The Keys to Successful Exporting
1. Work with a customs broker
A professional Canadian customs broker can consult with you to ensure that you are compliant with customs regulations. Your customs broker can determine if your product qualifies under the NAFTA agreement and assist you with any other customs related issues.
2. Be customs compliant
US exporters play an important role in ensuring their Canadian customers maintain a good compliance record, enjoy faster release times and avoid unnecessary import penalties. You can make things much easier for your customers by completing your export documentation accurately.
3. Prepare your customs documents
As a US company (vendor) selling to Canada, in most cases, you are also considered the exporter of the goods. It is the exporter’s responsibility to complete and supply the necessary documents to the carrier when sending goods to Canada.
When exporting from the US, the two key documents for customs purposes are:
Canada Customs Invoice or Commercial Invoice. A Canada Customs Invoice or Commercial Invoice is necessary for all shipments sent to Canada. It is the prime document used for reporting.
Tip: Maximizing the use of your commercial or sales invoice can prevent the need to create a Canada Customs Invoice.
A NAFTA Certificate of Origin is required for all shipments that qualify under the NAFTA Rules of Origin. Qualifying goods with a valid certificate of origin will enter the country duty free. It is important to note that only qualifying goods should be included on the NAFTA Certificate.
Tip: Completing a Blanket NAFTA Certificate eliminates the need to create a certificate on a shipment-by-shipment basis.
Additional documentation (that may be required)
Depending on the carrier selected, a Bill of Lading from the carrier may also be required. The carrier should supply this.
Forms required by other government agencies
For certain products like food, dairy, processed fruit and vegetables, an import declaration is needed.
For clothing and textiles you may want to check to ensure admissibility under quota.
Some goods may be prohibited. The prohibited goods list identifies these items.