Trade Consulting

We help you navigate the regulations and logistics of today’s global trade world.

Your trusted advisor in global trade

The Near North consulting team provides comprehensive international customs planning and duty consulting services to improve your company’s profitability, efficiency, and effectiveness.

Our detailed, non-intrusive reviews of your company’s international business activities will identify potential savings opportunities and recover overpaid duties. We can prepare and secure favourable customs rulings prior to submitting refund requests so that you can ensure you are compliant with Canada’s CBSA or the United States’ CBP regulations.

Here’s a breakdown of what your business should be looking at and how we support you at each step.

We ensure you are compliant with CBSA (Canada) and/or CBP (United States) regulations and avoid costly errors.

  • Strategic customs planning
  • Customs valuation review to ensure all imported goods are correctly valued
  • Origin verification
  • Tariff classification
  • Strategic Customs Planning: A strategic customs plan ensures that you are compliant with government agency regulations — preventing unnecessary headaches and costs further down the road. It also uncovers savings you may not be aware of.
  • Customs Valuation Review: A customs valuation review of your imported goods checks to ensure that your goods are valued properly. Again, things can translate into big savings and also prevent penalties for products where incorrect tariffs and duties have been applied.
  • Origin Verification: The verification of the origin/s of your goods ensures you are compliant with government regulations, avoiding potential fines.
  • Tariff Classification: We do a review of your tariff classifications to ensure you are paying the correct tariffs.

The bottom line: We ensure that you are set up for success with the correct tariffs and valuations applied to your goods, as well as correct paperwork — saving you money and preventing lots of headaches down the road.

We reduce your duties and taxes

  • Duty Drawback
  • Duty Recovery
  • GST Recovery & Review
  • Duty Drawback

Goods with duties paid on the import to Canada and:

-further manufactured in Canada (Manufacturing Drawback)

-in the same condition but ultimately exported out of Canada (Same Condition Drawback)

are entitled to have paid duties recouped.

We are experts with duty drawback and have helped in the recovery of millions of dollars in duty drawback refunds annually.

  • Duty Recovery

Improperly applied duties are costly to your business.

We ensure that the correct duties are applied properly. But looking for errors is only a small part of what we do. Most of our recoveries are a result of research and staying on-top of the everchanging and evolving regulations within the Canadian customs landscape.

  • GST/HST Recovery & Review

We assist with the recovery and review of GST and HST exposure, using proven review methodologies developed over many years of experience. We identify GST and HST recovery and savings opportunities within your accounts payable and receivable systems. 

Get preferential duty rates and avoid costly penalties.

  • Free Trade Qualification Assistance (including CUSMA/USMCA)
  • Free Trade Management

The Canada-US-Mexico Free Trade Agreement (CUSMA/USMCA depending on which country you are in) – as well as other trade agreements – allow the import and export of goods without duties for the countries that are signatories of the agreement. But duties are only eliminated after you are qualified under the agreement.

We help you qualify your products for the various trade agreements where preferential tariffs can be applied to your goods — which translates into huge savings.

We also review to ensure your qualifications are correct, which prevents the costly payback of duties with interest and/or financial penalties in case of a customs audit.

This includes providing customized in-house training on CUSMA/USMCA and its requirements



Once your products are qualified for preferential duties with the various free trade agreements, there are many steps to managing them. For example, a properly completed CUSMA/USMCA Certificate must be on file when your goods are accounted for with the CBSA/CBP. A Certificate of Origin is valid for one year but needs to be kept up-to-date with any new parts that are shipped as cargo or freight into Canada or the US over the same period.

What happens if you don’t do it properly? Significant fines — up to $5,000 per instance — can be charged for using an incorrect tariff treatment or for the failure to have a valid certificate on hand at the time of import. Penalties for record keeping go up to $25,000.

We remove the administrative burden of managing trade agreements and do it all for you — maximizing duty savings and minimizing your risk under Canada’s Administrative Monetary Penalty System (AMPS).

What we do includes:

-Product classification and preferential duty application
-Review of all supplier information
-Preparing and sending out a Certificate of Origin package to each of your suppliers
-Providing technical assistance to help with their completion by your suppliers
-Producing, reviewing, and managing valid Certificates of Origin, including their accuracy
-Completing yearly requests of your suppliers for Certificates of Origin for the products and parts they provide your company
-Creating customized supplier databases that cross-reference the imported products and parts by Part Number, HS Classification, and origin

In Canada, there are 18 tariff treatments, 16 of which will lower the rate of duty normally payable on imported goods — and that Canada provides to beneficiary countries.

Secure global supply chains and benefit with faster customs clearance.

Canada’s CBSA and the United States’ CBP have voluntary programs to secure the international supply chain. These programs work together and enhance border security; combat organized crime and terrorism; detect and prevent smuggling; and increase awareness of customs compliance issues.

  • Canada: Partners in Protection (PIP)
  • United States: Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT)

The two programs are voluntary but they provide many benefits beyond the general security of global supply chains.

  • Canada – PIP Benefits:

-Improves your company’s security levels.
-Enhances your reputation with customs authorities as a secure, low-risk company.
-Reduces the number of inspections and enable quicker movement of low-risk goods through customs.
-Eligible (if also Customs Self Assessment (CSA) approved) to apply to the FAST expedited release program and use designated FAST lanes into Canada.

  • United States – CTPAT Benefits:

-Reduces the number of CBP inspections, which means reduced border delay times
-Priority processing for CBP inspections. (Front of the Line processing for inspections when possible.)
-Assignment of a CTPAT Supply Chain Security Specialist (SCSS) who will work with the company to validate and enhance security throughout the company’s international supply chain.
-Potential eligibility for CBP Importer Self-Assessment program (ISA) with an emphasis on self-policing, not CBP audits.
-Eligibility to attend CTPAT supply chain security training seminars.

Near North Customs Brokers is certified in both programs and can help get your company certified as well.

If you’re applying for PIP or CTPAT, Near North can:

-Review your policy manuals, and assist with revisions to meet the current guidelines
-Review your facility, operations, and documentation in key areas and provide recommendations to address any potential problems or issues
-Prepare a security profile describing your company
-Provide guidance in submitting your application

Not sure where to start?

Contact us. We’ll get you going quickly and effectively.

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Near North Customs Brokers

Near North Customs Brokers provides tailored customs brokerage, trade consulting, and freight-forwarding services in Canada and the United States.

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Corporate Office

55 Patterson Road, 2nd Floor

Barrie, Ontario

L4N 3V9

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