- Who can become an importer?
A: Anyone can be an importer.
- Is the process difficult becoming an importer?
A: No, not at all
- How do I source the product outside Canada, determine my costs and get it here?
A: This is where the customs broker can assist you. They can offer suggestions on government departments who already have foreign companies wishing to export to Canada or through the Foreign Trade offices source the companies for you. The broker can obtain the costs of duty, quotas if any, and transportation costs. The end result is a vast reduction in your costs, enhancing your competitiveness and profitability.
- Does paying the Goods and Services tax make me uncompetitive as a non-resident importer?
A: No, GST is applicable or exempt on the same products that you buy from Canadian sources. For the most part the same rules apply for tax credits.
- How do I know if my products are subject to duty?
A: We can offer you our opinion. However, if the products qualify for the trade agreements that we have with the USA, Mexico, Israel or Chile, they might well be free of duty. If they are dutiable, the broker can assist you in determining what the rate of percentage will be.
- When should I engage the services of Spectrum?
A: It is advisable to do so at the onset of considering to import. In this way they can guide you through the process saving you valuable time.
- Do I have to have a registered company?
A: No, you can import as an individual person or as a company
- Is importing costly?
A: While it is not as easy as buying from within Canada, it is often much cost effective. This is true particularly in Canada, due to our relatively small population. Going to the USA for example, with population approximately 10 times our size can bring definite advantages in costs because of the mass production there. The same holds true with other countries as well, taking into consideration for example their populations, labour costs and other factors.
- How do I calculate my costs?
A: There's a section in this publication as to the method of calculating your costs and what the usual costs are. See section 9.
- I'm not a Canadian company and I'll have to absorb the GST which will make me uncompetitive?
A: Not at all; you can register for GST or if you are low volume importer, you can obtain input tax credits through cooperation with your Canadian customer. They get a credit for it as well so there would be no reason for them not to cooperate.
- How are the broker's fees assessed?
A: Usually by value and entry complexity.