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CARM is coming in 2024 : What you Need to Know about Canada’s New Customs System


On May 13, 2024, Canada will have a new system managing how the government interacts with the trade community to assess and collect duties and taxes for commercial goods imported into Canada.

The new system is called CARM, Canada Border Services Agency’s (CBSA) Assessment and Revenue Management, and it will manage over $30 billion in annual revenue. 

Those affected include just about everyone in the trade chain – importers, customs brokers, freight forwarders, carriers, customs bonded and sufferance warehouse operators, duty-free shop operators, financial security providers and software service providers.

So, if your company imports good into Canada, here’s a heads up to get ready.

The system will digitize legacy processes, some of which have been in place since 1987.

The CBSA says CARM will provide a cutting-edge customs experience “that reduces the burden for legitimate trade, makes CBSA more efficient, and generates more revenue for the organization while contributing to securing Canada’s borders,” according to Glenn Palanacki of a trade compliance software provider. 


CARM is planned to cut over all at once on May 13. As it comes online, the legacy systems will go dark, meaning that everybody needs to be ready.

It’s a hard start! Not that CBSA is just going to flip a switch.

Over the past few months beta testers have been putting the software through its paces, building on what the agency learned in simulations done by trade community volunteers over the past year.

Early access

The system has a self-serve access window, CARM Client Portal (CCP), that lets importers, brokers, and third parties who submit rulings on behalf of importers, to view transactions and statements of account, request rulings, and pay invoices with new electronic payment options.

Importers, brokers and other trade partners need to register on the CPP in order to be able to review the new system before the go-live date.

It’s recommended you do so now in order to minimize potential supply chain disruptions, Palanacki said. 

It will allow importers and their brokers to send the same accounting entry to both systems (CARM and legacy) and compare what happens.

This gives early participants insight into what’s changing, and into the nuances of how CARM will operate.

Some of the changes importers can expect include the ability to modify electronic commercial accounting declarations, harmonized billing, electronic appeals and compliance functions and the ability to register for a business number and other CBSA programs. 

So what does all this have to do with operations at your distribution centre or warehouse?

On a day-to-day basis it’s all about having access to [information].

Legacy information systems that were built in the 1980’s have no place in today’s supply chains.

This is a long-overdue modernization and digitization of critical supply chain operations.

Quite simply, it underlines the importance of ensuring that your supply chain operations are similarly up to date.

If you are managing processes in your DC using spreadsheets, whiteboards, phone calls or even email (yes, email is old tech now), you are relying on technologies that cannot keep up with the pace of modern commerce. 

Why continue to use outdated methods when there’s a simple solution at hand that will save you time and money?

That solution is software from C3 Solutions to manage your yard and docks! 

C3 Reservations updates your dock scheduling, letting carriers set their appointments through the app.

You can set parameters about how those appointments will be handled, and the software work with your other enterprise systems like WMS. 

In the yard, C3 Yard lets you pinpoint the location of trailers and the inventory or assets in them, so your shunt drivers don’t waste their day searching.

It saves time, fuel and gives you the peace of mind knowing where everything is without having to put pins in a map.  

So, by updating your processes and implementing digitized solutions for yard management and dock scheduling, like the CBSA CARM initiative, you’ll be future-proofing your business in addition to gaining the many efficiencies that the technology offers. 

As Palanacki said of CARM, “all parties also have their own vested interest in modernizing and streamlining the process of importing commercial goods into Canada and to help protect and grow over $750 billion in trade each year.”

Likewise, by updating from legacy systems in your distribution centre operation, you’ll also modernize, streamline, and gain the all the advantages of real-time visibility into where your trailers are and when they’ll be arriving at your docks.