CBSA Tariff Rules

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS) forms the basis of the Canadian Customs tariff. The HS was developed and is maintained by the World Customs Organization (WCO), an independent intergovernmental organization with over 179 members based in Brussels, Belgium. The HS is the standard coding structure and related product description system used in international trade.

Two elements establish the customs rate of duty payable on imported goods:

  • the origin of goods
  • the applicable tariff classification number

The CBSA uses rules pertaining to the origin of goods to determine which goods are entitled to a particular tariff treatment. These rules set out how much production must occur in Canada or in another country for the goods to be considered “originating in” that country and if they are entitled to a specific tariff treatment. This ensures that zero or reduced duty rates are only applied to countries that have a Canadian trade agreement in place.

All claims for preferential tariff treatment must also meet the shipping requirements (such as direct shipment, transit, and transhipment) for that tariff treatment. The shipping provisions identify the requirements to be met for goods coming to Canada. For instance, the goods must remain under Customs control at all times and not undergo any production other than unloading, reloading, splitting up of loads, or operations required to keep the goods in acceptable condition (such as refrigeration, repacking, etc.).

Key Takeaways

  • Goods must be classified according to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System so that the rules of origin can be properly applied. Each tariff treatment is linked to certain rules of origin.
  • The origin of goods and the applicable tariff classification number establish the customs rate of duty payable on imported goods.

ARGO Customers Brokers Is at Your Service

ARGO Customs Brokers will be happy to assist you with your particular case and can explain all CBSA legislation and requirements in simple terms.

You are welcome to inquire regarding free consultation for the proper application of all Tariffs and Trade (TT) and you can reap the benefits of applying all Canadian Free Trade and preferential Tariffs.