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A Comprehensive Guide to Registering Your Business for CARM


The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) Assessment and Revenue Management (CARM) system is revolutionizing the way businesses manage their imports and payments to the CBSA. Registering your business for CARM is a crucial step in ensuring compliance and seamless import processes. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the essential steps to register your business for CARM, from gathering the necessary information to securing financial surety.

Step 1: Gathering Required Information

Before diving into the registration process, it’s essential to have all the necessary information at hand. This includes your business’s legal name and address, which must match exactly what’s on file with the CBSA. Additionally, you’ll need the name, email, and phone number of your Business Account Manager (BAM), as well as your Company’s Business Number and RM Importing number. Transaction history from previous importing activity is also required, which can be provided to you by your Broker. Without this information, you may encounter delays or errors during the registration process.

Step 2: Obtaining a GCKey

To access the CARM portal and begin the registration process, you’ll need a GCKey. This unique identifier serves as your username and password for accessing various government services, including CARM. Once you’ve obtained your GCKey, you can proceed to the business registration process.

Step 3: Navigating the Registration Process

Once logged into the CARM portal, you’ll be prompted to answer a series of affinity questions about your recent account activity. These questions help verify your importing account and ensure the security of your account. It’s essential to answer these questions accurately to proceed with the registration process smoothly.

Step 4: Securing Financial Surety

One of the critical requirements for registering with CARM is securing financial surety for your imports. Financial surety acts as insurance for the goods you’re importing, guaranteeing that the duty and taxes owed to the CBSA are secure before the goods enter the country. In the past, customs brokers’ bonds were used as financial surety. However, with the implementation of CARM, each importer must secure their own bond, with a minimum requirement of $25,000. However, there have been rumors this amount could change. Some customs brokers, like our team at Ramsay, may offer to help out their importers in the bond process by securing for you.

Registering your business for CARM is a mandatory step in modernizing your import processes and ensuring compliance with CBSA regulations. By gathering the required information, obtaining a GCKey, and navigating the registration process, you can streamline your import operations and avoid potential delays, penalties, or release privileges. Additionally, securing financial surety demonstrates your commitment to responsible importing practices and facilitates smoother transactions with the CBSA.

Need Assistance? Let Ramsay Help!

As we navigate through CARM, our team at Ramsay Customs & Logistics is here to guide you through the intricacies. For questions, clarifications, or assistance, reach out to us through our dedicated help inbox – [email protected]!