Whether you're in the planning stages of opening up a business that sells craft supplies online or you've owned your own deli in the Little Italy district of Vancouver you need to be up to date on the country's importing and exporting laws. You can't just start a business that will be selling chemical kits that are being imported from another country without knowing whether or not you can actually import those kits into Canada. There are rules and procedures to follow.
If you were to import something into Canada, be it food or joint straps that wasn't actually allowed to be imported into Canada or you imported them without paying the proper fees, duties or taxes, and then the government found out later then you might have to pay a large fine for your ignorance or neglect.
In Canada, the Export and Import Controls Bureau is the governmental branch that is responsible with overseeing the importing and exporting of goods in and out of Canada. There is even an Export and Import Permits Act that will let you know everything there is to know about importing and exporting in Canada. It's something you need to know as a business owner as there might be some regulations that affect you as a Canadian business owner.
When it comes to importing goods you can't just accept a parcel and be done with it. You have to be aware of the product you're importing every step of the way. That means filling out the proper invoices, having the right permits to import the product, be up to date on international trade agreements, have your products examined, and making sure your business is registered, knowing where your product is at every moment it's being shipped just in case someone needs to know what you're importing and why.
Exporting goods is something you have to be careful about because you need to know which products are allowed to be exported to which countries and which countries are in good standing with Canada. There are certain controlled products that have special export restrictions attached to them such as peanut butter, softwood lumber and steel and you need to know if you're even allowed to be in the export business of those products.
As you can see there's nothing easy about being in the imports and exports business and you need to make sure that if you get into the business of importing and exporting, that you have all the right paperwork and permissions in place.