As global e-commerce grows, businesses seek new opportunities to expand their customer base beyond their domestic market. One such market is Canada, the United States’ 2nd largest trading partner and a country with a stable and open economy.
Why the Canadian market is important for U.S. businesses?
Canada-U.S. trade in goods and services was over $1.2 trillion in 2022 and represented about two-thirds of Canada’s total global trade. Regarding cross-border e-commerce, approximately 81% of cross-border purchases from Canada were sourced from the United States (49%) and China (32%).
This volume makes Canada an attractive market for US businesses looking to expand their customer base beyond their domestic market. Canada’s stable economy, high living standards, and diverse population make it an appealing market for US businesses seeking to grow beyond their domestic reach. Shipping to Canada is convenient, thanks to well-established customs procedures and shipping requirements understood by American companies. Additionally, specialized shipping services cater to the Canadian market, ensuring smooth and efficient logistics for US businesses.
Understanding Canadian customs requirements for shipping to Canada
Businesses must include the following with every shipment when exporting goods into Canada:
- Canada Customs Invoice
- Commercial Invoice
- Bill of Lading
- NAFTA Certificate of Origin
- Shipper’s Export Declaration
It’s also important to note that some goods are controlled via permits, and businesses must obtain import permits to ship them.
Businesses must be familiar with Canadian customs requirements and procedures to avoid potential delays or complications when shipping to Canada.
For more information on shipping to Canada, businesses can refer to the guide provided by the Canada Border Services Agency.
By preparing the necessary paperwork and complying with Canadian customs requirements, businesses can ensure that their shipments to Canada are successful and avoid any potential issues with customs.
Canadian shipping costs
The shipping cost to Canada depends on the size and weight of the package, the shipping destination, and the speed of delivery required. For packages under 4 pounds, USPS First Class Mail International is the cheapest option.
Still, it is also the slowest delivery option. FedEx and UPS offer faster delivery options but can be more expensive. For packages over 4 pounds, UPS provides cost-effective services similar to UPS Ground and generally takes 2-7 days for final delivery.
It’s important to note that when shipping from the US to Canada, avoiding duties is possible if the value of your products is under CAD 20 (~ USD 14). If the shipment exceeds this limit, it’s subject to taxes, usually handled by the carrier.
Researching the different shipping carriers and their delivery networks is essential to optimize your shipping costs to Canada. Consider consolidating multiple shipments into one shipment, optimizing the weight and dimensions of your packages, and choosing the right shipping speed based on your needs and budget.
Prohibited items for shipping to Canada
Items prohibited from shipping to Canada include:
- Collectible Coins
- Medicines That Are Not Compliant with Canadian Law
It’s important to note that there are strict regulations regarding the importation of drugs and medicines into Canada. Therefore, businesses must ensure that their products comply with Canadian regulations before shipping to Canada.
In addition, there are restrictions on the value of items you can ship to Canada. For example, CAD 20 or less items are exempt from duties and taxes. However, there are some exceptions to this rule.
For example, intoxicating beverages, cigars, cigarettes, manufactured tobacco, publications where the supplier must register under the Excise Tax Act, and goods split into multiple shipments to get under this limit are not exempt from duties and taxes.
Certain goods require permits or licenses to be imported into Canada. These items include firearms, plants, animals, and food products. Therefore, businesses must ensure they have the necessary permits or licenses before shipping these products to Canada.
It’s a good idea to work with a reputable shipping carrier with experience with Canadian customs procedures and who understands the specific requirements for your shipment.
Work with a trusted partner with the network and expertise shipping to Canada
Shipping to Canada is essential to expanding your business and reaching new customers. However, choosing the correct shipping partner is critical to ensure that your packages are delivered to your Canadian customers promptly and cost-effectively.
CIRRO E-Commerce is a trusted partner for shipping to Canada, offering excellent discounts for high-volume shipping to help you improve your shipping costs. We deliver goods all over Canada, including remote and rural areas, without charging additional fees. Our 100% Delivered Duty Paid (DDP) customs clearance ensures that your customers will never have to deal with customs. Real-time tracking ensures that you always know the status of your delivery, and we manage the logistics chain from pick-up and sorting to labeling and distribution.