Importing to Canada guide
Shipwire has two warehouses in Canada. One Toronto distribution center and a second Vancouver warehouse. To help smooth the process of importing into Canada we recommend going over this how to import to Canada guide and reviewing our Canada warehouse promotion.
The reason you want to use multiple warehouses to ship goods in Canada is to reduce your shipping costs. Plug in your shipping estimates to learn how much you can save.
With Shipwire you can manage order fulfillment in 3 countries, from 6 locations on 2 continents all through 1 interface. We think it is powerful and we want to make it as easy as possible to use.
While we are trying to make it as easy as possible, there are still some business hurdles that we are here to help you work through. Below is a step-by-step process for importing that we pulled together with help from the Canadian Border Agency website. For assistance with import and customers feel free to Contact us.
Getting Ready to Import into Canada
Step 1: Register your business
In order to import and ship merchandise into Canada, customs requires the owner of record to have a Canadian Business Number. If you are a merchant using Shipwire to ship merchandise for you, then you are the owner of record for anything we receive on your behalf. Merchandise we receive must be free and clear of Customs duties, in order for us to sign for it.
If you do not yet have a Business Number, then you can register for a Business Number (BN) by completing Form RC1, Request for a Business Number (BN) and mailing or faxing it to the Canada Revenue Agency. For questions, call: 1-800-959-5525.
If you do not want to “do-it-yourself”, Shipwire has worked with a Canadian Accounting firm to create to packages for Shipwire customers. More information can be found by logging into your Shipwire account, select “Help” and search Online FAQ’s for “Canada” or Contact us.
Obtain a Business Number from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for an import-export account:
- Call 1-800-959-5525; or
- In certain limited instances you can complete a Business registration online. This is typically not possible if you are a foreign business trying to enter into Canada. But, if you meet the criteria it is fast.
- Other ways to register your business including RC1
Step 2: Confirm your goods can be imported
- Identify the goods you plan to import. You must have an accurate description of the goods you plan to import before proceeding.
- Determine which country the goods are coming from and in which country they are manufactured.
- Make sure the goods are not prohibited from coming into Canada by checking Memoranda series D9. (Also, its a good idea to confirm your products are not excluded by the Shipwire Acceptable Use Policy)
- Determine whether or not the goods you want to import are subject to import control restrictions or other requirements. For example: Alcohol, Automobiles, Agriculture products, medications, food tires and some textiles. Lots of these things are also barred by Shipwire like live animals/plants, firearms, explosives (yup even Nuclear) or hazardous materials. For a nice list by the Canada Border Agency go here.
Steps to Import to Canada
Step 3: Determine your tariff, duty rate and GST Tax as well as inventory value (for duties)
Shipwire can point you out to a customs broker to help you with this step when you are ready. Contact us.
Now that you know you can import the goods you should figure out: Tariff classification, applicable tariff treatment; rates of duty; and tax payable when importing goods.
- You must determine the 10-digit tariff classification number for each item you are importing. These numbers are used to determine the rate of duty payable when importing and to provide statistical data to the Candian gov.
- Tariff classification numbers can be determined by one of the following:
- For more information on the methodology for classifying goods in the Customs Tariff refer to Memorandum D10-13-1, Classification of Goods or see the Harmonized System (HS) Compliance fact sheet.
- Once you have a tariff classification number, you must determine the rate of duty, which is also found in the Customs Tariff. A few helpful tips when reading this
Most Favored Nation (MFN) Tarrifs.
- Goods originating from all countries, except North Korea and Libya, are entitled to use the rate of duty specified under this column.
- Column on Applicable Preferential Tariffs lists reduced rates based on trade agreements like: North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA); United States Tariff (UST); Mexico Tariff (MT); Mexico-United States Tariff (MUST); Chile Tariff (CT); Canada-Israel Agreement Tariff (CIAT); and Canada-Costa Rica Tariff (CRT), or those based on special tariff provisions.
- The requirements of the particular trade agreement or tariff treatment must be satisfied to get the benefit of the preferential duty rate. Meaning you need to have the appropriate origin form to match the special preferential tariff you are applying for. A complete list of countries eligible for the above tariff treatments can be found in the front of the Customs Tariff. Regulations on origin are in Memorandum series D11 (D11-4 and D11-5).
- Check to see if your goods are subject to excise tax (air-conditioners, vehicles, etc) or excise duties (like tobacco and alcohol). For more detailed information, contact the Canada Revenue Agency. Complete references on excise tax and excise duty rates are available from Justice Canada in the Excise Tax Act and the Excise Act, 2001.
- Goods and Services Tax (GST)
- GST (5%) is payable on most goods at the time of importation under Part IX, Division III, of the Excise Tax Act
Some importations such as prescription drugs, medical and assistive devices, basic groceries, agriculture and fishing goods are non-taxable. They are listed under Sehdule VI and Schedule VII of the Excise Tax Act. The tax exemption codes to use on Form B3, Canada Customs Coding Form (PDF, 151 KB) are listed in Memorandum D17-1-10, Coding of Customs Accounting Documents, Appendix H, List 4 (GST Status Codes) and List 7 (Excise Tax Exemption Codes).
- For information on GST/HST, visit the Canada Revenue Agency or contact the CRA GST/HST Rulings Centre nearest you.Calculate duties and taxes:Take the value in the currency indicated on the invoice.
- GST (5%) is payable on most goods at the time of importation under Part IX, Division III, of the Excise Tax Act
- Convert the value into Canadian dollars using the exchange rate from the date of direct shipment. To obtain the proper exchange rate call BIS at 1-800-461-9999.
Example from the Canada Border Service Agency Website:
The following is a sample calculation example of goods valued at USD$100 and subject to 4% duty and 5% GST:
US$100 x 1.155 = CAN $115.50 ($115.50 is the value for duty)
$115.50 (value for duty) x 4% (rate of duty) = $4.62 (customs duty)
$115.50 (value for duty) + $4.62 (customs duty) = $120.12 (the value for tax)
$120.12 x 5% (GST) = $6.01 (GST)
= Total of duty and tax payable: $4.62 + $6.01 = $10.63
- Paying Taxes in Canada.
- Every business must be individually reviewed to determine tax liability based on what you are selling in Canada and your business nexus with Canada. Contact us to get a referral to a Canada tax accountant.
- Canada has tax conventions or agreements — commonly known as tax treaties — with many countries. A tax treaty is designed to avoid double taxation for people who would otherwise pay tax on the same income in two countries.
Step 4: Importing into Canada
If you are the do it yourself type the Canada Border Services Agency has quite a few details on the import process for you to follow here. Shipwire does not recommend doing bulk inventory importation on your own as you may experience delivery delays, customs hassles and/or unexpected costs. Shipwire can not help you free up inventory that is stuck in customs. Please contact us and use one of our trusted customs brokers that understand how to import into Canada and deliver goods into the Shipwire warehouses in Toronto and Vancouver
Understand Shipwire and Shipping in Canada
- Your shipping fees are denominated in US dollars. This means that shipping rates may fluctuate as the dollar fluctuates. Please read our terms of service for more information on shipping price quotes being estimates until actual shipments are weighed, measured and shipped.
Shipwire provides a variety of shipping methods for our merchants shipping from our Canada warehouses. A complete list of available options is provided here for your convenience. Please note, some features may require advanced shipping methods to be enabled in your account. Please sign-up for a Shipwire free trial to check shipping options and look-up shipping rates. There is no cost for a Shipwire free trial.
Please note that all Canada shipping options are subject to change, please confirm inside your free trial account that a shipping method is available from your selected warehouse.
- UPS Saver
- UPS Expedited
- UPS Standard
- UPS Express
- Canada Post Regular Parcel
- Canada Post Expedited Parcel
- Canada Post Xpresspost
- Canada Post Priority Courier
- Canada Post Expedited US Business
- Canada Post Xpresspost USA
- Canada Post Purolator International
- Canada Post Parcel Air
- Canada Post XPressPost International
- FedEx Freight
- FedEx Ground
- FedEx Priority Overnight
- FedEx International Priority
- FedEx International Economy
- FedEx 2Day
How to Use Store-Sell-Ship™, The Shipwire Platform, to make it happen.
We recommend getting started on your business registration and VAT accounting first. Contact us for help with import and Customs
Tell Shipwire you are importing into Canada Warehouses
Sending your inventory to warehouses in Canada is just as easy as sending your inventory to the other Shipwire warehouses.
Log into your acount, select “Store” from the Left navigation and click “Send to Shipwire” to create an Advanced Shipping Notice (ASN). Tell us what products you are sending and in what quantity. Please input your shipping tracking information and your expected delivery date to the warehouse.
Once your inventory arrives at the warehouse it will be reviewed and inventoried. Once complete all inventory will be available for shipping.
You can instantly signup for a Shipwire account, and immediately enter orders. Your orders will simply backorder until your inventory is received at the Canadian warehouse(s).
Getting started quickly
- Setting up eBay auctions, and collecting money via PayPal, is the easiest way to get started in minutes
- Or choose any compatible cart.
- Pay with PayPal, credit card or bank transfer
- You simply pay a monthly fee + shipping. You can pay via PayPal, credit card, or bank transfer. Denominated in US dollars.
- Monthly Fees – Your Shipwire monthly fees are denominated in US dollars. This makes running your business consistent and free of conversion issues. Customize a monthly plan.
- Shipping Fees – Your shipping fees are also denominated in US dollars. In the case of Royal Mail, this means that shipping rates will fluctuate as the dollar fluctuates. Check rates.
- Shipping 1 item from Canadian warehouses is the same as shipping 1 item from Los Angeles. For example, say your monthly plan has 60 items. If you ship 1 item from Canada, and 1 item from the US, you have 58 items left in your plan.
- Storing 1 pallet in Canada is the same as storing 1 pallet in Chicago (or any other Shipwire location). For example, say your monthly plan includes up to 4 pallets of storage. If you store 1 pallet in Canada, and 1 pallet in the UK, you have 2 pallets of storage left in your plan.
How does Shipwire calculate currency rates?
The most readily available information on currency exchange rates is based on “interbank exchange rates”. Interbank exchange rates are established in the course of currency trading among a global network of over 1 000 banks, and are not available through consumer or retail channels. Consumers may use these rates as a reference, but should not expect to use interbank rates in transactions that involve currency conversion. To obtain actual retail rates, contact your local financial institution or currency exchange.
If your transaction involves a currency conversion, it will be completed at a retail foreign exchange rate determined by Shipwire, which is adjusted regularly based on market conditions. This exchange rate includes a 3% spread above the exchange rate at which Shipwire obtains foreign currency, and the spread is retained by Shipwire.
Canada Border Services materials
- Import checklist
- Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Resource Center
- Contact Canada Border Service here
Keywords and such. Just for search engines…not for humans
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