Language selection


Tariff Classification of a Piece of Furniture Imported Unassembled or Disassembled
Memorandum D10-14-38

Ottawa, March 3, 2014

This document is also available in PDF (131 KB) [help with PDF files]

In Brief

This memorandum has been revised to clarify the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) policy regarding the tariff classification of a piece of furniture imported in unassembled or disassembled condition.

This memorandum outlines the administrative policy of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) regarding the tariff classification of a piece of furniture imported unassembled or disassembled as per Rule 2(a) of the General Rules for the Interpretation (GIR) of the Harmonized System.


Customs Tariff

General Rules for the Interpretation of the Harmonized System

2. (a) Any reference in a heading to an article shall be taken to include a reference to that article incomplete or unfinished, provided that, as presented, the incomplete or unfinished article has the essential character of the complete or finished article. It shall also be taken to include a reference to that article complete or finished (or falling to be classified as complete or finished by virtue of this Rule), presented unassembled or disassembled.

Guidelines and General Information

1.   Explanatory Notes (V), (VI), (VII), (VIII) and (IX) to GIR 2(a) provide guidance with respect to articles that are presented unassembled or disassembled.

2.   It is a reality of modern commerce that, for ease of transport, goods may be ordered and purchased as a complete good but shipped unassembled (never having been assembled) or disassembled ("knocked down") and assembled in their final form after importation.  In the case of goods imported to be re-sold, the final assembly may be done before or after the sale, as preferred.

3.   Two scenarios in which an unassembled or disassembled piece of furniture is shipped are:

Tariff Classification Policy

4.   Goods of the type described by paragraph 3(a) above, are to be considered articles presented unassembled or disassembled and, in accordance with GIR 2(a), are classified as the whole, or completely assembled, good.

5.   However, GIR 2(a) does not apply to goods of the type described by paragraph 3(b) above. Each shipment of goods is classified separately on its own merits

6.   Articles that are imported as replacement parts, or to be used to manufacture furniture in Canada, are to be classified as goods in their own right or as parts of the piece of furniture, as appropriate.

Furniture Sets

7.  Furniture commercially referred to as a "set", for example, a table and two chairs, may qualify as a "set put up for retail sale" if it meets the terms set out in Memorandum D10-14-58, Tariff Classification of Furniture Sets, and may also be considered unassembled or disassembled for the purposes of GIR 2(a) if it meets the conditions set out herein.

Additional Information

8.  For certainty regarding the tariff classification of a particular good, importers may request an Advance Ruling. Information on how to obtain an Advance Ruling may be found in Memorandum D11-11-3, Advance Rulings for Tariff Classification.

9.  For more information, call contact the CBSA Border Information Service (BIS):
Calls within Canada & the United States (toll free): 1-800-461-9999
Calls outside Canada & the United States (long distance charges apply):
1-204-983-3550 or 1-506-636-5064

TTY: 1-866-335-3237

Contact Us online (webform)
Contact Us at the CBSA website


Issuing office:
Trade Programs Directorate
Headquarters file:
Legislative references:
Customs Tariff
Other references:
D10-14-58, D11-11-3
Superseded memorandum D:
D10-14-38 dated March 23, 2006
Date modified: