Importers’ FAQs

Your answers all in one place.

There are many aspects to consider when importing goods into Canada. From import permits to documentations to compliance to duties and customs clearance, it can be stressful if you don’t know what’s ahead of you. Having the right information at the right time can make your importation process smoother, cheaper, and faster than ever. And to get you started, we’ve answered the most frequently asked questions by importers.

Before you begin, there are six steps to help you prepare for importing your goods:

  1. Obtain a Business Number (BN) from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). You can do so online or by calling the CRA Business Window directly.
  2. Identify the goods that you want to import. This is important in identifying the tariff classification at a later stage.
  3. Decide whether you will hire a customs broker or manage the importation process yourself.
  4. Identify the country of origin for your imported goods and meet the requirements for proof of origin.
  5. Ensure that your imported goods are permitted to enter Canada.
  6. Verify the import rules and regulations that apply to your imported goods (by CBSA and Other Government Departments), and determine whether your goods will require permits, certificates, and inspections.
  7. You can refer to CBSA’s Checklist for Importing Commercial Goods into Canada for more details.

View our Ultimate Guide on How to Import into Canada.


Unless it falls within Canada’s prohibited importations, you can import anything into Canada. You will also need to determine whether your imported goods are subject to regulations, restrictions, permits or other requirements or not. The CBSA has put together a list of imported goods that require additional permits and certificates.

Yes, you will need to obtain an import permit if the value of your goods is worth CAD$1,000 or more. There are fees associated with obtaining export and import permits, which you can view in the schedule of fees for import permits and certificates.

We’ve consolidated all the documents and trade forms you need to initiate your import or export process, which you can fill out online and download. You can submit these documents to CBSA yourself or through a licensed customs broker.

A licensed customs broker simplifies and streamlines the importation process by:

  • Providing guidance and support throughout your entire importation journey
  • Assisting you in obtaining import permits and preparing the necessary documentation
  • Working with you to ensure compliance with import rules and regulations by CBSA and Other Government Departments
  • Helping you get preferential tariff classification of your goods so that the most favourable duty rate can be applied
  • Ensuring your compliance with all import rules and regulations
  • Submitting your documents to CBSA and clearing your shipment through Canada Customs on your behalf

A customs broker’s services are especially useful if you don’t have the resources or expertise to navigate Canadian customs and compliance regulations without professional help. If you are importing goods worth more than CAD$1,000, it is advised that you work with a customs broker.

A customs broker is an independent person or company who files import entries on behalf of importers. Brokers do not work for the government, but they must be licensed by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to represent importers before the agency. A customs agent works for and represents CBSA in dealing with importers. They provide advice and information about importing goods into Canada and calculate duties and taxes payable on imported goods, but they do not file entry reports on your behalf.

The fees for customs brokerage services vary depending on the services you require. You can contact us to learn more about Breeze Customs brokerage fees.

The rate of duty varies depending on your goods’ tariff classification, the value of the goods, and the origin of the goods.

Calculate your Customs Duty with our calculator tool below.


To calculate the duty on your imported goods, you will first need to identify your goods’ tariff classification and determine if your imported goods are subject to any trade agreement or special tariff provisions.

Canada uses Harmonized System (HS) codes to determine import duties, a 6-digit standardized method of classifying goods traded internationally. If you are importing goods that are difficult to classify or fall under more than one tariff classification number, an Advance Ruling request can help you. It is worth noting that, as of January 1, 2022, there will be adjustments to the tariff schedules.

A Customs Bond acts as an insurance policy against default payment to CBSA and CRA. Whether you need a bond or not and what type of bond you require depends on three factors: the type of goods you are importing, the value of your shipment, and why the goods are being imported into Canada. Your customs broker can help you determine if you need a customs bond. Find out more about Canadian Customs Bonds.

Not anymore. With the implementation of CARM, importers will be required to post their own security to qualify for the Release Prior to Payment (RPP) program. At Breeze Customs, we help our clients apply for a Customs Bond and set up a bond through our surety partner.

The CBSA can select shipments for inspection before they are released from customs to detect restricted items, ensure the goods comply with import rules and regulations and fulfil other government departments’ requirements. So, your shipment may be chosen for inspection depending on the type of goods imported, your compliance record, and the compliance of other persons or organizations involved with the shipment.

We’re here to guide you through every step of your import journey. Book a meeting and chat with us about your imports.