Home - A Complete Guide to the Canadian Border Services CARM Portal

A Complete Guide to the Canadian Border Services CARM Portal

A Complete Guide to the Canadian Border Services CARM Portal

With the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) rolling out the CARM Client Portal, businesses that import goods into Canada, along with their Trade Chain Partners, are entering a new era of trade facilitation and customs clearance.

This transformative initiative is set to streamline the import process, making it mandatory for all involved parties to register and familiarize themselves with the portal’s functionalities. Here’s what you need to know about the CBSA’s CARM portal and how it affects your business operations.

What is the CARM Portal?

The CBSA Assessment and Revenue Management (CARM) project is a multi-phased initiative aiming to modernize and streamline the collection of duties and taxes on imported goods.

The CARM Client Portal, a key component of this initiative, is an online platform that provides a single point of access for importers, customs brokers, and other trade chain partners to conduct business with the CBSA. By May 2024, registration on the portal will become mandatory for all parties involved in importing goods into Canada.

How to Register on the CARM Client Portal

Registration involves several steps, starting with creating a personal profile on the portal. The first individual from a company to register becomes the business account manager, responsible for managing the company’s account, including delegating authority to customs brokers. Here’s a simplified registration process:

  • Access the Portal: Visit the CBSA CARM Client Portal website and create your personal profile.
  • Register Your Business: Link your personal profile to your business account. You’ll need your Business Number (BN) and other relevant details.
  • Designate Account Managers: It’s advisable to appoint a second account manager as a backup.

Key Features and How to Use Them

The CARM portal offers a range of features designed to facilitate easier management of customs transactions and duties:

  • Delegating Authority: Importers must delegate authority to their customs brokers through the portal, allowing them to act on the importer’s behalf.
  • Real-Time Access: View transactions, account balances, and make payments in real time.
  • Commercial Accounting Declarations: Submit and adjust your commercial accounting declarations directly through the portal.
  • Post Financial Security: Enroll in the Release Prior to Payment (RPP) program by posting financial security through the portal.

What Business Owners Need to Know

The Importance of Early Registration

Early registration ensures that your business is prepared for the May 2024 deadline, avoiding potential delays at the border or additional charges. It also provides ample time to familiarize yourself with the portal’s features and functionalities.

Choosing a Customs Broker

If you use the services of a customs broker, you must delegate authority to them via the portal. This step is crucial for maintaining a seamless import process under the new system.

Preparing for System Changes

Businesses with custom software for transmitting information to the CBSA will need to make system changes. It’s essential to refer to the Electronic Commercial Client Requirements Document and familiarize yourself with the necessary updates.

Preparing Your Business for CARM

To ensure a smooth transition to the CARM Client Portal, consider the following steps:

  • Educate Your Team: Make sure key personnel are aware of CARM and its implications.
  • Review Your Importing Processes: Assess your current processes and identify any changes needed to comply with CARM requirements.
  • Seek Assistance if Needed: Utilize resources provided by the CBSA, or consider reaching out to experts for help with registration and compliance.


The CARM Client Portal represents a significant shift in how import-related transactions are managed in Canada. By embracing this change and preparing your business in advance, you can ensure compliance, streamline your importing processes, and potentially benefit from enhanced efficiency and reduced delays.

Looking for guidance on navigating the CARM Client Portal or ensuring your business is fully compliant? Contact PiVAL today. Our team of experts is ready to assist you with every step of the CARM registration process and help optimize your importing operations for this new era.

About the Author

Leave a Reply