Step 4: Set-Up with a Customs Broker, Purchase Your Goods and Arrange Shipping
You’ve decided on your import channel and understand your duty and tax obligations. Now it’s time to set up with a customs broker, purchase your goods and arrange your shipping.
Foreign suppliers often use International Commercial Terms, more commonly referred to as incoterms, to establish the responsibilities of the buyer and seller in the purchase and who will be responsible for items such as shipping and insurance.
Common incoterms used are Freight on Board (FOB), ExWorks (EXW), and Cost, Insurance, Freight (CIF). In all of these cases, it is the importer’s responsibility to arrange Canadian Customs Clearance and domestic freight. In addition, ocean/air freight, insurance, as well as other costs & arrangements may be required to be completed by the importer.
There is no right answer to the best terms for you or the seller. What’s important is that you understand what parts of the process you are responsible for and when you take ownership of the goods. This ensures that goods are not left accruing fees.