Canada - Selling and buying
Reaching the consumers
At the present time, purchasing behavior is changing especially among young adult Canadians. Their objective, for most of them, is to finish their studies, buy a property and have children. Middle-aged adults and baby-boomers (the 1946-1966 generation) treat themselves to many leisure activities. Canadians care about their food and do not hesitate to buy natural, organic healthfoods. Everything concerning comfort and well-being is very important.
The difficulty involved in getting to the various regions, the distinctive features of each of them, make marketing a product complex. The Office of Consumer Affairs is the national authority for monitoring and regulating consumption in Canada. The majority of sales to Canadian companies are handled through relatively short marketing channels; and in many cases, products move directly from manufacturer to end-user. Ninety percent or more of prospective customers for industrial products are located in or near two or three major cities. Canada's consumer goods market is more widely dispersed than its industrial market.
The food trade sector is very concentrated and dominated by a few big groups especially the national names Sobey and Loblaw with the American Wal-mart.
Market access procedures
Member of the NACC (North American Competitiveness Council)
Full member of the OAS (Organization of American States)
Member of the Commonwealth
Participates in the forums of the APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation)
Free Trade Agreement with Jordan
Free Trade Agreement with Panama
Canada uses supply management systems - which involve production quotas, producer marketing boards to regulate price and supply, and border protection achieved through tariff-rate quotas (TRQs) - to regulate its dairy, chicken, turkey, and egg industries. Alcoholic beverages are subject to interprovincial shipping restrictions, and are regulated differently in each province, for example through sales quotas, requirements for in-province agents and specific labeling.The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) imposes quotas that determine both the minimum Canadian programming expenditure (CPE) and the minimum amount of Canadian programming that licensed Canadian broadcasters must carry (Exhibition Quota).
Some goods are prohibited, especially importing second hand motorized vehicles, except for vehicles coming from the USA (the rules are becoming more flexible for Mexico), as well as weapons, munitions, nuclear materials and goods of a similar nature. Health Canada restricts the marketing of breakfast cereals and other products, such as orange juice, that are fortified with vitamins and/or minerals at certain levels. Processed Products Regulations prescribe standard container sizes for a wide range of processed fruit and vegetable products.
The rules of origin allowing reduction of duties, especially for textiles, have been draconian since the agreements within the NAFTA (annex 401 on the original rules, incorporated afterwards in national legislation). These rules are considerably favorable to products which have proof of their origin in the USA.
Moreover, Canada is one of the big users of anti-dumping measures, with more than 85 products concerned (SIMA, Special Import Measures Act). These measures affect 35 countries or Customs areas (including the EU, for example). More than 50% of the products concerned are metallurgical.
For further information about import regulations and procedures in Canada, please consult the article Importing Goods into Canada produced by the Canada Border Services Agency.
For imported goods to clear Customs the following documents are needed: release with full accounting and payment (paper option); release on minimum documentation (RMD) (paper or EDI option); G7 Import One Step Release on Full Documentation (RFD) (EDI option).
For further information, consult the Canada Border Services Agency website.
Organizing goods transport
Road transport of goods accounts for 50% of commercial freight. Canada is ranked number one for road provision among all G7 countries. Canada's railway system is the third largest among OECD countries. Vancouver is Canada's biggest port and is constantly classified among the first five North American ports in terms of tonnage of imports and exports. It is the biggest bulk goods port on the west coast of North America with a tonnage of more than 80 million tons.
All the ports of eastern Canada amount to 68.9 MT.
Domestic business directories
- Centre for Energy
- Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers
- Canadian Association of Mining Equipment and Services for Export
- List of Canadian Agri-food associations
- Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association
- Aerospace Industries Association of Canada
- Pulp and Paper Technical Association of Canada
- Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America
- Biotechnology Industry Organization
- National Association of Manufacturers