The CBSA’s Assessment and Revenue Management Project
As the trade landscape continues to evolve and governments modernize systems in 2016, Canadian importers are already experiencing the effects of the Canada Border Services Agency’s (CBSA) Assessment and Revenue Management Project (CARM) – a large, multi-year effort that transforms how the CBSA assesses, collects, manages and reports on import revenue and trade information with Canadian importers.
CARM’s first phase, Accounts Receivable Ledger system (ARL), began implementation on January 25, replacing existing revenue and cash management systems.
What does ARL mean for your business?
CARM’s ARL phase changes the way importers see their accounting records. Aimed at simplifying and streamlining the assessment and collection of revenue from the commercial trade community, every Canadian importer with their own Account Security Number (ASEC) will experience changes including a fully integrated and centralized commercial client-based accounting system; enhanced electronic Daily Notices (DNs) detailing the receipt and posting of added and existing transactions received in ARL the previous day; and a new monthly Statement of Account (SOA) providing a summarized daily total for all documents posted within the current billing cycle, and indicating the total amount payable and the payment due date.
All importers, with or without their own ASEC, will receive ePayment and internet banking options, allowing them to pay electronically direct to the Receiver General. They will also receive credit offsets.
The first of many changes Canadian importers will experience, CARM’s ARL phase allows CBSA to more efficiently and effectively manage and report on revenues collected on behalf of the Canadian government. It is important that importers stay abreast of these updates to best prepare for the changes and take advantage of them.
Importers who hold their own ASEC should have filled out the ARL application, which prompts them to choose how they want to receive DN/SOA (directly or through their brokerage company) and choose their file format. After working with their broker and reviewing their application for accuracy, importers should have then sent the completed application to the Technical Commercial Commerce Unit (TCCU) of CBSA.
Importers that do not hold their own ASEC number will not receive an electronic DN or SOA from CBSA; however they can pick up their balance statement at any ARL designated office of CBSA by providing their business number.
ARL is only the first phase of CARM; CBSA is expected to announce more implementation milestones in the coming months. This is a significant year for regulatory changes. It is more important than ever for importers to work closely with their trade compliance teams and customs brokers to ensure they stay on top of CARM and the many other new trade developments coming in 2016.
Candace Sider is vice president, regulatory affairs Canada at Livingston International.