Tariff Classification Advance Ruling
Humidifier Bacteriostat, product number S1708CS


Mr. Greg Friedman
Sunbeam Corporation (Canada) Limited
20B Hereford Street
Brampton, ON   L6Y 0M1

Date of issuance of ruling:

This is in response to your request for an advance ruling on the tariff classification of the Humidifier Bacteriostat, product number S1708CS. This product is supplied by Jarden Neosho, 303 Nelson Avenue, Neosho, MO.

TRS Number: 272210
Classification Number: 3808.94.10.20
Effective Date:

Product Description

The Humidifier Bacteriostat, available for sale online, is used to control the build-up of bacteria and algae in water tanks of portable humidifiers. This product, packaged in a 32 fluid ounce plastic bottle, consists of a clear colourless foamy liquid with a mild odour. This product is composed of the following active ingredients; 2.25% of n-alkyl (60% C14, 30% C16, 5% C12, 5% C18); dimethyl benzyl ammonium chlorides; 2.25% of n-alkyl (68% C12, 32% C14) dimethyl ethylbenzyl ammonium chloride; and inert ingredients - 95.5%.

Analysis and Justification

You have indicated that the anticipated tariff classification number for the product is 3402.20.90.90. Heading 34.02 of the Customs Tariff reads, "Organic surface-active agents (other than soap); surface-active preparations, washing preparations (including auxiliary washing preparations) and cleaning preparations, whether or not containing soap, other than those of heading 34.01."

Consideration is given to the Explanatory Notes to heading 34.02 which state:

This heading does not cover:
(c) Preparations, containing surface-active agents where the surface-active function is either not required or is only subsidiary to the main function of the preparation (headings 34.03, 34.05, 38.08, 38.09, 38.24, etc., as the case may be).

Heading 38.08 of the Customs Tariff  provides for "Insecticides, rodenticides, fungicides, herbicides, anti-sprouting products and plant-growth regulators, disinfectants and similar products, put up in forms or packings for retail sale or as preparations or articles (for example, sulphur-treated bands, wicks and candles, and fly-papers)."

Consideration is given to the Explanatory Notes to this heading which state in pertinent part:

(1) […] The heading also includes the following products, provided they are put for retail sale as disinfectants, fungicides, etc.:

(a) Organic surface-active products and preparations, with active cation (e.g., quaternary ammonium salts), having antiseptic, disinfectant, bactericidal or germicidal properties.

In this case, the surface-active properties of the product are subsidiary to the properties of the product as a disinfectant. Thus, heading 34.02 is disregarded in favour of heading 38.08.


Section 10 of the Customs Tariff directs that classification of imported goods shall be determined in accordance with the General Rules for the Interpretation of the Harmonized System. Section 11 of the Customs Tariff states that in interpreting the headings and subheadings, regard shall be had to the World Customs Organization's (WCO) Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System.

General Interpretative Rule 1 (GIR 1) directs that titles of Sections, Chapters and sub- Chapters are provided for ease of reference only. For legal purposes, classification shall be determined according to the terms of the heading and any relative Section and Chapter Notes. Similarly, General Interpretative Rule 6 (GIR 6) directs that classification shall be determined according to the terms of those subheadings and any related Subheading Notes.

The Humidifier Bacteriostat, product number S1708CS, is classified under 3808.94.10.20 as a disinfectant, not containing bromomethane, in packages of a gross weight not exceeding 1.36 kg each, by application of GIR 1 and 6.

Legislative/Administrative References

This ruling has been issued under paragraph 43.1(1)(c) of the Customs Act and will be honoured by the CBSA for future importations of the goods specified, provided the material facts and circumstances remain as originally presented; all conditions in the ruling have been met; the ruling has not been modified, revoked, revised, or cancelled; and the Customs Tariff legislation has not changed. Should there be a change in the material facts or circumstances pertaining to the goods, you must notify the CBSA as soon as possible. You may request that the Advance Ruling be modified or revoked as of the date of the change.

Importers should quote the advance ruling number at the time of importation in either the description field of the B3 entry document or on the Canada Customs Invoice. Exporters or producers should quote the advance ruling number on the Certificate of Origin or commercial invoice accompanying the goods.

Should you disagree with this advance ruling, you may file a dispute notice under subsection 60(2) of the Customs Act within 90 days of the date of issuance. Please see the procedures outlined in Appendix C of the CBSA's Memorandum D11-11-3, Advance Rulings for Tariff Classification.

This advance ruling is considered 'reason to believe' for the purposes of section 32.2 of the Customs Act and the CBSA's Administrative Monetary Penalty System, described in Memorandum D22-1-1.

All Memoranda referenced in this letter may be accessed on the CBSA website.

Consent to the Public Release of the Advance Ruling

As per your consent statement, we will release this advance ruling to the public, in both official languages, in accordance with the procedures described in Memorandum D11-11-3. The ruling will be published on the CBSA website in 30 days.

CBSA Contact

Mark Grant
Manager, Tariff Policy Unit 'B'
Trade Policy Division
Headquarters, Ottawa

File Number


Date modified: