Logistic and forwarding services in Canada


Capital City

34.83 Mio.

National languages
English, French

Canadian Dollar (CAD)

Gross national product (GNP)
USD 1’794 Mrd.

GNP per person
USD 50’577

Financial exports to Switzerland
CHF 3328 Mio.

Financial imports from Switzerland
CHF 669 Mio.

Bilateral relations Switzerland–Canada

Both in terms of bilateral trade and direct investments, Canada is Switzerland’s second most important economic partner in the Americas. In multilateral forums, the policies the two countries adopt tend to coincide, leading to mutually beneficial cooperation. As a member of the G7 and of the G20, Canada plays a major role in questions of interest to Switzerland, i.e. international finance and taxation issues.

Economic cooperation

Canada is Switzerland’s second-largest economic partner in the Americas.  In 2015 Switzerland imported goods to a value of CHF 1.029 billion (mainly precious stones and metals), while exports to Canada in that year amounted to CHF 3.509 billion. Switzerland exports mostly pharmaceutical products to Canada.
Switzerland is among the ten biggest foreign investors in Canada,  with total invested capital amounting to CHF 8.9 billion at the end of 2015. In 2014, the number of jobs created by Swiss companies in Canada amounted to 32,200.


Business language

English, French (especially in Quebec).

Dimensions and weights

Metric system.


National currency Canadian dollar (Canadian $) = 100 cents (c).
ISO code: CAD

Customs tariff

Harmonised system. Customs clearance based on the transaction value (FOB value used as a basis).

Import control

As for the USA, the data in the cargo manifest must be communicated to the Canadian customs authorities 24 hours before loading at the port of departure. Imports are fundamentally not subject to authorisation. However, in accordance with the “Export and Import Permits Act” the government can declare certain goods as being subject to import authorisations; the around 60 goods and groups of goods are currently subject to authorisation (see: 404406e.pdf). The import of alcoholic drinks is fundamentally only possible for certain agencies. Foods are on the list of goods for which special authorisations are required. Information is available from various sources including the Canadian Chamber of Industry and Commerce.
There is a general ban on the import of certain used goods, certain consumer goods which represent a risk to health and security and certain veterinary products. There is a mutual agreement to recognise conformity assessments. This means that Canada recognises certificates for the goods in question (including telecommunication transmission devices, medicinal products and medical devices) issued in the EU.
Standard VAT rate: 5%

Terms of payment and tenders

Terms of payment can be freely agreed; in the case of new customers a letter of credit or documentary collection.
Tenders in English; also in French for the province of Quebec. American or English measures in addition to metric ones are advantageous.
Prices in CAD or USD. EUR also accepted, CIF port of arrival or FOB Europe.

Designations of origin

The regulations of the “Marking of Imported Goods Order”, P. C. 1963–1775, “Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act”, “Canadian Environmental Protection Act – CEPA (single administrative document)” and the “Textile Labelling Act” must be strictly complied with. A range of special regulations apply, further information on which is available from the Chamber of Industry and Commerce. Otherwise no certificates of origin are required, with the exception of textiles and foods.
Labelling goods with “Made in EU” is not sufficient.


See the information in the section on “Packaging”.
The labelling on the goods must correspond to the regulations of the “Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act”.


ISPM 15 standard is notified. According to this standard, imported packaging material made of wood must be treated and labelled in accordance with the criteria set out in the ISPM, regardless of the country of origin. The outside of packages must be clearly labelled with the shipping marks and numbers. Each package must be easily clearly able to be distinguished by the marks on it. The individual packages must be labelled and numbered in line with the commercial invoices (comply with the extensive marking provisions – ask the freight forwarder or CIC (Chamber of Industry and Commerce).
All of the goods which are subject to labelling obligations must be labelled in English and French. Particularly strict provisions must be complied with for foods. Province of Quebec: according to the decree by the provincial government of Quebec, texts on the packaging of all foods (country of origin, weight information, instructions for use etc.) which are imported to the province of Quebec and sold there must have inscriptions in French and English. Ask the importer for instructions regarding further details. Bilingual marking is required for all imported goods.

Product samples

Samples are exempted from fees if the fees are not higher than 2 CAD and the samples are purely for acquisition. Only one item of each type/quality is permissible. See the ATA Carnet procedure for goods and items for temporary import.

Shipping and accompanying documents

Indicate the country of origin as follows on accompanying documents such as invoices and customs invoices: “Swiss”. For shipments from FOB Can. $ 2500.00 either “customs invoices” are required on the unit template which has been valid since 1995, “Canada customs invoice /facture des douanes canadiennes” ( or commercial invoices made out on company headed paper or commercial invoices prepared on the computer. If commercial invoices are made up or issued instead of the pre-printed forms being used, they must contain all of the information required in the “customs invoices”. From an FOB of Can. $ 2500.00 the 10-digit HS (Harmonised System) code no. must be indicated on the first page of the invoice. It is recommended that the invoices indicate whether there is a relationship between the seller and the buyer of any kind which affects the sales price of the goods delivered in any way. If there is no relationship, the following must be clearly declared: “Transaction between not related parties”. In addition to this, the standard accompanying papers are also required:

a) Customs invoices, 4/3 copies, uncertified with extensive information (see Photocopied signatures are permitted. Presentation of the invoices and information they must contain:

Name and address of the seller.

Date of direct shipment to Canada.

Other references such as buyer’s order number, invoice number, invoice date.

Name and address of the recipient (“to order” is not permitted).

Buyer (name and address) unless this is identical to the recipient.

Transit country via which the shipment is being delivered to Canada under customs supervision.

Country of origin of the goods: Swiss or Suisse. If the shipment contains goods of different origins, the respective origin of the individual goods must be indicated in column 12.

Transport information: the type of shipment and the location of direct dispatch or shipping to Canada must be indicated.

Agreed terms of sale and payment (e.g. sale, consignment shipment, rented goods etc. Indication of whether the prices are FOB, CIF etc. Details about discounts and other special agreements).

Currency agreed for the payment.

Number of packages.

Precise description of the goods (e.g. quality), type of packages, marks and numbers. Used goods: the condition of the goods must also be indicated, e.g. used goods, residue, obsolete goods. A particularly careful description is required for textiles (see: d10-14-16/ readme.html)

Quantity of goods (per unit).

Sales price per unit in the agreed currency.

Sales price of the total quantity of goods.

Total weight of the shipment (gross + net).

Total amount to be paid.

If any of the information in columns 1-17 can be found in an attached commercial invoice, the box must be ticked and the number of the commercial invoice indicated.

Name and address of the person or organisation making the shipment.

Name and address of the company and name of the person responsible within the seller’s company who is informed of the sale or the transaction.

If special regulations (for example regarding the value or tariff) have been identified by the Canadian Department of Revenue Canada, Customs and Excise for the goods invoiced because the goods do not simply fall under a certain customs tariff number in the Canadian customs tariff, the reference, the date and the details of the Canadian customs tariff decision must be indicated in this column.

This box must be ticked if the information under 23-25 is not applicable.

If the costs below are included in column 17, the amounts must be indicated: (i) Freight costs, costs and insurance costs from the location of direct dispatch or shipping to Canada. (ii) Costs for construction, erection and assembly which arise after import to Canada. (iii) Export packaging (if there is special packaging for export).

If the costs below are not included in column 17, the amounts must be indicated: (i) Freight costs, costs and insurance costs to the location of direct dispatch or shipping to Canada. (ii) Amounts for commission (not including purchase commission). (iii) Export packaging (if there is special packaging for export).

This box must be ticked if the following apply: (i) Licence fees or subsequent revenue is paid by the buyer or payable to the buyer. (ii) The buyer has delivered goods or provided services during the manufacture of these goods. Consignment goods: the following must be added in column 1 (vendor) for consignment goods: “no vendor” and in column 5 (purchaser): “no purchaser”. “No sale” must also be added in columns 14 and 15 (selling price).

b) Certificates of origin are not required.

c) Bills of lading uncertified; order bills of lading are possible if a notify address is given.

d) Postal packages up to 20 kg: for land, sea and airmail packages including SAL packages. 1 international dispatch note, 1 customs declaration in English/French. 4 customs invoices in accordance with a) directly to the recipient, otherwise 1 commercial invoice.


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