News and Insights

Emergency Use of Imported Goods During COVID-19

Tax Development Apr 07, 2020

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) recently revised Customs Notice 20-08, “Imported Goods for Emergency Use in Response to COVID-19” to provide guidance on the relief of duties and taxes for goods imported for emergency use during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Remission Order C.R.C., C. 768 defines an emergency as an urgent and critical situation of temporary nature, which exceeds a government's capacity to handle it where the cause is either an actual or imminent disease in human beings that may cause a danger to the lives, health, or safety of individuals.

Goods for emergency use may be imported without the payment of duties and taxes under Tariff Item No. 9993.00 by or on behalf of the following entities:

  • Federal, provincial, or municipal entities (e.g., health care centres);
  • First response organizations, including police, fire, civil defence groups, and medical response teams; and
  • Public or private senior residences, retirement homes, nursing homes, and shelters.

The Temporary Importation (Tariff Item No. 9993.00) Regulations will waive the need to provide proof of export for goods consumed or destroyed during the COVID-19 pandemic.  However, other emergency use goods imported under this tariff item must be exported when they are no longer required, and a proof of export must be provided to the CBSA. 

To apply for this relief, importers of emergency use goods should use CBSA Form B3-3: Canada Customs Coding Form and enter special authorization code 73-2529 in field 26 and “9993” entered in field 28.