Import  Licencing Services for NRI

An NRI is a company who is based outside Canada, most often in the USA, who does not have a permanent establishment in Canada but imports goods under its own company name and pays all duties and taxes to CBSA. They are known as Non-resident Importers of Record by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).Some benefits to establishing a non-resident company to register with the Canadian Border Services Agency as the Importer of Record would be:

  • To sell within Canada with a domestic cost pricing plan
  • Control over supply chain with full visibility over transportation
  • To manage your landed cost without the involvement of a Canadian client or wholesaler
  • To make border issues “seamless”, and controlling customs and release issues from a foreign office by phone or e-mail- reducing operating costs
  • Allows your customers to order goods customs cleared and delivered to their doors just as they would from your Canadian competition.
  • Increase your company’s market share in Canada.

 Some challenges that a NRI must consider prior to choosing this business format are as follows:

  • Must first obtain a Business Number
  • Must have their books and records maintained in Canada.
  • Must consider whether to register for a Goods and Services Tax (GST) number from the Government of Canada
  • Must consider registering for Provincial Sales Tax (PST) or Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) where applicable
  • Must review transfer pricing policies
  • Must understand Canadian stance on valuation
  • Must understand input tax credit and flow through of pricing

Transmanna can assist you in simplifying this and making it easy for them to fulfill all the above requirements.. Transmanna can arranges pick-up of your goods, shipping to Canada, customs clearance, insurance and final delivery to your customer, all on the NRI’s behalf. Your goods can also be shipped to one of our warehouses for distribution at your request as orders come in.

Depending on the type of products that you want to import and where you import from, your business may need licences and permits from the federal, provincial and municipal levels of government. For example, textiles, food and steel generally require a permit to import. You can find a complete list of controlled goods and the application for import permits on the Global Affairs Canada website. Import permits are issued pursuant to import allocations or other import authorizations in accordance with the Import Permit Regulations. That is, permit quantities are deducted from the authorization balance. Import permits are issued in the offices of Global Affairs Canada in Ottawa. An individual import permit is required for each shipment. Import permits are normally issued with a validity period of 30 days around the date of arrival specified by importers (5 days prior to it and 24 days after). Under no circumstances will utilization of permits for one quota period be allowed in the next quota period. Requests for import permits will be accepted within 30 days prior to the expected date of arrival of the shipment in Canada.

Applicants for import licences must then complete the application form Application for Import/Export Permit EXT-1466 (PDF Document, 96 KB) and provide the following: the EIPA file number; the name of the importer (if the importer is represented by a customs broker, the name and address of the broker must be provided); the supplier’s name; the country of origin; the country the product is being imported from; the Canadian port of entry; the shipment date; the proposed entry date and the product code; the quantity and value in Canadian dollars. A list of EICS On-line Customs Brokers having access to EICS (Export Import Controls System) may be obtained from the Trade Controls Bureau (TID). Applications may also be sent directly to Global Affairs Canada either by mail or facsimile. Applicants must fill out the application form Application for Import/Export Permit EXT-1466.Up to three separate products may be entered on the same form. This information will then be submitted into the EICS.

Import Conditions

Just about any good may be imported into Canada by anyone, subject to compliance with certain conditions imposed by the federal and, sometimes, provincial government(s). The people who actually enforce all these conditions at the border are the Border Service Officers. However, they will not be able to give you specific information until you tell them what kind of things you wish to import, and from what country. Here is an idea of the kind of conditions we are referring to:

  • is the article prohibited entry into Canada? This covers a narrow range of goods prohibited under annex VII of the Customs Tariff, e.g. hate literature and pornography. It also covers goods that we in Global Affairs Canada keep out pursuant to international sanctions.
  • is the article allowed in only under the authority of an import permit? That is also when Global Affairs Canada comes in: by virtue of the Export and Import Permits Act,we control imports of textiles and clothing, steel, wheat, barley and their products, supply-managed farm products (dairy, chicken, eggs, turkey), firearms and suchlike, and a few miscellaneous items. These are all found on the Import Control List. If you wish to import a textile or clothing article, call 613-996-3711 for information about how to get an import permit. If you wish to import an agricultural good on the Import Control List, call 613-995-8104. For steel, call us to get a permit on request, or call any customs broker. For endangered species and their products, call the Canadian Wildlife Service 613-997-1840. For information about firearms, call 613-992-0478.
  • is the article subject to some other federally-imposed condition? For example, goods for retail sale have to comply with labelling laws; motor vehicles have to meet emission control standards; food and agricultural products have to pass the necessary health and sanitary checks. Customs can usually advise you on this, but you can refer to the useful telephone numbers list below. Imported foods have specific labelling and ingredient requirements. Check with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to find out how the labelling rules will affect your imports. CFIA – Guide to Importing Food Products Commercially.
  • If you import tobacco products in bulk into Canada, you are required to register with the Client Services Branch, get a certificate to import and obtain a Wholesaler’s Permit.
  • Military goods and firearms are controlled by paragraphs 70-73 and 91, and Chemical Weapons Convention items are controlled by paragraph 74 of the ICL. Applications for import permits for these items must be submitted to the Export Controls Division. Current policy allows for the waiver of an import permit for goods set out in Para 70, (1), firearms and their parts, when the items are non-restricted or restricted in legal classification and are destined to sporting or recreational use.
  • Products that you sell to customers in Canada need specific labelling. Your labels usually need to be written in English and French and include the following information:

1. Product identity

2. Product net quantity

3. Dealer’s name and principal place of business

The Competition Bureau regulates the labelling of most non-food products. To learn more about the rules for packaging, labelling and advertising these products, contact the Competition Bureau directly or visit their website.

  • is the article subject to some privately-certified standard? For example, all electrical appliances and equipment must be certified by a recognized certification body before they can be sold in Canada. Consult the list of certification bodies accredited by the Standards Council of Canadaand consult the Canada Border Services Agency web site or contact Code Authorities in Canada to establish whether your product is subject to testing or certification requirements in Canada.
  • is there a provincial rule to comply with? For example, imports of liquor, wine and beer require prior authorization from the appropriate liquor commission before Customs will clear them.
  • most goods imported are subject to customs duties (imposed under the Customs Tariff) and the GST; both these are collected by Customs at the time of importation, and levied on the landed value of the goods. Customs also collect anti-dumping and countervailing duties on a few goods that have been found to be sold under unfair conditions.
Duty deferral programs

There are custom programs that allow you to defer payments on goods you have imported and will be exporting, under specific circumstances.

Some of the included programs are:

  • You can get a refund for the duties you pay on imported goods that are eventually exported.
  • You can apply to become a qualified company who imports goods without paying duties if the goods are later exported. Before the goods are exported, you can further manufacture or use them in a limited matter.
  • You can store goods duty and tax free in a licensed and regulated facility operated by the private sector. The goods can be stored for a limited time until they are exported or are consumed domestically. 
Advance commercial information (ACI)

You may need to submit information about the shipment or cargo that you are bringing in to Canada before it arrives at the border. Visit the Canada Border Services Agency website to find out what you will be required to provide.

Customs self-assessment program (CSA)

Once you have been actively importing low-risk products for at least 90 days, you may qualify for the CSA program and become a pre-approved importer. As a CSA-approved company, many of your import border requirements are simplified, which can save you time and money when moving your goods into the country. Contact the CBSA Border Information Services for more information.

The Free and Secure Trade Program (FAST)

If you’re importing low-risk products from the United States, you may qualify for the Free and Secure Trade Program (FAST). Under FAST, eligible goods arriving for approved companies and transported by approved carriers using registered drivers are cleared into Canada or the United States with greater speed and certainty.

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