Tariff Classification Advance Ruling
Rescue canines


Ms. Sonya Reichel
Georgian Triangle Humane Society
549 Tenth Line
Collingwood, ON  L9Y 0W1

Date of issuance of ruling: January 31, 2017

This is in response to your request for an advance ruling on the tariff classification of rescue canines. These animals are exported from various shelters in the United States and the Cayman Islands.

TRS Number: 277173
Classification Number: 9815.00.00.00
Effective Date: January 31, 2017

Product Description

Dogs of various breeds and/or mixed breeds are donated by animal shelters in the United States and Cayman Islands to the Georgian Triangle Humane Society (GTHS). The GTHS does not pay any money for the dogs, which would otherwise be euthanized by the animal shelters due to overpopulation; however, the GTHS does pay the cost of transporting the animals to their facility in Canada. After importation, the dogs remain with the GTHS until they are adopted into Canadian households.

Analysis and Justification

At issue is whether the rescue canines qualify for the benefits of special classification provision 9815.00.00.00, which provides remission of customs duties on “donations of any goods by non-residents of Canada to religious, charitable or educational institutions in Canada”. The Canada Border Services Memorandum D8-2-9 provides guidelines and information about tariff item 9815.00.00. Paragraph 2 of the memorandum indicates that any type of goods may be eligible, while paragraph 5 states that goods will qualify “even if the importer is required to pay an administrative fee, and/or shipping and handling charges to obtain the goods.” Paragraph 6 sets forth the following four conditions that must be satisfied in order for a donation to occur:

  1. Property is transferred;
  2. The transfer is voluntary;
  3. The transfer is made without expectation of return; and
  4. The intent to donate must be formed at the time of importation.

The animal shelters in the United States and Cayman Islands voluntarily transfer the canines in their possession, free of charge, to the GTHS, a registered Canadian charity prior to their import into Canada. The rescue canines meet the terms and conditions of 9815.00.00.00 and are appropriately classified therein.

With respect to the Goods and Services Tax (GST), goods imported by a charity or a public institution in Canada that have been donated to the charity or institution, are non-taxable importations under section 4 of Schedule VII to the Excise Tax Act. As such, no GST is payable. Code 54 should appear in the “Rate of GST” field (field 35) of Form B3-3, Canada Customs Coding Form.


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 rescue canines are classified 9815.00.00.00 by application of General Interpretative Rule 1.

Goods and Services Tax Status Code 54 is applicable to these goods.

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 as described in Memorandum D22-1-1.

All D-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.

CBSA Contact

Aveluy Ramsay
A/Manager, Tariff Policy Unit ‘A’
Trade Policy Division
Headquarters, Ottawa

File Number


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