How U.S. Exporters Can Access The Profitable Canadian Market

With a significant boost from consumer and business spending, there is a resurgence in the U.S. economy. Economists are encouraged by an increase in export volumes and businesses are now expanding their sales to the number one export market outside of the United States - Canada.

Sharing a border is not the only thing Canada and the U.S. have in common. The United States and Canada share the world's largest and most comprehensive trading relationship. Currently, Canada is the United States largest goods trading partner with $632 billion in total (two ways) goods trade during 2013 (source) accounting for 19% of total U.S. exports. Canada offers excellent business opportunities for  U.S. companies. With similarities in people, language and the close shipping proximity, exporting to Canada can be the most lucrative and easiest export market for U.S. exporters.

The Canadian Market:

  • An estimated 75% of Canadians live within 161 kilometers (100 miles) of the U.S. border. (source)
  • Potential market of more than 35 million people. (source)
  • U.S. goods exports to Canada in 2013 were $300.2 billion, up 2.6% ($7.7 billion) from 2012.(source)
  • U.S. exports to Canada account for 19.0% of overall U.S. exports in 2013. (source)

As a Canadian and U.S. customs broker with experience on both sides of the border, Pacific Customs Brokers knows first hand the benefits of international trade between these neighboring countries.

How Can U.S. Exporters Access The Profitable Canadian Market?

If you are a U.S. company, then perhaps the Non-Resident Importer option may be your biggest advantage when selling your goods to Canada.

Who Is A Non-Resident Importer (NRI)?

A Non-Resident Importer (NRI) is simply a company that is considered the Importer of Record for shipments going into Canada, even though the company does not have a physical presence in Canada. A Non-Resident Importer controls the customs release process and the costs associated with getting their products into Canada in a timely and cost-effective manner. Products are sold with an all-inclusive delivered price. The customer orders and pays for the product and waits for it to be delivered.

Benefits Of Becoming A Non-Resident Importer (NRI):

By considering the Non-Resident Importer option, U.S. exporters can:

  • Remove border hassles and unexpected fees for your Canadian customers
  • Provide price guarantee to leverage more sales
  • Capitalize on NAFTA  for your "Made in USA" products
  • Simplify customs documents and reduce customs brokerage fees
  • Open doors to large retailers who will not agree to be the Importer of Record
  • Create a potential advantage over U.S. competitors without impacting profits
  • Position yourself on an even playing field with Canadian firms without the additional expense of a Canadian office, warehouse or distribution point
  • Leverage Canada's trade agreements by shipping directly from participating foreign countries into Canada. There?s no need to land your goods in the U.S. first.

For further information on the Non-Resident Importer option and to learn how it could benefit your sales strategy, please contact us.

What Is The North American Free Trade Agreement? | NAFTA

Importing Into Canada For The Novice:

For those who are new to importing into Canada, our webinars on Importing for the Beginner [CA Series] will make a good start. In this two-part webinar series to get a step-by-step description of the importing process into Canada. Each part in the series is 60 minutes in length and will provide a comprehensive understanding of the supply chain parties involved, compliance considerations, documents and forms, free trade agreements, and more. Learn more and register »

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About Author
Gloria Terhaar
CCS, CTCS, CBSA Professional Designate

Gloria Terhaar has over 17 years of Canadian customs brokerage experience. She currently works in our Canadian division as a Trade Compliance Supervisor and Regulatory Compliance Specialist. Gloria has extensive experience in all aspects of documentation and regulatory requirements as they relate to importing products into Canada. Gloria is often called upon to train industry with some recent talks for MNP, the Surrey Board of Trade, TFO Canada and the BC Produce Marketing Association. In 2018, Gloria also participated in the Canadian Produce Marketing Association and the Canadian Horticultural Council advocacy event "Fall Harvest" in Ottawa where she participated in advocacy efforts for the Canadain produce industry.

While we strive for accuracy in all our communications, as the Importer of Record it is incumbent upon your company to ensure that you are aware of the requirements under the new regulations so that you maintain compliance as always.