CARM and Carriers, transporting imported goods into Canada

CBSA introduces CARM for importers. Register before May 2024

Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) has introduced its Assessment and Revenue Management system or CARM. This is to make importing goods into Canada more efficient and streamlined.

Private Carriers bringing commercial goods into Canada will definitely want to take a look as it is most likely that you will need to register your business with CARM to avoid hang ups and delays at the Canadian border.

What is CARM?

CARM portal is the way that CBSA will be going forward for all of its business interactions.

CARM will allow your business to delegate authority to your customs broker (if you use one) and allow them to continue contracting on your behalf. It will also allow you to view transactions and balances in real time. It will give you the ability to submit commercial accounting declarations.

 Who needs to register with CARM?

Who does this new system apply to? Basically, if you are bringing goods into Canada then you will need to register. Take a look at these requirements and see if any apply to you.

Do you:

  • Import commercial goods at least once per year? Or import goods in small value?
  • Import commercial goods by rail, truck, intermodal, air, ocean, or courier?
  • Use a customs broker or a third-party service provider to bring your goods into Canada?
  • Import goods to be sold or used?
  • Import goods temporarily?
  • Have a business located outside of Canada and import commercial goods into Canada?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then you will need to register your business with CARM.

The deadline to register with CARM is May 2024. If you choose not to register, this may cause hassles when getting your commercial goods through customs. It will slow down the process at the very least.

If you are a broker for a client who is importing goods into Canada be sure to let them know they will need to create an account and give you access as their broker to do business on their behalf.

When you set up your account, the first person to link their personal profile to a business account will become the business account manager for the company.  This gives you complete access to the account. You can then designate another individual to be the back up business account manager.

If you use a customs broker, you will be able to assign them authority to handle your account once your account has been set up.

Word to the wise: if you already have your own customs software to transmit information to the CBSA you will need to make some changes to continue to do this. Check out the Government of Canada’s Electronic Commerce Client Requirements information to make sure you are set up correctly.

Who else needs to know about CARM?

Trade Consultants

Trade consultants will be able to access the CARM portal upon request. To gain access trade consultants will need to contact client support to submit a request. New trade consultants will be able to use the portal (once access is granted) to set up a business number (BN) and a program identifier (RM).

Financial Security Providers

After May 2024 the CBSA will start receiving financial security information electronically through an application programming interface. Financial security providers should check out publicly available application program interfaces that allow transactions with the CBSA and get to know how to use them. Contact the CBSA at to get set up as you will need a program identifier (RM) number which is given through the CARM portal to be designated as an issuer of electronic financial security.

Other service providers such as lawyers, accountants, exporters will also be able to use the CARM system to do business with CBSA, however details have yet to be released on how these services will be able to access and register with the portal.

Download our helpful information sheet for easy access to CARM info.