Trade relationships between Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are strong. Canadian businesses wanting to export to these countries or to find Australian and New Zealander suppliers for importing will find excellent opportunities to do so.
However, if your business wants to expand to importing and exporting to and from Australia and New Zealand, there are several tips to keep in mind.
Canada’s trade agreements with Australia and New Zealand
Both Australia and New Zealand are trade partners with Canada through the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). The CPTPP includes 11 countries total and represents 13.5% of global GDP. The agreement has several benefits for Canadian businesses:
- Tariffs are eliminated and barriers are reduced for 98% of exports to CPTPP member countries
- Streamlined rules of origin procedures so companies can more quickly get approval for preferential tariff treatment
- Reduced processing times at the border to move goods between countries easily
- Standards to uphold commitments to environmental protection
- Access to a trading bloc comprising 500 million consumers
Canada’s preferential trading relationships with Australia and New Zealand make them good choices for your import-export business.
Looking to bring Chinese goods to Canada? Read our tips for importing from China.
Tips for exporting to Australia and New Zealand
Canada, Australia, and New Zealand have similar markets and a long history of amicable trade relations. With the CPTPP in place as well, Canadian businesses can benefit from sending products to Australian and New Zealand markets. When exporting to these countries, keep these tips in mind.
Register for an ARBN or UUI
To import goods into Australia as a foreign company, you will need an Australian Registered Body Number (ARBN). This number allows you to communicate with government agencies about your imported products. To register for an ARBN, you’ll need to reserve a business name, get a certificate of registration from Canada, appoint a local agent or power of attorney, and designate a registered office in Australia.
In New Zealand, you must follow steps to declare your imported goods to New Zealand’s Customs Service. These steps involve registering for a declarant code and a unique user identifier (UUI). You must also register with the Electronic Commerce Network. All suppliers importing into New Zealand will also need a supplier code. Also, imported goods in New Zealand are still subject to GST.
Account for currency fluctuations
When preparing your export plan, account for fluctuations in currency conversion between the Canadian Dollar and the Australian or New Zealand Dollar. A few ways you can mitigate potential risks with currency conversion are:
- Getting quotes from your supplier in the currency of your import market
- Account for an exchange rate risk in your profit margins
- Purchase forward cover to protect yourself from currency fluctuations
What are Canada’s top exports to Australia and New Zealand?
When you’re considering exporting goods to Australia or New Zealand, take Canada’s top exports to those countries into account. According to the Canadian government, top exports to Australia and New Zealand from 2015 to 2017 included:
- Industrial machinery
- Agricultural goods
- Electronic and electrical machinery and equipment (Australia)
- Forest products and value-added wood products (New Zealand)
- Aerospace (Australia)
- Miscellaneous industrial products (Australia)
- Metals and minerals (New Zealand)
- Fertilizer (New Zealand)
In addition to looking at Canada’s top exports to these countries, take the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) market insights into account. The best Australian markets for Canadian businesses according to TCS are:
- Defense and security
- Forest products
- Information and communication technologies (ICT)
- Infrastructure and building products
- Life sciences
- Oil and gas
TCS also finds Cleantech, ICT, life sciences, and infrastructure as solid market opportunities in New Zealand.
Tips for importing from Australia and New Zealand
Imported goods from Australia and New Zealand can be profitable on the Canadian market thanks to low tariffs and few trade barriers. When you want to import products from Australia and New Zealand, what should your Canadian business keep in mind?
Get a Business Number
To import goods into Canada, you’ll need a Business Number (BN) from the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA). Although trade between Canada, Australia, and New Zealand has relatively few barriers thanks to the CPTPP, you will still need an import license, which you can get from Global Affairs Canada.
Consider Canada’s biggest imports from Australia and New Zealand
If you want an idea of which goods from Australia and New Zealand do well on the Canadian market, look at Canada’s biggest imports from these countries.
Canada’s top merchandise imports from Australia between 2015-2017 were:
- Agricultural goods
- Chemicals and plastics
- Metals and minerals
- Medical goods and pharmaceuticals
- Industrial machinery
Top merchandise imports from New Zealand for the same period were:
- Agricultural products
- Industrial machinery
- Electronic and electrical machinery and equipment
- Medical devices and pharmaceuticals
- Fish and seafood products
If you compare Canada’s import and export lists with Australia and New Zealand, you’ll notice that the three countries trade in many of the same goods, such as agricultural products and industrial machinery. Getting into these markets could be a wise move for your import-export business.
Certify, label, and package your goods correctly
Some products you import into Canada may need certification before they can go to market. Check the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) for more information on certification.
Canada is officially bilingual, so your packaging must contain the following elements in both English and French:
- Product identity
- Net quantity
- Dealer’s name
- Principal place of business
Labelling requirements are even stricter for food products, which are managed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).
Need Assistance with Your Import Export Business?
When dealing with moving goods across borders, it pays to have an experienced customs broker by your side. BorderBuddy can handle customs clearance on your behalf, as well as provide you with expert advice on international shipping, duties, and supply chain logistics. We offer import and export solutions to businesses of all sizes, so call us today to see what we can do for you.