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Tax alert: Canada Border Services Agency Assessment and Revenue Management initiative will impact businesses importing goods and materials

Tax alert: Canada Border Services Agency Assessment and Revenue Management initiative will impact businesses importing goods and materials

Synopsis
2 Minute Read

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is in the process of updating its commercial import systems, and the changes will affect businesses that buy foreign goods or deliver foreign goods into Canada.

The CBSA Assessment and Revenue Management initiative is entering its Release 2 phase in October 2023. It will require importers to sign up for an online portal, and will introduce:

  • A new commercial accounting declaration to replace the current B2 and B3
  • A requirement for Importers to post their own security bond (customs broker’s bond is no longer available)

Continue reading for full details below.

Does your business buy products, goods, or materials from outside Canada — or delivering goods into Canada? If so, then you are an importer, and you need to be aware of upcoming changes at the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).

Background

The CBSA is in the process of updating their systems regarding importing commercial product into Canada. This is part of the multi-year CBSA Assessment and Revenue Management (CARM) initiative. CARM is the accounting payment system used by the CBSA to assess and collect payments on imported commercial goods. 

As part of the initiative, CBSA has created an online portal — the CARM Client Portal (CCP) — for importers to track their shipments, make payments on their account, access tools to help classify goods and estimate duties and taxes, and electronically track any rulings requests or audits.

The CCP was launched in May 2021 (Release 1) and is currently available to importers and customs brokers. Additional functions will be available through the CCP by October 2023 (Release 2). All commercial importers (non-residents and Canadians) importing product into Canada will need to be set up on the CCP.

Process changes

There are two significant changes announced as part of Release 2. First, a new commercial accounting declaration will replace the current B3 (customs coding) and B2 (request for adjustment) processes. Moreover, commercial importers will have to post their own security bond and will no longer be able to avail themselves of the customs broker’s bond. 

Previously, customs brokers were able to manage most of the functions listed above. While brokers can still assist with these functions, the importer will be required to have their own account on the CCP following Release 2. Once the importer is set up on the CCP, they can delegate portal access to employees or third parties, including customs brokers. 

Accessing the CARM Client Portal

A business number and an import account is required to create a user account in the CCP. Each user will need to set up a GCKey or use the online Sign-In Partner. Once the account is created, the importer can set up their preferred payment options and will receive notifications each time a payment is required.

Once registered, the CCP will be a resource to track all of your shipments, payments and other useful information. You can also grant your accountant access to the portal to pull your transaction listing to ensure that all GST paid is recovered as appropriate.

Any business importing product into Canada should get set up on the CCP as soon as possible. The CBSA has provided step-by-step instructions. MNP can assist with any questions on the process, including obtaining a business number and creating an import account. 

Contact us

Speak to an MNP Indirect Tax advisor for further information.

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