May 01 , 2021
Now that Amazon has expanded into the Canadian marketplace, you might be wondering what that means for you as an Amazon seller. You probably won’t see as high a volume on Amazon.ca as on Amazon US but it might still be lucrative.
Let’s look at some issues you should bear in mind if you plan to sell on the Amazon Canada market.
Ensure Your Products Fit the Canadian Amazon Requirements
Sellers can make their products available to buyers in Canada as well as those in the United States, but to do this they must list in the .ca marketplace.
The first thing to do is check that your products aren’t on the list of restricted or prohibited products in the Canadian marketplace. So which products sell best north of the border? Check the best-selling items on Amazon.com against those on Amazon.ca and begin by listing some of the best-sellers.
It’s possible that your top sellers on Amazon.com won’t be your top sellers on Amazon.ca, so it’s best to list a few of your products and see how they perform rather than listing everything on there at once.
Should You Use North America Remote Fulfillment?
Amazon rolled out NARF, or the North America Remote Fulfillment, back in 2019. Enrolling in NARF means your products listed on Amazon.com can be shipped to Canada, with Amazon handling the shipping, duties, and taxes on your behalf.
NARF is a good option if you prefer to avoid the hassle of sending inventory into Canada, but bear in mind sales can be 90% lower when using NARF. Find out whether your account is NAUA-enabled by checking your Seller Central page. Click the language option at the top of the page to find out whether other marketplaces are listed there already.
If you don’t have an NAUA account, you can simply message Amazon with the chat feature to ask for account approval.
Do You Need a Canadian Bank Account to Sell There?
Having a Canadian bank account can be helpful to keep track of your finances in both locations. However, having a local account is not an Amazon requirement for sellers. If you do decide to open a bank account in Canada, you will need to seek legal advice to find out whether your business must be registered in the country.
Instead of opening a local bank account, you might prefer to use ACCS, the Amazon Currency Converter for Sellers. This means any income in Canadian dollars will automatically be put into your US dollar account. Amazon uses its own exchange rates for this.
You can continue using your American bank account to sell on Amazon.ca and Amazon converts the funds into US dollars, charging a 3.5% commission for doing so. You can see what the exchange rate is on Seller Central.
Another idea is to get a Wise borderless account so you can link your American account and accept payment in US or Canadian dollars or Mexican pesos. You can then convert it into whichever currency you want for a low fee without any other exchange rate costs.
How to Set Up the Right SKUs
Some sellers are confused about the difference between marketplace-specific SKUs and global SKUs. There are some key differences.
These SKUs unite the total inventory amount across every marketplace. If you have 60 coffee mugs, then it will show on both the .com and .ca listing. This doesn’t mean you have a total of 120 mugs in the inventory. It just means you have 60 mugs overall.
Now say you sell 5 coffee mugs on Amazon.com the number will change to 55 on both the .com and the .ca listings. Global SKUs are for merchant fulfilled accounts only. You can’t use them with FBA.
These SKUs separate both units and prices across different marketplaces. That means the 60 coffee mugs listed in the .ca marketplace is what you have in Canada. If someone orders 2 mugs in the US, then the mugs are shipped from an American Fulfillment Center. Your US inventory of mugs will decrease by 2 but the Canadian inventory will remain unchanged.
If you are FBA, then use market-specific SKUs and make sure the ‘ships from’ listing is specific to only the units available in the specified marketplace. For example, use ‘ships from Canada’ for any products kept in Canadian Fulfillment Centers.
American vs Canadian Labeling
Canadian labeling product safety requirements aren’t much different from those in the United States, unlike Europe where they can vary a lot. It is still a good idea to check with a customs broker first as to whether there are any special import requirements for your items.
Requirements for Canadian French Labeling
There is a significant French population in Canada, especially in Quebec. Mandatory labeling information must be shown in both English and French, by law. This excludes the name and address of the dealer. Information such as the name of the product and measurement or quantity information must appear in French as well.
Promotional or marketing statements and directions for use do not have to be shown in French. This information is not usually checked during the import process and a lot of private label sellers do not have dual languages on their packaging.
Shipping to Canada
There are several things you should know if you are planning to start shipping to Canada.
First, if you are going to send goods there personally, either via one of Canada’s fulfillment centers or directly, you will need a Canadian business number. Visit the Canadian government’s website and navigate to the business registration page to apply.
After receiving the business registration number, you will be able to get a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) import/export account. You need this account so you can import items into Canada. Remember too, that you might have to pay tax and duty when selling in Canada.
You will send items to customers yourself using either FBM or direct delivery. Amazon recommends using a carrier like UPS to track and manage your deliveries. You will be listed as the exporter of record for the items since you are the sender. The carrier is seen as the broker, responsible for clearing the goods through customs.
If you want to go the FBA route, you could be shipping a large quantity of items at once to one of Canada’s Amazon warehouses. In such a situation, you might discover that sending your shipment via a freight forwarder or customs broker is the most cost-effective method to move your goods.
The broker will be dealing with most of the paperwork, so this method can be simplified for you, although the service will cost a fee.
There is plenty of information on Amazon’s website about various ways to export to other markets, including resources to simplify the process and recommended providers for each country.
Canadian Sales Tax
Before your goods can be stored at a fulfillment center or sold to Canadian residents, you will need to cover any destination duties, applicable taxes, and customs clearance fees.
Canada’s federal sales tax is known as GST/HST. It is simple compared to that of the US. Each of the 13 provinces sets its own GST/HST. You remit everything using one form. A lot of international sellers don’t register to collect sales tax, for better or worse.
It is worth taking your time to understand how best to start selling in the Canadian marketplace while keeping up your high standards. Hopefully, with this guide and the resources you can access on the Amazon website, your foray into selling in Canada will be a successful one!Request a consultation