Requirements For Importing Wooden Articles Into Canada

Requirements For Importing Wooden Articles Into Canada

Interested In Importing Wooden Articles Into Canada?

If you import wood components - wood items and more are at stake without the proper CFIA approvals.

When importing goods containing wooden components, certain information is needed to determine the necessary import documents required by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). Please ensure these admissibility requirements are known and met prior to purchasing or shipping the items. Some examples of subject goods fall under the tariff items listed below:

How To Import Wood Products Into Canada

H.S. Tariff Classification (Description)

4419 (Tableware and kitchenware, of wood)

4420 (Decorative articles of wood)

4421 (Other articles of wood)

6702 (Artificial flowers, foliage and fruit and parts)

9403.60 (Wooden furniture)

9505 (Festive articles)

9703 (Original sculptures and statuary)

9406.10 (Prefabricated buildings of wood)

The following information is needed to determine the necessary requirements to ensure admissibility under the CFIA wood import requirements:

  1. Is it greater than, less than or equal to 1.5 cm thick?
  2. Does the item contain bark?
  3. Is the product made with "processed" or "unprocessed" wood materials?
A Complete Outline Of The Requirements And Reasoning

It is strongly recommended that this information is clearly indicated on the invoice for each wooden commodity. If the required information is not provided then affected importers will need to be contacted to obtain this information before the shipment can be processed for Customs. This can potentially result in delays in Customs clearance and additional handling costs.

How To Import Wooden Articles Into Canada

Wooden articles that are less than 1.5 cm thick and not containing bark will most likely be approved for import with no additional document requirements.

Wooden articles that are greater than 1.5 cm thick or containing bark, depending on the origin, could require any or all of the following:

  • Plant Protection Import Permit - issued by the CFIA
  • Phytosanitary Certificate - certified by the (National Plant Protection Organization) NPPO of the exporting country
  • Phytosanitary Certificate for Re-export - certified by the USDA

Other Wooden furniture classified under 9403.60, regardless of thickness, made with unprocessed wood, depending on the origin, could require any or all of the following:

  • Plant Protection Import Permit - issued by the CFIA
  • Phytosanitary Certificate - certified by the (National Plant Protection Organization) NPPO of the exporting country
  • Phytosanitary Certificate for Re-export - certified by the USD
Moving Back to Canada and Bringing Personal Goods

Pacific Customs Brokers Case Studies

Missing Information On Documentation

Pacific Customs Brokers has encountered several transactions containing decorative wood products where the invoice description did not provide the thickness of the wood, if it contained bark, or if it was made with unprocessed wood.

  • Once the information was obtained, it was determined the goods did not meet the necessary requirements and were inadmissible to enter Canada
  • The goods were then required to either be returned to the vendor or destroyed under Customs supervision.
How To Import Personal Belongings vs Casual Goods

Inaccurate Information On Documentation

In other cases goods have been released with inaccurate information which resulted in the CFIA performing a site inspection on the shipment.

  • In many cases, products were found to exceed 1.5 cm thickness and were of foreign origin. The requirement for this is a Phytosanitary Certificate for re-export covering the goods.
  • If this was not prepared at the time of export, then the supplier will not be able to produce the required documents.
  • The CFIA will then enforce the admissibility requirements and the importer is required to destroy the goods in question.

In either scenario significant expenses are incurred by the importer and the potential for delays and inspections is greatly increased.

Prefabricated buildings, made of wood, will require either a "No Permit Required Letter" or a "Plant Protection Import Permit". These documents can be obtained from the CFIA's center of administration.

If you are considering importing any of the subject goods outlined above or any articles containing wooden components please ensure the goods meet admissibility requirements under CFIA prior to purchasing or shipping the items.

If a shipment is found to be non-complaint, even after importation, the Importer will bear all costs of examination, inspection and destruction or exportation as well as face potential AMPS penalties for misdeclaration.

Should you need more information, please contact your local CFIA office: Area and Regional Offices

Update | April 6 2018

Thanks for all of the questions and comments you have all provided. Importing wooden articles into Canada has remained a hot topic as of late. With all the question we have received we wanted to provide you with more information to make it easier for you to import wooden articles into Canada.

In general, the CFIA import requirements for wooden furniture are:

  • Articles without bark and made of processed wood materials (material subjected to conditions such as heat, glue, pressure or any combination thereof) are approved entry by the CFIA without additional documents
  • Articles without bark and made of unprocessed wood materials will require a phytosanitary certificate
  • Articles with bark will require a phytosanitary certificate

The Phytosanitary Certificate must be obtained from the National Plant Protection Organization of Country of Export prior to import and must accompany the shipment.

Customs Broker Learn More
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About the Author
Taryn Hannah

Taryn Hannah is General Manager for PCB Canadian Operations, directly overseeing the Release, Trade Compliance, and Office Administration teams. Taryn has been a trade professional since 2005, specializing in strategic and operational process building and management. She began her career with PCB in release operations, which built a strong foundation in many entry modes. In 2010 Taryn became the Supervisor of our Trade Compliance Group, working with staff and clients to understand regulatory documentation, labeling, data, and timing requirements for all imports into Canada. Over the years, she has become an expert in Participating in Government Agency dealings and has been called upon to speak at events such as Vancouver Fashion Week and various customized courses for industry and associations. Taryn has been recognized for her expert knowledge by receiving the designations of Customs Compliance Specialist (CCS) and Certified Trade Compliance Specialist (CTCS) from the Canadian Society of Customs Brokers.

While we strive for accuracy in all our communications, as the Importer of Record it is incumbent upon your company to ensure that you are aware of the requirements under the new regulations so that you maintain compliance as always.