Classifying Imported Goods

This video provides an overview of the commercial importing process for businesses importing goods into Canada.


CBSA Title Page: Classifying Imported Goods

A big box flies off deck of a ship onto the port. Big stack of boxes.

Narration: A mountain of goods are imported into Canada every day.

Importer looks enthused/puzzled. Stacks of boxes behind. Boxes in foreground. He pulls lid open to reveal a box of cell phones.

Narration: You are responsible for reporting goods to be imported into Canada to the CBSA.

The words "a tariff classification number" appears on screen.

Narration: A tariff classification number is required in order to complete your import declaration.

Icons for a gun, a switchblade and plants appear. Importer looks at laptop computer – text pop out – the word Prohibited appears. The words "Certain goods may be prohibited" appears on screen.

Narration: Certain goods may be prohibited and not admissible to Canada. You need to determine whether or not your goods meet all government of Canada requirements before you consider importing them into Canada.

Camera turns to side of box – stamped "Made in Japan". Zoom into code. 8517.12.00.20 appears. The words "The tariff classification number" appears on screen.

Narration: The tariff classification number describes the goods being imported.

Close-up of screen, Iaptop screen readout. The words "for each item being cleared" appears on screen. Numbers reveal 8517.12.00.20 Settle numbers section by section.

Narration: For each item being cleared, you must provide the appropriate ten digit tariff classification number.

Line Drawing of the globe of the world. Dissolve to text on screen: Harmonized System. Dissolve  to numbers 8517.12–in a different style. Last 4 numbers are emphasized.

Narration: The Harmonized System is the internationally recognized Customs Tariff Schedule for most countries. The first six digits are international. The next four are specific to Canada, and are used to establish duty rates and are important in monitoring domestic trade.

Zoom and twist into cell phone. Close-up of CBSA page – Customs Tariff page. The words,"you can find all goods" appears on screen. 

Narration: You can find tariff classification numbers for all goods in the Departmental Consolidation of the Customs Tariff on the CBSA website.

Thumb slide Tariff page over through pages with examples of goods. Icons for bike, car. Settle on Cell phones – Chapter 85. The words "Locate the chapter" appear.

Narration: To determine the tariff classification of your goods, locate the Chapter of the Tariff that covers the type of commodity. For example, cell phones are found in Chapter 85.

Icons for rows of cell phones. Pull icon "!" from 1 cell phone window.  Close-up importers face – expression: yeah, of course.

Narration: Next, find the wording in this Chapter that specifically describes the good. This will lead you to the tariff classification number. You'll see that cell phones are described as phones for cellular networks.

Slide in animated cell phone. Icons for cow, carrot and oil barrel project out. Morph into tariff treatment list. The words "The tariff classification number" appears on screen.

Narration: The tariff classification number and where the goods originated will determine the rate of duty.

World map. Text - ghost Preferential Duty Rates. Map of North America appears and is highlighted with text NAFTA The words "Preferential Duty Rates" and Duty Free Importation" appear.

Narration: In some cases, the country of origin of the goods could make them eligible for preferential duty rates. For example, goods imported from the United States may be eligible for duty free importation under the North America Free Trade Agreement.

Importer picks up phone. Close up of display port 1–800-461-9999. The words "Border Information Service" appear on screen.

Narration: For further assistance on tariff classification, call the Border Information Service at 1-800-461-9999.

Reveal URL:

Narration: For detailed information, please go to our website.

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