Shipping to Canada - How-to Guide
The Ladingo Team
July 6, 2020
Shipping to Canada – How-to Guide
With a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) worth $1.7 trillion and diverse industries, Canada is an ideal trading partner for businesses and governments hailing from many countries. And, as 88.5% of the population has Internet access – amounting to 31 million potential online consumers, any business seeking to expand globally, should seek to penetrate this lucrative market.
That being said, shipping to Canada is not without its potential challenges. Canada’s vast superficies and remote regions can complicate shipping processes. Couple this with the country’s federal and provincial taxes and laws, and you can find yourself swimming in a sea of hiked up shipping costs. Finding the most seamless, comprehensive and cost-effective ways to ship your products to Canada are, therefore, of the essence.
Here’s what you need to know.
Who ships from the US to Canada?
Does Amazon ship to Canada? Yes, they do. Although the e-commerce giant does have a Canadian website, the American site does offer shipping to Canada, for a fee. Canadian shoppers often browse both sites before purchasing, weighing the usually more expensive price of the item on the Canadian site, against the more expensive shipping costs associated with buying from the US. Another popular option is to buy in Canada, have it shipped to a US address, then have someone from the US bring the item to the buyer in Canada. As a seller, it’s a good idea to investigate all of these routes, before selling on where to sell your products and how to have them shipped to your Canadian customers.
Does UPS ship to Canada? Yes, they do, too. UPS has multiple air hubs in various Canadian cities, 63 delivery facilities, and a delivery fleet of over 2,900 package cars, tractors, and shifters. That being said, USPS and DHL are considered to be more successful shipping partners for Canadian exports. Note that remote area surcharges can apply when shipping items to areas outside of Canada’s metropolitan areas.
When it comes to larger and heavier items, and even commercial shipments, the aforementioned vendors are less of a fit. For these items, the commonly-used alternative is working with forwarders. However, if you want a seamless hi-tech solution that will do it all for you, you can partner with a full-service logistics solution provider, like Ladingo, to find you the best carrier and the best rates for your shipments to Canada.
What documents are required for Canadian shipments?
Any items being shipped internationally must clear Customs before they can be delivered to their final destination. This is true of shipments to Canada as well. To do so, you must declare the goods being shipped; what they are and how much they are worth. This enables local authorities to properly calculate how much tax and duty needs to be applied to your shipment. The Goods and Service Tax (GST, a federal tax) is set at 5% and is automatically applied to any import valued at over $20 CAD. In certain provinces, such as British Columbia, Manitoba, Quebec or Saskatchewan, your shipments are also subject to a Provincial Sales Tax (PST).
You must also have certain paperwork filled out and presented to border officials. These include a Canada Customs Invoice, or Commercial Invoice, a Bill of Lading, a Manifest or Cargo Control Document, and the Shipper’s Export Declaration. Some companies can automate the customs procedure for you and can actually save you all of the related work.
Are there items that are prohibited to ship to Canada?
Yes. Obscene materials, white phosphorus matches, counterfeit coins, used or second-hand mattresses, and motor vehicles all fall under this category. Click here for the full list. Other items, such as food products require additional paperwork and adherence to strict regulations. A permit from the CFIA must be obtained if you wish to send food to Canada.
How can you streamline your Canada shipping process?
Ladingo’s free complete logistics solution is your one-stop-shop for all of your cross-border shipments. Our easy to use software includes an innovative API and shipping rate calculator, so you can ship to Canada faster, more affordable and without the associated hassle.
For more information, visit our homepage.
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