Importations of COVID-19 vaccines by Diplomatic Missions, Consular Posts and Accredited International Organizations
Customs Notice 21-05
In this Customs Notice, the term “Mission” means embassy/high commission, consular post, and accredited international organization.
1. The purpose of this Customs Notice is to outline the requirements for the importation of COVID-19 vaccines in diplomatic bags or in commercial shipments for official Mission use.
2. Diplomatic importations of COVID-19 vaccines require a “non-objection letter” issued by Health Canada to the Mission importing the COVID-19 vaccines to Canada.
3. In order to facilitate timely processing when presenting themselves at the border, the Mission’s diplomatic courier or the agent authorized to act on behalf of the Mission, may declare that they are carrying COVID-19 vaccines in diplomatic bags and present to Border Services Officers with a copy of the “non-objection letter” issued by Health Canada.
4. Mission’s diplomatic courier or the agent authorized to act on behalf of the Mission must present an official document indicating their status and authorizing them to account for a specific importation. Generic authorizations are not accepted.
5. Importations of COVID-19 vaccines in commercial shipments for official Mission use are required to be accompanied by a B3-3 – Customs Coding Form completed by the Mission or the agent authorized to act on the behalf of the Mission, in addition to a copy of the “non-objection letter” issued by Health Canada. The B3-3 form submitted electronically is not accepted.
6. Vaccines imported in commercial shipments for official Mission use are classified under Tariff Item 9808.00.00 and are free of duties. Code 68 is to be used to grant relief from the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on the goods. In the case of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO), the special authorization code 94-05686 applies.
7. More information on diplomatic importations in commercial shipments or in diplomatic bags can be found in Memorandum D21-1-1, Customs Privileges for Diplomatic Missions, Consular Posts and Accredited International Organizations (Tariff Item No. 9808.00.00).
8. Missions should contact Global Affairs Canada’s Office of Protocol at firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain further information on this process.
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