Guide to tariff classification for Canadian imports: Canadian rules
Finance Canada developed these 3 rules to support domestic classification at the tariff item level.
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Canadian rule 1
For legal purposes, the classification of goods in the tariff items of a subheading or of a heading shall be determined according to the terms of those tariff items and any related Supplementary Notes and, mutatis mutandis, to the General Rules for the Interpretation of the Harmonized System, on the understanding that only tariff items at the same level are comparable. For the purpose of this rule the relative section, chapter and subheading notes also apply, unless the context otherwise requires.
What this rule means
Classify goods at the tariff item level using the same principles used to classify goods at the heading and subheading levels.
To do this look at the terms (that is, the wording of the tariff items). Also refer to any related Canadian supplementary notes and the general rules.
Only tariff items at the same level are comparable. For example, a 3-dash tariff item with other 3-dash tariff items.
The relevant legal notes also apply, unless the context indicates otherwise.
Canadian rule 2
Where both a Canadian term and an international term are presented in this Nomenclature, the commonly accepted meaning and scope of the international term shall take precedence.
What this rule means
In the Canadian Customs Tariff, an international term takes precedence over a Canadian term when they appear together.
Sometimes you'll see Canadian terminology in parenthesis beside a heading or subheading. This is to clarify the meaning of the international term without changing the scope of the provision.
Heading 87.05 provides for, in part, breakdown lorries (wreckers), crane lorries (mobile cranes).
The Canadian terms wreckers and mobile cranes clarify the international term for Canadian importers.
Canadian rule 3
For the purpose of Rule 5(b) of the General Rules for the Interpretation of the Harmonized System, packing materials or packing containers clearly suitable for repetitive use shall be classified under their respective headings.
This final Canadian rule refers to the second part of rule 5(b). You must classify packing materials or packing containers that are clearly suitable for repetitive use under their respective headings.
Refer to Rule 5(b): Packing materials and packing containers for more details.
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