Amazon E Commerce into Canada Simplified
With the NRI Concierge Desk

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What do I need to know before starting to sell on

Canada is a large market that loves U.S. goods. The consumer base is over 33 million people. This equates to a market potential of 15% for your U.S. sales. Canada is also the least expensive country to export to because of its close proximity. Nearly 80% of Canadians are located within 60 miles of the U.S.-Canada border.

How can I get started?

First, you will need to become a Non-resident Importer (commonly referred to as an NRI) - meaning that although you will not have a physical presence in Canada such as a residence or storefront, you will perform the role of the importer to make it easier for your potential customers to purchase your goods online.

How does being an NRI make the sale easier on my customers?

Have you ever ordered something from out of country and to your surprise had to pay duty and tax when the delivery was made to you? This annoying issue would have been avoided had the company you purchased from acted as the NRI. That way the sale price would have included these additional costs and eliminated the need to pay additional charges at your front door.

What are my NRI responsibilities?

As the NRI, you will take care of the import of the goods through Canada Customs (or hire a customs broker to do so on your behalf) as well as the payment of duties and taxes. You will be in charge of collecting the federal and provincial sales tax and submitting it to the Government of Canada. If this sounds hard, it's not. We can help.

How do I become an NRI?

You will need to register for doing business in Canada, determine your landed costs and prepare your shipment for entry into Canada. We have detailed each of these steps in our NRI how-to guide at the bottom of this page. However, if you would rather speak to us about these steps, please feel free to call us directly at 604.542.6631 or fill out the form on this page and our NRI concierge desk will get right back to you.

Does Pacific Customs Brokers provide services for all NRI setup requirements?

Yes! With a little help from our friends, we can help you sort out tax requirements, legal business structure, immigration and transportation moves from all over the world. We leverage our business volume to secure better shipping rates for you. Our Trade Advisors can review where you are sourcing your raw materials from to determine if a preferential tariff treatment could be used to reduce import duties. Contact us to find out how we can reduce your transportation and material sourcing costs.


What Our Clients Say About Us


NRI Concierge Desk Services

  • Assist with registering your business in Canada
  • Provide reputable partners for Canadian tax accounting and submittal
  • Provide customs release services for your shipments into Canada
  • Provide customs release services for your returns to the U.S.
  • Review your customs documentation for accuracy and completeness
  • Arrange for transportation and delivery
  • Arrange warehousing and distribution

Frequently Asked Questions about the Non-Resident Importer Option

Who is responsible for the import documentation on the sale?
According to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), you as the Importer of Record are responsible for the import into Canada. This includes the accuracy and completeness of the shipment documentation, the correct classification of the goods within the shipment, and the correct amount of duties and taxes assessed and remitted. Additionally, you will be responsible for the reporting of all applicable data to CBSA and applicable Participating Government Agencies (PGAs) such as Health Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency etc. Pacific Customs Brokers can act as your import partner and assist you with each of these steps to ensure you are in compliance with these regulations and avoid possible penalty.
Other than Cost of Goods Sold, what other costs should I calculate when pricing my goods for sale?
When importing goods into Canada you must factor in all the costs associated from seller to buyer. These are called Landed Costs and can include the product costs, freight, insurance, crating, import duty and tax, currency conversion and all service fees (such as customs brokerage fees).
What sales tax should I collect on the sale of my goods?
There are both federal and provincial taxes that may be applicable to your sales in Canada. Some taxes are collected at the border upon import while other taxes you must charge for during the sale, collect and remit to the governing authority. For more detailed information on sales tax, please review our how-to guide here via the button below.
What is considered working in Canada? When would I need a work visa?
That depends on what sales practices you are partaking in while in Canada. Use the form above to send us a question and we will introduce you to a Canadian immigration lawyer who can assist you in answering your questions.