Export market research
Market research can help you target your efforts where you are most likely to succeed. Be prepared to take extra steps and spend more when trying to find markets abroad.
The information below can help you learn the basics of conducting market research and some of the special considerations when researching foreign markets.
- Conducting market research
Learn more about market research, how it can improve your business decisions, and how to conduct a market research campaign.
- International market research
Know the steps to follow when researching foreign markets.
- Canadian Trade Commissioner Service (TCS)
Get market and sector-specific information, access to Canadian trade commissioners’ coordinates and list of events through the TCS website.
- International markets
Discover new markets for your products and services by studying foreign market reports and international statistics.
- Importing and exporting
Find Canadian and foreign trade statistics and other information that can help you to grow your business, both abroad and in Canada.
- Market analysis tools
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- Country Insights
Get cultural, demographic and political information on countries you would like to conduct business with.
- Country Information — Export Development Canada
Find profiles of foreign countries, as well as information on EDC resources available for each country.
- Market reports — Canadian Trade Commissioner
Access key market intelligence by industry and by region/country and discover new global market opportunities. Registration is required.
- Search Trade Barriers
If you are considering an export opportunity, identify potential trade barriers before pursuing the market.
Foreign buyers can be charged duty to buy your products. This factor could influence their decision about whether to buy from you or from someone else. Knowing this information in advance will help you find markets where you can be more competitive and will assist you in establishing your pricing strategy. To find tariff information for other countries, you will need to know the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System code of your product. It's also good to know which countries have favourable market conditions, like free trade agreements.
- Tariff information
Find out about the tariffs that apply to each country's imports to determine how much duty your foreign customers will need to pay.
Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System
The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System assigns a six-digit number to each basic commodity. This classification is used by customs officials around the world to determine the duties, taxes and regulations that apply to products entering their country.
Countries are allowed to add additional digits to the numbers for statistical purposes. In Canada, two additional digits are added for exports, and four additional digits are added for imports. The U.S. uses a ten-digit system for both exports and imports.
Online resources can help you determine the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding HS codes of your goods.
- Customs Tariff
Use the Customs Tariff to determine the classification of your imported and exported goods and the rate of duty you may need to pay on your imports.
- Canadian export classification
Searching this Statistics Canada database can help you identify the harmonized system code of your goods.
International trade agreements
Trade agreements help to eliminate or reduce tariffs on Canadian exports, which can increase your competitiveness in foreign markets.
Canada has free trade agreements with several countries including the United States, Mexico, Columbia, Costa Rica, Peru, Chile, Israel, Jordan, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
Agreements with other countries are being negotiated to help improve your access to more global markets.
- Trade negotiations and agreements
Get information on trade negotiations, agreements, and other initiatives.
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