Do You Need to Import Goods into Vancouver and Canada? ARGO Customs Can Help

Clearing customs can be a cumbersome and complex process. You need to identify the goods your importing (no, that doesn’t mean look at them and say “Yep, that’s a hammer), meaning, you need to classify the goods pursuant to the 10-digit harmonized tariff classification system. Next, you need to determine if your goods are subject to any special regulations or restrictions. Third, you need to coordinate the inspection of your goods with the appropriate authority and, once that is approved, pay your duties and taxes. Next, you need to secure shipping, and finally, you need to keep all your paperwork because the Canada Border Services Agency might audit you.

Sounds simple, right? Okay, no it isn’t. Luckily, there are customs brokers in Canada who can help you through this process. At ARGO Customs Brokers, we provide a broad range of services that can help everyone from commercial importers to personal shipments. Essentially, if you want to import something into Canada, we can help you.


ARGO Customs provides both customs brokerage and consulting services. ARGO Customs can shepherd your goods through the Canada customs system or can provide you with information and knowledge about how to do it yourself. Moreover, ARGO Customs provides information on exporting and importing goods in and out of Vancouver and Canada. ARGO Customs also offers freight forwarding assistance, to get your goods to their final destination and overseas support for clients who wish to import goods into Canada.

ARGO Customs uses proprietary software, developed in-house, to deliver unparalleled service to our clients which allows us to respond to customs clearance issues quickly and to navigate those obscure exemptions and restrictions. ARGO Customs maintains a team of experienced customs brokers who have decades of experience working with the Canada Border Services Agency, the Canada Food Inspection Agency, and other government agencies.


ARGO Customs Brokers are conveniently located at several major ports of entry, including:

1. Toronto;
2. Calgary;
3. Montreal;
4. Vancouver;
5. Edmonton; and
6. Winnipeg.

If you need a good imported into Canada, ARGO Customs can help.

ARGO Customs Brokers Are Here To Help

If you need assistance importing goods into Canada or getting your goods out of customs purgatory, call ARGO Customs Brokers now at 1 (888) 311-8303, or you can call one of our offices directly, including Vancouver at (250) 980-3727, or send us an email at

Understanding the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR)

By mid-January, the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (“SFCR”) will take effect which means your business may need to get a license. The SFCRs were passed as part of the Safe Food for Canadians Act, which mandated the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (“CFIA”) pass regulations to provide more modern and consistent requirements for the import and export of food, as well as the trade of food between the provinces. The Act also required the CFIA to streamline the rules spread across several different laws and introduce income-based regulations for food safety to reduce the burden on lower-income businesses and individuals.


On January 15, 2019, all Canadian businesses will need to determine if they need to obtain a license from the CFIA. If you’re unsure, the CFIA has published this helpful guide. First, use the licensing interactive tool to determine if your business needs a license. If you do, you will need to sign-up for an online account here.

You will need a license if you conduct the following activities:

1. Store and handle meat that is imported;
2. Export food;
3. Import food;
4. Manufacture, process, grade, preserve, treat, label, or package food is going to be sent across territorial or provincial borders or exported; or
5. Slaughter animals for meat which will be exported or transported across territorial/provincial borders.

If your business engages in multiple activities that require a license, you can apply for a multi-license. In the event you engage in only one type of business, you can apply for a solo license. To apply for a license, the CFIA requires the following information: (1) the purpose for which your applying for the license (i.e. which of the covered activities); (2) location of where the activities are taking place; and (3) the types of food for which you’re seeking the license.

What if I already have a license?

If your business already holds a license under the Canada Agricultural Products Act, the Meat Inspection Act, or the Fish Inspection Act, it will remain effective until the expiration even when the SFCR comes into force. Yes, your license under these previous acts remains valid so long as you have a statement on file that it is also issued under the SFCA.

ARGO Customs Are Here to Help

ARGO Customs Brokers are positioned at all major ports of entry. ARGO Customs is ready and happy to assist with your food importations and licensing. Contact our team today to learn more about our services and solutions.

Canada Border Services Agency Issues Final Determination on Cold-Rolled Steel from China, South Korea, and Vietnam

On October 31, 2018, The Canada Border Services Agency (“CBSA”) issued its Notice of Final Determinations concluding its nearly eight-month review regarding the dumping and subsidizing of cold-rolled steel cut lengths or coiled from Vietnam, South Korea, and China. Dumping and subsidizing activities violate section 38(1) of the Special Import Measures Act (“SIMA”) which was passed to ensure that Canadian businesses aren’t undermined by foreign government intervention.

Dumping or Subsidizing Goods

Some foreign governments aid their domestic industry by either (1) offering subsidies to reduce the cost of business and allow them to compete with foreign businesses in foreign markets (like Chinese steel in Canada) or by dumping. Dumping is the practice of overproducing a product domestically, so a country can sell it internationally to undermine foreign businesses and corner markets in particular goods. The CBSA is charged with investigating allegations of subsidizing and dumping and to pass tariffs or other measures to balance these activities. The affected goods are a variety of cold-rolled steel and a more extensive list can be found in the tariff classification schedule.


The CBSA found that Vietnam engaged in 99.2% of its margins were dumped. Moreover, that 6.5% subsidy was provided for each product (amounting to 2.6M Vietnamese Dong per metric tonne of cold-rolled steel). Similarly, China’s margin of dumping was 91.9% and its subsidy was 11.6% (or about 506 Renminbi). Finally, South Korea’s dumping was 53% and its subsidy was an impressive 11.3% (or about 86,700 Won). Keep in mind, these amounts were only calculated by the CBSA to estimate the subsidy. These values do not determine how much (if any) countervailing duties will be imposed on the affected goods.

Note, that this is only one step in the process. The Canadian International Trade Tribunal (“CITT”) continues its investigation into the harm done to the domestic industry by these activities. It is not expected to issue a final determination until December 21, 2018. So, keep an eye out for those final determinations. Until the final determination from the CITT, provisional duties will continue to apply to the affected classifications.

How ARGO Customs Can Help Your Business

If you’re concerned about the import of cold-rolled steel into Canada, ARGO Customs Brokers are here to assist you. We can work with your business if it is affected by the CITT ruling and help you keep working. Contact ARGO Customs today for further information.

Customs Broker in Toronto – Moving Cannabis Across National Borders is Still Illegal

Yes, it is a quixotic but true statement. On October 17, 2018, cannabis will be legal to use in Canada for all purposes (including recreational), but that doesn’t mean that you can transport it across borders to the United States or beyond. If you would like more detailed information, please consult Argo Customs broker in Toronto.

History of Cannabis in Canada

Canada started on this journey to legal cannabis in 2001 when Canada passed the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations. In 2015, the Liberal Party campaigned with now-Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on a platform that included legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes. The Liberal Party secured 184 seats in Parliament which enabled the party to form a majority government and pass legalization without relying on other parties. On June 19, 2018, the party passed Bill C-45 the “Cannabis Act” which will legalize marijuana products in Canada on October 17, 2018.

Caution when Crossing the Border

However, even though marijuana is soon going to be legal, regulated, and taxed in Canada, you cannot take it across the border. Yes, that is right. Even if you are going to a country (or one of the states in the United States where it is legal), you cannot cross the border. Furthermore, if you are coming from the United States and going to Canada, you still cannot cross the border with cannabis.

Taking cannabis across the border without an exemption issued by Health Canada or a permit is a serious criminal offense that could result in incarceration, fines, and more. Health Canada retains sole authority to issue permits and exemptions to transport cannabis across the border in three narrow circumstances:

  1. For medical purposes;
  2. Scientific research; and
  3. Industrial hemp.

You will be subject to criminal prosecution regardless of the amount you carry (even if it is very little); if you have a medical document stating you need cannabis (unless it is issued by Health Canada); and even if you are traveling from a country or state that legalized it (like California or Uruguay).

ARGO Customs Can Help

If you have questions about legalized marijuana or the rules on importing and exporting in Toronto, you should contact a customs broker in Toronto for assistance. ARGO Customs Brokers are standing by to give you all the assistance you need.

Reduce Costs for Importing Goods into Canada with ARGO Customs Brokers

Toronto, ON-based ARGO Customs Brokers helps clients across the country save on importing goods through customs into Canada. One area in which the company specializes is in helping clients reduce the cost and time involved in obtaining their import permit with the DFAIT (Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade). ARGO Customs Brokers can help clients apply for their permit, completing all documentation and submitting the entry to the CSBA. When you have a quota regulated goods with Export Import Control Bureau we can apply for permits.

Understanding The CSBA

The CSBA and the Canadian federal government places specific limits on the import on a range of foods. Controlled goods must be imported into the control only by those who have an import permit with DFAIT.

This process of applying for the permit and answering questions regarding the goods can take some time. ARGO Customs Brokers are experts in importing goods to Canada and can help all clients manage their quotes and ensure they operate within the confines of the law.

About ARGO Customs Brokers

The team at ARGO Customs Brokers can answer each of your questions about the importing of controlled products and can work with you and the CSBA to ensure any issues are cleared up and that the import process is completed seamlessly. To discover more about the many benefits of working with ARGO Customs Brokers, contact their team today at 1 647-832-7433 or visit their business website at


Overcome Surtax Issues with Canada Customs and Importing Experts ARGO Customs Brokers

August 8, 2018 – Toronto, ON-based ARGO Customs Brokers are now helping clients in Canada navigate the process of determining surtax on their importing products. Surtaxes have recently been imposed on certain products originating in the United States and the team at ARGO Customs Brokers have great experience in surtax HS codes and calculations. Clients can contact the company’s Toronto head office directly at 1 647-832-7433 to discuss their surtax payments. Please contact Argo Customs before the shipment arrives so we can instruct you on the payment you will need to do afterwards.

Since July 1st 2018 Canada first implemented the surtax charges, many products have become more expensive for Canadian companies and importers to bring into the country. For example, high-nickel alloy steel bars are now subject to a 25% surtax duty. These duties are placing a strain on the finances of many business owners and private individuals across the country. To help ensure they’re not overpaying on their import duties, Canadians can now turn to ARGO Customs Brokers.

Customs Importing into Canada

ARGO Customs Brokers can help Canada-based clients importing products from the United States to expertly calculate their surtax. They can help to identify the products on which a surtax is applied and communicate with border agencies about the total duties placed for a particular transaction. It’s important to learn more about the new surtaxes to limit potential legal challenges in the future.

About ARGO Customs Brokers

To learn more about the surtaxes, speak with the team at ARGO Customs Brokers today via 1 647-832-7433 or visit their business website today at


Wood Packaging Material Import Requirements

Argo Customs Brokers Toronto shares with you the Wood packaging material (WPM) import requirements.These are strict guidelines put in place to protect Canadian ecosystems from non-native pests found in WPM.

Pests in Wood Packaging

Quarantine pests found in wood packaging (pallets, crates, spools, dunnage, etc.) present a significant threat to forest health worldwide. Pests that are native to the forests in one region of the world, may not be native to the forests in another region. When pests are introduced into a forest ecosystem where they are non-native, it can have a significant effect on forest health and biodiversity. The International Standard for Phytosanitary Measure No. 15 (ISPM 15), “Regulation of Wood Packaging Material in International Trade” is an international standard developed to help reduce the spread of wood-borne pests in solid wood packaging materials. ISPM 15 is written and controlled by the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC). The IPPC is a part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Currently there are approximately 85 countries that require imported wood packaging to be ISPM 15 compliant, and more countries are expected to adopt this measure in the future. When the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) intercepts non-compliant WPM, it takes immediate action to limit the risk.

Contact us for more information

Please consult with ARGO Customs brokers is you have any questions related to customs consulting in Toronto or WPM via the live chat option at our web-site!

Canadian Cosmetics Act and Notification of cosmetics

As per section 30 of the Cosmetic Regulations, manufacturers and importers must notify Health Canada within 10 days after they first sell a cosmetic in Canada. Failure to notify may result in a product being denied entry into Canada or removed from sale. In ARGO Customs brokers in Toronto we are doing many cosmetics importations coming into Canada and prioritize notifying importers: Please make sure to notify Health Canada about a cosmetic by filling out the Cosmetic Notification Form.

Examples of Cosmetics:

  • soaps
  • artificial nail builders
  • adhesives such as for artificial nails, hair extensions, etc.
  • moisturizers
  • tinted moisturizers (concealer)
  • tattoo inks
  • makeup products
  • tooth whiteners
  • cleansing wipes
  • feminine douches
  • Examples of Products that are Not Considered Cosmetics
  • sunscreens (including makeup products with SPF)
  • acne treatment
  • skin whiteners or lighteners
  • denture cleaners
  • hand sanitizers
  • artificial nails and hair extensions
  • brushes
  • laser treatment hair removers
  • collagen or "Botox" injections
  • insect repellents
  • oral supplements
  • room or fabric sprays
  • non-prescription contact lenses
ARGO Customs Brokers in Toronto will be happy to assist at any time, please contact us through our contact form or live chat at our web-site