Importing as Non Resident Importer (NRI)

 In Blog, Customs Brokerage, Importing Exporting

A non-resident importer NRI is an individual or business that ships goods to Canada whereby they act as an importer of record that is neither in Canada nor a resident of Canada. Being an importer of record means that the individual is liable for customs clearance and compliance with regulations.

The internet now allows foreign companies to market their products to Canadians without being established in Canada. Foreign sellers commonly do business becoming a non-resident importer. Foreign sellers interested in entering the Canadian market as NRI are looking to expand their business internationally. An ITN can effectively compete for Canadian market share by creating a simplified buying experience. Its as simple as buying domestically by alleviating the import process from your customers.

What exactly are the benefits of being a non-resident importer?

No physical presence in Canada

Hands down, the number one benefit to being an NRI is full access to Canadian customers without having to operate out of a Canadian location.

Hassle free imports for clients

Doing trade with a U.S. NRI means the Canadian customer does not need to be involved in the import process. This makes doing business with participating U.S. companies easy, just like purchasing from a Canadian company. In this way, becoming an NRI establishes a level playing field with Canadian companies. Often times providing a competitive edge.

No surprise costs

In simple terms, the price listed on the website at the time of purchase is the amount that is paid. Canadian customers do not have to incur any additional duty fees to receive their purchase. The NRI should take care in setting prices that includes all potential duties and fees. Doing so must be remembered as to not eat into the potential profit. Alleviate the import process from your customers and include all shipping, customs clearance fees, duties and taxes in the selling price for the customer. You can sell to Canada on a delivered-price basis, rendering the ordering process more transparent and stable for the Canadian customer.

Smooth shipping process

Customers living in Canada won’t have any trouble purchasing and receiving your products directly.

With this in mind, becoming a non-resident importer can be greatly beneficial. At the same time, the importance of being fully compliant with Canadian customs laws can not be overlooked. The NRI is entirely liable for properly communicating to the CBSA all information needed to efficiently process your shipments. It is important to take great care in the administrative details to avoid any fines, fees, or penalties.



To help you navigate through the complex compliance landscape (and avoid the penalties that can come from non-compliance), Community Customs Brokers’s team of professionals can provide answers to these and many other pressing questions related to doing business in Canada as an Importer/Exporter.


Contact us today for a free consultation.

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