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International trade compliance

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International Conventions
Member of the World Trade Organization (WTO)
Member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
Party to the Washington Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
Party to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal
Party to the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer
Party to the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls For Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies
International Economic Cooperation
Canada is a member of the following international economic organisations: North American Competitiveness Council (NACC), OECD, Organization of American States (OAS), Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), Commonwealth, G-7, G-8, G-10, G-20, among others. For the full list of economic and other international organisations in which participates Canada click here. International organisation membership of Canada is also outlined here.
Party of the ATA Convention on Temporary Admissions and Use of the Carnets

As a Reminder, the ATA is a System Allowing the Free Movement of Goods Across Frontiers and Their Temporary Admission Into a Customs Territory With Relief From Duties and Taxes. The Goods Are Covered By a Single Document Known as the ATA Carnet That is Secured By an International Guarantee System.
Party of the TIR Convention
Canada still belongs to the TIR Convention, but the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) does not accept the TIR carnet as a cargo control document for import, movement in transit, and export of goods.

As a Reminder, the TIR Convention and its Transit Regime Contribute to the Facilitation of International Transport, Especially International Road Transport, Not Only in Europe and the Middle East, But Also in Other Parts of the World, Such as Africa and Latin America.
Accompanying Documents For Imports
Goods must be accompanied by the following documents:
- the Single Administrative Document (SAD)
- the commercial or Customs invoice (in 4 copies, in English or in French);
- a phytosanitary certificate ( for fruit, vegetables, seeds and other plants);
- a health certificate ( for meat);
- a certificate of non-radioactive contamination (for meat, fruit and vegetables)
- the transport documents and packing list.

For any shipment with a value over 1,600 CAD, you must provide:
- either a commercial invoice (it shows all the information on the Customs invoice)
- or a commercial invoice plus a Customs invoice
- or a Customs invoice (which must contain all the required information).

Shipments with a value under 1,600 CAD can clear Customs on presentation of the commercial invoice. The Canadian ten figure classification must be included on the invoice.

To go further, check out our service Shipping Documents.

Free-trade zones
Canada does not have any specific free-trade zone. Under the USMCA, Canada operates as a free trade zone for products made in the United States.
For further information, consult the portal of the Canadian government.
According to Canada's legislation, a Free-Trade Zone Point refers to one of Canada’s strategic locations for international trade, where an organization with a mandate to promote local trade and foreign direct investment is  uniquely supported by a single-point of access to information on relevant government policies and programs. The main FTZPs are located in Winnipeg (Manitoba), Calgary (Calgary Region Inland Port; Port Albert, Edmonton region), Halifax, (Nova Scotia, since July 2015), and Regina (Global Transportation Hub, Saskatchewan, since August 2015).
For Further Information
Canada Border Services Agency
Global Affairs Canada
Non Tariff Barriers
The Canada Customs Act which regulates the Canadian import system, corresponds to a free trade model in which most imports do not require an authorisation. However, tariff quotas may be applied, especially for wheat, barley, beef and cheese. To be granted this quota one must request a General Import Permit, for which you must produce a pro forma invoice from the Export and Import Controls Bureau of the Ministry of Global Affairs.

Canada uses supply management systems - which involve production quotas, producer marketing boards to regulate price and supply, and border protection achieved through tariff-rate quotas (TRQs) - to regulate its dairy, chicken, turkey and egg industries. Alcoholic beverages are subject to interprovincial shipping restrictions, and are regulated differently in each province, for example through sales quotas, requirements for in-province agents and specific labelling. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) imposes quotas that determine both the minimum Canadian programming expenditure (CPE) and the minimum amount of Canadian programming that licensed Canadian broadcasters must carry (Exhibition Quota).

Some goods are prohibited, especially importing second hand motorised vehicles, except for vehicles coming from the USA (the rules are becoming more flexible for Mexico), as well as weapons, munitions, nuclear materials and goods of a similar nature. Health Canada restricts the marketing of breakfast cereals and other products, such as orange juice, that are fortified with vitamins and/or minerals at certain levels. Processed Products Regulations prescribe standard container sizes for a wide range of processed fruit and vegetable products.

The rules of origin allowing reduction of duties, especially for textiles, have been draconian since the agreements within the CUSMA. These rules are considerably favourable to products which have proof of their origin in the USA.

Moreover, Canada is one of the biggest users of anti-dumping measures, with more than 85 products concerned (SIMA, Special Import Measures Act). These measures affect 35 countries or Customs areas (including the EU, for example). More than 50% of the products concerned are metallurgical.

For further information about import regulations and procedures in Canada, please consult the article Importing Goods into Canada produced by the Canada Border Services Agency.

Sectors or Products For Which Commercial Disagreements Have Been Registered With the WTO
Agricultural products: cereals, salmon, meat, pork, grain, syrup, wheat, seal, lumber.
Biotechnologies, Aeronautics, Asbestos, Pharmaceutical products, Automobile parts.
Assessment of Commercial Policy
Country’s commercial policy, as seen by the WTO.
Barriers to exchanges, inventoried by the EU
Sanitary and phytosanitary barriers, inventoried by the EU

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Latest Update: June 2024