Pity the delivery person who attempts to deliver a package to a Canadian consumer that includes an unexpected invoice for additional taxes, duties and brokerage fees. Few things anger Canadian consumers more than packages that arrive from the U.S. accompanied by unexpected invoices which, in some instances, can total more than the value of the product inside the package.
Many U.S. businesses have learned the hard way that to succeed in Canada, they need to anticipate mishaps like this, and find ways to make interactions with their Canadian consumers as hasslefree and seamless as possible.
Canada’s “Non-Resident Importer” program is one such opportunity. Administered by the Canadian government, the program allows a U.S. business to act as “importer of record” for goods entering in Canada. This in turn allows the U.S. business to collect taxes and fees at the time of purchase, thereby alleviating the need for any unexpected invoice at time of delivery. In addition, NRI status offers other benefits both to U.S. businesses and their Canadian customers:
• Economic Feasibility: NRI allows a U.S.-business to operate in Canada almost as if it was physically located in that country. This eliminates the need to maintain a brick-and-mortar presence in Canada, and allows the U.S. business to build a supply chain that most efficiently meets its needs.
• Unfettered access to Canadian market. With NRI status, an American business is free to solicit as much Canadian business as it chooses. Cross border issues are virtually eliminated, allowing U.S. companies to compete for business with their Canadian counterparts.
• Consolidation of Clearance Fees. NRIs are able to combine many orders into one consolidated shipment, thereby eliminating costly per-piece customs clearance charges.
• Simplified transactions. Since the U.S. business assumes the importer responsibilities, the Canadian customer simply receives the goods. There are no borders to deal with, nor is their paperwork or recordkeeping at this end of the transaction. Cross-border transactions are painless for the Canadian customer.
• No hidden costs. The cost quoted to the customer is the final cost, including all shipping, taxes and duties. Canadian customers don’t have to worry about hidden surprises, or having a second or even third invoice arrive unexpectedly.
• Minimizes border delays. Because NRI shipments may enter into Canada as a single consolidated shipment, delays at the border are less likely. An American supplier can provide a delivery estimate with great confidence. This is turn helps Canadian businesses to better manage inventory and anticipate deliveries.
• Comparison shopping becomes easier. Because customers are quoted a landed price, Canadian customers can compare apples-to-apples when shopping around for the best deal on a particular item.
Purolator International recently released a new white paper, “Non-Resident Importer: Improved Canadian Market Access for U.S. Businesses,” that provides an in-depth analysis of the NRI program. The paper examines the benefits of NRI status to a U.S. business, the application process, and also the responsibilities an NRI has for steering shipments through the customs process. Please click here to download a copy of Purolator’s complimentary white paper.