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Dallas Importing into Canada Information

U.S.-Canada Trade Facts

  • U.S. goods & services trade with Canada totaled an estimated $628 billion in 2016
  • Exports from the U.S to Canada accounted for $320 billion
  • Canada is the United States’ largest market/client
  • Predictions are that with E-Commerce that number will increase by 1/3rd if not more within the next 5 years


1) Trucking Costs:

  • Trucking freight costs when booked in Canada through a Canadian carrier are cheaper than if booked in the USA and this applies for freight from USA to Canada and vice versa.

2) Importing into Canada:

  • Population of Canada is 36.29 million (huge market)
  • Canada’s importers have increasingly more buying power
  • More and more Canadian companies are requiring their goods be delivered to their door duties, taxes and transportation included, in other words a seamless and hassle free transaction
  • This can increase your market share by making it simpler and easier for Canadian clients to buy from you by handling the freight and customs from A to Z (Non-Resident Importing).
  • This benefits you by enhancing their customer experience with you thereby increasing the chance of customer loyalty and retention with the added advantage of allowing you to have greater control over your sales, profits and expenses
  • Any duties that you may have paid when you imported the goods into the USA and then exported to Canada can be claimed back from U.S. Customs.

3) Non-Resident Importing:

  • 99% of imports into Canada are subject to GST (Goods and Services Tax) of 5%, unlike the U.S.
  • It is payable at time of importation on the Customs Entry
  • It can be claimed back by the Canadian Importer or the U.S. Non-Resident Importer PROVIDING they are registered
  • There is a big difference between a business number (Importer number) and GST number
  • If you are not registered for a GST number you can neither charge nor claim back any GST, therefore you LOSE 5% on all of your imports
  • On a daily basis we see U.S. Non-Resident Importers needlessly losing this revenue when all they have to do is register.



4) Traps to watch out for when Non-Resident Importing:

  • Valuation (the 1st sale rule does not apply in Canada)
  • Exchange rates
  • HST/QST may be chargeable to your client in addition to the GST
  • GST Security Deposit to Customs
  • Rules of Remittance of GST to Canada Revenue Agency
  • Consumer Packaging and labelling requirements
  • OGD’S (Goods subject to Other Government Departments)
  • Permits
  • Anti-Dumping or Countervailing Duties
  • Nafta Rules of Origin
  • Low Value Shipments(LVS’S)

5) E-Commerce:

  • Instead of shipping to each individual consignee which can be very expensive think about consolidating your shipments and then distributing once they have cleared Canadian Customs which is something we are set up for in our warehouse
  • In terms of returns think consolidations as the way to go in order to benefit from cost savings
  • Some repairs can be done in Canada as well instead of having to ship the goods back and forth across borders

6) CETA(Canada-European Free Trade Agreement):

  • If you are currently selling goods made in Europe to a Canadian client and shipping them from the U.S. to Canada, STOP!
  • Canada now has Free Trade with Europe so most goods that come into Canada from Europe are now duty free as long as they do not clear U.S. Customs therefore drop shipping your goods directly from Europe to your Canadian client will lower your costs both on freight and customs duties.

GST/HST Information for Non-Residents:

Register for a GST/HST account:


Do not sell or ship to Canada
prior to consulting with a specialist beforehand
or you may end up with an
expensive and unwanted surprise



Tel: 1-800-265-2567