Non-Resident Importer (NRI)
Set yourself up for success in the Canadian marketplace.
A Non-Resident Importer, or NRI, is a company outside of Canada that, for business purposes, acts as an Importer of Record and assumes responsibility for payment of Canadian duties and taxes.
While acting as an NRI in Canada comes with many benefits, it requires time and energy to ensure you are qualified and properly set up to do so.
Before shipping to Canada,
consider the following:
Who will act as the Importer of Record – the company responsible for the payment of duties and taxes at the border – you or your customer?
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 government 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.
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 professionals can provide answers to these and many other pressing questions related to doing business in Canada as an NRI.