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Back CBSA Assessment and Revenue Management (CARM)

Is your import business ready for CARM?

The CBSA Assessment and Revenue Management (CARM) project is a multi-year initiative that will transform the collection of duties and taxes for goods imported into Canada.

Release 2 will be released in October 2023, and will expand the functionalities of the CARM Client Portal by adding:

  • electronic commercial accounting declarations with ability for corrections and adjustments
  • new requirements related to the Release Prior to Payment (RPP) program
  • harmonized billing cycles
  • new offsetting options
  • electronic management of appeals and compliance actions


Release 1 went live on May 25, 2021 and allows all importers to access their monthly account balances. Importers must register for the online portal, assign staff permissions, and delegate their broker.

There will be no impact to customs releases at the border until Release 2 in the spring of 2022.

CARM set-up

Importers can use either GCKey or a sign-in partner to access the CARM portal. Once launched, importers can access the landing page and register. Each employee accessing the portal will require unique login credentials. 

For more information on GCKeys click here. For sign in partners click here.

Accessing the business account

Importers required several pieces of information (available prior to accessing CARM account), including Legal Entity Name and Address.

Business must also be prepared to answer two of the following affinity questions:

  • Last statement of account balance

  • Last payment amount

  • Total duties and taxes (line 51 of B3) of one of the 5 most recent transactions

Linking individuals with the business account

Each user can have a predefined role assigned with preset permissions.  Businesses should ensure that each role has a backup who is able to fulfill the same functions.

While importers are setting up the portal, it is important they establish well-defined on-boarding and off-boarding plans.

Business Account Manager (BAM)

  • Full management access at the business and program account levels.
  • Ability to accept new employees to the business and approve third-party relationships.
  • Role should be assigned to an active operational user, not necessarily the owner of the company.

Unassociated User

  • Has a personal profile on the CARM Client Portal, but is not yet accepted as an employee of the business.


  • Ability to create, edit, and view all transaction information


  • Ability to see all transaction information but is unable to create or edit information

For more information on CARM from the CBSA, visit their website . You can also download relevant documents from the CBSA's Google Drive

If you are a current client and have questions on how to set up your portal account or delegate authority to Kuehne+Nagel, contact us


The digitization of CBSA processes is essential to keeping Canada’s economy competitive on the world stage. I am excited about the opportunities that CARM presents.

Chad Swance, Director of Regulatory Affairs and Trade Compliance


The CARM Portal will not change daily transactions.  It will not impact releases at the border.  Release 1 is a visibility platform with the additional capabilities of classification tools and rulings.

Most businesses will create a partnership between their Trade Compliance team and their Accounts Payable team.  Both teams are heavily impacted by the data contained in the portal.

A BAM is a Business Account Manager and is responsible for all areas of a business within the portal.  A PAM is a Program Account Manager and is only responsible for a subset of the business as defined by the BAM.

Each individual should have their own unique sign in credentials.  This allows for system traceability.

The CBSA recommends that businesses have at least two (2) Business Account Managers (BAMs).  Businesses can assign Program Account Managers (PAMs) as needed.

Yes.  For instructions on how to sign up for a GCKey, follow the user guide.

For Release 1, there are no changes to the payment process.  If a broker has been paying CBSA on behalf of its clients, the broker will continue to do.   Under Release 2, the CBSA has indicated their intent to have all importers pay the CBSA directly.

Yes.  For instructions on delegation of authority, follow the guide.

At present, the CBSA has indicated a minimum bond amount of $25,000.

Yes.  Every unique importer will require a minimum bond.

The BN15 is a 15-digit Business Number that uses the legal entity’s:

  • Unique 9-digit root

  • 2-character program identifier (identifying the government program for which the business is registered)\

  • 4-digit account number (an incremental number assigned to each account the business has within each program).

The BN15’s structure identifies the business via the root and keeps track of the programs for which the business is registered via the various suffixes.

You can set up a CARM Bond after the CBSA provides the final regulations or terms and conditions to the surety companies who will underwrite the proposed bonds.  At present, the only type of bond that a resident importer can obtain is a Duty bond.

Yes.  There will still be high value and low value shipments, including CLVS – courier low value shipments.

Importers should look at their Statement of Account.  Importers should contact the CARM group to set up a Statement of Account.

Under Release 2, the B3 will be replaced by the Commercial Accounting Declaration (CAD).

The B2 or amendment process will be replaced at Release 2 by the CAD version control.

No.  The CARM portal does not have the functionality to transmit a release request.  The portal pertains to the accounting/financial aspects of the clearance.

Kuehne+Nagel will still be your agent at the border and submit all of the data necessary to clear and account for your imports. Under CARM, the importer will gain transactional visibility (Release 2) to your shipments at the border.  Under CARM Release 2, the importer will be required to pay the CBSA directly through the portal.

Importers can contact the CARM Client Support Helpdesk (CCSH) via their online web form or hotline.

Importers should register more than one BAM for each importer account in their control. This redundancy provides vacation coverage and protects against unexpected absences.

GC Key Registration is a process that takes most individuals less than 15 minutes. 

Ensure that you register each BN9 and RM extension that your organization imports under. Importers should validate their business numbers against recent B3 declarations.

Many businesses are struggling with achieving an exact match to the CBSA’s database.  If an entity is registered with the CRA as “ABC Ltd.” but entered into the CARM portal as “ABC Ltd” the user would receive an error. Importers can check their GST registry using the CRA’s GST Registry Tool.

The CARM registration portal auto selects the transaction number for total duties and taxes.  The value given cannot be a negative number. It will now accept 0.00. Companies who use multiple brokers to clear on their behalf may struggle with this data. Some companies have found that refreshing the screen or logging in an additional time has brought up a different transaction number.  This enables them to enter a correct value.

Importers who are GST and/or duty direct can look this up in their internal records. This question is particularly challenging for companies that do not pay the CBSA directly (GST and/or Duty Direct). Importers that are struggling with the data element can reach out to the CBSA for support using the online form or call 1-800-461-9999 menu option #2 (CARM).

Importers who are not duty or GST direct may opt in to receive Daily notices (DNs) and Statement of Account (SOA) documents directly from the CBSA.  Importers can reach out to the CBSA for support using the online form or call 1-800-461-9999 menu option #2 (CARM).