Ottawa, August 15, 2006
1. Appendix A of this memorandum has been amended to reflect a change in the categories of persons entitled to customs privileges under the Foreign Missions and International Organizations Act as identified by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) no longer appears in Appendix A.
2. The exemption from duties and taxes previously provided to TECO under the Foreign Missions and International Organizations Act is provided by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Offices Remission Order (P.C. 1994-568 dated April 14, 1994).
3. Goods imported by TECO personnel continue to be accounted for on a Form B3, Canada Customs Coding Form. In field 27, the goods are classified in chapters 1 to 97 of the Customs Tariff and special authorization code 94-568 appears in field 26.
4. This change does not alter the treatment that should be accorded to other individuals who have been granted ID cards by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada.
This Memorandum outlines and explains customs privileges and exemptions granted to designated persons of foreign countries posted to Canada and assigned to diplomatic missions, consular posts, and international organizations accredited by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT), pursuant to the provisions of tariff item No. 9808.00.00 of the Customs Tariff, section 23 of the Financial Administration Act, the Foreign Missions and International Organizations Act (FMIO), and Orders-in-Council.
1. For the purpose of the Memorandum, the following definitions apply:
means approved by that department.
is any person employed in the administrative or technical service of a consular post.
is any person, including the head of a consular post, entrusted in that capacity with the exercise of consular functions.
promotes its State’s economic, cultural, trade, or tourism-related interests and may be located in one or more Canadian cities. There are four levels of consular posts: consulate general, consulate, vice-consulate, and consular agency.
is the head of mission or a member of the diplomatic staff of the mission.
also referred to as "embassy" or "high commission," represents its State’s national interests and is located, without exception, in Ottawa.
means a period not to exceed six months after arrival in Canada.
is a consular officer who is either a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada (see also paragraph 3 under Guidelines and General Information).
refers to any intergovernmental organization of which two or more States, including Canada, are members.
is the member of the staff of the mission employed in the administrative and technical service of the mission.
means used at a function of which DFAIT determines and accepts the purpose to be the promotion of economic, cultural, scientific, or otherwise friendly relations between the sending State and Canada in conformity with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (1961), the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (1963), or the various headquarters agreements between Canada and the international organizations.
refers to an agreement between Canada and a foreign State whose objective is comparable duty and tax relief treatment for the foreign missions and consular posts personnel posted in their respective countries.
2. Refer to Appendix A to identify the categories of persons entitled to the privileges of importing goods duty and tax free under tariff item No. 9808.00.00 of the Customs Tariff by virtue of the FMIO Act. Appendix A lists the categories of persons and the types of identification cards, whether goods may be imported for personal and/or official use, and any related restrictions.
3. It is important to note that at a consular post, there are two categories of consular officers, namely career consular officers and honorary consular officers. The honorary consular officers, i.e., Honorary Consul Generals, Honorary Consuls, Honorary Vice-Consuls and Honorary Consular Agents, are not entitled to any customs privileges other than the personal exemptions tariff item numbers (of heading 98.04) of the Customs Tariff. These individuals are Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada. They also have no signing authority to approve the importation of goods duty- and tax-free.
4. Former residents of Canada returning from diplomatic postings abroad are not entitled to the privileges of the FMIO Act and tariff item No. 9808.00.00. In most cases, the provisions of tariff item No. 9805.00.00 are applicable.
5. There are five types of plasticized identity cards issued by DFAIT for designated personnel assigned to diplomatic missions, consular posts, and international organizations. There are those distinguished by the alpha prefix C, D, I, or J appearing at the beginning of the serial number in the lower left corner of the card, and a white photo identity card issued for honorary consular officers. Refer to Appendix A for categories of persons and privileges relating to each type of identity card.
6. There are individuals of other international organizations, not listed under Appendix A, for whom individual orders-in-councils have been approved. These persons are not issued identity cards by DFAIT and are only entitled to duty and tax relief privileges on imports for official use as specified in their individual orders. These persons should have available a copy of the order-in-council, proper identification, and a letter of authorization by the appropriate head of the organization.
7. On initial arrival in Canada, qualified persons of the categories listed under Appendix A may clear their household and personal effects duty and tax free under tariff item No. 9808.00.00 by presenting their identification card. If an individual has not yet been issued an identification card, his/her status must be verified by contacting Val Morin, Canada Customs and Revenue Agency (CCRA), at (613) 954-5718. You may also contact the Office of Protocol, DFAIT, at the following telephone numbers:
For persons from countries or organizations starting with the letters
A to G (613) 996-8687
H to PA (613) 995-5957
Others (613) 943-1076
8. In accordance with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, immunity from personal arrest or detention and from seizure of their personal baggage is extended to diplomatic agents, consular officers (except honorary consular officers), and members of their families forming part of their households. (Appendix A identifies categories of persons granted this privilege.) Such persons enjoy inviolability for all papers and documents and are exempt, in respect of themselves and their spouses, from immigration restrictions and customs inspection. Customs inspection will only be conducted when there are serious grounds for presuming that baggage contains articles not covered by exemptions or are prohibited/ restricted by law. Such inspection shall be conducted only in the presence of the person or his/her authorized representative.
9. Examples of serious grounds or reasons for customs inspections are situations in which drugs are suspected by drug detector dogs or on the advice of DFAIT.
10. Diplomatic bags and consular bags are not to be opened or detained. The packages constituting the diplomatic bag or consular bag will bear visible external marks of their character. Customs officers may, however, request that consular bags be opened in their presence if there are serious reasons to believe that they contain correspondence, documents or articles not intended for official use, or goods that are prohibited or restricted by law. When a customs examination is deemed warranted, the authorities of the sending State shall be notified, and they may request that the consular bag be opened by an authorized representative of the sending State. If the sending State refuses to have the bag examined, it shall be returned to its place of origin.
11. Correspondence and other official communications by courier or in sealed bags for international organizations accredited by DFAIT are to be handled as diplomatic couriers and bags.
12. Diplomatic bags sent to Canada by representatives of Canadian diplomatic missions/consular posts based abroad do not fall under the benefits and privileges identified in the FMIO Act. Even though such bags may be subject to customs inspections, the addressees should be notified prior to any such inspections taking place.
13. Form B3, Canada Customs Coding Form, or B15, Casual Goods Accounting Document, is be completed to account for imported goods.
14. The persons entitled to the privilege of importing goods duty and tax free under the FMIO Act are relieved of the goods and services tax (GST) at time of release.
15. The GST exemption code 67 is to be used for goods imported for personal use and exemption code 68 for goods for official use of diplomatic missions, consular posts (except those headed by honorary consular officers), and international organizations.
16. After initial arrival in Canada, goods, other than motor vehicles, imported by personnel of diplomatic missions and consular posts that do not accompany the person must be documented by a certificate in the form set out in Schedule I. An original certification must be provided for each new importation, with the official diplomatic mission or consular post seal and approved by the head or person designated of the diplomatic mission or consular post. To verify the names of the persons who have signing authority for certification, refer to the procedures outlined in paragraph 7.
17. This certification is not required for goods (other than motor vehicles) imported by personnel of international organizations.
I certify that the imported goods, described in this certificate or invoice No. are for my personal, family, and/or official use. I am aware that the goods may not be sold or otherwise disposed of in Canada within a period of one year after the date of importation, except on payment of customs duties and taxes as applicable on the appraised value at time of sale. If for any reason it becomes necessary to sell or dispose of these goods within one year after the date of importation, I undertake to give advance notification in writing to the customs office and to pay the required customs duties and taxes.
Diplomatic Mission/Consular Post
I approve this importation.
Name of Head, Diplomatic Mission/Consular Post, or Name and Title of Person Designated
18. Motor vehicles imported by personnel of diplomatic missions, consular posts, and accredited international organizations are not required to be registered with the Registrar of Imported Vehicle. However, the motor vehicles must be documented on Form 13-0132, Vehicle Import Form – Form 1. This form must be presented to the provincial motor vehicle licensing bureau in order to obtain licence plates in Canada. The customs inspector will complete the portion of the form called "Notice to Provincial/ Territorial Licence Authority K-22" indicating one of the following disposal restrictions:
19. When a motor vehicle is imported by personnel of diplomatic missions, consular posts, and accredited international organizations, a certificate in the form set out in Schedule II must be completed and submitted with the customs documentation. An original certification must be provided with the official diplomatic mission/consular post seal, or letterhead for an international organization, and approved by the head or person designated of the diplomatic mission, consular post, or international organization. To verify the names of the persons who have signing authority for certification, refer to the procedures outlined in paragraph 7.
I certify that the imported motor vehicle described in this certificate or invoice No. is being acquired for my personal, family, and/or official use and not for sale. I am aware that it may not be sold or otherwise disposed of in Canada within a period of two years after the date of importation, except on payment of customs duties and taxes as applicable on the appraised value at time of sale. If for any reason it becomes necessary to sell or dispose of this vehicle within two years after the date of acquisition, I undertake to give advance notification in writing to the customs office and to pay the required customs duties and taxes.
Diplomatic Mission/Consular Post/ International Organization
I approve this importation.
Name of Head, Diplomatic Mission/Consular Post, Senior Official of International Organization, or Name and Title of Person Designated
Note: In the event of the decease or transfer away from Canada of a person entitled to the privilege of importing a motor vehicle duty and tax free before the expiration of the two-year period mentioned under Schedule II, waiver of payment of customs duties may be authorized by a senior official of the CCRA on the recommendation of the Chief of Protocol, DFAIT.
20. Personnel of diplomatic missions, consular posts, and international organizations accredited by DFAIT may temporarily import motor vehicles that do not meet Canadian safety standards, if authorization in writing has been granted from DFAIT. The authorization from DFAIT will be granted only on the condition that the motor vehicle will be exported at the end of the person’s posting or destroyed under customs supervision.
21. The authorization from DFAIT will be in the form of a letter with DFAIT’s heading and crest at the top, and the Office of Protocol seal appearing at the bottom right hand of the last page of the diplomatic note. The Chief of Protocol or the person designated by him/her will initial the Office of Protocol seal.
22. An authorization from DFAIT is required each time an individual imports a motor vehicle that does not meet the Canadian safety standards.
23. The Transport Canada import requirements outlined in Memorandum D19-12-1, Importation of Motor Vehicles, will apply to any motor vehicle which is not accompanied by DFAIT’s letter of authorization or that is not exported at the end of an individual’s posting.
24. Soil and related matter can carry pests harmful to Canadian agriculture. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) requires that any sand, soil, earth, and plant residue be washed from used passenger and recreational motor vehicles before they are imported. All motor vehicles, other than vehicles entering Canada from the continental United States, are referred to the CFIA. A fee may be applicable for the CFIA services. If the motor vehicle is not adequately cleaned there will be an additional cost to the importer to obtain the service of a professional motor vehicle cleaning firm.
25. For information about the CFIA requirements, importers should contact one the following Import Service Centers:
1-877-493-0468 (toll free from Canada and the United States)
(514) 493-0468 (all other countries)
Facsimile: (514) 493-4103
1-800-835-4486 (toll free from Canada and the United States)
(905) 612-6285 (all other countries)
Facsimile: (905) 612-6280
1-888-732-6222 (toll free from Canada and the United States)
(604) 666-7042 (all other countries)
Facsimile: (604) 541-3373
CFIA Web site: www.cfia-acia.agr.ca
26. Under paragraph 74(1)(f) of the Customs Act, a person who paid customs duty on imported goods may apply for a refund of the customs duty if the goods are sold to a person who is entitled to duty-free privileges. In view of the foregoing, the importer of record, normally the Canadian automobile company rather than the car dealership, may request to customs a refund of the customs duty paid on an imported motor vehicle that has been sold to an individual who is entitled to duty free privileges. Consequently, the CCRA will refund the duty to the importer of the motor vehicle and not to the purchaser. It is the responsibility of the purchaser to make arrangements with the motor vehicle company to obtain the duty portion assessed on the motor vehicle.
27. To request a refund of customs duty, the importer of the motor vehicle must complete Form B2, Canada Customs – Adjustment Request, and submit it to the regional customs office, Trade Administration Services Division, within four years after the imported goods were accounted for. The sales invoice and certification (Schedule II) must accompany Form B2.
28. Note, however, that motor vehicles imported under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and under special remission orders have no duty assessed, therefore, no duty can be refunded. It is the responsibility of the purchaser to find out from the importer of record if duty was assessed on an imported motor vehicle.
29. To obtain a refund of the excise tax applicable to air conditioners permanently installed in motor vehicles or to overweight motor vehicles, Form N15, Application for Refund/Deduction of Excise Taxes, must be completed and accompanied with the purchase order or sales invoice from the dealer. This form may be completed by the buyer or the vendor depending on the circumstance.
30. Some foreign govenments impose restrictions on the importation and the resale of automobiles free of customs duty and taxes for Canadian missions abroad. DFAIT has adopted a general policy on reciprocity, the intent of which is to achieve comparable treatment on privileges and benefits for Canadian missions abroad and foreign missions in Canada. Restrictions have been imposed on the United Mexican States (Mexico), Republic of Turkey, Morocco, the Hellenic Republic (Greece), Brazil, Iran, Israel, Tunisia, Bangladesh, and administrative and technical staff of the Republic of Colombia. Written concurrence must be received from DFAIT prior to the resale of their vehicles, even after the usual requisite two year retention period.
31. After the two year retention period, an individual who would like to sell an imported motor vehicle which is manufactured for the United States market, must register the motor vehicle with the Registrar of Imported Vehicles. The Registrar of Imported Vehicles ensures that qualifying vehicles manufactured for the United States are modified, inspected, and certified to comply with the Canadian safety standards. A program entrance fee is applicable.
32. A motor vehicle manufactured for a foreign market (other than Canada or the United States) does not comply with Canadian safety standards, and cannot be imported permanently or sold in Canada. Therefore, at the end of the individual’s posting, the motor vehicle must be exported or destroyed under customs supervision.
33. To inquire if a motor vehicle complies with Canadian safety standards, you may contact the following offices:
Registrar of Imported Vehicles
22 Wellesley Street East
Toronto ON M4Y 1G3
Telephone: 1-800-511-7755 (toll free in Canada and the United States); or
1-800-311-8855 (service in French)
Fax: (416) 967-9970
Web site: www.riv.com
Place de Ville, Tower C
330 Sparks Street
Ottawa ON K1A 0N5
Telephone: 1-800-333-0371 (toll free in Canada and the United States)
Fax: (613) 998-4831
Web site: www.tc.gc.ca
34. Alcohol for charitable and special events may be imported duty and tax free when authorization is granted in writing from DFAIT. Once authorization has been granted it must be submitted to the regional customs office prior to importation. The request to DFAIT must be sent through the Embassy/High Commission confirming the following:
35. Wine for wine tasting events which are held to promote products of a country, may be imported duty and tax free as long as these promotions are held at the embassy/high commission or consular post, or at the residence of the Ambassador/High Commissioner, diplomatic agent, Consul General, or consular officer (excluding honorary consular officers).
36. The wine must be imported by the diplomatic mission or consular post and not by agencies such as the Society for American Wines.
37. International parcel post mail is directed to customs by Canada Post for primary screening and calculation of duties and taxes. Diplomatic missions, consular posts, and international organizations personnel entitled to duty-free privileges must have their title and the name of the embassy, consular post or international organization clearly indicated on the parcel by the sender or exporter so that customs officials may recognize their duty-free status.
38. In cases where duties and taxes have been assessed and the individual does not agree with the assessment on his/her mail importation, the CCRA offers two options:
39. The CCRA assists other government departments in controlling the importation of certain goods into Canada. Included are such items as firearms, ammunition, fireworks, meat and dairy products, animals, plants and plant products, fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as certain food and drug products. This list is not all encompassing but provides some examples of goods which are controlled, restricted, or prohibited. The importation of these goods may be retained until customs is satisfied that the import requirements are met. More information on this subject can be obtained by contacting a regional customs office.
40. For additional information regarding tariff item No. 9808.00.00 or questions concerning this Memorandum, please contact:
Senior Program Officer
Tariff Classification and International Nomenclature Division
Trade Policy and Interpretation Directorate
Canada Customs and Revenue Agency
Ottawa ON K1A 0L5
Telephone: (613) 954-6936
Facsimile: (613) 954-9646
|Type of ID Card and Acceptance||Categories of Eligible Persons||Privileges (see Legend)|
|If you wish to verify the names, titles and locations of diplomatic agents and consular officers, you can consult the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada’s Diplomatic Gateway to Canada at http://www.international.gc.ca/protocol-protocole/reps.aspx.|
|D||DIPLOMATIC AGENTS assigned to diplomatic missions and "members of their family forming part of the household."
MEMBERS OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE AND TECHNICAL STAFFof the Embassy of the United States of America and "members of their family forming part of the household."
|C||CAREER CONSULAR OFFICERS assigned to consular posts and "members of their family forming part of the household."||1.6|
REPRESENTATIVES of Member States to the International Civil Aviation Organization and "members of their family forming part of the household," including permanent representatives, alternate representatives, advisers and technical experts.
SENIOR OFFICIALS and "members of their family forming part of the household" of the following international organizations:
SENIOR OFFICIALS as well as "members of their family forming part of the household" of the following office:
MEMBERS OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE AND TECHNICAL STAFF of all diplomatic missions (with the exception of the U.S.) and "members of their family forming part of the household."
CONSULAR EMPLOYEES and "members of their family forming part of the household."
MEMBERS OF THE SERVICE STAFF and "members of their family forming part of the household."
OFFICIALS and "members of their family forming part of the Household" of the following international organizations and other offices:
OFFICIALS and "members of their family forming part of the household" of the following international organizations:
|White Card||HONORARY CONSULAR OFFICERS, including honorary consuls general, honorary consuls, honorary vice-consuls and honorary consular agents.||5|
|United Nations Laissez- Passer||REPRESENTATIVES (including delegates, deputy delegates advisers, technical experts and secretaries of delegations) of the United Nations
OFFICIALS of the United Nations
EXPERTS of the United Nations
4, 6, 7
|1||Exempt from customs duties and taxes at all times on articles (including alcoholic beverages and tobacco products) imported for his or her official and personal use (tariff item No. 9808.00.00)|
|2||Exempt from customs duties and taxes on articles imported for his or her official and personal use at the time of first installation. Alcoholic beverages and tobacco products are not to exceed the normal duty and tax-free allowance.|
|3||Exempt from customs duties and taxes on furniture and effects at the time of first installation. Alcoholic beverages and tobacco products are not to exceed the normal duty and tax-free allowance.|
|4||Not entitled to any customs duties and taxes relief privileges beyond those normally granted to non-residents (tariff item No. 9803.00.00), where so qualified, and to personal exemption tariff items (98.04).|
|5||These individuals are Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada. Personal exemption tariff items only (98.04). Exempt from customs duties and taxes on goods for official use, i.e. coats of arms, flags, signboards, seals and stamps, books, official printed matter, office furniture, office equipment and similar articles supplied by or at the instance of the sending State to the consular post (tariff item No. 9808.00.00)|
|6||Personal baggage, diplomatic bag, consular bag and international organization bag will not be opened or detained (see paragraphs 8 to 12 under Guidelines and General Information).|
|7||Exempt from customs duties and taxes on articles imported by the United Nations for its official use (see Memorandum D21-2-1, Revenue Exemptions and Privileges Granted to the United Nations).|
For additional information regarding tariff item No. 9808.00.00 or questions concerning this Memorandum, please contact the following person:
Senior Program Officer
Tariff Policy Division
Trade Programs Directorate
Canada Border Services Agency
Ottawa ON K1A 0L8
5th floor, CIBC Building
1809 Barrington Street
Halifax NS B3J 3K8
Telephone: (902) 426-2914
Fax: (902) 426-5042
8th floor, 400 Place d’Youville
Montréal QC H2Y 2C2
Telephone: (514) 283-6201
Fax: (514) 496-5181
3rd floor, 2265 St. Laurent Boulevard
Ottawa ON K1G 4K3
Telephone: (613) 991-0566
Fax: (613) 957-9080
Peace Bridge Plaza
60 Walnut Street
Fort Erie ON L2A 5N7
Telephone: (905) 994-6002
Fax: (905) 994-6010
Greater Toronto Area
303-6725 Airport Road
Mississauga ON L4V 1V2
Telephone: (905) 612-6184
Fax: (905) 676-3574
P.O. Box 1655
Windsor ON N9A 7G7
Telephone: (519) 257-6447
Fax: (519) 257-6318
3rd floor, 1 Front Street West
P.O. Box 10, Station A
Toronto ON M5W 1A3
Telephone: (416) 973-6423
Fax: (416) 954-8337
Main floor, Federal Building
269 Main Street
Winnipeg MB R3C 1B3
Telephone: (204) 983-3758
Fax: (204) 983-8849
607-333 Dunsmuir Street
Vancouver BC V6B 5R4
Telephone: (604) 666-0760
Fax: (604) 666-1876
|Issuing office||Trade Policy and Interpretation Directorate
|Headquarters file||H.S. 9808.00|
|Legislative references||Customs Tariff, tariff item No. 9808.00.00
Customs Tariff, paragraphs 132(1)(f) and 133(c)
Foreign Mission and International Organizations Act
|Other references||D19-12-1, D2-1-1|
|Superseded memoranda D||D21-1-1, January 1, 1991|