Selling products and services to foreign markets is a huge source of revenue for thousands of Canadian businesses, both large and small. In 2021 alone, Canada generated an incredible $575+ Billion in product and service sales to foreign markets, and accounts for 29% of our total GDP. This article will cover tips for businesses seeking to start exporting to foreign markets, as well as resources for utilizing domestic and international trade shows.
Exporting Tools & Resources
This guide is an excellent overview of what you need to know to export in Canada. There are a wealth of resources, links, and useful contact information. An important focus of this guide is the reporting aspects of exporting.
If you’re a first-time exporter, this is a brief but comprehensive resource that highlights the critical actions and information related to exporting.
This page provides an up to date list of rules and regulations for Canadian export controls and requirements, certificates and permits, excise taxes, sanctions and prohibited goods.
This is a highly detailed explanation of the classification of commodities using the HS (or Harmonized Item Description Coding System) method.
This site, from Global Affairs Canada, is a comprehensive resource for Canadian exports who need to know about Export Controls. The site includes links to the following critical information for exporters:
- Controlled Products & Export Controls;
- Latest updates regarding import & export regulations;
- Printable forms;
- The import and export controls systems; and
- Guides & Publications.
Tools for Canadian Exporters
The CAED is an online tool designed to eliminate the manual reporting process form called B13A and it allows exporters or their agents to report the export of their goods to the Canadian government electronically.
Use this online tool to determine the appropriate tariff based on the HS Code. The site also provides high level details on tariffs, and it provides contact information to query further when you have questions.
This is a link to the Web-based tool for submitting online applications for export permits and international import and delivery verification certificates, as well as to request amendments, submit online quarterly utilization reports for military goods, and print selected permits in your office.
This is a link to a secure web interface and an Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) interface to support the application, approval, and processing of import/export permits. The system also features import/export quota management functionality. Also included on this site are links to the further information including:
- EICS – Participants Requirements Document; and
- List of Customs Brokers.
International Exporting Tools & Resources
Developed and run by the European Commission, this site is useful for understanding the requirements and taxes for exporting to the EU. Information available on the site includes trade statistics, business contacts for taxation organizations, EU import requirements, and a look-up table for import tariffs.
This site provides a basic overview of VAT taxes and a country specific search. It provides simple answers to your common questions and provides you with a tool to find further information.
This site includes multiple searchable databases related to Customs and Taxation in the EU. These databases provide comprehensive details on numerous topics, including quotas, tariffs, tax information, autonomous tariff suspensions, and customs offices with contact information.
The Canada Trade Commissioner Service provides a great resource called ‘Six Steps to CE Marking’ for European Conformity. It offers key EU resources and valuable insights from experts.
Courtesy of the Canada Trade Commissioner Service (TCS), your business can connect with the “Doing Business in Europe” LinkedIn Group. Membership in this group will give you access to relevant information, top-notch service, and on-the-ground intelligence from the TCS European team.
This database contains the most complete information regarding tariffs according to the HS classification coding method. The information is accessed through the WTO Integrated Data Base (IDB) for applied tariffs and imports and from the Consolidated Tariff Schedules (CTS) database for the bound duties of all WTO Members. Data from this site can be downloaded in the following formats to be further analyzed: XML, Excel, or CSV.
The US International Trade Administration (ITA) offers data to help determine the best countries to target your exporting efforts.
Exporting News & Publications
There are constant changes to regional, national, and international economies, as well as rules and regulations associated with international trade and exporting. Being knowledgeable of these changes and how they impact your business is a critical part of being successful at business expansion.
Courtesy of the many resources we are referencing, there are newsletters, magazines and other publications that provide you with the news you need to know. Review and sign up for the information that best suits your business.
This magazine provides Canadian exporters with the latest news and information from the Canada Trade Commissioner Service.
This e-newsletter provides business owners with the most relevant updates and data sources likely to be of interest and information on how to access the data.
Our newsletter is Mentor Works’ most popular government funding resource. It incorporates funding updates, resources to educate businesses on funding, and helpful market trends and tools to enable a business to uncover strategic growth opportunities that can also be paired with funding opportunities.
globalEDGE offers four publications at no charge to online subscribers. These publications offer the latest in news and information regarding international markets and business news, as well as trends and research.
Register to receive email alerts regarding Canadian and International standards based on industry interest.
Join the more than 20,000 registered Canadian businesses that access export-related information and tools through MyTCS. Get market insights, events, and more, tailored to your business needs.
Statistics Canada has detailed publications and reports on various topics associated with international trade. The publications are available for downloading and free to access.
Export Development Canada (EDC) provides various guides and publications related to exporting. To view the documentation, registration is required.
Financing Export Expansion
BDC: Business Development Bank of Canada
BDC Consulting offers many services to exporters and businesses, including business planning, financial planning, market research, export planning, e-business strategies, information about globalization, and more. Contact BDC at 1-877-BDC-BANX (232-2269) or through their Online Contact Form.
Export Development Canada (EDC)
Export Development Canada (EDC) is Canada’s export credit agency, offering financial and risk management solutions to help Canadian businesses expand into the U.S. and other international markets.
Contact EDC at 1-800-267-8510 or via their Online Contact Form.
Portfolio Credit Insurance: EDC
Portfolio Credit Insurance is coverage for the payments owed to you by foreign buyers. Access to this insurance enables businesses to enter new markets with greater confidence and offer customers more flexible payment terms. Because your receivables are backed by EDC, cash flow isn’t a driving concern. Accounts receivable insurance covers up to 90% of losses associated with common political and commercial risks.
The Export Guarantee Program provides SMEs with a guarantee to their lenders for up to 75% of the loan amount (or more depending on circumstances). It covers a variety of common circumstances for exporters. The key benefits include access to capital to finance the exporting portion of the business without affecting the funds used for the day-to-day business operations.
Collateral is often required when locking in foreign exchange contracts. With EDC’s guarantee program, the bank may release the collateral requirements thus freeing up additional working capital.
Political Risk Insurance coverage is available for assets and investments outside of Canada. Political events can happen at any time and Political Risk Insurance can protect against damage, seizure, expropriation, and currency conversion risks.
The CanExport SMEs funding program provides Canadian government grants to support Canadian businesses seeking to develop new export opportunities and markets, particularly high-growth priority markets and sectors, by covering a portion of eligible sales and marketing activities.
Trade Show Resources
Whether your company is a new participant in trade shows or a seasoned pro, these resources are worth a glance. Attending a trade show can be a costly commitment. These resources will help ensure you are organized and prepared to attend the show. There is also information to ensure you take advantage of all the marketing opportunities prior to the show, at the show and after the show.
This is a good resource for your business to consider if you are planning to use trade shows as a marketing tool. The topics outline marketing plan tips, choosing a show, targeting the right visitors, and more.
Here’s a brief but comprehensive planning guide for attending a trade show. It includes some useful tips to stay organized and covers everything from budgeting to trade show objectives.
Make use of this site’s extensive resources, tutorials, best practices, and useful tips. Check out their resources under the headings Exhibiting 101 or Forms & Templates. These are really useful for planning purposes and recommended reading for best practices to keep in mind. The Glossary of Terms is especially important to familiarize because trade shows have a lot of industry specific terminology.
Canadian Domestic Trade Show Resources
Trade shows in Canadian and international locations can help you determine and explore market prospects for your product(s). Although many trade shows were paused or changed to virtual instances during the pandemic, both in-person and digital opportunities are currently available to connect with new buyers, network, and have a close look at the latest industry innovations.
Trade Show Information: Canada Trade Commissioner Service
The Canada Trade Commissioner Service offers a database of in-person and digital trade shows and trade mission opportunities. You can make use of these resources to connect with foreign buyers and markets.
- Mentor Works Government Funding Webinars
- Canadian Trade Show Webinars
- International Trade Show Webinars
- Canada Trade Missions Digital Events
International Trade Show Databases
There are several sites on the internet that track trade show events from around the world. You can make use of the information available on these sites to find the best opportunities for your business.
10times is the world’s largest service provider for business events, including conferences and trade shows. The site’s event database contains business expansion opportunities in over 10,000 cities globally.
EventsInAmerica is a comprehensive, informational site designed for the event and trade show industry. It collects and updates information on more than 12,000 trade shows and 2,000 venues. In addition, it collects reviews and ratings from attendees and exhibitors.
This site offers a searchable database of international trade shows, exhibitions, conferences, and business events. The database is searchable by name, theme, date, location, organizer, and keyword.
The Mentor Works Advantage: Customized Funding Strategies
Mentor Works, a Ryan company, provides end-to-end solutions to businesses that are interested in benefiting from Canadian government grants and loans, providing guidance along each step of the way.
Step 1: Identification of Company’s Strategic Initiatives
Every business has a unique strategic plan. Although some businesses we meet are aware of a small pool of funding to assist with their initiatives, clients are amazed to find the wide variety of funding opportunities available specifically for their upcoming projects or hires. In fact, Mentor Works will outline the importance of government funding and identify opportunities to stack multiple programs on a single project to optimize funding for particular company activities. If you are unaware of the benefits of stacking government grants and loans, please refer to our blog on stacking government funding programs.
Step 2: Development of Proactive Funding Plan™
Once we have a clear understanding of all the company activities that you are carrying out in both the short- and long-term future, Mentor Works will create a strategic plan that lists available funding for your company. We will match each program with projects, expenses, and timelines of your company’s initiatives. The plan will prioritize time sensitive funding programs based on funding deadlines and the company’s project milestones. Once we understand your company’s business activities for the short- and long-term, Mentor Works will ensure that your business does not miss out on complimentary grants and loans due to timing.
Step 3: Funding Application Support
Each year, Mentor Works supports hundreds of Canadian companies through the funding application process. Our expertise is proven through our solid track record of successful applications, close relationships with funding body representatives, and our ongoing research activities. Thus, we know exactly what project elements are the best fit for a given program and the best way to articulate your project and company details in each of the funding applications. Mentor Works provides comprehensive funding application support to minimize your time commitment with the funding application and submission process.
Ongoing: Proactive Research & Forecasting
Our dedicated team researches all active, upcoming, and past funding to provide Canadian businesses with a wide variety of comprehensive funding resources. Our goal is to be Canadian business owners’ most reliable and cutting-edge funding research tool.
Companies that have worked with Mentor Works in the past have priority updates and notifications on funding updates and consultation sessions to determine possible fits with new and updated grant and loan programs.
Next Step: Explore Canadian Government Funding Programs
Now that you’ve built the foundations of your exporting success, it’s time to find government grants and loans that can assist your investments. As you evaluate how to best enter or expand international markets, consider using these business and export expansion funding programs.
Funding programs offered by the Canadian government can offset the costs of business improvement projects. The most successful businesses are able to build a comprehensive funding plan, including programs that cover all aspects of their strategic plan, maximizing their funding potential while minimizing their financial commitment. View government grant, loan, and tax credit funding programs for the following project types below:
Download our free Guide to Accessing Grants for Export Activities slide deck to learn how your business can receive up to 50% of eligible exportin and trade show project costs covered by the Canadian federal government.