Get an Import License in Canada

Whether you are an individual or a business, as long as you import commercial goods into Canada, you need a Business Number (BN). This nine-digit Business Number is designated by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). It works like your business ID card and is used to handle import taxes.

Applicants should register with CRA. Please note, the CRA-designated BN will differ from the Government of Ontario-designated corporation number. Visit the Government of Canada Business Number web page to learn more details, for example, how to locate your business’ unique BN.

Canada Import Document Requirements

You should have the following documents to import goods from China to Canada successfully:

Import Duties in Canada

Import duty in Canada is a specific amount you must pay to the Canadian government to get easy and legal customs clearance. This clearance helps you receive your goods from China.

Each product has its own duty mentioned in percentages or cents in the tariff list. And there’s no way you can escape import duties unless the products are considered “free” in the tariff.

Import Taxes in Canada

You also need to pay General Sales Tax (GST) on the total value of your imported goods from China to Canada, unless imported products are exempted. GST is not fixed, as each Canadian state has set its own standard. For instance, if you’re importing from China to Alberta, Canada, you will have to pay 5% as GST on your imported items.  

Here’s the chart of GST taxes for each state that is applied to the total value of your import:

Canadian State/Province GST
Alberta 5%
Nunavut 5%
Northwest Territories 5%
Yukon Territories 5%
Saskatchewan 11%
British Columbia 12%
Ontario 13%
Manitoba 13%
Quebec 14.975%
New Brunswick 15%
Nova Scotia 15%
Prince Edward Island 15%
Newfoundland and Labrador 15%

Import Regulations and Restrictions in Canada

On the one hand, the Canadian government appears fair with the taxes. On the other hand, the authorities have strict policies on importing products into Canada.

So, here are a few names of restricted and prohibited goods to import in Canada. Contrarily, you can also check out the complete list on the website of CBSA.

Special Permits on Restricted Items to Import in Canada

It would help if you had a special permit for importing the following products from China to Canada:

List of Products with their Customs Duties

Here’s the list of 20 products along with their customs duties and tariff numbers.

Here’s the list of 20 products along with their customs duties.

Products Customs Duty Tariff Number
Video game consoles Free 95.04
Exercise equipment Free 9506.91.00
Ice skates Free 9506.70.11
Shawls/Scarves/Mufflers Free 62.14
Candles – Birthday/Christmas 5.5% 3406.00.10
Perfumes 6.5% 3303.00.00
Ballpoint pens 7% 9608.10.00
Makeup/Artist brushes 7% 9603.30.10
Artificial Jewelry 8% 71.17
Wheeled toys for children 8% 9503.00.10
Leather wallets and pouches 8% 4202.32.10
Handkerchief 9% 6213.20.00
Leather handbags 10% 4202.21.00
Jackets and Overcoats 10% 4303.10.90
Leather garments with furs 14% 4303.10.20
Cleaning Mops 15.5% 9603.90.20
Gloves 15.5% 4303.10.10
Ties/Cravats/Bow Ties (cotton) 18% 6215.90.00
Women dresses 18% 61.04
Men suits 18% 61.03
Products Customs Duty
Video game consoles Free
Exercise equipment Free
Ice skates Free
Shawls/Scarves/Mufflers Free
Candles  5.5%
Perfumes 6.5%
Ballpoint pens 7%
Makeup/Artist brushes 7%
Artificial Jewelry 8%
Wheeled toys 8%
Leather wallets  8%
Handkerchief 9%
Leather handbags 10%
Jackets and Overcoats 10%
Leather garments 14%
Cleaning Mops 15.5%
Gloves 15.5%
Ties/Cravats/Bow Ties 18%
Women dresses 18%
Men suits 18%

How to Calculate Canadian Import Duties from China?

You can calculate Canadian customs duty by yourself. All you need is the customs duty on the product you’re importing and the GST applicable in your province. Let’s understand the calculations with an example.

Suppose you are importing birthday candles worth 1,000 CAD from China to Alberta, Canada. Here’s how you calculate the duty using this simple formula:

In our case, we can get the following values:

  • Value of Goods = 1,000 CAD
  • Duty on the Product = 1,000 x 5.5% = 55 CAD
  • GST = (Value of Goods + Duty on the Product) x 5% = 1,055 × 5% = 52.75 CAD

Hence, the total cost of importing 1,000 CAD birthday candles from China to Alberta, Canada will be :

How to Use Online Custom Duty Calculators

The other convenient way to calculate duty is by using an online calculator Here’s the step-by-step guide when importing candles worth 1,000 CAD from China to Alberta, Canada.

Step 1:  Select “China” as a country from the “Importing from” dropdown menu.


Step 2: Choose “CYN” from the currency dropdown menu.


Step 3: Now, choose “Canada” from the “Importing to” dropdown menu.


Step 4: Select “CAD” from the currency dropdown menu.


Step 5: As you have selected “Canada,” now you have to choose the state as well.

For this example, Alberta (AB) is selected from the list. You can choose any other state as per your requirement.


Step 6: You can see a “Product description” option with two text fields.

Write your product name along with its HS Code. For this example, the product name is “Candles,” and the HS Code or Tariff Code is 3406.00.10.


Step 7: You can see the “Product Value” option along with a text box.

Here, you have to enter the total value of the consignment/product in Chinese currency like this.


Note: You have to enter the product value in Chinese currency. So, in this scenario, the product value or consignment value is converted from 1,000 CAD into CYN, which resulted in 5,113.70 Chinese Yuan (CYN). The numbers can fluctuate due to changes in the exchange rate.

Step 8: Type “1” in the “Product Quantity” option if “Product Value” is cargo total value.


In case you have entered the value of a single product in the “Product Value” option, then you have to mention the total number of units you’re importing from China to Canada in the “Product Quantity.”

Step 9: Choose trade terms from the dropdown menu next to “Product Quality” option.

Here we choose the “FOB” term.


Step 10: Enter “Shipping Cost” and “Insurance Cost”.

If you know the exact shipping and insurance costs, you can mention those values in the below 2 places marked with red arrows. Or you can leave the fields to “zero”.


Step 11:  Click on the “Calculate import duty & taxes” button.


Step 12: Finally, get to know the duties and tax charges.


The results obtained from this online duty calculator show that:

  • Duty charges for importing candles are 55.69 CAD (5.5% of the total value of goods)
  • VAT or GST on importing candles is 53.41 CAD (5% for Alberta)
  • Total Duty charges are 109.1 CAD

The total cost of your import is 1,121.59 CAD, also known as your landed cost.

Finding a Broker to Import from China to Canada

A customs broker can assist you in preparing and submitting all the vital documents to get import permission from the government. The person will also be responsible for clearing and transporting your products safely. Make sure you contact a reliable and licensed broker only to save your time and money.

Some of the important duties of your customs broker are:

  • Helping with the customs clearance process, including physical inspections at random.
  • Submitting all the required documents to relevant authorities.
  • Providing consultation to help you understand proper import procedures.
  • Following up with the clearing process at the port and arranging a warehouse for goods storage.
  • Taking action to cope in case Canada’s Customs seized the merchandise.

JingSourcing has long-term cooperative freight forwarders to help you with customs clearance.

Best Products to Import from China to Canada

According to statistics of Trading Economics, here are 9 popular products to import from China to Canada.

JingSourcing is experienced in sourcing quality products at competitive prices

How to Ship Products from China to Canada?

There are several simple rules you can always count on when considering the best shipping method to import your goods from China to Canada, such as:

  • You need fast shipping for perishable and fragile products.
  • If the mode of transportation is already decided in the incoterms.
  • Big cargo is transported by sea, whereas light cargo is shipped through air.

And there are three common shipping methods to import goods from China to Canada.

  • By Mail
  • By Air
  • By Sea

Shipping from China to Canada by Mail

Mail or express shipping your products from China is best for you if you import goods for personal use. However, this shipping method is best for a small number of items, as courier services like FedEx, DHL, and UPS delivers them to your doorstep.

Traits of Mail Freight

  • Expensive but less paperwork
  • It takes 1 to 4 days to receive the product
  • The goods are delivered to your address without involving third-parties
  • The price you need to pay could be around $12 on a 300-kilogram parcel
  • All costs, such as taxes and customs duties, are included upon the arrival of the package

Shipping from China to Canada by Air

Air freight is the second fastest delivery service for your imported products from China. In this way, your goods are handled by famous airline carriers. However, you have to take care of all the customs charges when your goods arrive at the Canadian airport. About the customs clearance fee, it is around 15 CAD to 30 CAD if your import value is below 2,500 CAD. Once the import value exceeds 2,500 CAD, the clearance fee you pay could be between 40 CAD to 300 CAD.

Traits of Air Freight

  • You can receive your order in 3 to 10 days
  • You have to collect your orders on your own
  • The air freight cost could be around $10 on 300 kilograms

Shipping from China to Canada by Sea

If you want to import from China to Canada in bulk, shipping by sea is ideal. As a matter of fact, it is the only method used to transport products in huge quantities from one country to another (except the landlocked countries). And sea freight is the cheapest in comparison to other methods.

Traits of Sea Freight

  • The method requires complete paperwork and is highly authentic
  • You receive your imported goods within 25 to 40 days from the port
  • It costs you around $2,500 to ship a 40 CBM container from China to Canada.

Get your best shipping plan with Jingsourcing

5 Important Ports in Canada

If you’re importing from China to Canada through seaways, you will probably receive your container on the Port of Vancouver. However, it is always wise to discuss your options with the Chinese supplier or simply hire a sourcing company like Jingsourcing to ensure the entire import process goes smoothly for you.

1. Port of Prince Rupert

Canada uses this port for exporting natural resources to the worldwide market.

2. Port of Vancouver

It is the largest port of Canada, with an annual import and export of 76 million metric tons. Most sea freights are received here from around the world.

3. Port of Montreal

The port is ideal if you import products from North America, Europe, and the Mediterranean region.

4. Port of Saint John

This port handles liquid and dry commodities

5. Port of Halifax

Canada uses this port for exporting natural resources to the worldwide market.

Where to Find Suppliers in China?

China is a significant manufacturing and supplying market of goods globally, allowing you to find the supplier without an extreme hassle. You either book yourself for a business trip to China, look for suppliers online or hire an agent.

Search for Suppliers Via Internet

There are numerous B2B online platforms, which help buyers meet sellers. Some of the renowned online platforms are:

Find Suppliers by Paying a Personal Visit to China

If you’re traveling to China to find a supplier, you can visit several wholesale markets and trade fairs, like the Canton Fair.

Access Massive Supplier Resources through Sourcing Agents

Lastly, and perhaps the ideal option is to hire a Chinese sourcing company like Yiwu agencies. These organizations help you get your desired goods by performing all the necessary tasks on your behalf, such as negotiation, quality assurance, packaging, and shipping, at a specific fee.  

As a leading sourcing company based in China, Jingsourcing has been helping its clients since 2015 to import from China to Canada effortlessly.

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