FDFA Brand Discovery Program

To source new competitive products globally for our member stores, the FDFA has developed a Brand Discovery Program. The program will enable interested companies to introduce their brands to Canada’s border stores and assess interest without a substantial investment. Category buyers from across Canada will participate and determine if your products are well-suited for their respective stores, fostering brand growth.

How Does it Work?

Accepted companies will be listed on the FDFA Buyer’s Forum for 1 year. The Forum is a digital platform, accessed by Canada’s duty free buyers, designed to showcase company and product information. These digital listings include videos, product guides, pricing, and contact information.

Fee: $250 USD


  1. Submit a completed Application Form to brands@fdfa.ca.
  2. FDFA will advise when your application has been processed and share requirements for the listing.
  3. Once received, your presentation will be made available on the FDFA Buyer’s Forum.
  4. Should a duty free store be interested in your products, they will contact you directly.
  5. Once products are ordered, you will be invited to become a member with benefits of the FDFA.

Canada's Duty Free Shop's - What suppliers should know

  • Canada’s duty free shops are unique retailers licensed by the federal government of Canada. There are currently 52 licensed shops, including 32 land border and 20 airport locations.
  • The first land border store opened in Canada in 1985. Land border shops are locally owned and operated private businesses, whereas many airport shops are owned by large international companies.
  • Duty Free Shops are licensed to sell goods free of certain Canadian duties and taxes normally applied, since all sales are deemed to be exports from Canada.

How They Work

  • Land Border Duty Free Shops are located on secure sites at the border. They can only be accessed by travelers who will immediately leave Canada after making their purchase.
  • Information on duty free purchase limits (tax exemption) can be found online or in the shops.
  • U.S. limits
  • Canadian limits
  • The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is responsible for licensing duty free shops in Canada and administering the laws, regulations and policies governing their operation. CBSA monitors duty-free shops to ensure they are compliant with government laws and regulations.

Product Purchasing

  • Each land border duty free shop individually selects and purchases the products to be sold in their store. Product offerings may vary from store to store, based on the unique features and customer demographics of the location.
  • Canadian land border duty free shops compete with U.S. duty free shops and retail stores on both sides of the border.
  • To be successful, the shops must purchase products at costs that enable them to offer substantive savings compared to U.S. duty free and retail prices. When selling to duty free shops, suppliers are provided with paperwork that exempts them from having to charge the taxes and duties. Goods can be shipped ‘in bond’, or suppliers can claim a drawback of taxes/duties paid if the goods have already been imported to Canada. Duty Drawback Program.
  • Liquor is purchased through provincial liquor boards. Liquor is normally sold in 1 litre bottles and labelling must comply with Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) requirements. Depending on the province, beer and wine sales may not have to be routed through a liquor board.  Shop owners can assist suppliers who are unfamiliar with the purchasing policies and procedures involved.
  • Fragrance and Cosmetics are, depending on the circumstance, purchased directly from the brand owner or through authorized distributors. New suppliers should first discuss options with the FDFA or a store operator, in order to determine the most efficient and effective distribution route.
  • Other product categories include confections, clothing, handbags, souvenirs, toys & games, jewelry, watches, glassware, travel accessories, etc. These products can be sold directly to the shops, either ‘in bond’ or tax paid depending on which method is most efficient.


For locations and duty free allowances visit dutyfreecanada.com

FDFA Membership

To qualify for membership, you must already be selling your products or services to multiple Canadian duty free shops.

Primary Membership benefits:

  • Priority access to the FDFA Convention and events.
  • Contacts for member stores, their buyers/purchasing agents.
  • Announcement introducing your company and products to the buyers.
  • Access to the FDFA’s member’s only website and membership directory.
  • Industry statistics.
  • Partnering with the FDFA and stores to address business challenges and opportunities.

For information contact FDFA brands@fdfa.ca