Frequently Asked Questions – CanExport Associations Funding
What are the eligibility requirements?
Proposals will be accepted from:
- Canadian national bilateral Chambers of Commerce and Business Councils;
- Canadian national industry or trade associations;
- Canadian national horizontal / multi-sectoral organizations.
To be eligible, your organization must:
- be incorporated;
- not directly sell products that are sold by your members;
- demonstrate adequate managerial and marketing capabilities to execute activities and meet CanExport Associations recipient requirements;
- have sufficient financial resources generated from private revenues to cover your share of proposed activities;
- have and submit copies of financial statements for the past 2 years; and
- not be funded entirely by Canadian government organizations (federal, provincial, territorial, or municipal or Crown corporations).
Ineligible organizations include:
- Organizations funded entirely by Canadian government organizations (federal, provincial, territorial, or municipal or Crown corporations). If an organization receives some government funding, CanExport Associations support will be granted only when the organization's contribution for proposed activities comes from a private source, for example, membership dues.
- Organizations that have access to other federal contribution programs with similar objectives to CanExport Associations and that support the international business development efforts of a specific sector (for example, the AgriMarketing Program and the Expanding Market Opportunities Program).
In which countries are activities eligible?
Activities in all countries are eligible, provided Canada has not imposed trade and economic sanctions that apply to the proposed activities in a given country.
Which activities are eligible?
Proposed activities must benefit the organization’s entire industry, the organization’s members and non-members alike.
In the application, all proposed activities must be identified as one of three Activity Types:
- Trade shows / Networking functions / Meetings / Market Visits / Export Training, such as exhibiting at a trade show; participating at conferences or networking events; organizing trade missions or an incoming delegation of foreign buyers; export training; or advocating on behalf of industry with foreign counterparts across multiple sectors to ensure industry’s perspectives are considered in the context of recent international trade negotiations and agreements. (In other words, events that will be held or attended).
- Promotional / Marketing tools and materials, such as web site development targeting foreign customers, targeted print materials and other materials that promote integrative trade opportunities of a Canadian industry.
- Research / Studies / IBD strategy update / Market diversification strategy, such as custom market research, market intelligence reports, and enhancements to an organization’s international business development strategy.
Which expenses are eligible?
To be eligible, expenses must be of a nature to promote international business development, and must not be included in the list of ineligible expenditures (see below).
The following expense types are available to assist with international business development activities: Advertising, Booth fees, Consultant, Design, Editor, Equipment Fee, Interpreter, Mailing, Market Info, Printing, Room Fee, Shipping, Software, Translation, and Miscellaneous.
Airfare, Per Diem, Registration, Taxi-bus-car, and Visa expense types are available for individuals to take part in international business development activities. These expenses are divided into three types:
- Applicant expenses are eligible for a maximum of two representatives per organization (as well as partner organizations), to visit foreign markets only. Representatives’ travel within Canada is ineligible.
- Canadian company expenses are eligible for one representative per Canadian company to visit foreign markets only. Canadian company travel within Canada is ineligible. Within the maximum of $400,000 CanExport Associations contribution, the maximum amount available to the applicant for assistance to companies is $150,000.
- Incoming expenses are eligible for foreign participants of CanExport Associations activities. When organizing incoming visitors programs, CanExport Associations recipients must make every effort to provide as broad exposure as possible to their industry.
Which expenses are ineligible?
The following expenses are not eligible:
- ongoing or core activities and overhead expenses (i.e., fundamental operational activities);
- capital costs (such as computers, office equipment and office space);
- entertainment and hospitality, including bar tabs;
- salaries and commissions (arm's length consultants that have a specific expertise may be eligible, subject to prior approval);
- expenses incurred directly or indirectly by Canadian public sector employees (in the case of third party delivery) (including employees of federal, provincial, territorial, or municipal governments, or Crown corporations);
- expenses paid to or through (in the case of third party delivery) Canadian government organizations (including federal, provincial, territorial, or municipal governments, or Crown corporations) when the expenses subsidize a Canadian government organization’s operational function and/or generate revenue for the Crown;
- shipping and/or mailing costs of material not directly related to a CanExport Associations funded activity;
- telephone, fax, data roaming and photocopying charges;
- registration fees to applicants’ or applicants’ partners’ events;
- activities related to lobbying, domestic policy development and influence;
- pre-commercial activities;
- honoraria for professional services;
- event sponsorship and membership fees;
- maintenance and hosting fees for web sites;
- expenses for company representatives when they are not accompanied by the recipient’s representative(s);
- standalone booth spaces for individual companies;
- Goods and Services Tax (GST), including any GST share of the Harmonized Sales Tax;
- any refundable portion of taxes or other items for which a refund or rebate is available;
- carbon taxes / credits;
- product development and production costs (including samples);
- travel, accommodations, and meals / incidentals for live performers, musicians and models;
- bonus points earned from various programs (such as Air Miles/Aeroplan), or other barter arrangements;
- travel expenses (airfare, per diem, taxi-bus-car) of an organization’s in-market representatives abroad, partner organizations, and/or Canadian companies, travelling in-market;
- travel in Canada for representatives of recipients, partner organizations, and/or Canadian companies; and
- any other cost that could be interpreted as subsidizing a product's selling price and, therefore, contravening the World Trade Organization (WTO) and countervail regulations.
Can recipients be paid in advance of carrying out the activity?
No, the program does not make advance payments. Applicants must have sufficient cash flow to fund their proposed activities in their entirety, prior to re-imbursement.
When can organizations submit an application for funding?
CanExport Associations typically has one call for applications each year and applications are submitted via the CanExport Associations online system from December to January for activities taking place April 1st to March 31st.
Are there limits on funding requests?
Applicants may seek a maximum of $400,000 of CanExport Associations funding. Applicants must apply for a minimum of $20,000 of funding. Eligible expenditures will be reimbursed up to a maximum of 75%.
Can an organization apply for CanExport Associations funding if it is already receiving funding from other sources?
CanExport Associations provides reimbursements of up to 75%. Although applicants may apply for and receive funding from other sources, the total level of government assistance (i.e., federal, provincial, territorial, municipal and Crown corporations) cannot exceed 75% of any expense and the approved applicant’s share must be at least 25%.
Can I receive feedback on a draft version of my application before submitting a final version?
Applicants should consult with the Trade Commissioners in the target markets of their activities during their application development. (Applicants can find the name of the responsible Trade Commissioner using the Find A Trade Commissioner tool). Trade Commissioners can help identify the market opportunities, barriers and trends that are relevant to an applicant’s proposed activities.
How will applications be assessed?
An overall evaluation of the application and of each of the packages of proposed activities will be conducted using the assessment criteria listed below and then presented to the CanExport Associations Adjudication Board for decision. The Adjudication Board is made up of representatives from Global Affairs Canada and other government departments. Funding decisions made by the Board are final and there is no appeal process. Because of the competition for resources, funding is awarded to the strongest applicants and activities.
The following were the key evaluation criteria for the 2019-20 market diversification funding round.
- Departmental Priorities
This funding is specifically intended to help Canadian companies diversify their exports to markets outside of the U.S. and take advantage of new trade agreements, such as the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
- Anticipated Commercial Results
Has the application clearly outlined valid expected results - what will be measured, how will these be measured and which performance indicators will be used?
- Introduction of New or Expanded Initiatives and Results (“Incrementality”)
An organization’s core activities are ineligible for funding. Applicants will be evaluated on the extent to which their proposed activities represent new or expanded initiatives, build on the organization’s core/existing activities and yield incremental results. How well does the application build on CanExport Associations supported activities from past years? Do the proposed activities add significantly to the applicant's core activities?
- Benefits to Canadian Business
Applications are evaluated on how well they benefit, and include the participation of, Canadian industry and in particular, SMEs.
- Performance and Results for Past Years
Applications will be assessed for the quality and appropriateness of the information provided. Applicants that have received previous funding will also be evaluated on their past use and management of CanExport Associations funds and their reported results.
- Departmental Priorities
When will I know whether my application has been approved?
Applicants are typically notified of results in mid-March. You will be notified of the decision by email.
Why wasn’t my application or a component of my application funded if all the activities and expenses are eligible?
Because of the competition for resources, CanExport Associations funding is awarded to the strongest applicants and activities. The description of the proposed activities should demonstrate that they aim to promote international business development, go beyond the applicant’s core activities/basic operations, represent new or expanded initiatives and provide an opportunity to yield incremental results. CanExport Associations will approve funding for those activities considered the most effective to achieve the expected results of the program.
What happens if some/all of my activities are approved?
In the case of a successful applicant, CanExport Associations, on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada (the “Crown”), and the recipient will sign a contribution agreement that outlines the approved activities and their expected costs, as well as the obligations and responsibilities of both parties. Successful applicants will also receive a Recipient Handbook that outlines the processes for submitting claims and making modifications to their application.
Can changes be made to approved activities?
Recipients will be allowed to submit modification requests to their approved activities after the contribution agreement is signed, however, all modifications excluding minor date changes will be subject to a re-evaluation process. Packages or activities that were rejected in the original application cannot be re-submitted.
Will the CanExport Associations recipient be audited?
All CanExport Associations recipients may be subject to audit. If your organization is selected for audit, you will be notified well in advance. Audits normally occur after the expiry date of the contribution agreement and are carried out by the Government of Canada or professional auditing firms on its behalf. That is why it is imperative you maintain records of activities as well as receipts for all expenses related to the approved activities. If overpayment is identified in the audit, the overpaid amount must be reimbursed.
How do I get more information on the program?
If you require additional information, please contact us at CanExport-Associations@international.gc.ca.
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