Trade Compliance

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Ask George: How is Canada Customs Changing the Way Importers Pay for Duties & Taxes in 2018?

Posted December 18, 2017



Canada Customs (CBSA) is changing the way importers pay for duties and taxes in 2018.

ARL is a CBSA initiative to ensure that Canada Revenue receives accurate payment of duties and taxes on commercial products brought into this country. ARL is a fully integrated and centralized accounting system that now provides electronic payment options.

With the issuance of the Memorandum D-17-5-1 new payment policies will be implemented and enforced starting January 24th, 2018. The important changes to be aware of are as follows:

Online Banking:  If you are using the “Importer Direct Security Option” or the “GST Direct Payment Option” with your customs broker and your monthly payment exceeds $50,000, you will be required to pay via online banking. In fact, the CBSA is encouraging ALL importers to make payments electronically regardless of the amount, as this may become the only option in the future.

Banks & Payments: Most banks are setup to facilitate payments to the CBSA; however, there are some that are not. You must verify this with your bank or click here for a list of participating financial institutions.

Business Number:  It is crucial to indicate your 15 digit business number when making your payment, so that this amount gets properly allocated to your account.

Deadline for Payments: Payments must be received by 4:00 ET on the last business day of the month.

Currency: Effective January 24th, 2018, the CBSA will only accept payments in Canadian currency and will no longer accept cash payments.

One of the benefits of this new payment option is that you can now keep your money longer instead of paying your broker days in advance.

Questions or Concerns

CBSA has prepared a fairly extensive FAQ on its website dealing with various aspects of the new commercial payments and accounts system. However, should you have any additional questions about your ARL payment options or if you need any further information about this customs initiative, please feel free to contact us to discuss your concerns.

Roger Labossiere, GHY Chief Financial Officer

204.947.6700 ext. 244