Introducing CARM: What is CARM and Who Does it Affect?

As we approach the launch of the second phase of CARM, it is important that you understand the benefits of this new initiative and how it will affect you.

What is CARM?

CARM is a program that has been rolled out over the past few years by the Canadian government to help improve the efficiency of importing goods into Canada.

CARM, an acronym for CBSA Assessment and Revenue Management, is a user-friendly digital platform that will help the Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) collect duties and taxes for anything imported into Canada.

Who is an importer?

An importer is anyone, whether an individual person or a company, that brings goods into Canada from another country intending to sell those goods and therefore is responsible for paying duties and taxes on those items.

Categories of importers include:

  • A Resident Importer (RI): A business or person who lives in Canada but buys goods from another country to sell within Canadian borders.
  • A Non-Resident Importer (NRI): A business or person who lives outside of Canada buts ships products into the country to be sold.

Both of these types of importers are required to pay duties and taxes on their imported goods.

Why is CARM being implemented?

CARM is being implemented to help simplify and modernize the way CBSA monitors imported goods and manages revenue.

Streamlining the importing process is meant to encourage importers to bring their goods into Canada, which is crucial for the economy.

The goals of CARM are:

  • Provide user-friendly online tools to help classify imported goods and calculate the duty and taxes.
  • Make the process of working with CBSA easy and accessible for importers.
  • View up-to-date account information and make payments online.
  • Improve importer’s compliance with trade rules.
  • Improve consistency with trade rules.

The phase of the CARM releases

CARM is being rolled out in two phases, release 1 and release 2.

Release 1 was implemented in May 2021, and release 2 has had a few release dates but is now said to finalize in the fall of 2023.

Release 1 allows importers to do the following online:

  • Calculate the duty and taxes on their imports.
  • Pay duty and taxes online.
  • Classify goods.
  • View their transactions and online account statements.
  • Request a ruling if necessary.
  • A chatbot to help users if needed.

Release 2 will expand the functions of CARM to include:

  • All trade partners will be able to enroll their businesses and participate in the program.
  • The ability to adjust or correct the Electronic Commercial Accounting Declarations (CAD).
  • CAD will replace B3 and B2 custom coding forms. Making all of your history easy to find in one document.
  • Options for duty and taxes billing cycles and new payment options.
  • Importers can have their shipments released before payment through the Released Prior to Payment (RPP) Program.
  • Business number registration will be required for imports through the CARM Client Portal (CCP).

CARM Client Portal (CCP)

At release 2, anyone who brings commercial goods into Canada must have a CCP in order to continue importing. Setting up an account is simple and will ensure there is no interruption to your business.

Here is a step-by-step when setting up your CCP

  1. Delegate key users. Identifying the key users of the portal before setting it up will help later down the line when you are in the CCP and need to delegate user roles. Accounting, executives, and anyone related to customs activities should be considered people to have access to the portal.
  2. Create a CARM Client Portal. Head over to the Government of Canada website to set up your account.

You can sign up with a sign-in partner. This option lets you create an account with all the information you already have on file with the sign-in partner. Generally, it is an online banking account that is used as a sign-in partner. None of your banking information will be shared, not even which sign-in partner is being used, but it is used to verify who you are.

If you don’t want to use one of the sign-in partners, you can register for a GCKey user ID and password. You may already have a GCKey through your CRA account, but creating a new one for your CCP through the portal would be a good idea so you don’t confuse your personal accounts with business accounts.

  1. Designate a Business Account Manager (BAM). The final step in setting up your CCP is designating a BAM.

A couple of things to consider when deciding whom to designate as the BAM to your account are:

  • The person who is registered as the BAM will be given the highest level of control over your account and any other accounts linked to it.
  • The BAM will need the legal information to link to your portal, such as GST information.
  • Consider assigning a secondary BAM just in case you have a change in your employees; you don’t want to lose access to your CPP.

Benefits of CARM

The benefits of using CARM are meant to streamline the overall process of importing into Canada and make it so easy that importers want to bring their products here with a no-fuss, no-muss importing system.

A couple of key benefits include:

  • Make the overall importing process into Canada simple and user-friendly.
  • Modernize the interface used for importing.
  • Cut down on the cost of importing.
  • Improve compliance with trade rules.
  • Provide importers with a fast way to access their information.


Importing is an essential part of Canada’s economy, so implementing a system that makes the process easy to understand and use is beneficial to the people importing and the economy overall.


Customs related questions? Consult with experts in International Trade law, our partners at Harmonized Solutions


Client support – CBSA Assessment and Revenue Management

CARM_R1_User Guide_Onboarding to the CARM Client Portal


CARM_R1_User Guide_Delegation of Authority

CARM_R1_User Guide_Financial Information and Payments-0723

CARM R1 Playbook _ENG October

CARM_R1_User Guide_Managing Rulings

Amazon FBA Refunds: There’s Money On The Table

As an Amazon seller, you could be missing out on a chunk of cash if you aren’t filing for FBA refunds. Some sellers are not aware they are eligible for FBA refunds, while others do not fully understand the process.

You probably already know that Amazon is a master of logistics, and most of the time, this helps your FBA business run well. However, this titan of the industry can still make errors, and sometimes this ends up hurting your bottom line. 

When Amazon makes a mistake that costs you money, this is called a discrepancy. This includes damaged or destroyed stock, as well as fee overcharges. In these situations, you are often entitled to an FBA refund, but your time to make the claim is limited. Once the deadline to file has passed, your money will not be refunded.

If this is the first time you are hearing about FBA refunds, don’t be intimidated. With a little help, you could be reunited with your cash. 

Let’s get started.

What are the FBA refund categories?

You might be wondering which scenarios merit an FBA refund, and here we’ll look at five of the main FBA refund types. If you wish to ensure that you do not leave any money on the table, you can seek the services of a company such as GETIDA where the entire FBA refund process is handled for you. We’ll talk more about this later.

First things first: the five major areas of loss for FBA sellers are:

  • Damaged stock
  • Lost stock
  • Amazon fee overcharges
  • Returned stock

Let’s take a closer look at each of these situations.

  1. Damaged stock


    You probably have no trouble imagining how inventory might become damaged in a large Amazon fulfillment center. However, damage can also occur when your products are in the care of Amazon’s shippers.
    In your seller central account, you’ll be able to view details of any damaged items in the “Damaged Inventory Report.” Whenever a product is damaged on its way to the Amazon warehouse, in the Amazon warehouse, or en route to the customer, this report should note the damage. This report also includes records of any products that have gone missing from the fulfillment center in the last 30 days.


  2. Lost stock


    Sooner or later every Amazon seller has the disappointing experience of their inventory getting lost. This can be discouraging, especially after you have taken great care in selecting, sourcing, and promoting your products.
    Products can get lost when shipped to the Amazon fulfillment center, or while in the warehouse. This could be due to inventory being added to another seller’s account, or a mishandling of barcodes.
    Thankfully, a record of losses over the past 18 months is documented in Amazon’s inventory reconciliation reports. GETIDA can be especially helpful in this situation with its expertise in seller account auditing. You might be able to skip the tedious task of going through a year and a half of data in order to get your FBA refund.

  3. Amazon fee overcharges

    Fees are an inevitable part of life for an FBA seller, but that doesn’t mean you should be overcharged. Amazon might accidentally charge you incorrect fees on shipping or storage, and when this occurs, you can file for an FBA refund.

    For example, if Amazon uses inaccurate measurements or weights to calculate your shipping fees, you might receive several overcharges as that item is shipped. When filing for an FBA refund in this situation, you take care to provide the correct product dimensions and weight so that Amazon can correct the product details.

  4. Returned stock


    Customer returns are another regular occurrence for FBA sellers, but when part of the process is not managed properly by Amazon, you should claim an FBA refund. In order to find out if your account has any returns-based discrepancies, you’ll need to complete an audit of your data.

    You might find that a customer returned the wrong item, and Amazon accepted it, or that an item was returned in a damaged state. In some situations, customers are refunded more money than they paid, or they are issued a refund, but never sent the item back.

    In each of these cases, you could file a claim for an FBA refund. The amount of money you could be owed in this category might surprise you.

How will you manage your FBA refunds?

You might be starting to look forward to seeing your FBA refunds flow in, but first, you need to decide how you will approach filing your claims. It is important to consider the needs of your business as you choose the option that fits best. Let’s take a look at some options:

  1. Claim independently:


    You might opt to learn how to file your FBA refund claims yourself, especially if you are just starting out. Keep in mind that the process of auditing your seller account can be time-consuming and any gaps in your knowledge of the process could mean missing out on cash. As an entrepreneur, your time is a resource to your business, and there might be other areas of your FBA enterprise that require your personal touch more urgently.


  2. Enlist a virtual assistant (VA):


    Growing FBA businesses make delegation a necessity, and you may already be using the services of a VA for some tasks. When outsourcing your FBA refund claims to a VA, remember that their level of experience could directly impact your bottom line, and if they miss any potential refunds, you’ll never be seeing that money again. Any VA must be trustworthy, but this is especially true for those who file your FBA refund claims as they will have access to your account details.


  3. GETIDA’s FBA reimbursement solution:


    There are a number of companies that specialize in FBA refund management, but GETIDA stands apart with unparalleled levels of service and experience in the field.

    GETIDA stands for Get Intelligent Data, and they use state-of-the-art software to thoroughly audit your transaction data for the last 18 months. This ensures any discrepancies are found, and you won’t miss opportunities for an FBA refund.

    Once the discrepancies have been located, GETIDA gets to work filing your claims. This includes any necessary messaging with Amazon regarding the claims. GETIDA’s claims department consists of former Amazon FBA reimbursement employees who know how to communicate effectively with seller support. Thanks to this experienced team, the amount of money refunded to you is maximized when you use GETIDA.

Going forward with your FBA refunds

With this new foundation of FBA refund knowledge, you are ready to begin getting your cash back. Amazon’s errors should not hurt your business, and there’s no reason to leave your money on the table.

There is a range of discrepancies that merit an FBA refund and a number of ways you can approach filing your claims. If you think enlisting a specialist is right for you, you can sign up with GETIDA and receive a free estimate of your potential FBA refund. You might have more cash waiting for you than you think. So, what are you waiting for? Get your free estimate today.