Canadian Import Control Compliance During the Pandemic |

Clearit.ca's Blog on Customs Brokerage and News Updates

Canadian Import Control Compliance During the Pandemic

In a mid-COVID market, Canadian importers are finding themselves operating on limited funds. However, Canada’s import and export controls are still required, as they have not been relaxed as a cautionary measure to protect businesses. 

All things considered, the consumer demand for quick deliveries has not been curbed all that much by the pandemic. So the responsibility to act fast still rests on the shoulders of Canadian importers — or they might be leaving hypothetical money on the table. In the world of Amazon, Netflix, Spotify, Uber, etc., the average consumer has come to expect a seamless experience — a fast seamless experience at that. 

Of course, this poses a dilemma for Canadian importers, as they face new challenges during these uncertain times. As of now, importers must stay apprised to any relevant industry updates, market shifts, or regulatory changes in order to stay agile.

Below, we’ll be discussing the applicable Canadian import controls that importers/businesses should take into consideration as they continue to operate. 

It’s always critical to ensure compliance, but arguably, it’s never been more important to ensure your compliance to controls than right now — where businesses have tight budgets in this shaky, pandemic-twinged economy.

Recommended Reading: 

Guide to Importing & to Duties in Canada

The Import Control List, within the Export and Import Permits Act, lists out certain items to have a permit in order to clear Canadian customs. For example, various types of chemicals. 

Canada also has Customs Tariffs enacted, which stipulates the tariff classification numbers for various goods. As we’ve mentioned prior, using the correct tariff classification number is critical, in order to reduce the chance of hefty fines or seizures. 

medical supplies importing

In the context of emergency medical supplies, there are some goods in that category that do in fact qualify for duty-free entry (to be used or re-exported when no longer needed). 

Duty payment deferrals are also in effect at the moment, CBSA has deferred these until June 30, 2020.

Recommended reading for further information: 

Medical Supplies Imports: What’s New

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

At this time, it’s not possible to fully predict the impact that the pandemic will have on importing businesses and the global trade market on the whole. However, there will certainly be a place for new opportunities, as consumer behaviors shift to remote work and requiring goods on a delivery-to-door basis. 

We discuss some of the opportunities ahead in these pieces: 

6 Imported Goods Actually Doing Really Well During the Pandemic

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

All things considered, whether you are thinking of taking advantage of these new opportunities or not, ensuring that trade compliance is a key priority is critical. Moving forward with an iron-clad understanding of what is required of you as an importer will keep you safer from unexpected hiccups, fines, or seizures.

Working in collaboration with the right partners will help you gain some peace-of-mind in that area. There is a misconception that consulting or customs brokers is a pricey endeavor, but that is often not the case. Customs brokers help you streamline your operations, take advantage of any deferrals/incentives, and make sure you are in compliance when importing. 

In uncertain times, that is exactly the approach that business owners must undertake. If you do have any questions about what that kind of collaboration would look like, start a conversation here.