Step One: Obtain Import/Export Business Number
Every company or individual looking to import commercial goods into Canada must have an Import/Export business number. These numbers are released and regulated by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
You can obtain a business number using either: the Business Registration Online tool or by calling 1-800-959-5525.
Step Two: Register for CRA Business Accounts
Typically, when you obtain your business number, you must also register for the business accounts that you require at the time. The five most commonly used CRA business accounts are:
RT – Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax
RP – Payroll
RC – Corporate Income Tax
RM – Import/Export
RZ – Information Return
Step Three: Harmonized Sales Tariff
Most commercial goods imported into Canada must pay a Harmonized Sales Tariff. ARGO Customs can help you identify which code applies to your shipment.
Start by setting up an accurate description of the goods you are going to import. This will inform you, and the customs broker, of the class of goods you are going to import and, consequently, which code applies to your shipment.
To further assist you, ARGO Customs implemented an online chat option to answer all of your questions regarding import codes, restrictions, and other requirements.
Logistics of the Import/Export Business
Not everyone who wants to run an import/export business wants to maintain an office in Canada. The NRI program is ideal for foreign-based companies and individuals.
The NRI allows you to act as the Importer of Record. The Importer of Record can appoint customs brokers who can act as their agents in transacting business in Canada. The customs broker can interface with the Canada Border Services Agency to handle all import issues and regulations.
The customs broker must have written authority from the Importer of Record (you). A general agency agreement or power of attorney is sufficient.
When your company is registered with the NRI program, your customers do not have to contend with the responsibilities of importation. This allows your company to handle all of the regulatory steps to import commercial goods into Canada.
Goods and Services Tax (GST)/Harmonized Sales Tax (HST)
Non-resident importers, i.e. those under the NRI program, can register with the CRA for a GST number. This provides certain benefits, but in many instances, it is mandatory. As a general rule, it is a good idea to get a GST number.
For further information regarding importing goods into Canada, contact the experts at ARGO Customs today.