Top 5 Tips to Import Wisely

You want to import products from other countries, but where you do begin? Here are some tips to help make the import process easier for you.

Be familiar with CBSA.

If you're importing into Canada, you'll need to become very familiar with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). The CBSA has a number of programs designed specifically to support small businesses, including pre-approved shipping, customs fees payment plans, their Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise Centre, and information on importing commercial goods for sale.

Make sure you get samples.

And remember, although those samples might be indicative of the manufacturer's quality, they might not be representative of what you'll always get. Be prepared to send a shipment back if you're not happy with the quality of goods.

Check the import duty on the product—before you buy it.

Check the CBSA website for the Customs Tariff listing. For advice regarding the tariff classification of goods, rates of duty, the interpretation or application of the Customs Tariff, permits which may be required for certain goods or information on other CBSA programs, please contact the Border Information Service.

Make sure you know the restrictions.

What are the restrictions on bringing the product into Canada? Examples of some goods that might be subject to Canadian import restrictions include certain food, plants, health products and motor vehicles. Information on Canadian import restrictions can be found at Canada Border Services Agency website.

Use a Customs Broker.

Their job is to clear goods across the border and make sure that all of your paperwork is in order. While you can clear goods on your own, the Customs Brokers are experts and the process of clearing goods across the border is very complicated. Customs brokers can save you a lot of headaches and money. To learn more, visit the Canadian Society of Customs Brokers website.