Importing Goods into Canada for Resale

If you’ve been on the internet in the last few months, you may have noticed that there are hundreds of blogs, tutorials, and courses on how to sell online. That’s because some cottage industries with modest beginnings have grown to impressive six-figure businesses. Whether it’s through Amazon, Shopify, Etsy, or unique websites that vendors create, it’s an undeniably appealing way for anyone to start up their own entrepreneurial e-commerce venture. 

There’s a lot of great information out there (some hype too!), but here at BorderBuddy, we can provide you with a base of knowledge to get you started. This is a checklist for all the basics of importing goods into Canada for resale.

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.

Get Information About the Goods You Plan to Import

When you find a product you’re considering reselling, make sure it can be imported into Canada. This step-by-step guide to importing from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) will help you find out if the goods you want to import have any kind of restrictions.

Paying duty on items purchased online or being mailed

According to the Canadian government, any item mailed to Canada may be subject to GST and/or duty. Unless you have an exemption, you must pay the GST. The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) calculates any duties owing based on the value of the goods in Canadian funds. Duty rates vary according to the type of good and where it was imported from. Depending on the value of the items in question, some other taxes may apply such as excise duty or excise tax on luxury items.

Importing from China to Canada?

Check out our blog post for product inspirations and recommended reputable suppliers. 

Canadian Duty Calculator

BorderBuddy’s Duty Calculator quickly and easily estimates duty rates and taxes on goods being imported into Canada from the United States. Calculate duty on goods you are importing!

Get a Customs Broker

Many small businesses find it convenient to hire a customs broker to facilitate the importing process. A good customs broker will be your import-export advisor, helping you with the paperwork and administration, available to answer questions on your behalf. While you don’t legally need a customs broker, there are many products that are difficult to get over the border without the help of one. By using a customs broker you can get your stuff over the border faster and with less hassle.

Don’t hesitate to call BorderBuddy with any questions you may have about importing goods to Canada. It’s what we do.

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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.