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Tariff Item 9937.00.00 and the Recognition of an Ethno-cultural Group
Memorandum D10-14-61

ISSN 2369-2391


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In Brief

This memorandum has been amended to update the mailing address for the Canada Border Services Agency’s Trade and Anti-dumping Programs Directorate.

This memorandum outlines the policy and procedures of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) in respect of the administration of tariff item 9937.00.00 and the recognition of an ethno-cultural group.


Customs Tariff

Section 88

A group desiring to be recognized as an ethno-cultural group for the purposes of tariff item 9937.00.00 shall submit an application to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness supported by evidence that the group satisfies the criteria set out in that tariff item.

Tariff Item 9937.00.00

Costumes, and parts and accessories thereof, designed or decorated in a manner reflecting a specific ethno-cultural heritage when for the use of an ethno-cultural group that requires the costumes for the public manifestation of its heritage.

"Goods" does not include goods that are sold or otherwise disposed of within 12 months after importation.

For the purpose of this tariff item, upon receipt of an application pursuant to section 88 of this Act, the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness shall have regard for the following criteria in deciding whether to recognize a group as an ethno-cultural group:

Guidelines and General Information

1. Tariff item 9937.00.00 (9937) applies only to costumes and accessories to those costumes, and does not include other items that may be identified with an ethno-cultural group, such as jewellery, banners, flags, art work or other ceremonial items, etc.  Eligible costumes must be for use in a public display that manifests or illustrates the heritage of the ethno-cultural group.

2. The following three criteria are given consideration when deciding whether to recognize a group as an ethno-cultural group:

3. In accordance with Section 88 of the Customs Tariff, upon receipt of a completed application, a determination will be made by the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness (the Minister) on whether the ethno-cultural group meets the three criteria.

4. The application, which may take the form of a letter with supporting documentation, must contain the following information:

5. In addition to the above-noted information, the application must include a signed and witnessed Authorization to Share Information (see Appendix) which will allow the CBSA, in determining the official recognition of an ethno-cultural group, to consult with Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

6. The application and all required information should be sent to:

Canada Border Services Agency
Trade and Anti-dumping Programs Directorate
222 Queen Street, 4th floor
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0L8

7. As noted in the terms of 9937, eligible "goods" do not include goods that are sold or otherwise disposed of within 12 months after importation. For the purposes of 9937, it is the responsibility of a recognized ethno-cultural group to ensure that all of the import requirements are met, and appropriate records maintained, as the importations may be subject to compliance verification for up to four years.

8. Importations under this tariff item must be made in the name of the recognized ethno-cultural group and directed to the address specified in the authorization. These importations must be treated as commercial goods, and therefore all relevant regulations and requirements regarding commercial importations, including the accounting and release provisions, are applicable.

9. The CBSA provides several guides and memoranda that may be helpful to importers who are not familiar with the commercial importation process. These include: guide BSF5079, Importing Commercial Goods into Canada; Memorandum D17-1-5, Registration, Accounting and Payment for Commercial Goods; and Memorandum D10-13-1, Classification of Goods.

Additional Information

10. For certainty regarding the tariff classification of a particular good, importers may request an advance ruling.  Details on how to make such a request are found in CBSA Memorandum D11-11-3, Advance Rulings for Tariff Classification.

11. 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


Authorization to Share Information

I, (Name), as a signing officer of (Name of Group), hereby authorize the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to share the information, that I have provided about the group, with Citizenship and Immigration Canada for purposes related to the recognition of the above-noted group within the context of tariff item 9937.00.00 of the Customs Tariff.

Signed at (City) in the Province of (Province) this (Day, Month, Year)

Authorized Signature
(Print: Name, Title)

Witness Signature
(Print: Witness Name)


Issuing office:
Trade and Anti-dumping Programs Directorate
Headquarters file:
HS 9937.00
Legislative references:
Customs Tariff
Immigration and Refugee Protection Act
Canadian Multiculturalism Act
Other references:
D17-1-5, D10-13-1, D11-11-3
Superseded memorandum D:
D10-14-61 dated
Date modified: