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Home > About TFO Canada > Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions


Connecting with Canadian Importers


How do I find buyers in Canada?
Here are some ways to find buyer/importer listings for the Canadian market:
 
Industry Canada Website: www.strategis.gc.ca 
Conduct a search by:
  • keyword e.g.: Type in "Grapefruit"
  • harmonized code; or
  • choose by list of products
Note: This database provides only limited contact information (Company Name, City, and Postal Code). To find more information, copy the company names to search engines such as: www.google.com, Bell Business Centre, www.esourcecanada.com, and/or www.yellowpages.ca
 
Pointer: Use the “Canadian Company Capabilities” side of this website to find manufacturers who might need your products as inputs or as part of their manufacturing process.
 
Profile Canada
It has a large database of Canadian Companies classified by category or by company name.
 
Trade Shows
Investigate companies on "Exhibitor" and/or "Participant" lists at trade show websites found via www.tsnn.comTrade Shows Biz, and/or all Conferences

What is the usual method of payment when dealing with Canadian buyers?
Terms of payment are negotiated by the buyer and seller depending on thecountries, products, quantities, and their level of familiarity among other things. As a course of business, buyers may want to negotiate the longest time frame for payment possible. If you are dealing with a buyer that has not purchased from you before, you may try to negotiate pre-payment or partial payment up front. In this case, you or your bank may be asked to issue to the buyer an “Advance Payment Guarantee” to secure the deal. 
 
Otherwise (or later on) Letters of Credit can be arranged with payment terms (including time frame, etc.) agreed upon by both parties. 
 
Payment on “Open Account” basis is rarer (more common within North America) and not necessarily in the best interest of the exporter unless the business relationship is a strong and mature one.

How can I check into a buyers history (financial standing, track record etc.)?


Events in Canada


What are the Trade Shows in Canada for my product?
To find trade shows in Canada related to your product you should review the Trade Show information for your product in our related Market Information Paper(s) available for free downloading by registered exporters. Also investigate: www.tsnn.comTrade Shows Biz,  and/or All Conferences
 
Here are a few trade shows for our main product categories:
 

Product
Event
 
 
Apparel and Textiles
Western Apparel Markets (B.C.)
 
Ontario Fashion Exhibitors Market (OFE - Ontario)
 
Can-Am Western Apparel Trade Show
 
One of a Kind Show
 
 
Food and Beverage
Canadian – International Food & Beverage Show
 
SIAL
 
Grocery Showcase
 
Canadian Health Food Association
 
Grocery Innovations Canada

Note: For more detailed information, please register with TFOC to access the “Participating in Trade Events” Section, the "TFOC Exporting to Canada Guide" as well as Market Information Paper(s) specific to your product(s). 

Market Entry


What is the customs tariff (duty) for my product?
To find your country/product tariff arrangements with Canada, please proceed as per below:
 
Direct Link (for tariffs):

http://www.cbsa.gc.ca/trade-commerce/facil-eng.html

(Click on and view “Customs Tariff” to see the most recent document.

OR

Follow these steps:

1)      On internet, go to: www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca (Canada Border Services Agency)
2)      Click: “Commercial Sector” (On left)
3)      Go to “Importers" box and click on "Customs Tariff"
4)      Go to "In this section" box on the right and Click: “Current Customs Tariff”
5)      Click: “Chapter by Chapter PDF File" - open it.
6)      Scroll down the page to find the products required. 
7)      View the tariff treatment  

Pointer: If you are having trouble locating your exact product quickly in the tariff list, you may wish to first verify the Canadian HS Code for your product at strategis.gc.ca website (keep in mind that the first 6 digits of the HS code are international and the last 4 digits are specific to the Import market – in this case, Canada). Go to the “Trade Data On-line” section, then search by “Product keyword”. You should be able to determine/find the precise HS Code from the subsequent options that come up. Once you have your precise code, then you can more easily refer back to the Tariff List (the Codes should match) at CBSA tariff site.

Note: For more detailed information, please register with TFOC to access the “Tariffs & Related Information” Section, the "TFOC Exporting to Canada Guide" as well as Market Information Paper(s) specific to your product(s). 


What are the labelling requirements for my product(s)?
This question applies mainly to consumer products such as food (including health and supplemental), clothing, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics etc. The major enforcers of these laws are the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA - http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/), the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA - http://www.inspection.gc.ca/), Health Canada (http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/), and Industry Canada (http://www.strategis.ic.gc.ca/).
 
In general, all labels must only contain information that is truthful and not misleading to the consumer. With extremely limited exemptions such as test marketing, bilingual labelling in English and French is required on all pre-packaged goods sold in Canada.
 
Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act (www.inspection.gc.ca/english/reg/rege.shtml)
 
Food and Drugs Act and Regulations (http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/reg/rege.shtml)
 
Textile Labelling Act (http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/T-10/)
 
 
For more specific information on Labelling, visit these sites:
 
Guide to the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act and Regulations
 
Consumer Packaging and Labelling regulations (with Search tool)
 
Guide to Food Labelling and Advertising
 
Note: For more detailed information, please register with TFOC to access the “Labelling” Section, the “TFOC Exporting to Canada Guide" as well as Market Information Paper(s) specific to your product(s). 

Are there any quota restrictions for my product?
Quotas still exist for some products/countries. To identify the quota arrangement for your country of inquiry and for all other issues related to Import Control measures go to:
 
 
OR
 
Follow these Steps:
  1. On the internet, go to, http://www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/
  2. Click: “English” (or “French”) under “International Trade Canada”
  3. Click on: “Trade and Economic Policy” (left side panel)
  4. Scroll down and click “Export & Import Controls Bureau”
  5. Click on pertinent sector to the left (e.g. “Agriculture & Steel”, “Textiles”, etc.)
  6. Navigate site according to you requirements.

What kind of standards do I have to consider for my product?
Canada has strict national, provincial and municipal regulatory requirements regarding goods and services entering this country. The kind of standards applied naturally depend on the type of product your are trying to export to Canada.
 
Note: For food standards, please see more detail in the following question.
 
Canadian Standards
 
The Standards Council of Canada (SCC – http://www.scc.ca/) coordinates Canada’s participation in the international standards system and accredits the four organizations involved in standards development (and the over 225 organizations involved in product or service certification, testing, and management systems registration activities in Canada) including:
 
Canadian Standards Association (http://www.csa.ca/Default.asp?language=english); Underwriters Laboratories of Canada (http://www.ulc.ca/);
Canadian General Standards Board (http://www.pwgsc.gc.ca/cgsb/home/index-e.html);
Bureau de normalization du Québec (http://www.bnq.qc.ca/).
 
International Standards
 
ISO’s Action Plan for Developing Countries 2005-2010 is available at http://www.iso.org/iso/en/ISOOnline.frontpage
 
Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/trips_e/trips_e.htm)

Note: For more detailed information, please register with TFOC to access the “Standards Information” Section, "TFOC Exporting to Canada Guide" as well as Market Information Paper(s) specific to your product(s). 

  


What are Canadas quality and health standards for food products?
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is the main government body responsible for all food products in Canada. You can learn all about Canada’s food health and quality standards from their website (www.inspection.gc.ca). Their Food Safety Enhancement Program  is an excellent guideline for an exporter to follow in order to successfully bring their food products to the Canadian market.
 
For information specific to:
 
 
 
Fish and seafood: Import Inspection Program
 
For all other food product categories (animal products and plant products) go to: http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/fssa/fssae.shtml
 
Note: For more detailed information, please register with TFOC to access the “Standards Information” Section, "TFOC Exporting to Canada Guide" as well as Market Information Paper(s) specific to your product(s) including: Fresh Fruits and Vegetables 2005, Processed Fruits and Vegetables 2005, Manufactured Foods 2003, Dried Food, Nuts & Spices 2003, Fresh & Frozen Fishery & Seafood 2002 and Beverages 2002.

How do I register a representative office/branch of my foreign company in Canada?

You can find the specific process for registering a Representative Office/Branch or other type of business in Canada at "Investing in Canada" and/or and/or Doing Business in Canada (www.blakes.com)

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