CARM: What all importers need to know about CARM

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Mandatory use of Single Window Initiative (SWI) coming soon

            Single Window Initiative (SWI)

Canadian importers have long wished there was a streamlined and standardized reporting system for import data – and now they have it with the Single Window Initiative (SWI), introduced by Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) in March 2017, with a phased in transition beginning April 1, 2019.  As the importing community migrates over to SWI, CBSA plans to decommission existing OGD PARS and RMD service options – which is expected for October 2019.

In simple terms, SWI means import data forwarded to the CBSA will be automatically shared with nine Participating Government Agencies (PGAs) (see list below), and will bring under one roof 38 governments programs.  This is expected to be a significant improvement on the old process, which required many importers to make separate submissions of import data to the CBSA and applicable government agencies and departments.

Importers are responsible for providing the required PGA data elements to their customs broker – the broker then transmits the data and, where required, submits documents electronically to the CBSA and PGAs via the Integrated Import Declaration (IID).

Although SWI reduces the manual handling of paper documents and streamlines the CBSA process once the entry is submitted, the initiative also significantly increases the amount of pre-arrival electronic data required for many commodities.

To meet deadlines, ensure readiness for the new data requirements and ensure compliance with the program overall, Canadian customs brokers need to make significant system and process changes.  Importers will also need to adjust their own internal processes to account for the added data requirements.

Following is a list of the 9 Participating Government Agencies (PGAs) and their data requirements under SWI:

Please see below for Data Element Matching Criteria Tables by Participating Government Departments and Agencies complete with HS Tariff Classification cross-reference:

In order to avoid customs clearance delays post full implementation, in the coming days Canadian customs clients of Universal Logistics will receive a commodity listing with required PGA data elements to be completed and returned to our office, in advance of the October SWI implementation. 

For more information, contact Brian Rowe, Director – Customs Compliance & Regulatory Affairs.

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