Canada’s Border Services Agency (CBSA) has introduced CARM, a new process to modernise and digitalize import of goods in Canada.

The agency’s vision is to deliver a globally leading customs experience that facilitates legitimate trade, improves compliance and revenue collection and contributes to securing Canadian Borders.

What is CARM?

CARM, which stands for CBSA Assessment and Revenue Management, is a mandatory multi-year initiative. CARM aims to simplify, modernise and streamline the importing process via the new web portal known as CARM Client Portal (CCP).

The agency will launch all functionalities of the CARM project in a phased roll-out of two releases. The first release has been live since May 2021, and the second will be live on 2 October 2023.

Who does CARM impact?

CARM will impact all importers, both resident and non-resident businesses, who import goods into Canada.

Is CARM mandatory?

CARM is already available for voluntary registration to importers, customs brokers and trade consultants.

From the second release of CARM on 2 October 2023, all importers must register for the online CCP to continue importing goods into Canada. Otherwise, it will impede the importation of goods.

Fundamental changes introduced through CARM

The critical element of CARM is that it consists of electronically communicating information regarding importing goods in Canada to the CBSA. It includes many changes to digitalize the communication process.

The most significant change is introducing a new customs form and abolishing previous forms in paper format. CARM will no longer accept current B2 (request for adjustments) and B3 (customs coding form) forms in a paper format.

The process will replace the forms with the new commercial accounting declaration (CAD).

B2 and B3 forms have been mandatory since 2013. They account for goods imported into Canada by reporting information about the value, classification, country of origin, tariff treatment and exchange rate of imported goods.

The submission of the new digital CAD will automate the customs process as the CARM system will automatically calculate the duties and taxes. The CAD form will enter into effect with the second release of CARM.

With the second release of CARM, the methods available for the electronic submission of the CAD are:

  1. CARM Client Portal: Importers can access the CARM Client Portal to submit the CAD form by visiting the CBSA website.
  2. Webservice: Importers can submit the CAD form via an application programming interface (API).
  3. Electronic data interchange (EDI): Many brokers use this method to transmit information for their clients (importers).

Next steps for CARM

From 2 October 2023, every company that imports goods into Canada must register in the online CARM Client Portal (CCP). Any delay or failure to comply could impede the company’s importation of goods and its supply chain. Do you need help or further information? Just get in touch with one of our experts.