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COVID-19 Update: Canada Waives Import Duties on Certain Medical Goods

Posted May 07, 2020

The Government of Canada yesterday announced that, as part of the federal COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, tariffs will be lifted on certain medical goods, including personal protective equipment such as masks and gloves, used by health care workers in the fight against COVID-19.
Canadian Money, COVID-19, Doctors

“This will reduce the cost of imported PPE for Canadian businesses, which face tariffs of up to 18% in some instances, help protect workers, and ensure our supply chains can keep functioning well,” said Finance Minister Bill Morneau in a press statement

Scope of Coverage

Although certain medical goods and equipment, including PPE, can be imported duty-free, many are still subject to import duties, which are usually a non-recoverable cost for importers.

The measure announced yesterday by the Finance Department — Certain Goods Remission Order (COVID-19), SOR-2020-101 — allows for the relief of customs duty for eligible goods which were imported on or after May 5, 2020. This duty relief can be claimed at the time of importation or within two years of the date of importation.

Products covered by the Remission Order are listed in Appendix A of Customs Notice 20-19 and includes goods such as soap, disinfectants and sterilization products, certain medical consumables such as textile swabs, and various protective garments, gloves, and face-masks.  

Appendix B to the notice lists other medical supplies that are not subject to the Remission Order as they are already eligible for Most-Favoured Nation duty-free tariff treatment.

How to Apply

Commercial Goods: to obtain relief of customs duties at the time of import, special authorization code 20-304 is to be entered in field 26 – Special Authority of Form B3-3.

Casual goods: Form BSF715 or BSF715-1 Casual Goods Accounting Document, will be prepared according to standard procedures without the collection of duty.

Need More Information?

If you have any questions about this Remission Order or any other customs/regulatory issues related to the coronavirus pandemic and how they might impact your business, don’t hesitate to contact one of our trade experts today. Also, be sure to get the latest trade-related developments in response to the pandemic by visiting our COVID-19 Updates page.

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