The benefits of being a non-resident importer |'s Blog on Customs Brokerage and News Updates

The benefits of being a non-resident importer


A non-resident importer (NRI) is an individual that ships goods to Canada acting as an importer of record that is not located in Canada and is not a resident of Canada. Being an importer of record means that the individual is liable for customs clearance and compliance with regulations.

In the advent of the internet, foreign companies now have the ability to market their products to Canadians without being established in Canada. Foreign sellers commonly do business becoming a non-resident importer. Foreign sellers that are interested in selling to the Canadian market as an NRI are typically looking to benefit their bottom line by expanding their business internationally. An ITN can effectively compete for Canadian market share by creating a buying experience as simple as buying domestically by alleviating the import process from your customers.

What exactly are the benefits of being a non-resident importer?

No physical presence in Canada

Hands down, the number one benefit to being an NRI is having full access to Canadian customers without using the resources to operate out of a Canadian location at all.

Hassle free imports for clients

Doing trade with a U.S. NRI means the Canadian customer does not need to be involved in the import process. This makes doing business with participating U.S. companies as easy, as purchasing products from a Canadian company. Additionally, becoming an NRI establishes a level playing field with Canadian companies, giving you an edge over your competitors.

No surprise costs

In simple terms, the price listed on the website at the time of purchase is the amount that is paid. Canadian customers do not have to incur any additional duty fees to receive their purchase. However, the NRI should take great care in setting a price that does include all potential duties and fees, so as to not eat into the potential profit. Alleviate the import process from your customers and include all shipping, customs clearance fees, duties and taxes in the selling price for the customer. You can sell to Canada on a delivered-price basis, rendering the ordering process more transparent and stable for the Canadian customer.

Smooth shipping process

Customers living in Canada won’t have any trouble purchasing and receiving your products directly to the intended destination in Canada.

Before becoming a non-resident importer, be forewarned that this means that you must be in full compliance with Canadian customs laws. The NRI is entirely liable for properly communicating to the CBSA all the information they need to safely and efficiently process your shipments. It is important to take great care in the administrative details in order to avoid any fines, fees, or penalties that could otherwise be avoided.

Click here to learn more about Clearit’s NRI program.