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Understanding the Harmonized System

Every 5 years the World Customs Organization (WCO) updates the internationally-accepted Harmonized System (HS) Code structure. These codes are used worldwide for the uniform classification of goods traded internationally.

Action for importers and exporters

Importers and exporters who use the HS codes in the Automated Import Reference System (AIRS) should review the 2022 HS Code structure table.

Please use the Automated Import Reference System (AIRS) and/or the AIRS Verification Tool (AVS) to verify that valid HS codes are used. If an old HS code is used, this may result in a transaction being rejected.

To avoid disruptions with your shipments, please make sure your declaration is approved using a valid HS code.

If you received the following reject message: Invalid HS/OGD code; this means the HS code used is no longer valid and has changed as a result of the World Customs Organization HS structure updates.

Please note the CFIA is not able to advise as to which HS codes your product should be classified.

You may contact the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) for help to determine the proper tariff classification of goods. Please visit the CBSA Advance rulings for tariff classification website.