The countdown is on to CARM’s phase two.
CARM is the Canada Border Services Agency’s Assessment and Revenue Management project that was designed to remove the ‘paper burden’ from importers and brokers, and requires importers to deal directly with the CBSA on financial matters, rather than through a customs broker. Its goals include simplifying and modernizing the reporting process, reducing the cost of importing to Canada, and ensuring consistent compliance with trade rules.
CARM’s first phase (implemented May 25, 2021) launched the client portal, a self-service tool that facilitates accounting and revenue management processes with the CBSA. The portal was available to importers, brokers, and trade consultants who submit rulings on an importer’s behalf, and allowed them to view transactions and statements of account, request rulings, and pay invoices electronically.
Phase two is due to be released this October, and will introduce features including:
- Correctable and adjustable electronic commercial accounting declarations,
- Harmonized billing cycles,
- Electronic appeals and compliance action management,
- The ability to register for a business number (BN), and
- Changes to the Release Prior to Payment (RPP) program.
It’s the last point that is arguably the most significant change. Under phase two, an importer can no longer use their customs broker’s RPP security to clear shipments and receive release prior to accounting and duties/tax payments. Instead, a minimum bond will be required by ALL importers, and they’ll have two options for RPP eligibility:
- A continual surety bond for 50% of their highest monthly accounts receivable (with a minimum bond of $25,000), or
- A cash security for 100% of their highest monthly accounts receivable.
Livingston International has a great video explaining the options available to importers; click below to learn more.
A list of licensed customs brokers in Canada can be found here; if a broker is currently managing your RPP, speak to them about your options.
The CBSA has a user guide for anyone new to CARM’s client portal. You can also find good information on Livingston’s CARM page, the CBSA’s website, and through the Canadian Society of Customs Brokers. And as always, follow our blog for updates on this (and other) import/export matters.