Advanced Rulings for Tariff Classifications

Advance Rulings for Tariff Classifications
Trade Talk Blog • November 9, 2021


he Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) publishes Advance Rulings for Tariff Classifications to help importers determine the proper tariff classification of the goods they are importing into Canada.

If you are importing goods that are difficult to classify or fall under more than one tariff classification number, an Advance Ruling request can help you. The Ruling helps you classify your goods correctly and ensures that you are complying with CBSA regulations.

What are Advance Rulings?

Advance Rulings (AR) are written statements by the CBSA that provide information about importing particular goods, including their tariff classification under the Canadian Customs Tariff. These are governed by section 43.1(1)(c) of the Customs Act.

CBSA offers 3 types of rulings as part of their administrative services:

  • Advance Rulings for Tariff Classification (AR)
  • National Customs Rulings (NCR)
  • Advance Rulings for Origin Under Free Trade Agreements

Advance Rulings need to be requested in advance of importing goods into Canada.

What are the requirements for submitting an Advance Ruling request?

Advance Rulings for tariff classification can be filed by the importer, the exporter, the producer, or a customs broker authorized by one of them. To request an Advance Ruling, you will need to submit a letter or email to CBSA with the following information:

  • The applicant’s name, address, contact information and (if the applicant is the importer) the business number
  • Exporter’s name and address
  • Producer’s name and address (if available)
  • Where the goods will enter Canada (city name)
  • Description of the good being classified (including trade name or common designation)
  • Part or model number of the good (if applicable)
  • A statement as to whether the goods are the subject of:
    • A verification of tariff classification
    • An administrative review or appeal
    • A request for a National Customs Ruling (NCR)
  • Suggested tariff classification and reasons to support it (where possible)

The complete list of requirements is available in Advance Rulings for Tariff Classification, Appendix A, of Memorandum D11-11-3.

Advance Ruling requests can be drafted and submitted with the help of your customs broker, but you can also submit them directly by sending an email to CBSA.

What can I expect after submitting an Advance Ruling request?

Once you submit your Advance Ruling request, you can expect a response within 120 days. CBSA might reach out to you with questions or requests for further information to assist them in making their decision. A request is only considered complete once the designated CBSA officer has all the information they require.

CBSA will issue an Advance Ruling for Tariff Classification on your goods based on the information you provided. If you disagree with the classification, you can file an appeal to have it changed.

It is important to note that an issued Advance Ruling only applies to the applicant (or the importer if the applicant is the exporter or manufacturer). The importer may use Ruling received by an applicant other than the importer, but CBSA is not obligated to recognize and adhere to the Ruling regarding that importation.

Our Global Trade Services (GTS) team can help you with tariff classifications and recommend an Advance Ruling if it is required.


Kirsten Selby | Trade Consultant

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