Exporting Goods from Canada

According to this government site, Canada exports approximately $550 billion in goods per year. Business is good!

If you’re curious about the prospect of exporting goods from Canada, it’s a great time to consider setting up a flexible business that you can start with very limited overhead. 

If you’re more interested in a high-volume business, consider starting modestly and testing the market before you find the niche where you discover your sweet spot of demand meeting supply. 

Whatever the size of your venture, we’re here to help set you up for success in business with this checklist of all things involving exporting goods internationally from Canada.

1. Testing the Market

Where do you want to export to? What do you want to export? Perhaps you already have a product in mind. Before getting your enterprise up and running, make sure you vet the scene and know your market. For helpful research you can check out the following sites for stats: 

• Trade Map (www.trademap.org)  

• Export Development Canada (www.edc.ca)  

• Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (www.international.gc.ca)  

• Centre for Intercultural Learning (www.intercultures.gc.ca)

2. Register your business

You can apply for a business name and register a sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation. Visit this government website for all the pertinent details. If you have questions, consult with your accountant regarding tax implications.

3. Do the research on whether your goods require an export permit.

You can visit the Foreign Affairs and International Trade site to obtain the information you need. Are your goods regulated by a government agency: visit this CBSA site to find out.

4. Labeling requirements

Check with your buyers and relevant government of the country you are shipping to find out what the labeling situation is. You don’t want items sent right back to you because the proper protocol was not followed.

5. Tariff classification (HS code)

Each country has it’s own Tariff Schedule and the 2 main countries that BorderBuddy deals with are USA and Canada. Here are links to the HS Codes for the USA and for Canada. It’s important to note that the tariff schedule is not identical for the USA and Canada. The first 6 digits are normally the same, and the last 4 can differ – for the same item into a different country.

For more information on HS codes, read more about it here.

6. Obtain a certificate of origin

For shipments valued at less than CAD$2500, a certificate of origin is not required. You will simply need a letter stating the origin of the goods. 

For shipments valued at over CAD$2500, a formal certificate of origin is required. Visit this CBSA site for more details. 

If you’re thinking of selling on Amazon, visit our blog for everything you need to know about getting set up as an Amazon seller. 

Still have questions? Your buddy at the border has answers! Please don’t hesitate to give us a call to help you navigate your exporting endeavors.

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Jay Mohl, Sales & Marketing, Parksville Boathouse Parksville B.C.

Amanda Burr at BorderBuddy made our shipment seamless and her customer service was outstanding. Without question, we will work with Amanda and BorderBuddy again in the future. Thanks Amanda!

Don Mariutto

“I used BorderBuddy when were in a jam with a small tile shipment to Canada — just called them randomly after a Google search. Blair handled our case, and was in constant communication with updates, and got our shipment released within 24 hours, even though we were starting the process from scratch. Based on this experience, I can’t recommend Blair and the BorderBuddy team highly enough. Even though this was just a small shipment, they handled it like it was the most important on their agenda. We will definitely work with them again in the future – hopefully though, not on an emergency basis! THANK YOU!!”

Nathan Bird

company is always so very helpful in getting things across the border without any headaches. Tara was our agent this time around and she was prompt in answering any questions, super polite over the phone and coordinated everything for us. Highly recommend using their services.