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New service helps companies quickly resolve urgent export issues

Exporter Solutions is a new service from Canada’s Trade Commissioner Service that provides Canadian companies with personalized support to help resolve urgent export issues within one business day. This free service also offers access to self‑serve and find the relevant information, services and programs Canadian businesses may require to avoid potential problems by referring them to the right place to get the right help.

Export performance is critical to restarting Canada’s economy amidst the COVID‑19 pandemic. Now, companies can access urgent support to troubleshoot export‑related situations and avoid costly issues. Through access to expert insights, guidance, and contacts at home and abroad, they will be able to continue selling their goods and services to the world.

“Exporter Solutions is here to help businesses navigate urgent international business situations,” says Mary Ng, Canada’s Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade. “As the world economy emerges from the pandemic, the TCS is in a privileged position to help Canadian businesses grow and succeed in international markets through its funding and support programs and an on‑the‑ground network in more than 160 cities worldwide.”

Canadian businesses have seen major disruptions to well‑established patterns of trade as a result of the COVID‑19 crisis, Ng comments. Firms looking to establish or re‑establish trade often fear going abroad because of the risks. Many don’t know where to start or where to turn for advice on issues such as economic volatility, political uncertainty and intellectual property rights. She says Exporter Solutions can help companies discover and mitigate potential mistakes, save time and money, find the right partner and de‑risk their efforts.

Through Exporter Solutions, Canada’s trade commissioners will work closely with companies to help them troubleshoot, providing free country-specific expert advice and connections with local contacts to work through export-related situations. Companies can also self‑serve by visiting the website to find information on avoiding common problems faced by exporters.

Trade commissioners can help assess the situation a business is facing and provide guidance. Depending on the issue, the TCS can connect the company with a local partner or expert to help resolve the problem. Some concerns may require more in‑depth involvement by the Government of Canada, such as engagement with foreign agencies to identify broader or longer‑term solutions.

The way international business is conducted has been severely affected by the international health emergency, said Ng. “More than ever, Canadian businesses that want to start doing business successfully abroad, or continue doing so, need access to timely information to help them make informed decisions and avoid costly mistakes.”

According to a recent survey, businesses that used the TCS services in 2019‑2020 agreed that the advice they received helped them make more informed decisions:

Also, 72% of the businesses surveyed agreed that the TCS helped them avoid delays and costly mistakes.

Examples of specific issues that companies face include having the wrong forms or customs declarations as well as shipping difficulties, storage and warehousing concerns, disputes with distributors, problems with local partners, confusing or unfair business practices, overdue accounts receivable and local content requirements.

Exporter Solutions can help small and medium-sized enterprises troubleshoot such export-related issues, providing advice if they face a challenge in a foreign market and giving them guidance as they navigate complex business situations. It can also connect companies with local assistance and enhanced services, as well as helping them understand and respond to regulatory changes.

Trade commissioners cannot enter into private disputes or act on a company’s behalf in legal situations. But they can provide advice and refer companies to the appropriate customs brokers, sales/collection agents, legal representatives and professional services that are able to act on behalf of their interests in a local market.

Exporter Solutions requires as much information as possible about an issue a company is facing, which helps trade commissioners find the best way to help. They can advise companies on conditions and regulations in the market and how those factors may be different than in Canada.

By showing how problems can be avoided and resolved, Exporter Solutions will give firms the confidence they need to begin exporting or to export again.

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