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What is Canada CARM and will it affect you?

By Britney Wells

July 30, 2021 / 0 min read - Last updated: October 20, 2022

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is implementing a multi-phase initiative called the CBSA Assessment and Revenue Management (CARM) project. Learn how and when CARM affects importers!

What is CARM?

CARM is a Canadian initiative that is focused on streamlining the import process for companies importing into Canada. CARM is split into two phases, with phase one having gone into effect on May 25, 2021, and phase two set to go into effect in May 2022. CARM introduces an online portal called the CARM Clients Portal (CCP) that allows importers to have access to Canada border services 24/7.

CARM streamlines the import process into Canada by allowing importers to use the portal to classify the goods in their shipments, estimate and pay duties and taxes online, and submit e-declarations online, resulting in paperless clearance and decreasing the chance of orders being held up at customs.

Who does CARM affect?

CBSA’s CARM project affects everyone importing into Canada, including the following:

  • Importers
  • Trade consultants
  • Customs brokers

Phases of CARM

Phase one – What is available with phase one of Canada’s CARM project?

Phase one is essentially a trial run to ensure everything is running smoothly in preparation for phase two in May 2022.

Phase one (May 2021) is the implementation of the CCP. This phase is available to importers, trade consultants, and customs brokers, though optional. This phase of Canada’s CARM project allows users to do the following with the online portal:

  • Classify goods with online tools
  • Calculate duties and taxes
  • Make online payments (duties, taxes, and fees)
  • Generate e-manifests

Phase two – What is available with phase two of Canada’s CARM project?

Phase two is the final implementation of CARM, making CARM registration mandatory for anyone importing into Canada.

Phase two is the implementation of additional features into the CCP. This phase opens the portal to all trade chain partners, requiring anyone importing into Canada to register for CARM.

This phase of Canada’s CARM project allows users to do the following with the online portal (in addition to the features and functionality in phase one):

  • Phase two qualifies importers to receive RPP (Release Prior to Payment) Privilege, which allows them to have their shipments released by customs prior to payment of duties and taxes.
  • The current B3 and B2 forms will be replaced by a new, online document called the Commercial Accounting Declaration (CAD). This takes away the need to submit separate documents for each submission or change. The CAD allows you to make changes and create different submissions in one document without losing the document’s history.
  • There will be new options for duty and tax payment options and billing cycles.
  • CBSA program and business number registration will be available through the CCP.
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When does phase two of CARM begin?

The plan is to have CARM completely rolled out by May of 2022.

Who is required to register for CARM?

Everyone importing into Canada as of phase two of CARM (May 2022) will be required to register.

As more information on CARM becomes available, we will produce more blogs and updates on the topic!


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Britney Wells
Britney Wells

A love of bringing words together to create clear, simple messages about complex topics has driven me to pursue a career in professional writing. As the Content Manager at Zonos, I find excitement and purpose in decoding the complex details of cross-border ecommerce.

Cross Border, Duties and Taxes, Global Trade Compliance, Industry,