Exporting is an important part of the Canadian economy. It’s also a great way for small businesses like yours to reach more customers and increase profits. To help you break into international markets, Canada’s Trade Commissioner Service has created a variety of tools. With these free services, it’s easier to figure out the complicated export process and build your audience overseas.
Spotlight on E-commerce
For an SME, e-commerce is one of the easiest ways to get into exporting. Whether you already have a sales website or you’re just getting started, the Spotlight on E-commerce guide can help. This TCS publication tells you everything you need to know about selling online to international customers. Whether you want to know how to optimize your website or if you need to charge sales tax to customers in the United States, this free guide has the answers. Already have that covered? The Spotlight also talks about common mistakes that entrepreneurs make when they start to export, so you can avoid them. To get the Spotlight, all you need to do is register for a free MY TCS account.
Trade Barrier Registry
When you start exporting to different countries, you may run into trade barriers. Basically, a trade barrier is something that makes it harder to sell your products in a specific country. Usually, these barriers come from the government of the other country. For example, you might find that your specific product has confusing labeling requirements in other countries. In other cases, you might run up against complicated rules and laws that make it harder for your company to sell.
As a small business, you probably don’t have the legal resources to deal with these issues on your own. That’s where the Trade Barrier Registry comes in. When you come up against a problem, you can register it online. Then, the TCS examines your problem and contacts agencies in the other country to find a solution.
Canada Tariff Finder
Tariffs, or taxes, are inevitable when you get into international trade. Why does that matter? Every time a foreign government puts an import tax on your products, it makes them more expensive for your customers in that country. These tariffs vary from country to country. They can even vary in the same country — you might find that two of your products have completely different import taxes.
That’s why the government and the Business Development Bank of Canada came up with the Canada Tariff Finder. This handy online tool helps you look up the taxes on your products for markets around the world. Then, you can compare the rates for different countries and pick the one that’s most profitable for your company.
Using the Tariff Finder is easy — just search for your product and choose a country. If you know your Harmonized System code, you can use it instead of a keyword. Keep in mind that this tool only includes countries that Canada has a Free Trade Agreement with.
Moving your business into the global market is a great way to find new customers. With the TCA’s free tools, it’s easier to find the best markets for your business and solve common challenges that come with international trade.