Importing Process

The importing process can often seem overwhelming, due to the amount of paperwork and the number of different rules and regulations that you need to consider.

There is nothing worse than having your goods turned away at the border or being held up at customs because you didn’t complete the proper paperwork. Before you place your import order, be sure that you understand the rules and regulations involved in clearing your goods through customs.

If you as a business are planning to import commercial goods into Canada, you have to register for an Import Number. An importer account number is used by the Canada Border Services Agency to identify importers and to process Customs accounting documentation.

Interesting Fact: 45 million parcels and pallets enter Canada each year, and to keep track of all that cargo, Customs uses your business number (or ‘importer number’) for identification and compliance

All commercial cargo imported into Canada requires a business number. Please note the CBSA’s definition of “commercial” is extremely broad: anything for “commercial, institutional, or occupational use” is considered commercial. Personal orders of a high volume (e.g. 100x of the same item) or peculiar in nature (industrial machinery) may also require a business number regardless of their end-use.

Most goods imported into Canada are subject to the federal GST, which is calculated at the rate of 5% of the duty-paid value of the shipment. This tax must be paid at the time of entry and is collected at the border unless the goods are going directly to a bonded warehouse. In this case, the GST is collected when the goods leave the warehouse and become eligible for sale in Canada.

The owner or importer of record is responsible for paying the GST/HST on imported goods. If you are for the GST/HST and you are the importer (the person who caused the goods to be imported into Canada), you may claim an input tax credit (ITC) for the tax you paid on the imported goods, as long as you meet the requirement for claiming ITCs.

Do You need to pay for an importer number acquired from CBP?

No. The import/export account is free of charge and takes a few days as we have to work with both broker and customs to get the number. The import number will be emailed to you when it’s completed.

If you want to obtain an importer number with the help of CrossBorder Pickups follow these steps:

Login to your CrossBorder Pickups Account, choose “Account” (on the top right side) and under Business Info select whether or not you have a Canadian Import Number.

If you select ‘No’, you will be required to complete and submit the following information online:
POA – Power of Attorney and INA – Import Number Application

If you select ‘Yes, you will be required to input your Canadian Import Number and also submit the POA – Power of Attorney

In order to obtain a Business Number online, please visit the CRA’s Business Registration Online (BRO) website.