Is your business prepared for CARM?

Feb 14, 2022 | Corporate Member News, Front Page

#MeetAMember: For over a century, GHY has been helping companies of all sizes from all sectors cross the border with ease. Established in 1901, GHY International is a leading trade and brokerage services provider that offers acclaimed support and guidance to North American companies that trade internationally. Whether you’re new to the world of importing and exporting or an established organization with a global supply chain, GHY’s efficient customs solutions can help optimize your trade activities. And they’re here to help with CARM, too.

The second release of the CBSA Assessment and Revenue Management (CARM) initiative officially kicks off in spring 2022. CBSA aims to standardize business and accounting practices, digitize import processes, and streamline revenue collection through this self-service initiative.

In 2017, Canada’s Auditor General reviewed 1.4 million transactions and found that 74% of supply chain documents were incomplete. Then, in 2020, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) acknowledged a shortfall of CAD$955M in duty collected from importers. As a result, CBSA is stepping up its audit program to ensure all businesses comply with import regulations and pay their duties in full and on time.

CARM: Stability or chaos for importers?

The introduction of CARM has created confusion and uncertainty in the trade industry, with most importers focused on running their business while relying on customs brokers, couriers, and freight forwarders to process their shipments. This will change with the full implementation of CARM in 2022. With phase 2 implementation, CBSA will expand the functionalities of the CARM Client Portal by adding electronic commercial accounting declarations, changes to release-prior-to-payment requirements for bonds, harmonized billing cycles, new offsetting options, and electronic management of appeals and compliance actions.

CARM will also result in enhanced and escalated regulatory audits, with more accountability falling on the shoulders of importers. In this ever-changing world of trade regulations, importers with internal trade compliance teams on staff will be able to adapt, but it may be tougher for organizations who don’t have access to internal expertise,

As an importer, should you be concerned about audits?

Yes. The CARM program will transform the trade industry by escalating enforcement speed while making importers accountable for their documentation and compliance. Importers with a history of non-compliance or repeat past issues with duty payments will be more susceptible to increased audits as of 2022. These audits will help CBSA identify non-compliant importers, track high-risk shipments, and streamline the collection of import duties.

Taking the first steps towards CARM.

Although the CARM Client Portal (CCP) is open for registration, to date, just 10% of Canadian importers have registered their business, according to CBSA. If you haven’t yet done so, you will need to register your business on the CCP before May 21, 2022. CBSA recommends that you register to access your Statement of Account (SOA) first before you sign up on the CCP, as information from your SOA is required to answer affinity questions during CARM registration.

GHY simplifies the adoption of and compliance with CARM.

Navigating the changes that CARM will bring is challenging for individual businesses, and the technological and operational mandates can be complex and time-consuming to navigate for many importers. As an authorized CARM third-party service provider, GHY is here to support your journey to access your importer SOA, sign up for CARM, and prepare for the upcoming changes—without affecting your operations or delaying your imports.


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