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Canada Implements Portal to Manage Taxes and Duties on Imports

Canada Implements Portal to Manage Taxes and Duties on Imports

January 25, 2024 - Canada has implemented a new client portal that allows companies to interact and share data with Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). This portal, developed as part of the CBSA Assessment and Revenue Management (CARM) digital initiative, will be used to facilitate all taxes and duties with CBSA, along with providing additional accounting functions and payment processing.

Rollout Process

All Canadian and non-resident importers, custom brokers, and trade consultants who import commercial goods into Canada will need to register with the CARM portal. The CBSA is rolling out the portal in two phases.

  • Phase 1- May 2021, the portal is open for importers, brokers, and trade consultants to register and delegate authority to a third party or employees.
  • Phase 2 – Starting October 2023, CARM will be available with addition features. Importers can set up security and participate in the Release Prior to Payment (RPP) program.

Registration Process

Registration with CARM needs to be completed by May 2024, to allow goods to be released through customs with no delay. In addition, importers who are registered, will then have a 180-day transition period to get security finalized and adjust to the new portal and rules.

There are 5 steps that need to be completed for the CARM registration.

  1. Identify a Business Account Manager (BAM). This will be the person that is responsible for all activities in CARM. It will automatically be the first person who registers. It is recommended that a 2nd person also get set up as a BAM. This allows a smooth transfer if person is out or no longer with the company.
  2. Apply or verify for Business Number (BN9) and importer/exporter account identifier.  
  3. Create a user profile using a GCKey or Sign-in partner.
  4. Provide legal business name and basic company information (address, phone number etc.). This must match exactly what CBSA has on file.
  5. Answer security questions and information. This information will be found on past returns and/or your daily notice and statement of account documents.

Once registered, a company can set up security and delegate authority to employees or a third party (customer broker). This will allow employees to take care of custom activities, duties and taxes. It also will allow custom brokers, to be able to take care of these activities on your behalf.

Commercial Accounting Declaration (CAD) and Release Prior to Payment (RPP) program

The commercial accounting declaration (CAD) will also be introduced in May 2024. This digital form will replace the customer coding (B3) and adjustment (B2) forms. All accounting of duties and taxes, along with correction, adjustments and rules will go through CARM.

Importers will also want to understand the Release Prior to Payment (RPP) program. This allows the release of the goods, at the border before the finalization of duties and taxes. Custom brokers will no longer be allowed to use their RPP security to release shipments at the border. Importers will be required to have their own financial security.

Financial security needs to either be a surety bond or cash deposit. Below are the two options available.

  1. Financial security bond for 50% of the highest monthly accounts receivable; minimum security of 25,000.
  2. Cash security for 100% of the highest monthly account receivable

After May 2024, all importers will need to have their own security to ensure a smooth release of goods at the border. Payments for duties and taxes will need to be made by the importer rather than though a customer broker or agent. If not enrolled in RPP, an importer will need to pay in advance on CARM or pay a CBSA cashier at the border, to have the goods released.

For More Information

If you would like more information about the new portal, you can visit the Canada CARM website at https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/services/carm-gcra/menu-eng.html. If you have further questions, you can reach out to a Redpath advisor here. 


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