How to Import from Japan to Canada in 10 Easy Steps
If you are looking for a way to import goods from Japan to Canada, you might be overwhelmed by the amount of paperwork, regulations and fees involved. But don’t worry, importing from Japan to Canada is not as hard as it seems, if you follow these 10 easy steps.
Step 1: Identify the goods you want to import
The first step is to decide what kind of goods you want to import from Japan to Canada. You need to know the product name, description, quantity, value, origin and destination of the goods. You also need to check if the goods are subject to any restrictions, quotas, tariffs or special permits.
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Step 2: Find a reliable supplier in Japan
The next step is to find a trustworthy and reputable supplier in Japan who can provide you with the goods you want. You can use online platforms, trade shows, business directories or referrals to find potential suppliers. You should also do some research on the supplier’s background, reputation, quality, delivery time and payment terms.
Step 3: Negotiate the terms of the contract
Once you have found a suitable supplier, you need to negotiate the terms of the contract with them. The contract should include the following information:
- The price of the goods and the currency of payment
- The delivery terms and the Incoterms (International Commercial Terms) that define the responsibilities and risks of both parties
- The payment method and the payment schedule
- The warranty and the return policy
- The dispute resolution mechanism
Step 4: Arrange the transportation of the goods
After you have signed the contract, you need to arrange the transportation of the goods from Japan to Canada. You can choose between air freight, sea freight or land freight, depending on the type, size and urgency of your shipment. You also need to decide whether you want to use a freight forwarder or handle the logistics yourself.
A freight forwarder is a company that specializes in arranging and managing the transportation of goods for other businesses. They can help you with booking the cargo space, preparing the shipping documents, clearing customs, paying duties and taxes, and delivering the goods to your door.
If you decide to use a freight forwarder, you should choose one that has experience in importing from Japan to Canada and that has a good network of agents and partners in both countries. You should also compare their rates, services and reviews before hiring them.
Step 5: Prepare the shipping documents
The shipping documents are essential for importing from Japan to Canada. They provide information about the goods, the seller, the buyer, the shipment and the destination. They also serve as proof of ownership, payment and compliance with regulations.
The main shipping documents you need are:
- The commercial invoice that shows the value and description of the goods
- The packing list that shows the quantity and weight of each package
- The bill of lading or air waybill that shows the details of the carrier, the consignee and the shipment
- The certificate of origin that shows where the goods were produced
- The export declaration that shows that the goods have been legally exported from Japan
You should make sure that all your shipping documents are accurate, complete and consistent with each other. You should also keep copies of them for your records.
Step 6: Clear customs in Japan
Before your goods can leave Japan, they need to clear customs in Japan. This means that you need to declare your goods to the Japanese customs authorities and pay any export duties or taxes that apply.
You can either do this yourself or hire a customs broker to do it for you. A customs broker is a licensed professional who can help you with filing the export declaration, paying the export duties or taxes, obtaining any export permits or licenses, and dealing with any inspections or audits.
If you decide to use a customs broker, you should choose one that has experience in exporting from Japan to Canada and that has a good reputation and relationship with the Japanese customs authorities. You should also agree on their fees and services before hiring them.
Step 7: Clear customs in Canada
After your goods arrive in Canada, they need to clear customs in Canada. This means that you need to declare your goods to the Canadian customs authorities and pay any import duties or taxes that apply.
You can either do this yourself or hire a customs broker to do it for you. A customs broker is a licensed professional who can help you with filing the import declaration, paying the import duties or taxes, obtaining any import permits or licenses, and dealing with any inspections or audits.
If you decide to use a customs broker, you should choose one that has experience in importing from Japan to Canada and that has a good reputation and relationship with the Canadian customs authorities. You should also agree on their fees and services before hiring them.
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Step 8: Pay the import duties or taxes
The import duties or taxes are the fees that you need to pay to the Canadian government for importing goods from Japan to Canada. They are calculated based on the value, origin and classification of your goods.
The value of your goods is determined by the price you paid to the supplier, plus the transportation and insurance costs. The origin of your goods is determined by where they were produced or manufactured. The classification of your goods is determined by the Harmonized System (HS) code that identifies the type and category of your goods.
You can use the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) website to find out the import duties or taxes that apply to your goods. You can also use the Canada Tariff Finder tool to find out if your goods are eligible for any preferential tariffs under the Canada-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (CJEPA).
You need to pay the import duties or taxes within five business days of clearing customs in Canada. You can pay them online, by mail, by phone or in person at a CBSA office.
Step 9: Receive and inspect the goods
After you have cleared customs and paid the import duties or taxes, you can receive and inspect the goods. You should check if the goods match the description, quantity and quality that you ordered from the supplier. You should also check if the goods are damaged, defective or missing.
If you find any problems with the goods, you should contact the supplier and the freight forwarder as soon as possible. You should also take photos and keep records of the evidence. You should try to resolve the issue amicably with the supplier and the freight forwarder, according to the terms of the contract and the warranty. If you cannot reach a satisfactory solution, you may need to use the dispute resolution mechanism that you agreed on in the contract.
Step 10: Enjoy your imported goods
Congratulations! You have successfully imported goods from Japan to Canada. You can now enjoy your imported goods or sell them to your customers. You should also keep all your shipping documents, receipts and invoices for at least six years, in case of any audits or inquiries from the customs authorities.
The Rise of Japanese Imports to Canada
Japan is one of the leading suppliers of cars, machinery, and electrical equipment to Canada. According to Statista, the trade value of exports from Japan to Canada increased from 9.48 billion Canadian dollars in 2013 to 11.6 billion Canadian dollars in 2022, a growth of 22.4% in nine years . This shows that there is a strong demand for Japanese products in the Canadian market, especially in the automotive and industrial sectors.
The Impact of COVID-19 on the Trade Relationship
The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the trade relationship between Japan and Canada in 2020. Due to lockdowns, travel restrictions, and supply chain disruptions, the trade value of exports from Japan to Canada dropped by 19.5% from 12.2 billion Canadian dollars in 2019 to 9.83 billion Canadian dollars in 2020 . However, the trade recovered quickly in 2021, reaching 10.9 billion Canadian dollars, an increase of 10.9% from the previous year . This indicates that the trade resilience and recovery between Japan and Canada was relatively strong compared to other countries.
The Future Prospects of the Trade Partnership
The trade partnership between Japan and Canada is expected to continue growing in the future, as both countries share common values and interests, such as democracy, human rights, environmental protection, and free trade. In addition, both countries are members of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a trade agreement that aims to reduce tariffs and non-tariff barriers among 11 Pacific Rim countries . The CPTPP provides new opportunities for Japanese and Canadian businesses to expand their markets and increase their competitiveness in the region.
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