The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)’s Assessment and Revenue Management project (CARM) is a large, multi-year project focused on transforming how the CBSA assesses, collects, manages and reports on import revenue and trade information. Among its goals is the simplification of accounting systems with the agency’s commercial trade partners.
By streamlining and automating key business processes, this project should allow CBSA and importers to more efficiently and effectively meet their respective trade compliance responsibilities.
The Accounts Receivable Ledger (ARL) is an integrated, centralized accounting system for Canadian importers and is the first phase of CARM.
As of last summer – following an introductory period to provide clients with time to adapt to the new system – ARL now allows for the offsetting of importers’ account credits (refunds) against debits (amounts payable). This system also offers more comprehensive accounting statements in addition to electronic payment options.
Some important features to know about
Understanding all the ins and outs of ARL has been a challenge for both importers and customs brokers. Let’s take a look at some of the new features of this system.
- CBSA will no longer issue regular monthly refunds (disbursements) to importers. Rather, credits owing to the importer will be applied to the importer’s account at month-end to offset any duties and GST the importer owes CBSA.
- Credits of less than $1000 will carry over until the next month. For credits of $1000 or more – and those not offset after two consecutive months – CBSA will issue a disbursement to the importer.
- Electronic statements – Daily Notices and monthly Statements of Account – will be sent to EDI-enabled importers and/or their broker(s).
- If an importer does not have an EDI connection, they can have their DNs and SOAs sent either to a broker or to a third-party service provider.
- Importers or their brokers can make account payments electronically via EDI or online banking.
How to stay in the know
For more information from the source, see CBSA’s FAQ page on CARM.
- A lot of additional information can be found on CBSA’s main CARM site.
We can help
Our Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable and Consulting Departments can assist importers understand and make the most of CBSA’s accounting changes.