How to Use the CBSA Customs Tariff to Import Goods into Canada
If you are planning to import goods into Canada, you need to know how to use the CBSA Customs Tariff. The CBSA Customs Tariff is a document that lists the duty rates and other taxes that apply to different types of goods. It also contains information on trade agreements, rules of origin, tariff classifications, and other regulations that affect imports.
In this article, we will explain what the CBSA Customs Tariff is, how to find it online, how to use it to determine the duty rates and taxes for your goods, and what other steps you need to take to import goods into Canada legally and efficiently.
What is the CBSA Customs Tariff?
The CBSA Customs Tariff is a comprehensive document that contains the legal basis for the importation of goods into Canada. It is published by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), which is the federal agency responsible for enforcing customs and immigration laws at the border.
The CBSA Customs Tariff consists of several parts, including:
The Schedule, which is divided into 21 sections and 99 chapters that classify goods according to their nature, composition, function, and origin. Each chapter has a list of headings and subheadings that further specify the goods and their corresponding duty rates and taxes. The Schedule also includes notes, rules, and explanatory notes that clarify the classification criteria and exceptions.
The Customs Tariff Act, which is the legislation that establishes the authority and framework for the imposition of duties and taxes on imported goods.
The Customs Tariff Regulations, which are the regulations that implement the provisions of the Customs Tariff Act and provide additional details on specific topics, such as valuation, origin, marking, remission, drawback, refund, and appeal.
The List of Countries and Applicable Tariff Treatments, which is a table that shows the different tariff treatments that apply to goods originating from different countries or regions. Canada has trade agreements with many countries and regions that allow preferential or reduced duty rates for eligible goods. Some of these agreements are:
The Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA), which replaced the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 2020 and covers trade between Canada, the United States, and Mexico.
The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which entered into force in 2018 and covers trade between Canada and 10 other countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), which entered into force in 2017 and covers trade between Canada and the European Union.
The Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement (CKFTA), which entered into force in 2015 and covers trade between Canada and South Korea.
The Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement (CIFTA), which entered into force in 1997 and covers trade between Canada and Israel.
The List of Goods Subject to Other Duties or Charges, which is a table that shows the additional duties or charges that apply to certain goods, such as excise duties, anti-dumping duties, countervailing duties, or surtaxes. These duties or charges are imposed to protect domestic industries from unfair competition or to address other policy objectives.
The List of Exceptions, which is a table that shows the goods that are exempt from duty or tax under certain conditions or circumstances. These exemptions are granted for various reasons, such as humanitarian aid, diplomatic privileges, personal effects, or temporary admission.
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How to Find the CBSA Customs Tariff Online?
The CBSA Customs Tariff is available online on the CBSA website at https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/trade-commerce/tariff-tarif/menu-eng.html. You can access it in PDF or HTML format. You can also download it as a ZIP file or order a printed copy.
The online version of the CBSA Customs Tariff is updated regularly to reflect changes in duty rates, taxes, trade agreements, rules, classifications, or other information. You should always check the date of publication and revision of the document before using it.
How to Use the CBSA Customs Tariff to Determine Duty Rates and Taxes?
To use the CBSA Customs Tariff to determine the duty rates and taxes for your goods, you need to follow these steps:
Identify the tariff classification of your goods
This is a 10-digit code that describes your goods according to their nature, composition, function, and origin. You can find it by using the Schedule of the CBSA Customs Tariff or by using an online tool such as https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/trade-commerce/tariff-tarif/2021/html/tblmod-eng.html. You can also contact a customs broker or a CBSA officer for assistance.
Identify the tariff treatment of your goods
This is a code that indicates the applicable duty rate for your goods based on their origin and the trade agreement they qualify for. You can find it by using the List of Countries and Applicable Tariff Treatments of the CBSA Customs Tariff or by using an online tool such as https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/trade-commerce/tariff-tarif/2021/html/tblmod-eng.html. You can also contact a customs broker or a CBSA officer for assistance.
Calculate the duty payable on your goods
This is the amount of money you have to pay to import your goods into Canada. You can calculate it by multiplying the value for duty of your goods by the duty rate corresponding to their tariff classification and tariff treatment. The value for duty is the price paid or payable for your goods, adjusted according to the Customs Tariff Act and Regulations. You can find more information on how to determine the value for duty at https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/import/calculate-calculez-eng.html.
Calculate the taxes payable on your goods
This is the amount of money you have to pay to import your goods into Canada in addition to the duty. The taxes may include the Goods and Services Tax (GST), the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST), the Provincial Sales Tax (PST), or other taxes depending on the type and destination of your goods. You can find more information on how to calculate the taxes at https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/import/gst-taxes-eng.html.
Check if your goods are subject to other duties or charges
This is the amount of money you have to pay to import your goods into Canada in addition to the duty and taxes. The other duties or charges may include excise duties, anti-dumping duties, countervailing duties, or surtaxes depending on the type and origin of your goods. You can find out if your goods are subject to other duties or charges by using the List of Goods Subject to Other Duties or Charges of the CBSA Customs Tariff or by contacting a customs broker or a CBSA officer.
Check if your goods are eligible for any exemptions
This is a condition or circumstance that allows you to import your goods into Canada without paying duty, tax, or other charges, or with a reduced amount. You can find out if your goods are eligible for any exemptions by using the List of Exceptions of the CBSA Customs Tariff or by contacting a customs broker or a CBSA officer.
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What Other Steps Do You Need to Take to Import Goods into Canada?
Using the CBSA Customs Tariff to determine the duty rates and taxes for your goods is only one of the steps you need to take to import goods into Canada. You also need to:
- Obtain any permits, licenses, certificates, or other documents required by other government departments or agencies for your goods. You can find more information on what documents you need at https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/import/permis-eng.html.
- Prepare an accurate and complete customs declaration for your goods. You can find more information on how to prepare a customs declaration at https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/import/declaration-eng.html.
- Present your goods and documents to the CBSA at the port of entry where you intend to import them. You can find more information on how to present your goods and documents at https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/import/arrival-arrivee-eng.html.
- Pay any duty, tax, or other charges owing on your goods. You can find more information on how to pay at https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/import/paying-paiement-eng.html.
- Keep records of your import transactions for six years. You can find more information on what records you need to keep at https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/import/recordkeeping-tenuededossiers-eng.html.
Trends in the CBSA Customs Tariff Industry
The CBSA customs tariff is a system of preferential tariffs for products coming from countries with which Canada has a free trade agreement. It is based on the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS codes) of the World Customs Organization. The CBSA customs tariff files are updated at least once a year, or whenever necessary, to reflect changes in trade arrangements and import monitoring regimes .
Global Demand for CBSA Customs Tariff Products
According to the latest data from Statistics Canada, the total value of imports under the CBSA customs tariff in 2022 was $1.2 trillion, an increase of 8.7% from 2021. The main sources of imports were the United States (50.3%), China (12.4%), Mexico (5.9%), Germany (3.6%) and Japan (3.1%). The main categories of imports were vehicles and parts (18.4%), machinery and equipment (16.7%), electrical and electronic products (12.9%), mineral products (10.5%) and plastics and rubber products (4.6%) .
The global demand for CBSA customs tariff products is expected to grow further in 2023, as the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) enters into full force on July 1, 2023. The CUSMA is a modernized trade agreement that replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and covers 28 chapters, including new ones on digital trade, labour, environment, intellectual property and competitiveness. The CUSMA will provide enhanced market access, reduced trade barriers, stronger rules of origin and improved dispute resolution mechanisms for Canadian exporters and importers .
Challenges and Opportunities for the CBSA Customs Tariff Industry
The CBSA customs tariff industry faces several challenges and opportunities in the global market. Some of the challenges include:
- The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on trade flows, supply chains, consumer demand and public health measures.
- The rising trade tensions and protectionism among major trading partners, such as the United States, China and the European Union.
- The increasing complexity and diversity of HS codes and tariff classifications, especially for emerging products and technologies.
- The need to comply with various non-tariff measures, such as sanitary and phytosanitary standards, technical regulations, conformity assessment procedures and rules of origin.
Some of the opportunities include:
- The implementation of the CUSMA and other free trade agreements, such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with the European Union.
- The expansion of e-commerce and digital trade platforms, which facilitate cross-border transactions and reduce transaction costs.
- The development of new products and services that meet the changing needs and preferences of consumers, especially in terms of quality, sustainability, innovation and customization.
- The adoption of best practices and standards that enhance the competitiveness, efficiency and transparency of the CBSA customs tariff industry.
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