Sourcing products from Canada is a great way to cut costs and gain a competitive advantage for most US small businesses, especially those based near the border. If you decide to get your supplies from our northern neighbor, you’ll enjoy many advantages. These include high-quality goods and services, fast shipping, and significant gains on foreign exchange since the Canadian dollar is always behind the USD in value. However, there are 5 essential things you need to know before you can start importing from Canada.
1. Supplier database
The Canadian government created an online searchable database of Canadian suppliers. Here you can look for federal corporations, Canadian importers, as well as over 50,000 suppliers
It’s very easy to find the perfect supplier in Canada. The Canadian government created an online searchable database of Canadian suppliers. Here you can look for federal corporations, Canadian importers, as well as over 50,000 suppliers. Browse the database by industry, company name and location, or simply type your keywords into the search bar to learn the necessary contact info of all potential Canadian suppliers.
2. Business culture
Even though Canada has similar practices to the US in many areas, you can’t simply assume that your Canadian supplier does everything the way you do. Even if you’ve been to Canada before, it’s wise to do some research on how Canadians do business. Often the slightest differences matter, and learning about your supplier’s business culture will make the whole process of negotiations and building a business relationship much easier. Don’t worry, you don’t have to sit in a library and pore over books on culture for hours.
Read our comprehensive guide and find out everything you need to know about Canadian business culture, customs, and much more.
Canada levies no export duties on goods and services sold overseas. In addition, most exported goods are exempt from the various Canadian sales taxes (Harmonized Sales Tax, HST, Goods and Services Tax, GST, and Provincial Sales Tax, PST).
As a member of NAFTA, the US has eliminated duties and tariffs on most goods originating from Canada
As a member of NAFTA, the US has eliminated duties and tariffs on most goods originating from Canada. However, you need to provide a Certificate of Origin at the border which proves that the merchandise (or a large-enough percentage of it) is indeed from Canada.
If you’re importing goods to the US, you must comply with US customs regulations. The agency responsible for handling imports is the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The CBP’s website contains all the necessary information you need to know about the process of importing.
The best method of transporting the goods from your supplier’s base to yours depends on both of your locations, as well as the nature of the products. However, given the geographical conditions, it’s most likely you’ll use road or rail transport. Ask your supplier what your best option is.
5. International transfers
Once you’ve settled all other issues, it’s time to talk about payment. If you want a fast, secure, and easy way to pay your supplier, why not try Veem? Thanks to its unique multi-rail technology, Veem allows you to send international payments as easily as sending an email. Veem creates a direct connection between you and your supplier, allowing both of you to access vital information about the transfer, like scheduling, amount, and fees. Since Veem cuts out the middlemen, there are no hidden costs, no unexpected delays and no additional fees. And your supplier is going to thank you for the favorable exchange rates Veem offers. Sign up with Veem and enjoy hassle-free international transfers.