Archive for the ‘Exporting’ Category


 

How to Import for a Trade Show in the U.S. or Canada

 

 

Trade Show Imports Stand

Are you attending a trade show across the border? This post will teach you what you need to know about Trade Show Imports into the U.S. or Canada.

Trade Show Imports: Saul Better Call Us

Saul was going to display his super duper machine at a trade show in Houston, Texas. His machine was bound to be a disruptor in the market and he was excited to show it off. Saul booked his booth, made his travel plans and hooked his machine to the back of his pick up, threw his promotional material in his suitcase and headed for the border.

What Saul did not know was he had to take certain steps before he made his way out of Canada and into the U.S.

  1. He did not realize that the entire bottle of window cleaner would need to be declared and the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) would require a statement for the declaration.
  2. Saul did not know that the promotional material he would distribute at the event would need a consumption entry
  3. He did not understand that the super duper machine could be a consumption entry or a bond. A consumption entry would be the better choice if the machine is dutiable. If it is not dutiable, it would be better to use a bond. However, a bond comes with a tight timeline and increases the chance of a penalty.

 

Needless to say, Saul was late to his trade show and he had a few more expenses (in the form of penalties) that he did not account for in his budget.

With 2018 freshly upon us you might have the same opportunity ahead. A trade show could likely be on your horizon. If you are asking the question “how can I get my trade show goods across the border?” first off, kudos to you for researching. Secondly, hooray, you have come to the right place.

In this blog you will find a practical checklist to help you prepare for an international trade show. As well as, what you will need to know to import your trade goods into the U.S. or Canada.


Trade Show Imports Checklist (7)

(1) Take Inventory

Make a list of what you want to bring to the show and split the list into two sections.

Section One

Section one will include anything you could leave behind. Anything you would use, consume, giveaway or sell while in the country.

Section Two

The second section will include everything you will bring home in its entirety.

(2) Remove Purchasable Products

If you have an item that will be used or consumed in the visiting country, a simple option is to buy the product once you arrive rather than import them. A good example would be cleaning supplies. Even something as simple as glass cleaner could provide a hold-up at customs. Purchasing supplies in the country you are visiting will eliminate risks when clearing customs.

(3) Are the Goods Eligible?

Check with Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Participating Government Agency, or your Customs Broker to see if there are any restrictions on the goods you are wanting to take to the show.

(4) Marking, Quantity & Packaging

All samples must meet marking regulations, and they must be within the country’s quantity and packaging requirements. Otherwise your goods could experience delays or be seized at customs.

(5) Entry Type

Find out from your customs broker what is the best type of entry to use for your goods. A Customs Broker will be able to help with your timeline requirements and potentially reduce your costs at customs.

(6) Letter of Recognition

The International Events and Convention Services Program (IECSP) was developed to encourage businesses and organizations to hold trade shows, conventions, events and exhibitions in Canada. They provide guidance and information to facilitate event participants, foreign exhibitors, and temporary imported goods and materials, into and out of Canada.

CBSA offers the IECSP in order for you to have one primary contact to provide you with federal government services and requirements associated with international events and conventions taking place in Canada.

Some trade shows will have a letter of recognition that is provided from CBSA to the event organizer. If the trade show you are attending has a letter of recognition you will be able to contact the event organizer for a copy of the letter of recognition.

If your Trade Show has a letter of recognition, the letter will contain:

  • The name and type of event
  • The date and location of the event
  • The expected number of participants
  • Who is responsible for processing any CBSA documents
    • Event Organizer
    • Customs Broker
    • Delegated Representative
  • A list of goods brought into Canada, their origin and intended use
  • A list of controlled goods being imported
  • A list of goods that will be sold or given away
  • If applicable, a note requesting the event be considered for Border to Show Service
  • What goods can possibly enter duty free and/or receive partial relief from GST/HST

What if the trade show you are attending does not have a letter of recognition? If your trade show does not have a letter of recognition, it means you have no designated exemptions.

(7) Time Limits

Some temporary imports and sample imports must be exported within a certain time frame. Take note of the entry date to make sure you do not go past expiry.

 


Trade Show Importing into the U.S.

Is Your Import Duty Free?

Your import will be duty free if it is recognized in a letter of recognition, if it is imported under a Temporary Import Bond (TIB), or if it is eligible to be imported under a Free Trade Agreement.

Is a Merchandise Processing Fee Applied?

All of your imports require a merchandise processing fee unless they are under a Free Trade Agreement. Unsure of what a Merchandise process Fee is? Check out our Blog Merchandise Processing Fee (MPF) Explained.

Your Recommended Entry

Consumption entries are recommended for anything that is consumable. Any goods where the duty is above $100.00 USD you would best be suited to import under a Temporary Import Bond. Keep in mind Temporary Import Bond items must be exported within 6-12 months depending on the commodity.

Errors You Will Most Often See

In speaking with our U.S. release Operations Manager, Breanna Leininger, she described the most common errors you will see when you try to import items for a trade show into the U.S.:

“The most common errors we see are in packaging and invoicing.  When looking to import goods into the U.S. for a tradeshow it is vitally important to package and invoice consumables such as giveaways separate from the trade show booth. This will prove to be helpful if you are flagged for inspection, as well as open you up to entry filing options that will save you time, money, and a headache.”

Note: We recommend getting items you could buy from a store, such as cleaning supplies, in the country your trade show is in. Items purchased in a store can require additional statements and manufacturing information you may not have access to when purchasing from a store.

Trade Show Imports U.S.

 

 

 


Trade Show Importing into Canada

Is Your Import Duty Free? Tax Free?

Your import will be duty free if it is recognized in a letter of recognition, if it is imported under a Temporary Import Bond, or if it is eligible to be imported under a Free Trade Agreement. To be tax free your import must either be imported on a Temporary Import Bond or waived by a letter of recognition.

Your Recommended Entry

Souvenirs and advertising materials intended for sale or consumption in Canada must be accounted for on a B3. Any branded paraphernalia left in Canada must also be accounted for on a B3. E29Bs are required for returning branded paraphernalia, office machines and equipment, as well as, display goods.

Errors You Will Most Often See

In speaking with our Canadian release Operations Manager, Cherie Storms, she described the most common errors you will see when you try to import items for a trade show into Canada:

“Forgetting to ask the event organizer if the event has been approved by CBSA, and if so, travelling with the approval letter which supports the purpose of entry. Also, bringing in consumables that will not be returned, forgetting that there may be duties and taxes on those”.

Trade Show Imports Canada

 

 

 


Why You Should Declare Your Trade Show Imports

Not declaring items intended for business purposes is illegal. Customs can make samples useless for resale and your goods could even be seized or destroyed. Keep in mind not being prepared at customs can delay your journey. Being forced to complete all of the paperwork at the port of entry can be a huge headache and time consuming. Knowing before you go will make your trade show experience pain-free.

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Perishables Shipping | 12 Questions Every Shipper Must Ask

Perishables Shipping | 12 Questions Every Shipper Must Ask

Seldom do shippers or product owners know or understand the terminologies or intricacies of perishables shipping to ensure safe, and seamless passage of their goods. Without industry expertise, critical shipment details may be overlooked resulting in product damage or contract loss. Here are tips and tools to be a successful perishables exporter.

When we are contacted to move perishables shipments, the conversation may include the commodity trade name and that it must be kept at a specific temperature. It is packed in boxes, on skids, and is delivering to a foreign city, ready for pickup tomorrow. We then ask them the following questions:

  • What are the Incoterms® (terms of sale)?
  • Is there a letter of credit (L/C) involved?
  • How many commodities (SKU) make up the shipment?
  • What are the weights and dimensions of each shipping piece?
  • Are any pallets used certified and does the product contain the required markings?
  • Have the pallets been shrink-wrapped and were corners used?
  • Are there temperature recorders on the freight?
  • *What export documentation has been prepared to accompany the shipment?
  • Will your company file the B13A export document for Statistics Canada?
  • ** Does your product require phytosanitary certificates and has the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) completed the
  • inspection?
  • What mode of transport is optimal: air, ocean, or highway?
  • Has this shipment been pre-quoted – what is the quote reference?

TIP: Be ready to share your knowledge of the shipment to ensure proper handling and transportation to destination.

This list of condensed questions will start a conversation about a perishables shipment. It is important to note that although the client is familiar with their products and may not understand the need for these questions, we are not and therefore are required to ask in order to meet your specific shipping requirements. This ever-changing field is a constant learning process for freight forwarders and carriers. The freight forwarder, the person in charge of the shipment, must have a clear understanding of the shipment to be able to react to any situation following pickup from origin door. This would include after hours and weekends when the shipper is not available.

TIP: Be proactive and start the discussion early.

From this list of questions the conversation continues until we have a complete picture of the shipment and knowledge of where, when and how it must move. From door to door any number of issues, security measures or documentation questions can arise that would cause a delay and/or negative result.

Conversely the carriers – truckers, steamship lines and airlines – have a similar list of questions when the freight forwarder is booking the shipment. If we are not able to provide a complete understanding of the shipment, those carriers may have doubts about a successful delivery, which could affect them supplying a booking confirmation and final freight rates as a matter of liability. All parties involved in a freight movement want to deliver the shipment in its best possible condition, on time and as quoted. Carriers are bound by the information contained in the bill of lading and/or in the booking confirmation. Therefore, all questions must be asked, answered and understood, and itemized on the export documentation and on-hand with the freight forwarder.

TIP: Exporters must be as detailed as possible when organizing their shipments. Be ready and prepared to share all information with your freight forwarder so they can ensure the documentation is correct and in order, as well as being your conduit to the carriers. If your freight forwarder does not ask all these questions or is not available 24/7, you will require a freight forwarder that better meets your needs.

Finally, do not hesitate to ask any and all questions of your freight forwarder. They may not have all the answers exactly when you ask them but they gain the knowledge and reply as promptly as possible, as to put your mind at ease that you are receiving the best possible service.

We hope you will drop in again as this series on perishables shipping continues. If you have any questions or suggestions regarding the movement of perishable commodities, please do not hesitate to call us at 888.538.1566.

TradeTalk |BC Trees and Trade Agreements

Softwood, Hardwood and Forestry - NAFTA Re-Negotiations

 

A year after the initial signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) on February 4th, 2016, the U.S. pulls out and presses forward on renegotiations of NAFTA as well. Will these U.S. Trade actions impact Hardwood, Forestry Trade or Softwood Lumber Agreement negotiations between the U.S. and Canada?

With the October 12, 2015 expiration of the Softwood Lumber Agreement (SLA) and looming concern over tariff increases due to the December 16, 2016, United States Department of Commerce decision to initiate countervailing and anti-dumping investigations into imports of certain Canadian softwood lumber products the conversation and its topics seems to have changed between these two countries – or has it? Let’s have a look at what the goals for the forestry industry were in that conversation by both sides, and then let’s look realistically on the status of those goals today.

On the U.S. side the concern is:

Q – Were too many concessions made to get trades agreements in place (TPP or NAFTA) or others?

Q – Are U.S. companies facing hardships because of current lumber trading activities?

 

On the Canadian side of the conversation:

Q – Did the Canadians press more feverently to get the TPP Agreement signed?

Q – Why claim our crown land lumber is subsidized – it has been proven otherwise in court.

Hardwood, Softwood and BC Trees:

 

Let us first take a look at Forestry and TPP. According to Joel Neuheimer Canadians did press into it, and for what appears to be clear reasoning and benefit to Canada:

The reason, as noted by Joel Neuheimer, Senior Director of International Business at the Association of Canadian forest products , is that with this ratification, the industry will be opening new outlets and increase the level of exports on the international market, particularly to countries such as Japan, Vietnam and Malaysia.

Canadian forestry companies export about $33 billion worth of goods each year In more than 180 countries, primarily in Asia.

NOTE*** NOT primarily in the U.S. as many believe.

The TPP Agreement would have removed customs barriers for Canada’s forest products currently subject to tariffs of up to 31% in Vietnam, 40% in Malaysia, 20% in Brunei and 10% in Japan as reported by Etienne Dumont / Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

NAFTA Renegotiations

 

Second, let’s review the NAFTA Re-negotiations and their impact on softwood lumber.

Trevor Nichols, of Castanet News says – There is hope for softwood lumber!

According to Mr. Nichols, B.C. Premier Christy Clark, while speaking at a breakfast event in West Kelowna on January 27, said Trump’s promise to rebuild the American economy might work in Canada’s favour.

 

“While the Americans are getting more protectionist, Donald Trump, as a builder, knows intuitively that residential housing starts is a major driver for economic growth for Americans. They cannot grow their housing industry without Canadian softwood going into their country, because it’s just too expensive to build and buy without our lumber.

Because the U.S. can’t produce enough lumber on its own to drive residential building, it’s actually in the country’s best interest to make sure Canadian lumber is filling the void.”

Nick Arkle, the co-CEO of Gorman Bros. Lumber Ltd. agrees with Clark, saying Canadian lumber is “critically important” to the U.S.

Additionally, B.C. Forest Minister Steve Thomson shares his thoughts here:

“Since 1982, softwood lumber exports from Canada to the U.S. have been subject to five rounds of U.S. trade litigation. “This is round 5 of this process and the Canadian industry has always been successful in defending its softwood lumber policy,” said Thomson.”

Local update February 05, 2017 | B.C. Forest Minister Steve Thomson flew to Ottawa on Sunday to start working toward a new trade agreement on softwood lumber with the U.S. as officials anticipated release today of the latest U.S. International Trade Commission report on their investigation into the import of Canadian softwood lumber.

You can read this full article in more detail | HERE

For access to a copy of the Fed Register notice issued which means that preliminary reviews are starting for the softwood tariffs listed, you can review what is published so far in regards to the Softwood Lumber Agreement negotiations  HERE  a full scope has not been written as yet.

We know that you also want to know how to have your voices heard in that discussion, especially when you are directly affected.

You have questions:

  • How are the field experts responding to the Trade Deals / Negotiations/ Issues?
  • What are the experts discussing amongst their peers??
  • How is your voice heard in these conversations?

One way to share your voice is to publish your concerns, insights, ideas or expertise online. Each week we publish and share industry news, our insights and reports that impact you as our readers. Do you have something that you would like us to share? Ask? Research for you? Let us know and we will add your requests to our weekly research and publishing goals.

 

New Program Helps Exporters Develop New Markets

Export

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Small businesses in Canada can expand their horizons through a new program by the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) that offers them an incentive to diversify their export markets. Called CanExport, the program provides, from now until the end of March 2020, $11-million per year in contributions to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across Canada that are seeking to develop their exports to a new market. The application process is simple with a quick turnaround. Applications are entirely done online and are assessed based on the information submitted by the company within 25 business days. The program is administered by the TCS, in partnership with the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP).

CanExport shares the cost of pre-approved eligible expenses for initiatives that aim to develop new markets. It is expected to help hundreds of exporters per year across the country to better compete in the global economy. The non-repayable contributions will be determined on a cost-sharing basis and can represent up to 50 percent of eligible expenses, which can include for instance travel costs, event registration, translation and contractor fees. Ranging from $10,000 to $99,999, approved contributions are made to successful SMEs via the reimbursement of certain expenses based on status reports and claims. The remainder of the funds can come from other sources, but the total of all government assistance cannot exceed 50 percent of the expenses for the project. As such, applicants need themselves to provide funds covering at least 50% of the eligible costs in order for their project to qualify.

With the help of CanExport, Canadian SMEs are encouraged to look outward Canada to expand their export capabilities. CanExport is intended to build stronger and more competitive Canadian capacity to effectively compete in the global economy, by connecting SMEs with the tools and resources they need to succeed in a new market. CanExport compliments the large spectrum of services that the TCS already offers each year to thousands of Canadian exporters. This program intends to bring companies literally to the market and to provide a “bridge” between the assistance that companies get preparing for international markets from Regional Offices of the TCS across Canada and the help they receive from Canadian Embassies and Consulates abroad, such as making introductions and facilitating contracts. Many SMEs are not used to exporting or they have experience only with more traditional markets and are concerned about the risk of developing new opportunities that can boost their prospects abroad. These new endeavors represent a certain level of risks for these companies, but CanExport is a way for the Government of Canada to share these risks so that Canadian SMEs have a greater interest to explore new markets, get out of their comfort zone and pursue new opportunities.

Is your company eligible?

To be considered for CanExport funding, a firm must:

  • Be a for-profit company in Canada, either incorporated or a limited partnership;
  • Have a valid CRA business identifier number;
  • Have at least one (1) and up to 250 full-time equivalent employees that can be verified by the CRA based on payroll accounts;
  • Have $200,000 to $50 million in annual revenues, which can be verified by the CRA based on the most recent GST declarations of the company.

Is the market your company targets eligible?

It is important to mention that the objective of this program is to help SMEs export to a new target market, which the program guidelines define as a foreign country where the applicant has not exported or had locally based operations for at least 24 months. It is therefore key that applicants be able to demonstrate that the market they target is a country where they have not exported. When opportunities exist for companies to expand in markets where they are already exporting, though a financial support from our program is not possible, we still strongly encourage them to contact the TCS to obtain assistance in order to prepare for international markets and receive services and support throughout the implementation activities. The TCS can also help develop your business internationally by identifying market opportunities, barriers and trends or by making introductions to qualified foreign contacts. For more information on the TCS services offered, and to find the regional trade commissioner nearest to you who is responsible for your sector of activity, please click here.

Beyond the requirement for the market to be a new one for the applicant, the program is otherwise open to all markets, except in countries where sanctions apply to the planned activities. Though many experienced exporters might contemplate a project to develop a more difficult market, new exporters may be looking to fairly traditional countries as a first step to diversify its customer base. In fact, for many companies that have never exported before, even entering the U.S. market can be quite an adventure and might require some financial support.

Are your activities eligible?

Proposals will be evaluated based on the viability of the applicant’s export business case and whether the project is expected to yield incremental results and benefits to Canada. There will also be an emphasis on whether the activities align with the Government of Canada’s trade strategies and on whether there is a market potential in the targeted country for the products or services the applicant intends to export. The assessment could also, when applicable, include elements such as the company’s export readiness and business history. The project and export business case, as illustrated via the online application, can include many different types of activities, all of which could be considered eligible as long as they meet the following: aim at promoting international business development; go beyond the company’s core-business activities; are clearly linked with the applicant’s long-term international business development strategy for the chosen target market; bear potentially significant benefits for Canada and for the company’s growth; are supported by sufficient detailed information on the nature and extent of the proposed expenses; and, of course, as long as the proposed course of action is strongly justified by the rationale outlined in the application. Examples of eligible activities could include, but not be limited to, the following: travel to meet with potential clients or agents; attendance at trade fairs, seminars and conferences; participation in trade missions; the development or adaptation of marketing tools to suit new markets; legal fees involved in agreements with local partners and distributors; consultant fees for a custom-market study, etc.

For more information on the CanExport grant, please click here.

Guest Blog Author: Elise Racicot, CanExport Program Manager, Global Affairs Canada

Have questions regarding the eligibility of your company and its activities? Have you heard or considered the CanExport grant before reading this blog? Let us know in the comments below or email us at Ask Your Broker.

How To Break Into The Global Export Market

The Global Export Market

 

With the signing of recent trade agreements, global trade activity is turning a very significant corner. There is an improved climate for international trade and Canadian exporters are positioned to benefit. Exporting outside of Canada is an excellent way to grow your business.

 

Did you know?

  • International trade represents more than 60 percent of Canada’s GDP.
  • One in five jobs in Canada is linked to exports.
  • There would be 3.3 million fewer jobs without international trade.
  • Canada’s unemployment rate would skyrocket to more than 25 percent without exports.

(Source: Global Affairs Canada)
 

If overseas sales are currently, or shortly will be, part of your business plans, how do you approach the daunting task of breaking into the export market?

Part of a winning formula should include professional business services.  International marketers, bankers and freight forwarders play an important role and their experience and expertise will be very valuable.  Their knowledge will guide the development of your business plan and, when the plan takes shape and begins to unfold, you will need their guidance and involvement when the goods begin to physically move to the foreign markets.  Ultimately, your goal is to acquire regular ongoing business to make your efforts worthwhile.  Your careful choice of field experts will help make this happen.

Export Consultation Services

Pacific Customs Brokers can help you open the door to export opportunities. Speak to one of our trade advisors who will assist and advise you as your independent consultant.

 

Increasing your company’s knowledge base will also be necessary.  Foreign cultures, market studies, intellectual property rights, financing, terms of sale, international shipping, and export and import processes are just a few that come to mind.  When it comes to deciding who should be involved, you will be surprised to find that export sales touch almost every department – sales and marketing, accounting, legal, purchasing, production, etc.  Success means bringing everyone on board to buy into the plan. New or aspiring exporters may want to attend a trade compliance session to increase their education in these areas.

Global Export Seminar

As a Canadian exporter, if you are shipping beyond the U.S. and into the global market, Global Export Seminar will cover key topics. In this seminar you will gain a better understanding of free trade agreements, regulations and how to prepare the documentation for export. We will provide you with a solid foundation of reporting, record-keeping requirements and terms of sale.

Register for an upcoming seminar today!

 

Do you have questions on global export? Have you had experience breaking into the global export market? Share your thoughts in the comments section below or email us at Ask Your Broker.