1. This notice provides information on the Legislative Proposals to Amend the Excise Tax Act, where, in support of public health during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada proposes to temporarily relieve (i.e., zero rate) supplies of certain face masks and face shields from the Goods and Services Tax / Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST).
2. This proposed temporary relief is applicable for goods that meet the requirements found in paragraph 3 below, which are imported after . The relief will only be in effect until their use is no longer broadly recommended by public health officials for the COVID-19 pandemic, at which time CBSA will issue an updated Customs Notice.
3. The legislative proposals provide that:
- 1 (1) Part II.1 of Schedule VI to the Excise Tax Act is amended by adding the following after section 1:
- 2 A supply of a face mask or respirator that is designed for human use and is authorized for medical use in Canada.
- 3 A supply of a face mask or respirator that meets N95, KN95 or equivalent certification requirements, is designed for human use and does not have an exhalation valve or vent.
- 4 A supply of:
- (a) a face mask or respirator that
- (i) is designed for human use
- (ii) is made of multiple layers of dense material, but may have a portion in front of the lips made of transparent and impermeable material that permits lip reading provided that there is a tight seal between the transparent material and the rest of the face mask or respirator
- (iii) is large enough to completely cover the nose, mouth and chin without gaping
- (iv) has ear loops, ties or straps for securing the face mask or respirator to the head
- (v) is for use in preventing the transmission of infectious agents such as respiratory viruses and
- (vi) does not have an exhalation valve or vent or
- (b) a prescribed mask or respirator
- (a) a face mask or respirator that
- 5 A supply of:
- (a) a face shield that is designed for human use, has a transparent and impermeable window or visor, covers the entire face and has a head strap or cap for holding it in place, but not including a supply of a face shield specifically designed or marketed for a use other than preventing the transmission of infectious agents such as respiratory viruses or
- (b) a prescribed shield
- (2) Subsection (1) applies to supplies made after
4. Imports of goods that are eligible for relief under the Legislative Proposals to Amend the Excise Tax Act as described in paragraph 3 above, may be accounted for under the tariff items listed and described in Appendix A. Please note, Appendix A is a non-exhaustive list.
5. All claims for relief of GST/HST under the Legislative Proposals to Amend the Excise Tax Act must also include all relevant documents (e.g. copy of original Form B3-3, bill of lading, sales invoice, waybill, sales contract, etc.) that demonstrate that the imported goods match the prescribed goods described in Part II.1 of Schedule VI to the Excise Tax Act and, that they were imported after .
6. In respect of commercial goods which meet the requirements listed in paragraph 3, importers must report the GST status code in field 35 “Rate of GST” of Form B3-3 by inserting code "57" for the GST.
7. For casual goods (non-commercial) which meet the requirements listed in paragraph 3, at time of import, Form BSF715 or BSF715-1 Casual Goods Accounting Document, or Form E14, CBSA Postal Import Form, will be completed according to standard procedures, without collection of GST/HST.
8. For certainty regarding the tariff classification of a good, importers may request an advance ruling on tariff classification. Details on how to make such a request can be found in Memorandum D11-11-3, Advance Rulings for Tariff Classification.
9. To determine whether a particular good or similar goods qualify for the relief, you may call the GST/HST Rulings Centre at 1-800-959-8287 or request a written ruling or interpretation. If the physical location of your business is in Quebec, contact Revenu Québec, at 1-800-567-4692.
Corrections, re-determinations, and refunds
10. Corrections to original declarations and requests for re-determinations are to be made in the prescribed form and manner under the relevant provisions of the Customs Act, in accordance with the procedures outlined in Memorandum D11-6-6, “Reason to Believe” and Self-Adjustments to Declarations of Origin, Tariff Classification, and Value for Duty, Memorandum D6-2-3, Refund of Duties, and Memorandum D6-2-6, Refund of Duties and Taxes on Non-commercial Importations.
11. Where an overpayment of GST has been identified for commercial goods accounted for on Form B3-3, Canada Customs Coding Form, a request for refund may be made by submitting Form B2, Canada Customs – Adjustment Request to a regional CBSA office. While the CBSA will accept refund requests and render a decision for GST, a refund credit will not be issued by the agency. Importers/agents who are GST registrants will receive the refund as an input tax credit from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Information on how to complete and submit Form B2 can be found in Memorandum D17-2-1, The Coding, Submission and Processing of Form B2 Canada Customs Adjustment Request.
12. When an overpayment of GST/HST has been identified for non-commercial goods accounted for on Form E14, CBSA Postal Import Form, Form BSF715, Casual Goods Accounting Document, or Form B3-3, Canada Customs Coding Form, a request for refund can be submitted to a CBSA Casual Refund Centre using Form B2G, CBSA Informal Adjustment Request. Information on how to complete and submit Form B2G can be found in D6-2-6, Refund of Duties and Taxes on Non-commercial Importations.
13. The CBSA may re-determine or further re-determine the origin, tariff classification, and/or value for duty on its own initiative or in response to a self-adjustment. In so doing, as with customs duties and taxes, the CBSA may assess any undeclared amount of GST/HST.
Examinations and verifications
14. Importations may be subject to examination at the time of importation and to post-release verification for compliance with the Tariff Classification, Valuation, Origin and Marking programs, and any other applicable programs or provisions administered by the CBSA. If non-compliance is encountered by the CBSA, in addition to assessments of any applicable customs duties and taxes, penalties may be imposed and interest will be assessed, where applicable.
15. For more information call the Border Information Service (BIS) at 1-800-461-9999 (accessible within Canada and the United States). If calling outside Canada and the United States, call 204-983-3500 or 506-636-5064. Long distance charges will apply. Our automated telephony service provides general information in English and French on CBSA programs, services and initiatives through recorded scripts. Live agents are also available to assist you from 6 am to 10 pm (eastern daylight time), 7 days a week. TTY is also available within Canada: 1-866-335-3237. Alternatively, you may send your enquiries to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tariff items and their descriptions under which goods that are eligible for temporary GST/HST relief under the Legislative Proposals to Amend the Excise Tax Act may be accounted for.
*GST/HST relief may not be applicable to all goods classified under these tariff items. GST/HST relief is strictly limited to the goods described in the proposed amendment to Part II.1 of Schedule VI to the Excise Tax Act.
**The list below is non-exhaustive.
- Plastic safety face shields (covering more than the eyes area), designed for use by workers employed in hazardous work, and parts thereof
- Respirators, consisting of several layers of nonwovens of man-made fibres, whether or not treated with activated carbon, with or without an exhalation valve, to be employed in a noxious atmosphere
- Plastic face-masks, without mechanical parts, with or without a replaceable non-woven filter
- Cellulose/paper masks
Textile face-masks, without a replaceable filter or mechanical parts, including surgical masks and disposable face-masks made of non-woven textiles
Respirators, NIOSH approved or equivalent, consisting of several layers of nonwovens of man-made fibres, whether or not treated with activated carbon, with or without an exhalation valve, to be employed in a noxious atmosphere
- Face-masks of other textile materials
- Date modified: