Guide to exporting commercial goods from Canada:
Preparing to export

1. Preparing to export

Obtain a Business Number

Before exporting commercial goods from Canada, as a business or an individual, you will need to obtain a business number (BN) issued by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for an import/export account. This account is free of charge and can usually be set-up in a matter of minutes.

To register for a BN or add an import/export RM account identifier to an existing BN:

Identify the goods you want to export

You must provide true and accurate information and a complete description of the goods you plan to export before proceeding. An accurate description will assist in determining if your goods are restricted (i.e. regulated, controlled, or prohibited) and/or if a permit or license is required.

Determine the country of origin for the goods you are exporting

The origin of goods to be exported can affect permit requirements. For example:

Refer to Memoranda Series D11, General Tariff Information for additional information on origin.

Ensure the goods are permitted to be exported from Canada

Certain goods cannot be exported from Canada. A few examples include:

More information about export controls can be found on the Global Affairs Canada website.

Determine whether the goods you intend to export are subject to any permits, restrictions or regulations by the CBSA or other government departments

The CBSA is responsible for administering certain export requirements on behalf of other government departments. Permits, certificates or licenses may be required when exporting certain goods from Canada. The CBSA's Other Government Department and Agencies: Reference List for Exporters can help you identify the appropriate department or agency for permit enquiries, if applicable.

It is the exporter's responsibility to ensure that the goods meet all requirements under the law. Failure to do so could result in fines, detention and/or seizure of the goods by the CBSA.

A list of other government department requirements can be found in Memoranda Series D19, Acts and Regulations of Other Government Departments.

Ensure that the goods you are exporting are allowed entry into the destination country

It is in your best interest to verify that your goods meet the import requirements of the receiving country. For information about the requirements of other countries, refer to:

You can also have the importer of your goods contact their local government to ensure the goods comply with their import regulations.

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