CARM Release 1 has arrived, which means that the CARM Client Portal has opened and enrolling in CARM is now possible. CARM stands for the CBSA Assessment and Revenue Management Project. It is a part of a multi-year initiative by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to modernize the importation process. Currently, enrolling in the CARM Client Portal allows importers to view their transactions and statements of account, request a ruling, and pay invoices electronically. Once Release 2 occurs in Spring of 2024, CARM will serve as the primary hub for accounting and revenue management with the CBSA. All importers will be required to register on the platform to import goods into Canada. Let’s look at how to enroll in the CARM portal.
All individuals conducting business with the CBSA on behalf of their own organization must create an individual user account in the CARM Client Portal. There are 2 options given for identification purposes. The first option would be to obtain a GCKey by completing the online registration. A GCKey is a government issued identification that allows people to securely conduct online business with various government programs. The second option that individuals have to identify themselves would be to use a sign-in partner. This option proves identification by logging in to your account at a registered financial institution
To get started in the registration process, click here.
Once an individual user account has been created, that individual can register their business. To do so, importers need their company federal business registration info that contains the business number, full legal name of the entity, and the complete address. It is important to note that the information entered must match exactly what the Canada Revenue Agency has on file. The next part is tricky. There will be 2 of the following 3 questions;
1) Recent Transaction number and associated taxes
2) Last Transaction payment amount
3) Last Statement of account balance
Current clients of Orbit can contact our accounts department to obtain the required info if you do not have it on hand. Once these answers have been successfully provided, your account is now ready!
There are a variety of user roles available within the CARM Client portal. The person who initially registers the business will be considered the Business Account Manager (BAM). CBSA suggests having at least 2 BAMs for each account. BAMs will be responsible for setting up the roles for the other members of the organization. They will also be responsible for reviewing requests for access by third party providers (such as Customs Brokers). It is important to delegate authority in the portal to your Customs Broker as a Third Party Business Account Manager so they can properly manage your information activities. The below image shows the various available roles and their description. Once that has been set up, your account is active in the CARM Client Portal and you can start viewing the available features.
All this information can seem daunting, however CBSA has provided a wide variety of options to help with enrolling in CARM. You can find a selection of onboarding documentation here. The CBSA has also created a helpful video which you can find below.