In the fast-paced world of e-commerce, expanding your market reach is essential for growth. For Canadian sellers, tapping into the vast American market through Amazon’s Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) program offers a golden opportunity. However, the process of shipping inventory to the USA can seem daunting. Fear not, as this guide will walk you through the essentials, ensuring your journey into the American market is as smooth as possible.


Understanding the Basics

Before diving into the shipping process, the first step is to register for the US marketplace through your existing Amazon Seller account. This registration is crucial as it serves as your bridge to millions of potential customers across the United States. By using the same account, you maintain a streamlined management process for your business operations across different marketplaces. After registration, take the time to familiarize yourself with Amazon’s FBA requirements and the US import regulations.

Getting Your Documentation in Order

Proper documentation is crucial for a seamless cross-border transaction. You’ll need to prepare:

  • Commercial Invoice: This documents the sale between the seller and buyer and is vital for customs clearance.
  • Packing List: Details the specifics of each package, including contents, weight, and package dimensions.
  • Bill of Lading (BOL): A contract between you, the carrier, and the freight forwarder, outlining the shipment details.
  • NAFTA Certificate of Origin (if applicable): Can reduce or eliminate duties if your goods qualify under the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Choosing the Right Shipping Method

Selecting an efficient and cost-effective shipping method is key to optimizing your cross-border shipments. Options range from courier services, ideal for smaller shipments, to freight forwarders, which are better suited for larger volumes. When making this decision, consider factors such as speed, cost, and the specific needs of your goods. Additionally, leveraging the benefits of Section 321 can offer significant cost savings for eligible shipments, allowing for duty-free entry into the US for consignments valued under $800 USD.

Dealing with Customs

The customs process can be one of the most challenging aspects of shipping to the USA. You’ll need to accurately determine the Harmonized System (HS) codes for your products and understand the applicable duties and taxes. Partnering with a customs broker can significantly ease this process, ensuring compliance and avoiding delays. Moreover, understanding and utilizing Section 321 can streamline your shipments, as this provision allows for certain goods to enter the US duty-free, providing they meet specific criteria. This can be a game-changer for efficiently managing costs and simplifying the customs process.

Preparing for Amazon FBA

Once your goods arrive in the US, they must adhere to Amazon’s strict guidelines before being sent to an FBA warehouse. This crucial step involves labeling, packaging, and preparing your products for storage and shipping by Amazon. Sellers have a few options: prep the items themselves before shipping to ensure compliance, use a 3rd party prep service which is often the easiest and cheapest option, or opt to have Amazon prep them for a fee. This flexibility allows you to choose the most convenient and cost-effective method for your business, ensuring your products are ready for seamless integration into the FBA system.

Why Borderworx is Your Ideal FBA Partner

While the journey of shipping FBA inventory from Canada to the USA is manageable, it involves multiple steps and meticulous attention to detail. This is where Borderworx shines. As experts in logistics and cross-border shipping, we can handle the entire process for you. From ensuring compliance with customs regulations to prepping and delivering your inventory to Amazon’s FBA warehouses, Borderworx offers a seamless, end-to-end solution.

Partnering with us not only simplifies the shipping process but also saves you time and resources, allowing you to focus on growing your business. Signing up is easy, and our dedicated team is ready to make your expansion into the US market as smooth and successful as possible. We offer warehousing options and can send replenishments to your FBA inventory as needed so you don’t need to pay for Amazon’s expensive storage or have items out of stock and miss out on potential sales. We can also prepare your items for FBA and save the cost of Amazon’s expensive prep service.