able to acquire a BN and RM using the portal
  •  If you are contracted to review client accounts and submit adjustments, make sure you have delegation of authority in the portal with your client

Video tutorials

Visit the CARM video gallery for tutorials about how to onboard on to the CARM Client Portal.

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