Теги: експорт
Footwear manufacturer KaDar: We have successfully fulfilled our first order for the Canadian market

The history of KaDar, the largest footwear manufacturer in Western Ukraine, began back in 1999. At the moment, the production capacity enables the company to produce about 500 pairs of shoes per day. KaDar is actively entering new markets including the Canadian market. Halyna Panas, KaDar Export Development Manager, tells about the company’s preparation for the international exhibition – Toronto Shoe Show and its first results.    

KaDar has been successfully operating in the Ukrainian market for over 20 years and exporting its products to EU countries for more than 5 years.

The Free Trade Agreement between Canada and Ukraine gave us an excellent opportunity to supply footwear to Canadian consumers at zero import duty rate.

Due to our cooperation with the CUTIS project, we were able to participate in the Toronto Shoe Show, as it is a good opportunity to showcase our products to key players in the Canadian market. The first exhibition was held in late August 2018, the next one – on 20-22 February this year.

When preparing for the first exhibition, we did not understand exactly what shoes should be shown to Canadian clients. After all, Ukraine and Canada have their own specific tastes, preferences, and trends. Not always trendy models of footwear in Ukraine will be in demand in Canada, and vice versa. Therefore, it was not easy for us to prepare for the August exhibition and decide on the product mix.

We are now much better aware of what Canadian consumers need. The first exhibition and meeting with potential customers, talks with importers helped us understand the needs and requirements of the Canadian market.

That is why, when preparing for the second exhibition (February 2019), we were quite savvy in terms of mix, requirements and product quality. We brought exactly the products that might be of interest to potential consumers in Canada.

We see good prospects of exporting KaDar shoes to Canada as we got positive feedback on our products. Expectations are positive, we want to find a good business partner for long-term and mutually beneficial cooperation.

We already have our first order that we successfully completed. We work on further orders, prepare a collection in accordance with the requirements of the Canadian market.

We hope for successful exports to Canada. We want Canadian consumers to appreciate the high quality of shoes by the Ukrainian manufacturer and believe in the potential successful cooperation with our company. The most important reward for us will be the customer’s appreciation and recognition of the company as a reliable business partner.

Find out more about the success of Ukrainian producers at Toronto Shoe Show by following the link

UKRAINIAN CONFECTIONERY MANUFACTURERS WIN OVER CANADIAN CONSUMER AT SIAL 2018 MONTREAL

Emma Turos, Executive Director of the Canada-Ukraine Chamber of Commerce told in the publication for the Magazine “All for the Food and Processing Industry” about the SIAL 2018 Confectionery Exhibition in Montreal, which was attended by 7 Ukrainian companies. What confectionery manufacturers should focus on trying to win the Canadian market and what mistakes should be avoided.

On August 1, 2017, the Free Trade Agreement between Canada and Ukraine entered into force, which opened new opportunities for domestic companies to export to the promising Canadian market. The Agreement, in particular, provides for the abolition of import duties for 98% of Ukrainian goods.

The Canadian-Ukrainian Trade and Investment Support Project (CUTIS) is a powerful additional tool for export development into Canada. CUTIS is a five-year (2016 – 2021) international technical assistance project funded by the Canadian Government through the Canadian Ministry of International Affairs and implemented by the Conference Board of Canada in partnership with the Canadian-Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce.

Currently, CUTIS is implementing the first phase of the export support program for Canada – U CAN EXPORT, in five priority sectors: clothing, footwear, furniture, confectionery and IT sector.

Confectionery as a priority

Why did small and medium-sized confectionery producers fall into the focus of the Project? There were several reasons. First, the export experience – many Ukrainian sweets are already present on the Canadian market and have their customers. Secondly, the readiness of the industry in terms of compliance with the technical regulations, availability of certificates, as well as the lack of restrictions on the part of Canada.

How were Ukrainian companies selected? Maximum transparency. Advertisements were posted on the web resources of the Project, almost all chambers of commerce and industry associations. Information was also disseminated at meetings of the Project participants with business.

After receiving applications from interested companies, there were two stages of selection. By the way, the backup selection continues. Any company from the 5 priority sectors can submit its application through the Project website by filling out a simple questionnaire.

As a result, 10 companies were selected and recommended to take part in one of the largest exhibitions in Canada – SIAL 2018 Montreal. For the selected companies, one-day training was conducted with the participation of a leading Canadian expert.

Exhibition participants

They were mostly medium-sized businesses, because they have resources to work in foreign markets. However, there were also small family businesses that offer a unique product.

We tried to present a very wide range of products: cookies, bagels, gingerbreads, etc. for national shelves; sweets; snack group, chocolate bars; nuts and dried fruit bars, etc. Most companies already have experience working with Canada, have collaborated with distributors, without which operation on this market is impossible. The companies met the certification requirements, had a quality control system. Almost half of the companies at the exhibition were represented at the level of senior management and owners, all fluent in English.

The SIAL 2018 Montreal exhibited 7 Ukrainian companies among more than 1,000 participants from 50 countries, namely:

  • Beverages Plus (EAT ME sweets)
  • CHOCOBOOM
  • Zolote Zerno
  • Favorito
  • Khlibodar
  • Biskvit-Shokolad
  • LOL&POP

Participation in exhibitions is extremely important at the initial stage of entering a new market, as it is a great venue for meeting all the stakeholders including business representatives from all over Canada.

We had an intensive program that included training from a major retailer, meetings with retailer chain representatives, a tour of large retail stores (major chains, ethnic stores, discount stores, warehouses, distributors, etc.). We also had access to closed events organized not for general public by individual networks such as Metro. Also, bilateral meetings were held, which is the most important in any business mission.

Prospects for Ukrainian products

Ukrainian products have good prospects on the Canadian market because there is already a loyal clientele for our products. After the exhibition, Ukrainian producers received new supporters. Negotiations are under way that indicate that there is potential for increased sales.

What are the main advantages of Ukrainian products in Canada? I would point out the “European origin” of the product and the fact that almost everyone knows about Ukraine in Canada, unlike many other countries.

We should not forget about almost 1.3 million Canadians with Ukrainian roots. In addition, Ukrainian companies produce an interesting modern product. We have experts who are ready to work with Canada by informing manufacturers about the requirements and conditions of operation, packaging, marking and logistics.

Among the disadvantages, I would mention inconsistency and unreliability of Ukrainian companies, poor language skills and breach of ethics in doing business, which is often the case among Ukrainian companies. As a rule, we try to not work with such companies.

Sometimes one telephone call may be determining for the success or failure of a large delivery, so there are no trivialities in this process. All in all, we are talking about the development disease and the change of mentality from the “Russia-centered” policy of companies to conduct international business.

Advice for Ukrainian business

Participation in an exhibition is a proof of the product and company readiness to enter external markets. This is an important step that needs to be prepared. It takes about a year to prepare if the company has already identified the target market. You need to know your products, markets, competitors and prices perfectly.

Listen to your consumers and partners. Today, the consumer determines what to consume, what should be the product, its manufacturer and price. Consumers are the greatest experts because they vote with his own purses. A pragmatic approach and professionalism will help to adapt to the modern world transformations.

Also, in no case one can ignore the preparatory work for the trade show – research, product selection and adaptation to the relevant market (do not try to present everything), determining the number of samples, marketing materials. Local expert advice may be helpful, but such services are expensive. It is important to make sure that such specialists can help invite potential buyers to the stands and organize meetings during the exhibition. This work in Canada starts about three months before the trade show.

Another important point is that nobody will come to the meeting unless you agree in advance – about a month before. In Canada, people plan their time. A meeting can take 5-10 minutes. Be prepared to provide all the necessary information and demonstrate materials during this time. Your staff should know the answers to questions about prices, logistics, certificates, etc. Canada is a market for companies with experience and resources for development.

As part of the CUTIS project, we have trained consultants to help businesses in the regions get to know the benefits of the Canadian market. Most of them are representatives of chambers of commerce and industry. Pilot training in regions will begin shortly. Interested business people will be able to take part in such training sessions for free. The schedule of training will be available very soon on the Project’s web resources.

BUSINESS TRAVELER TIPS: HOW TO START EXPORTING TO CANADA

The free trade regime between Ukraine and Canada has been in operation for over a year and has already attracted Canadian buyers to Ukrainian goods. In turn, this heightens the interest of Ukrainian suppliers in the Canadian markets.

The Canada-Ukraine Trade and Investment Support Project (CUTIS) conducted a two-week training program “How to Export to Canada” for representatives of the regional chambers of commerce and trainers from the leading business schools. The program included a more theoretical Ukrainian part in Kyiv and a Canadian one in Toronto and Ottawa. During the latter, program participants had an opportunity to communicate with Canadian government officials and representatives of non-governmental organizations responsible for various aspects of Canadian export of goods.

Dmytro Shvets, Director of Start Global, a lecturer at Kyiv-Mohyla Business School, shared with Mind the interesting insights he had received during the course.

Country Profile. Canada is a North American country with the area of 9.9 million square kilometres (16 times larger than Ukraine) and the population of just over 36 million. It is a federation of 10 provinces and three territories, each having unique “tastes” in the issues of import, customs, taxes, legislative regulation, etc. For example, to register a company in Canada, you need a local director, but not in British Columbia.

61% of Canada’s total population lives in two provinces: Ontario and Quebec. Canadians prefer to live in cities, of which the largest is Toronto.

In a multicultural and multilingual country (there are two official languages – English and French – at the federal level), a large number of different nations retain their culture and traditions. In recent years, the flow of immigrants from Asia to Canada has increased. This makes it necessary to take into account when positioning a product and negotiating it that your client may have the habits and traditions not inherent in North America.

Indigenous people (First nations) account for almost 5% of the total population – about 1.7 million people. Interestingly, the average age of the indigenous part is 32 years old (ten years younger than the rest of the population). But in general, Canadians are an aging nation: it is expected that a quarter of the country’s population will be over 65 years old in 2031. This should also be taken into account when determining the target clientele for your products when preparing for their export.

Who do Canadians trade with? Canada imports goods and services from most countries of the globe. It is one of top ten trade leaders and accounts for 2.2% of world imports. Mostly, it imports from the USA, China, Mexico and Germany, and exports to the above countries, as well as the UK and Japan.

Canada is one of the world’s leading importers, and this is a good reason for the most responsible attitude and high requirements for everything coming from outside. Canadian importers are responsible to the State for the quality of products and will require the same from the supplying exporters.

What are the requirements for foreign goods? It is prohibited to import products to Canada that could harm human health or life. Such goods are either destroyed or sent back at the expense of the supplier. Canadian Food Inspection Agency has been created, among other things, for checking imported food products; more than 7,000 of its employees are concerned to reject the products that do not meet the standards.

Almost everything you need to know about standards and requirements for food and medicine can be found on the Ask CFIA web resource.

Another useful tool is AIRS CFIA: Here you can easily find out about the requirements for different products.

Standardization of goods and Canadian customs is a complex but well-balanced mechanism with the components working in concert and complementing each other. Almost all authorities and agencies have comprehensive information on their websites and patiently answer telephone requests.

Canadian import/export information is freely available. In particular, the CBSA website has a Step By Step Guide, which describes the process of import to the country in detail. At the same site, you can get a list of products and requirements (including goods that are not allowed to be imported).

Keep in mind that the goods to be imported can be delayed indefinitely until clarification (at the expense of the importer), so this should be taken into account in planning your time and budget. In addition, when determining the origin of goods, the cost and origin of the materials from which it is made are taken into account.

The logistics component of export to Canada should not be a problem provided careful preparation – the customs clearance of goods in the country of maple leaf is simplified and can be carried out remotely. You will be able to calculate the shipping rates at the website searates.com.

How to sell? With regard to Canadian sales channels, it is worth considering a few issues. One of the most interesting channels can be Public Services and Procurement Canada, which annually makes purchases for $18 billion Canadian dollars including a large number of imported items. At the web-portal buyassell.gc.ca, you can get registered for participation in the public tenter, and if you have questions, you may call +18008111148 and, as we are assured, get a detailed answer to the relevant questions. Civil servants feel morally obliged to respond the questions of interested exporters. It would be wise to use this.

In Canada, industry associations that advise trade missions are also very professional and help their members in international affairs. Contacts of those associations can be found on the Canadian Chamber of Commerce website.

Another interesting organization that deals with the development of trade relations with countries such as Ukraine is TFO Canada. You can find many tips on exports to Canada and register your company in the directory at its web page in order to promote your product among buyers.

Canada has one of the largest Ukrainian diasporas in the world – 1.3 million people. Although it is unlikely that it can be used as a sales channel, a significant number of Ukrainian-born specialists can be found in almost every sector of the country. These acquaintances would be good to use to get alternative contacts for industry and market information.

An additional channel for promotion in Canada can be annual festivals of Ukrainian culture.

Legal features of export to Canada. Special attention should be paid to legal aspects. For example, there is a case-law applied in many cases that takes into account the large number of cases for the century. At the same time, lawyers are highly specialized – both in the branches of law and geographically (in specific provinces).

Another very important issue is the protection of intellectual property. Canada has a large number of lawyers specializing in lawsuits against brands that violate someone’s intellectual property rights. Therefore, it is worth thoroughly checking the names of your brands before going to the country’s markets.

In general, Canadians are quite conservative. All serious statements should be made with reference to a reliable source. However, this also has a significant positive effect: they are all inclined to comply strictly with established rules and arrangements. There is a culture of follow-ups and taking notes of the meeting.

How can Canada perceive all Ukrainian? Unlike southern neighbours, almost everyone in Canada knows about Ukraine. The image of the country is improving, although not very fast. Ukrainian goods are sold mainly in supermarket chains specializing in Eastern European products.

The Free Trade Agreement between Ukraine and Canada (CUFTA), which is in force since August 1, 2017, has opened up 98% of its goods market to Ukrainian exporters. In general, CUFTA is expected to support Ukrainian companies in entering new markets and strengthen trade relations between the two countries.

Thus, despite all the regulations, rules and standards, with proper preparation Canadian market may be of interest to Ukrainian companies that build a long-term strategy of international expansion. After all, as you have set your product or service in Canada and adapted the brand to local ethnic groups, markets in many countries, including the neighbouring US, will become easier for further advancement.

Information contained in this publication will partly be included into Global Market Access Strategy course, which will be held at kmbs on November 26, 2018.

Export. New Opportunities in Canada

A few months ago, the Canada – Ukraine Free Trade Agreement (CUFTA) entered into force, which effectively opens Canada’s huge market to a great number of Ukrainian companies. Ninety eight percent of customs duties for Ukrainian goods have been eliminated. The region’s needs are significant and diverse. Let’s discuss how to enter the Canadian market and what are the market needs?

Trade volumes with Canada fall far short of their potential capacity: this year, exports of Ukrainian goods to Canada amounted to approximately 0.5% of total Ukrainian exports. Meanwhile, Ukraine imported 7 times as much of Canadian goods, although in actual figures it is just as negligible.

Ukrainian apparel manufacturers (-17.2% of customs duties) and footwear manufacturers (-9.7%), as well as Ukrainian farmers (-4.5% of customs duties for vegetables and fruits) will benefit the most from the customs duties elimination. Moreover, the Agreement opens Canadian public procurement market (its volume is $ 12 billion) on the same terms as for local companies, and specific sections of the Agreement protect e-commerce and intellectual property.

According to the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine, implementation of the Agreement will facilitate a fivefold increase in the turnover of goods between Ukraine and Canada. ‘Each export case is unique. Should you find a partner in Canada, which has allocated quotas, then you will be able to export your goods not having to pay import duties. I would rather not overemphasized priority products, because this may discourage some exporters of so-called ‘non-priority’ products. The Canadian market is very diverse: buyers’ needs in one province may differ significantly from those in other provinces. Therefore, consumers’ needs in each and every province should be studied in detail. It’s quite possible that priority products in different regions may vary.’ – says Oleksandra Brovko, CUTIS Senior Trade and Investment Policy Expert.

However, it should be understood that the Agreement includes certain exceptions for a range of products that can be exported without customs duties only within Canadian quotas (e.g. customs duties for poultry, dairy products, eggs and egg products, cheeses and sugar, when exported in quantities exceeding the quotas, may reach 150-300%). So, as we may see, the list of exceptions largely includes processed agricultural products, which are Ukrainian export priority.

‘Maple’ needs

The structure of Ukrainian exports to Canada is mainly comprised of ferrous metals and their products, fats and oils of vegetable or animal origin, oilseeds and oleaginous fruits, machinery, apparatus and mechanical devices, wood and wooden products, milk and dairy products, eggs and honey. The Canada – Ukraine Trade and Investment Support Project (CUTIS) has identified the following sectors of Ukrainian SMEs as priority ones for further export to Canada.

1. ІТ-services.
2. Apparel.
3. Footwear.
4. Furniture.
5. Chocolate and confectionery.

Moreover, some experts believe that frozen fruits and berries, juices, peppers, cabbage, soybeans, legumes, corn, mineral water, ceramic tiles and sports equipment may also be in a high demand.

However, there are also other assessments of the Canadian demand. According to analysts of the Allbiz International Center of Internet Commerce, requests received from Canadian counterparts had completely changed their focus and structure over the first six months of 2017 compared to the same period of 2016. The Top-3 list included orders submitted to breeding nurseries that breed various types of dogs, orders for tobacco for pipes and hookahs, as well as classic cigarettes.

It is notable that in 2016 orders that prevailed on the Allbiz were those from medium-size businesses for gift and souvenir products, ice hockey equipment for various educational institutions and sports facilities, industrial containers, safe boxes, as well as products made of flexible and tempered steel sheets.

Standards First and Foremost

To be exported to Canada some Ukrainian products should undergo compliance assessment. ‘For instance, some manufactured goods (clothes dryers, washing machines, dishwashers, freezers, electric cookers) are subject to mandatory certification. Meanwhile, apparel and footwear do not require certification (except special workwear, which should comply with established technical regulations). In any case, before entering the Canadian market, one needs to study regulatory requirements for a particular product (quality and safety requirements, standards and technical regulations, etc.)’- says Oleksandra Brovko.

CUFTA regulates certain issues, which ensure the mutual access of goods to the markets of both countries. This had to be done in view of different requirements on product quality and safety, labeling and certification. CUFTA has also addressed the rules for identifying and confirming the country of origin. All products should be fully manufactured or sufficiently processed or recycled in accordance with the prescribed rules of origin. As for sanitary and phytosanitary regulations, the countries shall apply the appropriate WTO regulations. Compliance with countries’ obligations in accordance with provisions of the WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade has been upheld.

Entering the Market

Entering the Canadian market should follow a number of standard procedures, including studying the level, structure and nature of demand for a particular product, assessment of competition, identifying product distribution channels, etc.  Moreover, one should also understand the Canadian business mindset.

«Canadians take their time to carefully study their future partner. They need time to test their partner by matching words to deeds. That is to reach a certain level of trust. Ukrainian businessmen need to promptly and adequately respond to queries and address all these little issues that may arise before a real business relationship is established. Canadians are cautious when choosing a partner – they are interested in the transparency of business, compliance of manufacturing with the environmental norms, energy saving procedures and corporate social responsibility. Canadians value accuracy, when they negotiate they do so to reach an agreement and make a decision and not simply to ‘discuss an issue’ – says Dmytro Kozonak, entrepreneur, member of the Canadian Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce.

The best way to enter the Canadian market for different products may be different. ‘Some foodstuff manufacturers were able to quickly establish business relations with the Canadian importers having only visited a single trade exhibition, without any preliminary contacts. For apparel and gourmet foods manufacturers, an agency scheme works well, in which it would be good to involve a member of the Ukrainian diaspora. For the В2В segment, an appropriate scheme would be to work through importers, distributors and small retailers. With large retailers it may prove difficult to start the relationship from scratch, if an enterprise has no basic voluntary certification (e.g. ISO). Distributors are open for niche products designed for specific ethnic groups’, – says Oleksandra Brovko.

At the start, it would be better to enter the Canadian market through a local partner company. The fact that the Canadian importer takes responsibility for the compliance with all the requirements to the product will make it considerably easier to enter the market. Canadian distributors who work with the supermarkets and small shops usually have their own warehouses in all provinces. Distributors often work on both the Canadian and US markets, which may be helpful for expanding the geographical scope of sales.

Ukrainian exporters may also use the services of CUTIS project and Export Promotion Office – a consultative body under the Ministry of Economic Development, which may help raise awareness as regards the Canadian market, obtain Canadian market analytics and export consulting services as well as assistance in promoting Ukrainian goods and services in Canada and developing cooperation with the Canadian businesses.

The Ukrainian diaspora in Canada, which numbers about 1.3 million people, is also helpful for doing business there. Overall, Canada is a country of migrants, and consumers’ tastes are quite diverse, which creates good opportunities for selling goods to various ethnic groups of buyers. Everything associated with Ukraine is perceived very well.

Useful links for those who would like to enter the Canadian market

    1. Full text of the Agreement (CUFTA)
    2. Requirements for food products
    3. Automated system on requirements for food product exporters
    4. Dairy products requirements
    5. Product labeling requirements
    6. Export requirements for agricultural products
    7. State agencies, whose permissions may be required for the export of goods 
    8. Export and Import Permits Act (regulates the issuance of export permits, specifies the level of tariff quotas)
    9. State agency controlling compliance with the rules of food import (Canadian Food Inspection Agency)
    10. Canadian customs (Canada Border Services Agency) 
    11. Export requirements
    12. Export quotas

Source: Aval Bank