What is an Importer Number?

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What is an Importer Number?

What is an Importer Number and how does it work?

As customs brokers, Clearit.ca recieves tons of requests a day to clear goods at almost every border point across Canada; the majority of them being commercial imports. One of the first pieces of information we require to clear your goods is a business / importer number. Many of you either do not have one or are not familiar with what it is or how it works. As a commercial importer you MUST have a BN/Business number for your import/export account. The following is a short explanation of how it works.

The business number (BN) has 15 digits: nine numbers to identify the business, plus two letters and four numbers to identify the program and each account. The system includes major types of Canada Revenue Agency and Canada Border Services Agency programs that many businesses may be registered for:

  • GST;
  • payroll deductions;
  • corporate income tax; and
  • import/export (identified by RM ).

For example, your importer number account will look like this:


Most often, this number can be found in your tax documents with letters and numbers ending in RT0001

hope this helps, and remember to have your BN/Importer number handy when contacting your broker!


importer number - Canada revenue agency