The Canada Customs Act
regulates the Canadian imports procedure and corresponds to a liberalised model of international trade in which most of the imported goods don't require any license. There are however tariff contingents, especially for wheat, barley, bovine meat and cheese. The attribution of these contingents is subject to the request of a General Licence of Import, for which it is necessary to supply a pro forma invoice to the Imports Control Division at the Ministry of Foreign Trade
Certain goods are banned, especially the import of second-hand motorized vehicles, with the exception of made-in-USA vehicles (rules are presently being softened for Mexico).
The rules of origin, that allow the benefit of duty discounts, especially for textiles, are extremely drastic since the conclusion of agreement within the ALENA
(appendix 401 on the rules of origin, transposed into the national legislation). These rules favour considerably the products from the United States.
Canada is one of the biggest users of antidumping measures regarding more than 85 products (Sima Import Measures Act
). These measures affect 35 countries or customs zones (including EC). More than 50 % of the affected products are metallurgical products.
Imported products are generally brought into the country by importer-distributors, agents or directly by specialized retailers. Canadian importers are very demanding, especially regarding on-time delivery of goods and quality of service. As in the USA, contractual procedure is of great importance in Canada. It plays a greater role than even statutory framework. It is preferable to deal with wholesale importers. It is important for those who want to do business in Canada to hire the services of a lawyer to get legal advice as per the laws of the country so as to avoid problems one may face at the time of the execution of the contract.
The public organisation, in charge of standards is the Standards Council of Canada (SCC).
It does not formulate them but accredits to private bodies and co-ordinates their activities: the union gathering these entities is the National Standard System
. The main entities for normalisation are: the Canadian Standart Association (C.S.A)
, the Underwriters Laboratories of Canada (U.L.C) .
, the Canadian General Standards Board (C.G.S.B)
and the Normalization Bureau of Quebec
. The standards may differ from province to province.