This Is What Importers Need to Know About CARM

Years after its initial announcement, the CBSA Assessment and Revenue Management (CARM) project has gone live. This project, spearheaded by the Canadian Border Services Agency is a massive overhaul of Canadian importation procedures, with a focus on moving towards all-electronic processes.

The implementation of CARM will have significant impacts on Canadian importers and exporters. In this article, we will briefly describe the most important aspects of CARM today, as well as what is expected in the next major phase, next year.

What Does CARM do?

CARM is modernizing and updating how data is entered and processed within the CBSA. The ultimate goal is a fully paperless, entirely electronic process, with all data being given directly to the CBSA. This will bring numerous improvements, including:

  • Simplifying the importation process for importers
  • Creating a standards-based electronic interface with the CBSA
  • Delivering a self-service portal for importers to manage accounts, claims, corrections, and payments
  • Reducing import and export costs
  • Improving compliance with international trade rules
  • Tracking large-scale import/export trends in deeper detail

In short, once fully implemented CARM will be beneficial to everyone involved in Canadian imports and exports.

What’s in CARM Phase 1?

CARM is being implemented in multiple phases, with the first phase going live in May 2021.  There are three key things to know about this first phase:

  1. Importers will need to register within the CARM system and obtain a GC Key so they can access the system.  This will become mandatory as of May 2022.
  2. The online client portal will go live with basic functionality.
  3. Importers and exporters using brokers will need to register those brokers in the system as authorized proxies.

Importers are advised to create an account and register their customs brokers as soon as possible.

What’s in CARM Phase 2?

Phase 2 is currently scheduled to be implemented in May 2022, concurrently with CARM registrations becoming mandatory.  The current plans are for this phase to introduce:

  1. The requirement of importers to post a financial security bond, rather than brokers. The size of this bond will correlate to the size of their operation.
  2. Expansion of the online portal to include corrections, rulings, and adjustments.
  3. Replacing the B2 and B3 customs coding processes with unified Commercial Accounting Declarations (CADs), a single document containing all relevant information.

Contact ARGO Customs for More Information

CARM is bringing big changes to Canadian importing. If you have any questions or need assistance updating your processes, please contact ARGO Customs.

How SIMA Changes Regulations on Upholstered Goods from Asia

June 1, 2021 – Toronto, ON – Canada recently invoked the Special Import Measures Act, or SIMA, to curb imports on products that are viewed as being “dumped” by companies in Asia. This will have a significant impact on the importation of upholstered goods in the foreseeable future.

The customs experts at ARGO Customs wants Canadian importers to be aware of how this will impact furniture imports.

On December 21, 2020, the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) responded to allegations that both China and Vietnam were “dumping” upholstered furniture. In this situation, “dumping” refers to selling exported goods in a foreign country for less money than those goods would cost in the country of origin. This form of dumping is seen as hostile and damaging to the importing market, by undercutting local producers.

As of May 5, 2021, the CBSA has released preliminary findings upholding the charges. Due to this, they have instituted significantly higher duties on a wide range of upholstered furniture items from China and Vietnam.  These items include virtually all upholstered seats – including seats that rock or swivel, using any form of upholstering, and seating any number of people.  There are a handful of exceptions:

Stationary seating upholstered with fabric, rather than leather

Seats without arms manufactured for dining room end-use.

Upholstered bar stools or other stools elevated higher than 24″

Seating specifically for outdoor use such as patio chairs

Bean bag seats

Folding or stackable chairs

Otherwise, all other upholstered seats are subject to the new duties.

As of May 5, the new duties are as follows:

Upholstered furniture from China is subject to a provisional 206.36% anti-dumping duty, as well as an 89.54% countervailing duty, for a total of 295.9% additional duties.

Upholstered furniture from Vietnam is subject to a provisional 89.77% anti-dumping duty, as well as an 11.73% countervailing duty, for a total of 101.5% additional duties.

Companies involved in the importation of furniture from Asia would be advised to see help from an established customs broker, to help them navigate these new rules.

About ARGO Customs

ARGO Customs are experts in Canadian imports and exports. Their dedicated trade specialists can help companies avoid unnecessary fees and bureaucratic problems while speeding up the delivery of goods.

For more information or press inquiries, please contact 1 (888) 311-8303 or visit

Importing Food into Canada with a Safe Food for Canadians Licence

[March 9, 2021 – Toronto, CA] – Recently, Canada’s importing and exporting oversight agencies announced that as of March 15, 2021, all food import transactions will be rejected unless they have a valid Safe Food for Canadians (SFC) licence that can be entered into their Integrated Import Declaration (IID).

If a transaction is stopped or rejected, the food importer may experience delays and have all of their shipment held at the border until the proper SFC licensing issues are addressed and an accurate IID form is resubmitted.

It’s important for those importing food into Canada to have already obtained their SFC licence to import prior to presenting their shipment at the Canadian border. This is because importers will be unable to obtain the proper licence at the border.

Those that currently hold a licence should review their profile to ensure that it has been issued for “importing” and that the commodities you intend to import are mentioned on the licence.

For those that don’t currently hold an SFC licence, it’s important to note that the application for a new licence or any request to amend a current licence could take up to 15 business days or longer.

To apply for a Safe Food for Canadians licence, importers need to create an account in My CFIA, and determine their licence structure before applying. There is no limit to the number of SFC licences one can hold; importers can operate on a single licence or multiple ones to suit their needs.

More information about importing food into Canada with a Safe Food for Canadians licence can be found here.

More About Argo Customs

The team from Argo Customs are procedural experts with all of the governmental agencies involved in exporting and importing goods in and out of Canada. Their specialists can provide customs clearance assistance and exchange shipments with any country on any form of transportation, saving you a great deal of time, trouble, and resources.

Learn more about Argo Customs by contacting 1 (888) 311-8303 or set-up an online account today!

Canada Border Services Agency Announces New Revenue Management System

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) recently announced that it would be implementing a new system that would “transform how the CBSA assesses, collects, manages, and reports on import revenue and trade information.”

As today’s leading importing/exporting firm in Canada, the team from Argo Customs will be participating in the rolling out of both projects, referred to as the CBSA Assessment and Revenue Management Project or CARM. The first release will take place in May 2021 and the second in May 2022.

CARM Will Transform the Importation Process

According to officials, CARM is a multi-year initiative designed to revolutionize the importation process. As one of the top collectors of revenue for the Canadian government, the CBSA is second only to the Canada Revenue Agency.

“The billions of dollars we collect annually in duties and taxes are critical to our economy,” a CARM representative recently stated.

To make it easier to import and export goods into and out of Canada, CARM will offer users an online portal that will give importers/exporters access to border services 24/7, every day of the week.

Some of the most attractive features to the new online portal will include:

  • Online tools to classify goods, submit e-declarations and calculate taxes and duties
  • View up-to-date account information
  • Make e-payments and become paperless
  • Allow importers and customs brokers to tailor the services needed to manage their own accounts
  • Streamline the process of working with the CBSA
  • Enhance consistency and adherence to trade rules and decisions
  • Minimize repetitive information requirements
  • & More!

Contact Argo Customs today to learn more about the CARM system!

For those importing and exporting goods into and out of Canada, contact Argo Customs today online for more information about the benefits CARM will provide and how we’re participating. You can also call 1 (888) 311-8303.

Canada Border Services Agency Investigating Alleged Injurious Dumping of Upholstered Domestic Seating

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) began investigating imports originating from China and Vietnam for illegal dumping of upholstered domestic seating. It is believed that these products are originating from China and Vietnam. The CBSA received the complaint on October 16, 2020, from Palliser Furniture, Ltd., a company based out of Winnipeg. Palliser and several other companies joined in the complaint alleging the import of these goods are them material harms in the form of lost profits and market share, reduced capacity, price depression, and low prices.

The CBSA started its investigation on December 21, 2020. The CBSA will determine whether the goods are being sold at subsidized or unfair prices and will issue a preliminary decision on March 22, 2021. Concurrently, the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) will conduct a parallel investigation to determine if the imports are harming domestic producers. The CITT will issue its decision on February 19, 2021.

The goods subject to the investigation are upholstered seating under the following tariff classifications:

  • 9401.40.00.00
  • 9401.61.10.10
  • 9401.61.10.90
  • 9401.71.10.10
  • 9401.71.10.90

Upholstered means leather, pleather, and other fabric covers that are used with pads and springs to provide a soft covering for a seat frame. The covering can be permanent or semi-permanent (i.e., sewed or attached with Velcro). The definition also includes removable cushions. The types of seating include various types of chairs.

Illegal dumping refers to goods being imported at artificially low prices to either (1) undermine a domestic competitor or (2) to dump a large stock of a particular good. Illegal dumping can significantly harm domestic industries. Illegal dumping is a problem because certain countries, like Vietnam and China, specialize their industries in providing consumer and industrial goods at a larger scale than their Canadian counterparts and can use their lower labor and operating costs to outcompete domestic companies. The World Trade Organization, regional trade groups, and bilateral trade agreements restrict illegal dumping.

Contact ARGO Customs foo Canadian Importing & Exporting

ARGO Customs provides import and exporting solutions and services for personal and commercial shipments. To learn more, visit or call 1 (888) 311-8303 today.

Updated Safety Notice on Pourable Alcohol-Based Fuels and Portable Firepots

According to the Consumer and Hazardous Products Safety Directorate due to several incidents resulting in fatalities and serious injuries from fire jets erupting from pourable alcohol-based fuels and portable containers, safety guidelines have been updated to restrict the transportation of these fuels without proper safety equipment.

According to the ASTM-F3429 and F349M-20 publications containers that lack adequate flame mitigation safety equipment that meets the technical specifications laid out in the notices pose a danger to human life.

The Transport & Safety Details

All products that are deemed dangerous to human life or safety are prohibited from transport, advertisement, manufacture, and sale in Canada. Products that are deemed dangerous if it is foreseeable that in their normal operation, they could cause serious injury or death. According to the Directorate’s investigation, these portable containers were responsible for the fire jets because they lacked fire suppression and safety measures.

Essentially, according to the updated Notices, all containers that transport alcohol-based fuels must meet the safety guidelines outlined in the notices or they are per se illegal and could subject the owner and/or operator to fines or other punishments. The scope of the notices affects two types of products: (1) portable firepots and containers holding pourable alcohol-based fuels.

Portable firepots are devices that use pourable fuels and are not fixed (i.e., they can be moved around). These are devices that are “plug and play” – they don’t need specialized tools or need to be installed. Portable firepots include a broad range of consumer items such as:

  • Fire burners,
  • Patio burners,
  • Firelights,
  • Flame pots,
  • Portable fireplaces,
  • Firebowls, and
  • Fire pits.

Notice that all of these products are free-standing and are not attached to or embedded in anything. Therefore, portable firepots would exclude installed fireplaces, fire pits, grills, and other devices that are attached or fixed to a space.

Containers of pourable alcohol-based fuels, while by themselves are not dangerous, when used to transport in conjunction with a firepot can result in danger to human life. The scope of the order includes portable fuels such as chafing fuels, camping stoves, lighter fluid, and fire starters. The authorities are primarily concerned with containers that have a bottled neck and are not refillable. The order specifically excludes alcohol-based cleaning solutions, de-icing products, combustion engine fuels, jerry cans, and alcohol-based fuels that are in single-use pastes or canisters.

ARGO Customs

Contact our team at ARGO Customs for customs and import and export updates, and solutions.


Canadian Export Experts Argo Customs Now Support the CERS Declaration System

December 15, 2020 – Toronto, On – The new Canadian Export Reporting System (CERS) is now online, and the experts at Argo Customs are ready to help shippers adopt this new system.  CERS is a free web-based self-service portal that is designed to speed up export declarations.  Features such as universal accessibility from any browser and the ability to make bulk declarations can help streamline shipments – and ARGO Customs has the expertise to make it easy.

This is the basic process:

  1. All exporters must have a business number issued by the Canada Revenue Agency.
  2. Exporters must identify all goods being exported, and vouch that they are also legally admissible at the country of final destination
  3. If the goods are in some way controlled, regulated, or prohibited, a permit may be required.  Argo Customs may be able to help in securing required documentation.
  4. The export declaration must include the appropriate export code for the goods.  This can be determined manually via the Canadian Customs Calculator, or Argo Customs can assist in the determination.
  5. The method of shipment (air, rail, highway, etc.) must be reported, along with an expected timeframe for the shipment.
  6. With these pieces of information, Argo Customs can then complete and submit the declaration.   In some situations, declarations may not be necessary – Argo can assist in determining these situations and ensuring proper labeling.
  7. Argo Customs can directly utilize CERS to finish the declaration on your behalf, making it easier than ever to complete shipments.

ARGO Customs is excited to be able to bring this new service to its customers. CERS will make exports faster and more reliable, as well as gathering vital data to help the Canada Border Services Agency provide better service in the future.  Any Canadian exporters are advised to contact a broker like Argo Customs for assistance in setting up their shipments.

About ARGO Customs

ARGO Customs employs exports in global imports and exports to provide the smoothest possible experience when moving goods in and out of Canada.  They can handle even complicated shipping situations while minimizing any bureaucratic problems and avoiding costly violations.  Argo Customs saves shippers time and money whenever moving goods across the Canadian border.

For more information or press inquiries, please contact 1 (888) 311-8303.

Argo Customs & FAQs About CUSMA

[Nov. 30, 2020 – Toronto, CA] – Recently, some significant changes were made to The Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement’s (CUSMA) policies. Since it’s such an important aspect of importing and exporting in and out of Canada, the team from Argo Customs has collected some information here about the most recent changes.

Here are the most frequently asked questions related to the CUSMA updates.

Q: How are the latest CUSMA amendments applied?

A: The most recent amendments to the CUSMA regulations are applied retroactively.

Q: If my certificate of origin was issued under NAFTA but hasn’t been in effect for 12 months, will I need to have a new one issued, or is the old one still valid?

A: Unfortunately, the NAFTA certificate is only valid for goods imported under NAFTA and release on or before June 30, 2020. If will not be accepted for claims under CUSMA. Those importing goods into Canada moving forward will need to have a new CUSMA certification at the time of import.

Q:  Our Vendor has indicated there is no possible way they will have the resources to issue a CUSMA certificate to us by July 1, 2020. I understand the general regulations of who and how the new certificate can be created and the requirements of each field; but I am not confident to issue an importer certificate because of changes to our vendor’s sourcing and routing in the current environment.

A: For many goods, there will be no difference between the NAFTA and CUSMA rules of origin. Therefore, the importer can claim preferential treatment for goods released on or after July 1st, 2020, and the CUSMA rules of origin will apply, including provisions on the CUSMA certification of origin.

Based on the above, the CUSMA certification of origin must be used to certify that the goods meet the rules of origin under the CUSMA, and as such, there will be no transition period.

More About Argo Customs

For years, the team from Argo Customs has helped streamline the Canadian customs clearance process with their customs software solutions. They’re procedural experts with all of the governmental agencies involved in exporting and importing goods in and out of Canada, including Industry Canada, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Environment Canada, and many others.

The specialists from Argo Customs can provide customs clearance assistance and exchange shipments with any country on any form of transportation, saving you a great deal of time, troubles, and resources.

To learn more about Customs clearance in Canada (import and export), contact us at 1 (888) 311-8303 or set-up an online account today!

CFIA Updates Compliance & Enforcement Policy

[Nov. 24, 2020 – Toronto, CA] – The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) recently announced that in an effort to drive more strategic, fair, and consistent compliance they’ve updated their Compliance and Enforcement Policy.

The move comes as part of a greater overall enforcement approach enabling the CFIA to continue effectively delivering its mandate by employing a compliance continuum based on transparency.

There’s no major policy shift in terms of the Compliance and Enforcement Policy update, which hasn’t been revamped since 2015. But there are some notable changes important to those importing and exporting food into, or out of Canada.

Some of the highlights include revisions to the policy to add Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR), as well as changes to the information about Administrative Monetary Penalties (AMP). Additional updates were also needed to address the evolving nature of the CFIA’s operating environment, making note of such things as the online services it offers to various regulated parties through the agency’s My CFIA tool.

Other key changes to the policy include the detailed explanation of the agency’s inspection versus investigation tactics delineated under the “Roles and Responsibilities” section. It also included a new “Inquiries” section in the policy, and the removal of the “Department of Justice Roles.”

More About the CFIA

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is a regulatory agency committed to safeguarding food, plants, and animals in Canada and to enhance the well-being of the country’s people, environment, and economy. The agency is governed by the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister of Health.

Find more information about the CFIA here or call 1 (800) 442-2342.

More About Argo Customs

Argo Customs is a leading customs brokerage company in Canada dedicated to streamlining the Canadian Customs clearance process through the use of state-of-the-art software and years of expertise. Their team of highly-experienced, fully-licensed international trade specialists work with all governmental departments and agencies, including the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Industry Canada, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, Environment Canada, and many others.

To learn more about their importing and exporting solutions, contact them online or call 1 (888) 311-8303.

Why Was I Stopped at The Border When Returning to Canada?

At Argo Customs, our job is to help you move goods through the Canadian border with a minimum of hassle.  We make sure your shipments arrive safely, even during times of crisis like the continuing COVID-19 outbreak.

However, just about anyone crossing the border might be stopped by the Canadian border police – not just people transporting goods.  So, in this article, we wanted to briefly talk about some of the various reasons anyone might have to stop for an inspection, and what that inspection entails.

Common Reasons People Returning to Canada Might Be Stopped at The Border

  1. Random inspection

Some stops are truly random, and there’s nothing you could have done to prevent them.  The border patrol will periodically stop a vehicle just to make sure everything is in order.

  1. Looking for goods in the vehicle

If you declare any goods when crossing the border, there’s always a chance you’ll be stopped to verify your declaration was accurate.  This would involve showing the goods declared, and possibly undergoing a vehicle search.

  1. Reporting large amounts of money

If you’re declaring more than CA$10,000 in cash or equivalent monetary instruments (like bonds or cashier’s cheques) you can probably expect to be stopped for a discussion of why.

  1. Verification of paperwork

Even if you’re a legal citizen of Canada, you may still be asked to stop so that your paperwork can be examined more closely, before you’re allowed to enter.

  1. Paying duties or taxes

If you are carrying taxable goods into the country, you’ll be asked to pay.  Be prepared with a means of payment if you know this is likely to happen.

What happens if you’re stopped for an inspection or questioning?

If you are stopped for questioning, the best thing to do is remain calm, and politely answer the questions as briefly and truthfully as you can.  Some things which may be discussed include:

  • Your activities while outside the country
  • Proof of guardianship of any children traveling with you
  • Verifying payment of any taxes or duties
  • Inspection of pets or other animals for signs of infection
  • Proofs for purchases made outside the country, particularly high-value purchases.  (Keep your receipts!)
  • Counting/verifying declared money being brought into the country
  • Running background or criminal checks

For most people, these processes will only be a brief inconvenience.  However, if you’re moving goods into Canada, it’s much better to work with a broker to avoid these hassles!  Contact Argo Customs to learn more.