If you’re an industrial manufacturer, importing into Canada can be a great strategy to grow your market. This could include machinery parts, tools, hardware, HVAC, plumbing and building supplies, car parts and more.
While there are regulations to be aware of before you import into Canada, the process doesn’t have to be complicated. Work with a delivery provider that has experience getting industrial supplies across the border and to its destination.
Here, we answer your top questions about importing industrial supplies into Canada from the U.S and around the world.
What should be done before shipping parts to Canada?
It’s important that you’re prepared before shipping parts to Canada, as there are many regulations to adhere to. If you’ve never imported into Canada before, you’ll need to:
- Obtain a business number
- Identify which goods you’re importing
- Determine if you’ll use a customs broker
- Determine the required permits you’ll need (if any)
- Be aware of any restrictions or regulations
If you are planning to import dangerous goods, ensure you’re familiar with Canada’s safety standards and regulations for importing.
What documents are required to import into Canada?
The Canada Border Services Agency has a checklist of requirements that must be fulfilled before your goods are legally permitted to come into Canada.
Depending on your shipment, the documents you need can vary. Some of the most common documents include:
Canada Customs Invoice or Commercial Invoice – The commercial invoice and customs invoice are essential customs documents that act as a legal document between the supplier and the customer that clearly describes the goods being sold and their value. The customs invoice includes specific details about the item you are shipping, including conditions of the sale, the terms of payment, a description of the goods, the unit price and the total price. It also includes information about insurance, commissions or royalty payments.
Bill of Lading – The Bill of Lading acts as a legal contract between the shipping party and the carrier. More commonly referred to as a waybill, this document is used to prove goods are received in good order by the appropriate person.
Manifest or Cargo Control Document – This document contains information on the goods contained in the shipment. This manifest is used to monitor and ensure the proper clearance of the shipment.
Shipper’s Export Declaration – This document is required for controlled exports from the U.S. To determine if your goods fall under this category, consult the Bureau of Export Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Missing documents can cause delays in shipments for days. Your shipping provider or customs broker can help you understand exactly what you’ll need before you get started to ensure you don’t delay the process at the border.
What duties and taxes will need to be paid when importing car parts – or any other industrial supplies and parts – into Canada?
When importing car parts or other industrial supplies, use the harmonized system code for your product to determine the rate of duty you must pay. You can discover the code for your goods using the Purolator Trade Assistant.
The rates vary according to the type of goods you’re importing and the country they’re exported by or were manufactured in. For example, auto parts imported from the U.S. can see duty rates between 0 and 8%. Within Canada, there’s a 5% federal tax imposed on almost everything sold, as well as a provincial sales tax, which varies between provinces.
You can learn more information about duties and taxes from the Government of Canada.
Do you need a customs broker to ship to Canada?
While it isn’t always mandatory, working with a customs broker is highly recommended – they’re very experienced and knowledgeable in a complex and important node of cross-border shipping. While some businesses may think they’re saving money by not working with a broker, being non-compliant can cost a lot more should any customs paperwork be off. Plus, a customs broker can save you a lot of time and potential stress.
When you work with a licensed customs broker, you can expect the following services:
What is the fastest option when shipping industrial supplies and parts into Canada?
Ultra-fast or highly-scheduled shipping is often needed for industrial shipments – for example, auto parts may require just-in-time shipping. If parts arrive at the manufacturing facility too early, parts take up valuable warehouse space. If they arrive too late, then manufacturing is thrown off of schedule due to the delay. Both of these instances can cost a company serious money.
Different delivery providers will be able to offer different time frames due to their reach and their assets. Depending on the origin, destination and logistical network of your provider, the journey can take between a matter of hours or days. As a best practice, use a delivery provider with a variety of options that can cater for urgent shipping (getting your supplies and parts to its destination ASAP) and also provide ground shipping that’s more cost-effective.
How should industrial supplies and parts be packaged to ensure it’s accepted into Canada?
As international shipments often utilize many modes of transport to get them to their final destination, the packaging must be sturdy and durable. There are a variety of materials available, each with its own strengths. A good delivery provider will be able to offer you advice for the best packaging materials. For example, exterior packaging material can be plastic, wood or steel. Plastic and steel are water-resistant and strong, while wood can better withstand a shock without breaking.
Improper packing and storage are among the most common causes of cargo damage. Regardless of durability, risks such as a vehicle accident or warehouse fire can happen, and therefore you should always ensure your machinery. A good shipping provider can offer guidance, but it’s up to the sender to ensure shipments are packaged correctly.
What solutions should a Canadian delivery provider offer for imported shipments?
It’s extremely important to work with a trusted delivery provider that understands how to ship industrial equipment and has experience with imported global shipments. Look for a delivery provider that can offer the following solutions:
- No handoffs – This means that your shipment remains in the hands of one delivery provider throughout its journey, which is often safer and more efficient.
- A variety of timeframes – Including next flight out, next day and ground transportation to suit a variety of needs.
- Cross-border expertise and support – To ensure you’re compliant and understand the process of cross-border shipping.
- Large network within Canada – Be sure you’re not missing out on market share by only delivering to one area of the country.
- Deliveries to a variety of destinations – Including job sites and locker boxes for security and convenience.
- U.S. and Canada locations – Global shipments sometimes arrive in the U.S. before being transported via land to Canada. Ensure a seamless border crossing with a provider that has representation in the U.S. and Canada.
- Personalized and customized solutions — Agile and flexible solutions tailored to customer’s business needs.
- Large Canadian footprint – A trusted and recognized Canadian brand that you and your receivers can trust.
Work with a shipping partner that can help you import your industrial supplies into Canada
There are many factors to consider when shipping industrial supplies into Canada, so it’s worth taking time to educate yourself on the regulations that apply to your goods. In the long run, you’ll save time and effort by working with a knowledgeable and experienced delivery provider.
It’s vital that your delivery provider and customs broker are able to assist you with documentation, specific handling, customs compliance and shipping your supplies and parts to its destination on time.