flag Canada Canada: Buying

In this page: Customs Procedures | Industrial and Manufacturing Profile | Identifying a Supplier | Controlling the Quality of the Products | Organizing Goods Transport To and From Canada


Customs Procedures

Export Clearance
Every exporter is required to obtain a business number (BN) account designated for export or import/export from the Canada Revenue Agency. The exporter needs also to verify if the goods are controlled, regulated or prohibited to be exported by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) or any other government department or agency. It is important to determine if the goods require an export declaration and/or a permit/certificate/licence and if so follow the procedures indicated on the official website of the CBSA.
The exporter may delegate the act of completing and submitting export declarations or documents to a third party, such as a customs broker.
Necessary Declaration
The Customs declaration must contain information on the origin of the goods, the Customs tariff and Customs valuation of the goods.
Few products belong to the controlled or restricted category (some agricultural products, cultural goods, pharmaceutical products and some types of technology). The prohibited goods category includes, of course, products like drugs and counterfeit money. To determine if your products fall into one of these categories, you can contact the The Export and Import Controls Bureau (EICB), which manages a webpage of people-resources giving the telephone numbers to call to get information on the various types of controlled products.
Export Taxes

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Industrial and Manufacturing Profile

Type of Production
The type of production differs according to the province. The following list shows the industry responsible for GDP growth by province and by territory:

Alberta: Petrochemicals and oil sands
British Columbia: Natural Gas
Manitoba: Canola (colza) and Wheat
Saskatchewan: Mining and cereal growing
Newfoundland and Labrador: Nickel and oil fields
New Brunswick: Wood pulp
Prince Edward Island: Agriculture
Nova Scotia: Services sector
Quebec: Hydro-electric energy, Aerospace, Metal processing and pharmaceuticals
Ontario: Construction
Nunavut: Diamond mines
North West Territories: Mineral and oil exploration
Yukon: Mineral extraction and exploration

Source: Canada's Performance Report, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

Professional Associations by Sector
129 professional associations listed for Canada.

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Type of Manufacturers

Original Equipment Manufacturers
Canadian OEMs are, among others, in the aerospace, aeronautics, defense and transport sectors. There are Pratt & Whitney, General Dynamics, Bombardier and Bell Helicopters (transport and aeronautics).
Original Design Manufacturers
Design, style and performance are important factors for pleasure craft and vehicles in Canada. Several manufacturers of sailing boats, motor boats, jet skis and campers are making their mark. Aeronautical design and transport are going strong.
A large increase has been recorded in subcontracting in the professional, scientific and technical, and administrative sectors, back-up services, waste management, and sanitation systems; in the sectors of company management and IT and multimedia.
Useful Resources
Industry Canada

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Identifying a Supplier

Business Directories

Multi-sector Directories
All.biz - Canada - Directory of companies in Canada
Bell Business Directory - Directory of Canadian products or services suppliers
Business and Economy Directory - Canadian Web Directory
Canada Trade Index - A Mac Rae's industrial directory
Canada's Business Registries - Canadian business directory
CanadaOne - Canadian business directory.
Canadian Arctic Capabilities - Business directory provided by Industry Canada
Canadian Business Directory - Help for businesses to promote their products and services
Canadian Importers Database - Directory of Canadian importer
Canadian Planet - A search engine for companies in Canada
Dun & Bradstreet - Worldwide directory with financial information on businesses
ICRIQ - Québec manufacturers and wholesalers database
Industry Canada - Corporations - Database of federal corporations
Scott's directories - Canada's source for business contact information
SEDAR - Database with company documents
Women in BizNetwork - Directory of women-owned businesses
Yellow Pages - Business directory in Canada
Zipleaf - Business directory for several countries in the world

To search directories by industry in Canada, check out our service Business Directories.


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Organizing Goods Transport To and From Canada

Main Useful Means of Transport
According to Statistics Canada’s latest report, released in May 2020, the vast majority of the 73.3 million freight shipments in 2017 were towed by truck (90%). Shipments by rail accounted for about 9% of the total, and shipments by air accounted for the rest.
Canada is ranked number one for road provision among all G7 countries. Canada's railway system is the third largest among OECD countries. Vancouver is Canada's biggest port and is constantly classified among the first five North American ports in terms of tonnage of imports and exports. Enabling the trade of approximately $240 billion in goods, port activities sustain 115,300 jobs, $7 billion in wages, and $11.9 billion in GDP across Canada.

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Latest Update: October 2022