Archive for October, 2017

Labelling versus Marking

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One of the most popular questions we receive are those concerned with the labelling of imported goods in Canada.

These questions should be split into two parts: ‘marking’ needs to be done before importation and ‘labelling’ before the item is re-sold

Before Importing: Marking

Marking is merely the notation of the country of manufacture on the imported product. This is enough to satisfy Customs officials — the lack of a bilingual or detailed label does not concern them. To be clear, Customs only wants to confirm where your product is made or produced.

If your shipment is inspected, Customs will definitely check that the country of origin is marked on the goods. If they find no such marking, they will hold the shipment until you provide a letter guaranteeing that the marking will be applied. Customs will also issue you a penalty if this is the case (depending on whether it is a first offense, the penalty is $150).

*Most, but not all, imported goods require marking. You can check the appendix here.

**It is possible that Customs can inspect your import — and if they discover that an existing label is misleading or deficient — demand a similar correction from you before releasing the product. (We have yet to experience this phenomenon, but the Food and Drug Regulations does provide for this scenario).

Before you re-sell: Labelling

Once the goods are released into Canada for consumption, it is then up to the importer to determine that the goods meet any specific labelling requirements before being sold at retail. What the label must provide depends on what type of good you are re-selling:

Food: Use the CFIA’s online tool

Note:  “name and address” may be your company — the importer — rather than the manufacturer

Apparel and textile articles: fibre content, care instructions, country of origin, and responsible party (Canadian brands may use a CA#)

FAQ

Does my product need to have a bilingual, detailed label applied before it arrives in Canada?

No. The product or its packaging should be marked with its country of origin, but the additional elements required on a label may be added to a product post-release.

I am importing apparel, does it need to be labelled before arrival?

For clothes, marking is often on the label itself. So, unless the marking of the origin exists elsewhere on the apparel, then a label indicating country of manufacture must be added before importation.

How do I know if my product is ‘marked’?

Is the country of origin clearly indicated on the product or packing? If so, it is marked.

What should I do to ensure that my imported goods are clearly marked?

If you do not trust your vendor, we recommend requesting a photograph of the marking from them before shipping.

Border Bee estimates that less than 1% of all importations into Canada are penalized for lack of marking — but it is always a possibility.

 

Canada – EU Free Trade (Apparel Edition)

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Please find below more specific information on how imports of European-Union made apparel will be treated under CETA.

The vast majority of E.U. made apparel will need to pass through a quota system established for the deal. Why?

CETA, similar to NAFTA, contains special provisions for clothing. Due the globalized nature of apparel production, barely any finished clothes are made wholly within a single country (or even a single continent).

Typically, clothes that are “made” in the E.U. are cut and sewn from fabric made in Asia.

The fact that the fabric comes from outside the E.U. disqualifies these products.

Therefore, most E.U. made clothes will still be hit with an 17-18% duty because fabric from outside the E.U. is NOT ALLOWED. The production of fabric creates jobs, therefore Canada and the E.U. are all protectionist about it.**(see footnote)

So… CETA changes nothing for clothes?

Not quite! a quota system (similar to the TPL under NAFTA) will allow a specific amount of clothing each year that is only cut and sewn in Europe to be imported duty-free.
The key to the quota system is that it is typically only open for the first half of the year (it is also specific to the HS code).

Questions to ask yourself before ordering E.U. made clothes in the anticipation of paying only GST:

1. Does my vendor manufacture their clothes within the E.U.?

Yes
No


Additional questions? Still confused? Contact us!

**It should be noted that the actual rules of origin are more complex and consist of specific ‘tariff shifts’ for different subcategories of apparel (i.e. shirts and shoes — very different). The complexity means that a rule of thumb (known as ‘yarn-forward’) is most often used by importers when speaking of these requirements which we used to write this article. This means that your imports/exports may qualify or not be qualified even if they pass our little quiz.

Should you or your vendor have questions regarding their eligibility, they can check the transformation requirements in Annex 5 of the CETA .

Annex 5 contains the requirements for goods to be considered duty-free no matter what the status of the quota system is.
Annex 5-A contains the requirements for goods failing the requirements of Annex 5 but that can still be imported under quota.

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Ecommerce, Customs and You provides answers to your questions on importing goods, written by the Border Bee staff.

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