Regulatory News & Information

CBSA Assessment and Revenue Management (CARM)

CBSA Assessment and Revenue Management (CARM)

What is CARM?

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), through their Canada Assessment and Revenue Management (CARM) initiative is transforming how commercial goods importing into Canada are managed, including the collection of duties and taxes.

US companies selling commercial goods to customers in Canada may consider confirming at the time of sale that the Canadian company has taken the required steps to prepare for CARM.

Here's what's changing and when

CARM Release 1 (RLS 1)

The New CARM Client Portal (CCP) open for registration

Registration on the portal will be required for all commercial goods being imported by Canadian importers and importers that reside outside of Canada that are established as a non-resident importer (NRI) starting CARM Release 2. Importing companies should resister well in advance of the CARM Release 2 date. Once you’ve registered and created an account in the portal, you can:

  • Delegate access to your service providers
  • New direct electronic payment options with CBSA
  • Classify goods and estimate duties and taxes
  • Submit ruling requests and track their progress

CARM Release 2 (RLS 2) – scheduled for spring 2022

New features and functionality will be added to the CARM Client Portal

  • All Trade Chain Partners (TCPs) will have access to the CCP
  • Release Prior to Payment (RPP) Privilege – Importers will be required to post their own financial security (i.e., surety bond or cash deposit) to maintain their RPP privilege
  • The Commercial Accounting Declaration (CAD) – a new digital document for accounting imported goods with the CBSA
  • Electronic submission of entry corrections and adjustments (form B2 will be replaced with CAD version updates)
  • New billing cycles and additional secure online payment options
  • Registration for Canadian Business Number (BN) and CBSA programs

What to expect if you’re importing goods to Canada

  • Canadian Business Number (BN). You’ll need a valid BN and Import-Export (RM) program account number prior to importing goods into Canada. For information on how to obtain a BN and RM number, please visit the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) website. Beginning with RLS 2, you’ll be able to apply for a BN and RM number directly through the CCP.
  • Registering for the CCP. You’ll need to transact business with the CBSA through the new CCP. You must set up a CCP business account prior to RLS 2 to continue your commercial importation activities. To set up a CCP business account, you must first designate a Business Account Manager (BAM) for your company. The BAM must create a user account and input your company information to complete the set-up of the CCP business account. The BAM will have full managerial and administrative rights over the account and will be responsible for granting delegation of authority to your third-party service providers (e.g., customs brokers).
  • Delegating Authority. Your BAM must grant this authorization to third-party service providers (e.g., customs brokers), to enable them to manage your commercial importation activities via the CCP. After RLS 2, only your delegated customs broker(s) will be able to perform customs entry filing and duty and tax assessment services on your behalf. This delegation is an additional requirement and does not replace the current requirement for a Power of Attorney (POA) or General Agency Agreement (GAA) to authorize a customs broker to act for you. For more information, see the CARM Solution Spotlight – Delegation of Authority.

    Note: Multiple customs brokers can be delegated to manage an importer’s commercial import activities.
  • Obtaining an RPP Bond. You’ll need to post your own financial security (i.e., surety bond or cash deposit) to obtain the release of your goods, prior to the accounting and payment of any applicable duties and taxes with the CBSA. The RPP security posted by a customs broker will no longer extend to commercial importers who avail of their services starting RLS 2.
  • Paying Import Duties and Taxes with the CBSA. Beginning RLS 1, options to pay the CBSA directly will be available through the CCP. To avoid duplicate payment, however, any import duties and/or taxes accounted for by your customs broker(s) should be paid to them (e.g., FedEx Invoice) and not directly to the CBSA, prior to RLS 2. If you’re planning to pay the CBSA directly through the portal starting RLS 2, you must advise your customs broker(s) to avoid duplicate payments and unpaid broker invoices.

Exception: Casual/non-commercial importers (import goods that are not for sale or for business, industrial, commercial, occupational, or other like use) will not be subject to the requirements.

Helping you prepare and stay in the know

1. Register for an upcoming CARM Webinar

You’ll learn how to:

  • Register and set up your CARM Client Portal
  • Delegate authority
  • Take advantage of other CARM resources
Webinar Registration - CARM Client Portal Onboarding
English Tuesday, January 25th, 2022 1:00pm - 2:30pm EST Register
Tuesday, February 15th, 2022 1:00pm - 2:30pm EST Register
Tuesday, March 22nd, 2022 1:00pm - 2:30pm EST Register

2. Download the CARM Information Package

To help you understand and prepare for CARM, the CBSA has released the CARM Information Package along with additional guides available to you on the CBSA CARM Google drive.

3. Review this important information

We’ve compiled some important information to help you prepare for CARM.

Resource links Highlights Target period

NEW CARM RLS 1 Playbook

Comprehensive overview and details on RLS 1 CARM Client Portal functionality


NEW CARM Client Portal Onboarding Guide for Importers

Preparation for onboarding, setting up a portal account, and portal functionality details, including the Delegation of Authority process 


CARM Personas and Guides

Illustrates the changes and benefits of CARM for each Persona (grouping of TCPs)

CARM Solution Spotlight
CARM Client Portal Onboarding

Overview for onboarding to the new CARM Client Portal


CARM Solution Spotlight
Delegation of Authority

Key details, steps, and access levels (User roles)


CARM Solution Spotlight
Billing Cycles

Summary of changes for each impacted clearance type (e.g., HVS, LVS, CLVS, etc.)


CARM Solution Spotlight
Financial Security

New Release Prior to Payment (RPP) requirements


CARM Solution Spotlight
Commercial Accounting Declaration

Changes to formal corrections and adjustments


CARM Fact Sheets

CARM benefits, changes and timelines

Key next steps

During Release

  1. Register for a Canadian Business Number (BN) and Import-Export (RM) program account number with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), if you intend to import commercial goods and do not already have a BN and/or RM number.
  2. A GCkey or on-line access provided by a participating financial institution, will be required to create a user account for the new CCP. Learn more about the GCkey (a unique electronic credential issued by the Government of Canada for use with online Government services) or click here to confirm that your financial institution is a participating Sign-In Partner.
  3. Read CBSA Memorandum D17-1-8 for more information on how to obtain a bond for RPP.
  4. Identify who you will designate as the Business Account Manager (BAM) for your CCP account. Please note that an importer can designate multiple BAMS to manage their portal account.
  5. Register for the new CCP and grant delegation of authority to your third-party providers (e.g., customs brokers) via your portal account. Review the CARM RLS 1 Playbook link for comprehensive portal set-up and delegation of authority details.
  6. If you’re using a designated broker(s), other than FedEx, contact them to ensure they have all the required information to accurately manage your import processes under CARM.
  7. Consult with a surety company to obtain a bond for RPP. A list of surety companies is available in ‘Appendix L - Acceptable Bonding Companies’ on the Treasury Board of Canada’s Contracting Policy webpage.

FedEx and other industry TCPs are in consultation with the CBSA to identify opportunities for further innovation and improvement on the current import accounting processes and CBSA clearance options.

For questions about CARM and for assistance in complying with the new CARM requirements, please contact the CBSA through the form below or call 1.800.461.9999.


Additional Information