Waiting for a refund cheque from CBSA (Canada Border Services Agency)?
Here's what you need to know:
CBSA has changed the way they do business with importers and Customs Brokers.
This new program is called: Assessment and Revenue Management (CARM)
CARM is being implemented in four components over several years and is scheduled to be completed by 2020.
Phase One – Accounts Receivable Ledger (ARL) Project.
Phase Two – Client Identification, Registration and Enrolment.
Phase Three – Assessment, eServices and Reporting.
Phase Four – Trade Modernization.
Accounts Receivable Ledger (ARL) was implemented on January 25, 2016
One of the components of ARL is Importer Account Off-Setting. This has been in effect since August 2, 2016
The essence of offsetting is that Duty refund cheques are no longer automatically mailed out, but rather used as a 'credit' against an importer's "Indebtedness to the Crown". This indebtedness is any Duty or GST owing within the monthly period.
Off-setting automatically applies a refund credit to an importer’s account, reducing its balance. The importer will no longer receive a disbursement cheque but rather will get a credit against import charges.
“The use of off-setting significantly reduces the number of disbursements issued to importers, resulting in a more expedited credit issuance process, which significantly reduces the cost to the Government of Canada.”
As with any new process, there have been growing pains. The actual application of credits against imports has not gone as smoothly as anticipated.
Refunds approved after August 2, 2016 were supposed to be credited against the August month end, but were apparently carried over to September month end, and then again to the October month end.
We have been assured that all issues will be addressed in the November month end.
What this means to you?
Refunds that have been approved and credited on the Statement of Account, for regular importers (importers with ongoing monthly import business) will receive a cheque from W. G. McKay for the amount(s) credited. One time or irregular importers owed refunds MAY receive a cheque from CBSA after the credit has been on the account for 2 consecutive months. (Yet to be confirmed)
Please note that CBSA does NOT pay interest on any credited amounts no matter how long the funds are on the account.
For further information, please contact W. G. McKay or visit the CBSA website: