Becoming a non-resident importer—or NRI—is something you may want to consider if you or your company reside outside of Canada but want to enjoy the same ease at the border as Canadian importers do.
Why become an NRI?
Becoming an NRI may make sense for you if you regularly import goods for sale in the Canadian market.
The primary benefits are a simplified import process and, usually, lower costs. But that’s not all. NRIs also enjoy:
- Increased sales opportunities with Canadian customers
- Access to free trade agreements between Canada and its preferred trading partners
- New business opportunities with foreign-based retailers that don’t want to take on the responsibility of being the Importer of Record
Also, since a non-resident importer doesn't need to have a bricks-and-mortar presence in Canada, there are no additional costs on office, warehouse or distribution space.
What are an NRI's responsibilities?
The NRI is the Importer of Record with Canada Customs, meaning they assume full responsibility for all accounting and customs requirements.
Specifically, the NRI is responsible for:
- Understanding – and abiding by – the import requirements of all Canadian government agencies
- Maintaining proper documentation on all goods imported to Canada
- Understanding the valuation methods – and using the correct one – for declaring value for duty
- Paying any duties or taxes owing
- Understanding how tax is applied and how to recover it: most goods require payment of 5% GST upon import
- Where required, registering for a GST/HST account with CRA and correctly filing for tax credits.
In addition, make sure you understand the full landed costs on the goods you bring in – including brokerage, duty and freight costs. Calculating your sale price with your full final cost in mind will allow you to set competitive prices for your Canadian customers.
We can help!
It’s essential for a non-resident importer to have Canadian representation and support. Cole’s experienced customs brokers have extensive knowledge about the NRI requirements and processes. From helping to calculate the correct value for import to assisting with record-keeping and corresponding directly with CBSA on your behalf – we can provide full-service support any time you need it.
Cole can make becoming an NRI easy, so you can start taking advantage of the benefits right away.
Information provided by: Canadian Customs Dept. - Cole International