CARM, the CBSA’s Customs Assessment and Revenue Management project represents some significant changes to how importers go about the business of importing.
Read our first blog covering the features and release updates of this new system. And please check out our new CARM webpages, which have the most up-to-date information.
In this post, we’ll dig deeper into the impacts CARM will have on importers, guiding you toward a greater understanding of your responsibilities and your options under this new system.
Customs Client Portal (CCP)
The first impact to importers will be the release of CARM’s new Customs Client Portal (CCP), the centralized online platform where all of CARM’s functionality will be accessed.
All importers will be able to register for CCP access once it is tentatively released in January 2021. Please note that this will be mandatory once CARM is fully operational. Failure to register will prevent customs release of your goods at the border once the program goes live.
Through the CCP, importers will have the ability to manage a variety of customs processes. Read more about the portal’s features here.
New Importer Responsibilities Under CARM
Under CARM, importers will be responsible for paying CBSA directly for duties, taxes, and fees. Importers will manage their own statements, account balances, discrepancies, and payments through the portal. Payments under CARM are required within very specific timelines, which may differ from your current payment timelines with your customs broker.
Importers will have the ability to assign/delegate some or all of these functions to their customs brokers or other service providers. However, payment may need to be handled by your internal operations and you will still need to proactively monitor and manage the delegation of those authorities.
Another new and significant impact is the requirement of a surety bond. All importers will be required by CBSA to purchase a surety bond to indemnify CBSA relating to the payment of duty and taxes.
In the past, customs brokers were required to post this bond on behalf of their clients.
We anticipate a backlog as thousands of importers scramble to get their bonds and processes in place under the CBSA’s timeline, so our advice to importers is to get your bond in advance.
There are several ways to do this. However, we advise you to consider going onto the Importer Direct Security (IDS) option.
Importer Direct Security (IDS)
The current CBSA Import Direct Security (IDS) Option is functionally very similar to the upcoming CARM process.
- Like CARM, you must post a customs surety bond directly with CSBA to secure the payment of your monthly duties and taxes.
- Daily notices (DN) and monthly statements of account (SOA) are issued to document the amounts owing to CBSA.
- Based on those statements, you make direct payment electronically to CBSA on a specified date each month.
Setting up under the current IDS program will help you gain experience interacting directly with CBSA for payment. It will also allow time to set up your internal processes and train your staff.
Your surety bond can be obtained before the rush and allow you to establish the proper electronic banking protocols, all in advance of the go live date for CARM. The IDS option is currently voluntary, however being properly prepared prior to CARM will make the transition much easier.
CARM represents a shift in importer engagement and responsibility within the import process. It also changes how you’ll work with your customs broker. Cole’s customs specialists are on top of the new CBSA Assessment and Revenue Management system and we’re ready to help you prepare.
For bond-specific assistance visit our CARM webpage or contact your account manager today.
Explaining CARM. It's what we do.
More of our CARM series: