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Permits and Regulations

Playing by the rules

Like all business transactions, it's important to fully understand the rules and regulations - both those that apply domestically and those that apply internationally.

Knowing what you need to do - and what you shouldn't - helps your business to run smoothly. This section helps you connect with the knowledgeable resources and references you need to obtain required business licenses and permits, and to comply with business laws and regulations.

International Laws and Agreements

The Buy American Act and Buy America Provisions
Learn more about The Buy American and Buy America Acts and how these Acts can affects your ability to compete in a number of selected market segments.

Canadian Council on International Law
Provides information on international trade laws, including encompassing legal resources, foreign tax laws and foreign trade law.

Export Alert! Notification Service
Standards Council of Canada (SCC)
SCC’s Export Alert! Notification Service enables users to know about changing product requirements in global markets before they become law; grants access to the complete texts of the draft regulatory measures; and provides clients with the opportunity to voice their concerns regarding the measures. These concerns are taken into consideration as the regulations are finalized.

Incoterms 2010
International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)
Incoterms 2010 are 13 basic shipping terms used in international sales and purchase contracts (purchase orders). These are international rules accepted by governments, legal authorities and practitioners worldwide to interpret the most commonly used terms in international trade.

International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)
ICC is the voice of world business, championing the global economy as a force for economic growth, job creation and prosperity. ICC activities cover a broad spectrum, from arbitration and dispute resolution to making the case for open trade and the market economy system, business self-regulation, fighting corruption or combating commercial crime.

International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
ISO is the world's largest developer and publisher of international standards, and is a network of the national standards institutes of 161 countries (one member per country) with a Central Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland.

Negotiations and Agreements
Global Affairs Canada provides information on trade negotiations and agreements such as NAFTA, WTO, FTA, FIPA and many more.

Rules of Trade Between Nations
World Trade Organization (WTO)
WTO is the only global international organization dealing with the rules of trade between nations. At its heart are the WTO agreements, negotiated and signed by the bulk of the world’s trading nations and ratified in their parliaments. Their goal is to help producers of goods and services, exporters, and importers conduct their business.

Standards Council of Canada (SCC)
SCC facilitates the development and use of national and international standards and accreditation services to enhance Canada's competitiveness and social well-being. The Standards Council carries out a variety of functions to ensure the effective and coordinated operation of standardization in Canada. It also represents Canada's interests on standards-related matters in foreign and international forums.

Permits and Business Account Numbers

Business Registration Online (BRO)
Canada Revenue Agency
Business Registration Online is a one-stop, self-serve application that allows you to register for a Business Number, as well as for four program accounts: Corporation income tax, GST/HST, Payroll and Import/Export.

Doing Business with Canada
Canada International
This Government of Canada site offers information on export and import controls.

Environment Canada
Information on permits administered by Environment Canada can be found on this site for a variety of commercial, industrial and recreational activities.

Regulations, Customs and Tariffs

Anti-Bribery Compliance Solutions
TRACE International, Inc. (TRACE)
TRACE is a non-profit membership association that pools resources to provide practical and cost-effective anti-bribery compliance solutions for multinational companies and their commercial intermediaries (sales agents and representatives, consultants, distributors, suppliers, and the like).

Business Number (BN) registration
Canada Revenue Agency
The Business Number (BN) is a numbering system that simplifies and streamlines the way businesses deal with the federal government. It is based on the idea of one business, one number. This site provides information on the BN system and registration for obtaining a BN.

Canadian Export Classification 2009 to Determine HS Codes
Statistics Canada
The Canadian Export Classification section helps users determine relevant HS codes for exporting. You can browse by commodity description or by HS Code. The site also lets you convert U.S. Import HS10 Codes to Canadian Export HS8 Codes, and provides links to complementary resources such as the Canada Border Services Agency.

Customs Tariff
Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)
This section of the CBSA website offers information on the Customs Tariff. The Customs Tariff is based on the World Customs Organization's (WCO's) Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS). The information is available in PDF format.

Export and Import Controls
Global Affairs Canada (GAC)
Despite the benefits of free-flowing trade, export and import controls have been deemed essential for a variety of reasons. This site provides control information on various sectors affected by these controls.

Exporting Goods Regulations
Canada Business
This section of the Canada Business website focuses on regulations for exporting goods. Learn what you need in terms of permits, business numbers, import-export accounts, HS codes and Tariff Classification Numbers, and more.

Global Customs
World Customs Organization (WCO)
WCO is the only intergovernmental organization exclusively focused on customs matters. With its worldwide membership, the WCO is now recognized as the voice of the global Customs community. The WCO also maintains the international Harmonized System goods nomenclature, and administers the technical aspects of the WTO Agreements on Customs Valuation and Rules of Origin.

Global Customs: Tariff Download Facility
World Trade Organization
This site provides has a comprehensive database of WTO members’ customs tariffs and imports. It contains information on Most- Favoured-Nation (MFN) applied and bound tariffs at the standard Harmonized System (HS) subheading level.

Information on the Compliance of The Privacy Act and Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA)
Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC)
OPC oversees compliance with both the Privacy Act, which covers the personal information-handling practices of federal government departments and agencies, and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), Canada’s private sector privacy law. This site has valuable information for companies conducting e-business initiatives.

Internal Revenue Service (U.S.A.)
The IRS is the tax collection and return-processing department of the federal government in the United States, a counterpart to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) in Canada.

International Business Tactics, Etiquette, Customs and Protocols
Executive Planet
Executive Planet provides valuable tips on business etiquette, customs and protocol for doing business worldwide, and covers all regions and countries.

International Trade
Global Affairs Canada (GAC)
This section of the Global Affairs Canada website focuses on international trade, including trade negotiations and agreements, innovation, science and technology, doing business abroad and more.

Multistate Tax Commission
The Multistate Tax Commission is an intergovernmental state-tax agency working on behalf of states and taxpayers to administer, equitably and efficiently, tax laws that apply to multistate and multinational enterprises, specifically for the United States.

Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)
OFAC of the U.S. Department of the Treasury administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions based on U.S. foreign policy and national security goals against targeted foreign countries and regimes, terrorists, international narcotics traffickers, those engaged in activities related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and other threats to the national security, foreign policy or economy of the United States.

Search Trade Barriers
Global Affairs Canada (GAC)
The 2009 edition of Canada's International Market Access Report (CIMAR) is complemented by the CIMAR database of Trade Barriers. It is primarily targeted toward Canadian businesses investigating export options and possibilities, to inform them of existing individual trade barriers they might encounter. Users can search by keyword, sector, product code or market.

Step-by-Step Guide to Exporting Commercial Goods from Canada
Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)
This guide provides you with an overview of the commercial exporting process for businesses exporting goods from Canada.

Tariff Information
Global Affairs Canada (GAC)
Global Affairs Canada provides information on foreign-customs tariff for Canadian exporters.

U.S. Trade Laws
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
CBP is one of the Department of Homeland Security’s largest and most complex components, with a priority mission to keep terrorists and their weapons out of the U.S. It also has a responsibility for securing and facilitating trade and travel while enforcing hundreds of U.S. regulations, including immigration and drug laws.

Reporting Export Activity

Canadian Automated Export Declaration (CAED)
Statistics Canada
Statistics Canada and Canada Border Services Agency have launched the national implementation of the Canadian Automated Export Declaration (CAED) program, which gives registered exporters and agents the ability to report goods electronically to the Federal Government of Canada.

New businesses
Canada Revenue Agency
This site explains the different kinds of business structures, GST/HST, excise taxes and excise duties and products export charge, payroll deductions, income tax reporting and payment, how to prepare for and handle an audit, objections and appeals and electronic services.

Reporting your Exports
Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)
The Exporting section of the CBSA website will help you to understand the reporting requirements that must be fulfilled to meet your obligations under the Customs Act. Reporting is necessary for many reasons and this information is vital to Canada's export growth. A link to the Statistics Canada website for Canadian Harmonized (HS) codes is also available.


International Trade Training

EDC and FITT have teamed up to provide the skills you need to succeed in your international business career.

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Find tariff information quickly and easily

Find tariff information quickly and easily

The new Canada Tariff Finder tool lets you check tariffs on a specific good in a specific market