Guide for Small Business Importers to Canada

  Canada and the United States enjoy a thriving and brisk import-export industry. Both countries benefit exponentially as trading partners. According to the Office of the US Trade Representative, Canada was the largest good trading partner of the US with $616 billion trade in 2012. Canada was the US's second largest supplier of goods import for 2012.

In this regard it is best to know the processes involved in importing. Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) which make up a large chunk of the export and import market would benefit from a guideline on best practices in trading.

Those who plan to import goods into Canada cannot do so without acquiring a business registration. A business license/ number can be obtained from the Canada Revenue Agency for an import-export account. Next, the goods that will be imported need to be identified. An accurate description is needed of everything which would include details like the country of origin and where they were manufactured. Prohibited items are not allowed entry in the Canada.

Prohibited Items. These items include the following: obscene or pornographic materials, treasonable or hate propaganda; used or second-hand automobiles except those coming from the US; used or second-hand aircraft; counterfeit money; certain birds, aigrets, egret, plumes and other feathers; used or second-hand mattresses; items made by prisoners; Canadian work reprints protected by copyright; and matches made with white phosphorus.

Restricted Items. Meanwhile, some products are restricted though they are not totally prohibited. Examples of these are alcoholic products, automobiles, controlled imports such as agricultural and steel products, textile and apparel, weapons and ammunition; drugs such as medication; endangered animals and plants; energy-using products; explosives; firearms, weapons and devices; food and hazardous products.

SMEs should also be aware of the labeling and marking requirements of their imported goods. Labels are issued by government agencies like the Competition Bureau, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Health Canada. Products for import should be properly labeled before they leave the country of export. Meanwhile, all imports should properly identify the country of origin.

After this process, the following needs to be determined: tariff classification, applicable tariff treatment, rate of duty and payable taxes when importing. Government agencies which can determine tariff classification include the Customs Tariff, Border Information Services, or the Canada Border Service Agency.

After tariff classification, the applicable tax treatment and rate of duty can be determined. Goods coming from all countries are classified as Most Favoured Nation Tariff - with only one exception, those from North Korea.

Importers may also pay reduced rates when there are trade agreements between countries or regions. Examples of these agreements are the North American Free Trade Agreement which has liberalized trading between the two countries; the United States Tariff; Mexico Tariff, Mexico- US Tariff, etc. Still another duty to pay is taxes - importers need to find out if they have to pay Goods and Services Tax or

After these preparations, you are now ready to import your goods. Make your order and identify the shipping mode - highway, marine, rail, air, postal. The Canadian government requires the submission of an e-Manifest before imported goods arrive at the CBSA.

Three Pillars of Effective Product Packaging

The manufacturing world has never been as competitive as ever. Almost every day, new products and brands are released into the market, and survival is simply impossible when the wrong marketing techniques are used. When it comes to retail products, experts agree that packaging plays a critical part. Indeed, there's no denying that an attractive-looking item at a grocery shelf is going to catch people's eyes first. Getting the attention of consumers, after all, is always first thing any marketer must do, and the rest will simply follow.

Design and Functionality

In terms of attracting people's attention, design must be at the forefront of every strategy. For example, colors must be attractive and logos must be catchy. The overall design must also be attuned with the target market. This is called demographic positioning. A candy wrapper, for example, must be designed with kids in mind, children being the main market of sweets. Of course, it won't just be about how a product looks. The packaging must also be functional. Cheese spread in a tube, for instance, must be easy to squeeze out. In the process of creating blister pack packaging for drugs, the right vacuum molding techniques must be employed.

Truth and Honesty

Effective packaging will include only true information about the product. Making false promises will make customers feel cheated, and this can be very damaging to a brand. For example, if a can of corned beef says Australian beef was used, this better be true or the brand will probably not survive the competition it gets from more honest manufacturers. If a detergent's packaging says it can remove old stains on fabrics, it better keep its promise or again, commercial disaster could be imminent. It's important to choose words carefully. Needless to say, it's crucial that consumers' expectations based on manufacturer claims are met.

Physical Quality

The physical quality of packaging in materials is very important as well. Let's go back to the drug example. As everyone knows, drugs are made of chemicals which can react with the air and other environmental elements when exposed. Therefore, blister pack packaging for medicines must be of high quality, in that it is able to serve its purpose of preserving the efficacy of the drugs for a sustained period. For deli products, another example, the right vacuum molding techniques must be used to prevent undue spoilage due to proliferation of bacteria inside the packaging. These are very simple examples that tell us why the physical quality of any type of packaging is critical.

How to Import From China to Canada - Understanding China-Canada Trade Agreement

Are you willing to know how to import from China to Canada? Then, this article offers you great information about this kind of trade. Investors from countries which are considered as major players in the global economy have already been involved in this kind of business as they believed that engaging in Chinese merchandise can boost up their profits.

The competitive prices of the products they manufacture are considered as the main reason why most businessmen anywhere in the world are attracted to import from China. Their low trading rate can be pinned down to their country's low cost of living. Whether you are a wholesaler, retailer, or distributor, importing from China to Canada allow give you opportunities that can really expand your profit margin. The low prices of such products as well as their corresponding quality can't be found anywhere else in the world these days.

If you are new to this business, there are a number of things that you must take into consideration.

The intended market for your imported goods must be distinguished first. You have to make sure that such market opens an opportunity for growth since this will eventually lead you to the products you will be importing.

Meanwhile, recognizing your product requirements is also important in order to give your suppliers an idea of what you really want and need.

Find a good freight forwarding company that can deliver your goods to Canada depending on your preferences.

One of the things that you must know beforehand is to find out your customs duty as this can affect the overall cost of your imported products. Take note that these import duties and taxes will also depend on the type of merchandise that you are going to import. For Canada though, they vary greatly from US when it comes with this aspect. Remember, that knowing these matters is very important when you get into this trade.

Canada and the United States are countries that are similar in many ways but if you look closely into their business practices, they differ and have their own unique way in keeping the commerce flow in and out of their country.

In Canada, all three government levels take control in regulating their import industry. These include their federal, municipal, and provincial departments which have their own corresponding process when it comes to the international trade transaction.

Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs as well as their International offer and Industry oversee the Administration of Investment Canada Act, which aims for you to regulate investment from foreign investors.

Their Revenue, Customs and Excise Canada Designation is in-charge of the collection of taxes and duties of imported products.

Whereas the department which is responsible for the investigation of improper or fraudulent trading practices is the Canadian International commercial Tribunal.

Canada's major processes of importing are almost the same with that of other countries although it has certain procedures that are being supervised by various groups of people. For instance, when the import products reach the country's port, it will go through customs procedure. Then, a bill of entry must be filed by the importer. The appropriate duty as well as taxes must be paid also. Keep in mind that the amount of importation duties depends according to the quantity of the shipment. Finally, if there are any issues with the shipment, the importer must settle it first before he can claim the goods legally.