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All the benefits with none of the hassles

Bar codeCole International designed our Non-Resident Importer (NRI) program to simplify the task of accessing and effectively competing in the Canadian marketplace.

You qualify as an NRI if your company is based outside of Canada, if it does not have a permanent presence in Canada, and if it imports goods into Canada under its own name.

Becoming an NRI offers many benefits: improved control over your supply chain…enhanced ability to determine and manage the price points for the Canadian marketplace…a level playing field with Canadian vendors that purchase their goods from domestic suppliers…and a far greater ability to establish, increase and protect market share.

More specifically, becoming a non-resident Canadian importer empowers you to:

  • Simplify Customs processes and minimize your landed costs
  • Ensure fulfilment and manage price points by eliminating unnecessary fees and delays
  • Solidify more sales by having the confidence to provide landed price guarantees
  • Capitalize on NAFTA for products made in the U.S.A. or Mexico
  • Leverage Canada’s other trade agreements by shipping directly from participating foreign countries into Canada
  • Create new business opportunities with large retailers who prefer not to be ‘Importer of Record’
  • Compete effectively in the Canadian marketplace without incurring the overhead of Canadian facilities.

Along with these benefits come some added responsibilities associated with being named as ‘Importer of Record’ (IOR) for Customs. Some relate to Customs compliance, others to sales tax matters. With Cole International on your side, they’re easy matters to navigate, allowing your firm to tap into the many benefits of NRI status.

Customs Issues

To reap the benefits of becoming an NRI, your company must import goods into Canada under its own name and business number. Once named as IOR on Customs accounting documents, you (not your client) become accountable for any requirements and regulations of Canada’s Customs Act and Customs Tariff Act.

This requires your company to look at a number of related questions, decisions and issues:

  • What is the tariff classification for each item I’ll be selling in Canada?
  • Is any duty payable – and at what rate?
  • Do any trade agreements apply, and what other benefits can I claim?
  • How do I accurately determine the value of my goods?
  • Are they subject to any special permits, restrictions or Customs regulations?
  • Are any other governmental departments (e.g., Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Transport Canada, Natural Resources Canada) interested in the goods?
  • What are my obligations if I make an inaccurate declaration?

Sales Tax Issues

In accordance with Canada’s Excise Tax Act, the country’s 5% goods and services tax (GST) is payable on most goods at the time of importation. (Some importations are exempt from GST – for example, prescription drugs, medical and assistive devices, basic groceries, and agricultural and fishing goods.)

To keep GST from artificially inflating the selling prices of your goods or eating away at your company’s profit margins, you need to strategically manage this tax.

Cole International’s Commodity Tax group can help you minimize the tax and duty paid on goods your company exports into Canada and explore strategies for recovering tax paid on goods sold in the Canadian marketplace.

Our Commodity Tax group provides advice and assistance to NRIs in the following areas:

  • GST registration
  • GST/HST return service
  • Sales tax recovery service
  • Sales tax compliance reviews
  • GST/HST/QST voluntary disclosures
  • Canadian market entry planning
  • Customs valuation vs. transfer pricing
  • Government audit representation
  • Strategic planning
  • Interpretation opinions

To help you navigate through the complex compliance landscape (and avoid the penalties that can come from non-compliance), Cole International’s team of Customs and Sales Tax professionals can provide answers to these and many other pressing questions related to doing business in Canada as an NRI.

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