Looking at Canadian Trade From The Lense of COVID-19 |

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Looking at Canadian Trade From The Lense of COVID-19

By now, it’s clear that the pandemic will continue to have an impact on Canadian trade (and the global trade market at large). As such, we can expect some shifts on the Canadian economy as well. 

We’ve seen a multitude of regulatory and operational issues pop up as a result of COVID-19. In order to better prepare for what’s to come, we wanted to take a look at some of the underlying and overt impacts on the importing, trade, and supply chain industry.

In a piece in Mondaq, Darrel Pearson — Leader of International Trade and Investment at Bennett Jones, he discusses some of the ramifications on the business world. We will be pulling some information from his analysis to look at the situation from the lense of an importer: 

“In the three months that have followed the initial outbreak in China, a variety of legal, administrative and regulatory issues have emerged as the novel coronavirus has spread and public health efforts have been initiated to “flatten the curve”.”

Disrupted supply chains: We’re seeing a slowing down in the manufacturing process due to the reduction in labor (through social distancing measures or layoffs). Importing may also be throttled in speed as precautionary measures implemented by transportation governance, like ship quarantining, etc. These things will certainly add time onto the supply chain process, so businesses must account for this when placing/fulfilling orders.

Commercial borders staying open: Even though non-essential travel has been limited, the Federal government is working to keep the flow of commercial goods moving. However, clearing goods at the border is one thing, but distributing/selling goods will be another challenge for businesses at this time, as not many people are shopping for non-essential goods. 

canada import covid-19

Customs compliance & documentation: CBSA has seen a disruption in the investigation & appeals process as a result of the pandemic. In consideration of this, these processes have been suspended, meaning there will be no reports, requests, or penalties issued until stated otherwise by the Government of Canada. 

New CBSA policies to help businesses out: Customs has extended the time limit on payments with reduced interest (until June 2020 at least). They’ve also added 30 more days onto the 90-day period in which you can correct any errors found in documentation. Another notable measure is the relief of duties and taxes on goods that would be otherwise payable on some essential goods. 

To discuss a further breakdown of these measures and how they can help you, start a conversation with us here.

Other recommended reading on the topic of Coronavirus and navigating the impacts on the market:

Canadian Import Control Compliance During the Pandemic 

Medical Supplies Imports: What’s New

6 Imported Goods Actually Doing Really Well During the Pandemic

COVID-19: Important Information Regarding The Importation Of Medical Supplies

Canadian Imports and Navigating COVID-19: Q&A With Founder & President Adam Lewis



From a prior interview with Founder & President of Clearit, Adam Lewis, he advises that importers proceed with caution:

“Beyond taking a close look at your back-office admin and making sure you’re working effectively and efficiently with your resources, preparedness is the name of the game. Of course, in past economic downturns, we’ve had ample time to prepare. But in the case of the pandemic, changes came on very quickly. International trade was at a really high peak just a few weeks ago.

In the future preparedness for situations like these means smart, calculated decisions;  businesses need to look at alternate channels for supply — i.e. backups in other countries.”

If you would like to learn more about navigating the pandemic and keeping your business healthy, you can click here to start a conversation with a broker