Import Coffee to Canada, A Guide for Entrepreneurs

Import Coffee to Canada

How to Import Coffee to Canada: A Guide for Entrepreneurs

Are you passionate about coffee and want to start your own business importing and selling it in Canada? If so, you might be wondering what are the steps and requirements to do so legally and successfully. In this article, we will explain how to import coffee to Canada, what are the benefits and challenges of this market, and what are the best practices to follow.

Coffee is one of the most consumed beverages in Canada, with an average of 2.8 cups per day per person. It is also a lucrative and growing market, estimated at around US$20 billion globally. The demand for high-quality, ethically sourced, and specialty coffee is especially high among Canadian consumers, who are willing to pay more for a better product.

However, importing coffee to Canada is not as simple as buying beans from a producer and selling them to a roaster or a café. There are several rules and regulations that you need to comply with, as well as logistical and financial aspects that you need to consider. Here are some of the main points that you should know before importing coffee to Canada.

1. You need a Business Number (BN) and an import/export account.

Before importing any commercial goods into Canada, you need to obtain a BN issued by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for an import/export account. This account is free of charge and can usually be obtained in a matter of minutes. You can register for a BN or add an import/export account identifier to an existing BN by calling the CRA’s Business Window at 1-800-959-5525 or visiting the CRA’s Business Registration Online (BRO).

2. You need to identify the goods you want to import and their tariff classification.

You should gather as much information as possible about the coffee beans you want to import, such as their origin, quality, variety, processing method, and packaging. This information will help you determine the tariff classification of the goods, which is a 10-digit code that identifies the type of product and the rate of duty that applies to it. You can find the tariff classification of coffee beans in Chapter 9 of the Customs Tariff Schedule.

3. You need to determine the duties and taxes that apply to your goods.

Coffee beans are exempt from duty and GST under Canada’s Excise Tax Act, which means that you don’t have to pay any taxes or fees when importing them into Canada. However, you still need to declare your goods to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and provide a commercial invoice that indicates the value and origin of the goods.

4. You need to ship and report your goods.

You can ship your coffee beans by air or by sea, depending on your budget, time frame, and quantity. You should also choose a reliable carrier or freight forwarder that can handle the transportation and documentation of your goods. You need to report your goods to the CBSA before they arrive in Canada, either electronically through the Advance Commercial Information (ACI) program or by submitting a Cargo Control Document (CCD). You also need to prepare a customs declaration for your shipment, either by yourself or by hiring a licensed customs broker.

5. You need to get your goods released by the CBSA.

Once your goods arrive in Canada, they will be inspected by the CBSA officers at the port of entry. They will verify if your goods comply with the Canadian regulations and standards, such as those set by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). If everything is in order, they will release your goods and issue a B3 form that confirms the accounting and payment of your goods. If there are any issues or discrepancies, they may detain your goods until they are resolved.

6. You need to keep records of your imports.

After your goods are released by the CBSA, you should keep all the documents related to your imports for at least six years. These include invoices, receipts, contracts, permits, certificates, declarations, forms, and correspondence. These records may be requested by the CRA or the CBSA for audit or verification purposes.

Importing coffee to Canada can be a rewarding and profitable venture if you follow these steps and best practices. However, you should also be aware of the challenges and risks involved in this business, such as currency fluctuations, market competition, quality control, customer satisfaction, and environmental impact. Therefore, you should do your research, plan ahead, and seek professional advice before importing coffee to Canada.

How Canada’s Coffee Imports Reflect Global Demand

Canada is one of the largest importers of coffee in the world, importing over 2.8 million 60-kilogram bags of coffee beans in 2021/22 . The country’s love for the caffeinated beverage creates a steady demand for coffee from various origins, especially Colombia, Brazil and Ethiopia . In this blog post, we will explore how Canada’s coffee imports reflect the global trends and challenges in the coffee industry.

Colombia: A Reliable Supplier of Quality Coffee

Colombia was the leading exporter of coffee to Canada in 2021, with a trade value of over 278 million U.S. dollars . Colombia is known for producing high-quality arabica coffee, which is preferred by many consumers for its rich flavor and aroma. Colombia has also invested in improving its infrastructure, technology and sustainability practices to ensure a consistent supply of coffee to its international markets . Despite the impact of climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic on the coffee sector, Colombia has maintained its production and exports at a relatively stable level .

Brazil: A Giant in the Coffee World

Brazil was the second largest exporter of coffee to Canada in 2021, with a trade value of around 123 million U.S. dollars . Brazil is the world’s biggest producer and exporter of coffee, accounting for about a third of the global output . Brazil produces both arabica and robusta coffee, which are used for different purposes and markets. Arabica coffee is mainly used for specialty and premium products, while robusta coffee is mainly used for instant and soluble products . Brazil has faced some challenges in recent years, such as droughts, frosts and currency fluctuations, which have affected its production and prices.

Ethiopia: The Birthplace of Coffee

Ethiopia was the third largest exporter of coffee to Canada in 2021, with a trade value of around 49 million U.S. dollars. Ethiopia is widely regarded as the birthplace of coffee, where it was discovered by a goat herder named Kaldi. Ethiopia is the largest producer of coffee in Africa and the fifth largest in the world. Ethiopia produces mainly arabica coffee, which is known for its diversity and complexity of flavors. Ethiopia has a unique system of coffee production, where most of the coffee is grown by smallholder farmers who rely on traditional methods and organic practices.

Canada’s coffee imports reflect the global demand for different types of coffee from different origins. Colombia, Brazil and Ethiopia are among the top suppliers of coffee to Canada, each with their own strengths and challenges in the coffee industry. By importing coffee from these countries, Canada supports the livelihoods of millions of coffee farmers and contributes to the development of the coffee sector worldwide.


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