Textiles, Apparel, Footwear and Travel Goods
Last updated on 04/10/2012
If you have any questions about the following information, please contact Rachel Alarid at the U.S. Department of Commerce Office of Textiles and Apparel at 202-482-3400 or click here for e-mail access.
**The following information is provided only as a guide and should be confirmed with the proper authorities before embarking on any export activities.**
Import Tariffs - Canada
|Textile and apparel goods manufactured in the United States enter Canada duty free under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) if they qualify under the rules of the Agreement. For more information, see the NAFTA in the FTA section. |
Products from the U.S. that do not qualify under the NAFTA rules are subject to Canada's MFN rates of duty. Canada applies percent ad valorem duties on the f.o.b. (free on board) value of imports.
Canada Tariffs (percent ad valorem) for Textiles, Apparel, Footwear and Travel Goods
*Canada announced the elimination of tariffs on baby clothing in its 2013 federal budget.
Tariff Rate Range (%)
0 - 2
0 - 8
|-other vegetable fiber|
0 - 2
0 - 8
0 - 2
|-other vegetable fiber|
0 - 2
0 - 2
|Non Woven Fabric|
0 - 18
0 - 18
|Home Furnishings |
including: bed, bath, kitchen linens, etc.
0 - 18
0 - 14
0 - 20
0 - 11
For more detailed tariff information, see Canada's tariff schedule on the Canadian Border Services Agency's - CBSA website. Also see, the Current Situation of Schedules of WTO Members.
For information on duty remission programs for textiles and apparel, which allow eligible companies to import certain products on a duty-free basis, see the Department of Finance - Canada.
Additional Import Taxes and Fees--Textile and apparel imports are subject to a 5-percent Goods and Services Tax (GST) applied on the duty-paid value of imported goods plus any other duties and taxes. The GST is paid to Revenue Canada by the importer once the goods clear customs. Each Province, except Alberta, also has a Retail Sales Tax.
Samples/Temporary Entry--Canada allows temporary duty-free entry of certain commercial goods, such as commercial samples, for trade shows and product demonstrations. Such products generally can be classified under H.S. tariff item No. 9993.00.00 as long as they are not being imported for sale, lease, further manufacturing, or processing. For those goods that qualify, a Temporary Admission Permit, Form E29B will be required and a refundable security deposit may be required. For more information on the conditions and procedures for temporarily entry of goods into Canada for a convention, meeting, trade show, or exhibition, see the CBSA publication, Memorandum D8-1-2. U.S. exporters, on the advice of the Canadian importer, may acquire an ATA carnet.
It is important to note that since the implementation of the NAFTA, many U.S. goods are duty-free, thus eliminating the need for temporary entry. However, the GST is still applicable on duty-free goods, while goods entered temporarily may be eligible for relief from GST.
ATA Carnet--An ATA Carnet or "Merchandise Passport" is a document that facilitates the temporary importation of products into foreign countries by eliminating tariffs and other import taxes or charges normally required at the time of importation. For more information or to apply for an ATA Carnet, see the United States Council for International Business website.
Return to Top
Import Documentation/Procedures (Canada)
|The NAFTA Certificate of Origin is not a required document to ship to Canada. In fact, it should only be filled out if the product qualifies for NAFTA preferential treatment. Products not manufactured or produced within the NAFTA region do not qualify for NAFTA preferential tariff treatment. |
The Canadian Border Services Agency - CBSA publication Accounting for Your Shipment describes the required documents for general imports. For further general information, see CBSA's publication Importing Goods into Canada.
Import Licenses--Import licensing requirements remain in place for selected textiles and clothing products, on the Import Control List. These requirements are in connection with the implementation of Tariff Preference Level (TPL) provisions under NAFTA, and Canada's FTAs with Chile and Costa Rica. TPLs are preferential tariff quotas for non originating textiles and clothing (i.e., textiles and clothing manufactured in an FTA country that do not meet the FTA rules of origin). To benefit from these TPLs, import licences are required and are granted on a first come first served basis. For further information regarding Canadian import licenses contact the Import Controls Division of the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.
For more information on local customs rules and regulations:
Canadian Border Services Agency - CBSA
Border Information Service - BIS
Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
Department of Finance - Canada
|For information on common export documents, such as transportation documents, export compliance documents, certificates of origin, certificates for shipments of specific goods, temporary shipment documents, and other export-related documents, see the Export.gov webpage on Common Export Documents. |
For more information on import procedures and documentation requirements, see the Country Commercial Guides (CCG) in the U.S. Commercial Service Market Research Library (enter your country of interest in the "country" field, and enter "Country Commercial Guide (CCG)" in the "Report Type" field. Some market research reports are available only to U.S. companies and U.S. students/researchers that are registered with Export.gov.
Return to Top
Import Restrictions (Canada)
|No information is currently available on any bans, quotas, or other restrictions.|
Return to Top
|U.S. Export Restrictions:|
The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) in the U.S. Department of the Treasury administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions against targeted foreign countries, terrorists, and international narcotics traffickers and their agents in accordance with U.S. foreign policy and national security goals. The OFAC website includes summaries of sanctions programs for various countries and the “Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons” (SDNs) list of entities and individuals with whom U.S. persons may not conduct business and whose property must be blocked if under the control of a U.S. person.
The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) in the U.S. Department of Commerce is responsible for implementing and enforcing the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), which regulate the export and re-export of most commercial items. BIS maintains the Denied Persons List, which consists of individuals, and companies that have been denied export and re-export privileges by BIS, and the Entity List, which consists of foreign end users who pose an unacceptable risk of diverting U.S. exports and the technology they contain to alternate destinations for the development of weapons of mass destruction
Standards - Canada
|The Standards Council of Canada - SCC coordinates standardization activities in Canada and manages Canada's participation in the ISO and in regional standards organizations. Canada’s National Standards System (NSS) is the system for developing, promoting and implementing standards in Canada. Technical regulations are published in the Canada Gazette.|
The Canadian General Standards Board - CGSB certification and qualification program lists cover the following textile-related products and services--carpets and underlay, construction materials, medical products and protective clothing. The Underwriters Laboratories of Canada - ULC tests textiles and fibrous materials. The Bureau de Normalisation du Québec - BNQ verifies the conformity of products, processes, services and persons and develops certification programs for textile products.
In most cases, products meeting U.S. standards will meet Canadian standards with little or no modification. The Technical Document Center offers Canada’s most comprehensive standards collection, which can be accessed by the public. Please note that technical regulations and standards may differ among provinces.
NAFTA allows U.S. exporters to get "one-stop shopping" product approval for both the United States and Canada by submitting their product to only one organization in order to get product certification for both countries. This eliminates the time and expense of obtaining separate certifications for each market. Numerous U.S. testing and certification organizations have received accreditation from the SCC. A complete list of these organizations is available on the website of the SCC website. Provincial regulations, however, do not fall under the NAFTA accreditation framework. U.S. companies faced with difficulties in obtaining provincial approvals should consult with the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service to determine the nature of the problem.
Any proposed regulatory change in Canada is listed in the Canada Gazette.
Flammability Standards--Under the Hazardous Products Act, there exists a basic, minimum flammability standard for all consumer textile articles, in particular children’s soft toys, articles of bedding, carpets, rugs and mats, mattresses and tents. Children’s sleepwear has strict standards depending upon the design of the sleepwear. Products that do not meet the established requirements cannot be sold, advertised or imported into Canada. All questions regarding the Hazardous Products Act should be directed to the Product Safety Office of Health Canada. See the attached PDF file for Canada's Flammability Requirement Guidelines for Children's Sleepwear.
Upholstered & Stuffed Articles--The Upholstered and Stuffed Articles Act prohibits the use of unclean or used fillings in articles sold in Canada. A fiber content statement for all textile components used in articles such as pillows, comforters, sleeping bags, and quilted garments must be stated. However, the fiber content of the filling or stuffing used in upholstered furniture, mattresses, box-springs, cushions, chair pads, pot holders, oven mitts, place mats and mattress protectors, is not required to be disclosed under the Act and its Regulations. Industry Canada provides detailed information on Federal Filling and Stuffing Regulations. All manufacturers of upholstered or stuffed articles, whose goods are destined for sale in the provinces of Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba, should contact the respective Provincial office provided on the Canada Competition Bureau website.
Regulations on Lead Levels in Children's Products--Reportedly, the Canadian federal government has imposed regulations on lead in children's products including costume jewelry and toys. The proposed regulations, were expected to prohibit children's products with excessive lead levels. Health Canada would regulate the maximum allowable lead content in consumer products that are intended for use by children up to 96 months of age. Examples of products to be included in the regulation are: children's jewelry, toys and playthings, baby carriers, carriages and strollers, diapers, baby seats, high chairs and booster cushions, cribs and cradles, children's clothing, and playpens. For more information, contact: Health Canada, Consumer Products Division; Tel: (613) 957-0773; Fax: (613) 952-1994.
Local standards organization and other resources:
Standards Council of Canada - SCC
Return to Top
Labeling - Canada
Canada’s labeling requirements for textile and apparel products are covered in the Textile Labelling Act and the Guide to the Textile Labelling and Advertising Regulations (TLAR). The Textile Labelling Act requires that consumer textile articles bear accurate and meaningful labelling information to help consumers make informed purchasing decisions. A dealer (defined as a retailer, manufacturer, importer, or distributor) of consumer textile articles (defined as any textile fiber, yarn or fabric, or any product made in whole or in part from a textile fiber, yarn, or fabric that is in the form in which it is to be sold to any person for consumption or use) is responsible for ensuring that consumer textile articles are labeled in the manner required by the TLAR. Unless a consumer textile article is exempt from the labeling requirements of the TLAR, a dealer must ensure that a textile label adheres to fiber content, language, dealer identity, and form and application of labels requirements. Canada’s Competition Bureau website contains a Guide to the Textile Labeling and Advertising Regulations and Labelling Assessment Tools - Textile Labelling.
The labels on most apparel and textile items must be permanently attached and able to withstand at least ten cleanings. However, some articles, such as hosiery, undergarments, gloves, scarves, swimwear, and tablecloths my have a nonpermanent label. Special requirements exist for prepackaged articles and labeling alternatives exist for home-crafted articles.
Textile and apparel labels must include the dealer identification, country of origin, and fiber content (in English and French) information. Non-required information may include, care instructions, size, and trademarks or descriptive terms.
Dealer Identification--The dealer identity includes the name and address of the importer, manufacturer or distributor or the CA number. If available, the Canadian dealer's 5-digit identification number, commonly referred to as a "CA Number", can be used instead of a name and full postal address. For more information on the CA Identification number, see the Competition Bureau Canada website.
Fiber Content--The amount of textile fiber present in a textile product must be determined according to established test methods. For every fiber that is present in an amount of five percent or more by mass in a textile article, both the generic name and the amount must be listed on the label. The fibers must be listed in order of predominance and be in English and French.
Care Labeling--In Canada, there is a voluntary system for care labeling allowing the use written instructions or symbols. However, the Canadian General Standards Board - CGSB has developed a care labeling standard, identified as Care Labelling of Textiles - CAN/CGSB 86.1-2003. See the Office of Consumer Affairs of Industry Canada website for the Guide to Apparel and Textile Care Symbols. Copies of CAN/CGSB-86.1-2003 can be purchased from the Canadian General Standards Board - CGSB.
Country of Origin--Apparel products made and sold in Canada do not have to be labeled "Made in Canada". However, if the apparel is NOT made in Canada, but is being sold in Canada, it must say "Made in (country name)" on the label. Firms may wish to consult the Canadian Border Service Agency.
Size--Manufacturers are not required under the TLAR to manufacture garments that conform to specific size dimensions or use specific size codes. The determination of garment dimensions and designation of size codes or "sizes" are left to the discretion of the dealer. However, in accordance with Section 5 of the Act, where a size dimension has been identified, it must be accurate. For information and/or data regarding body dimensions for women, infants and children, as well as garment dimensions and size designations for specific articles of clothing for women, infants and children, please see the standards published by the Canadian General Standards Board - CGSB.
Language--Except in areas where only one official language is used in consumer transactions, the required fiber content information, that is, the generic names, as well as any information directly relating to the fiber content, must be bilingual. Two separate labels may be used, one English and one French. Care instructions are also required to be in French and in English. Dealer identification, as well as the country of origin, need only be in one of the official languages. The province of Quebec has additional requirements concerning the use of the French language on all products marketed within its jurisdiction. Information on these requirements may be obtained from the Office de la Langue Française.
Additional labeling guides--
Prepackaged textile products--When a consumer textile article is sold in a wrapper, package or container and the disclosure label attached to the article is clearly visible to the prospective purchaser, no further labeling is required. However, if the article is wrapped, packaged or contained so that the disclosure label is not visible, the information required to be shown in the label must be repeated on the wrapper, package or container in the prescribed manner.
When an article sold to the consumer in a wrapper, package or container is classified as being allowed a nonpermanent label, or is enclosed in the wrapper, package or container only as a premium, and the main product being sold is not a textile fiber product (e.g. a towel in a box of detergent), the wrapper, package or container serves as the disclosure label for the consumer textile article. The textile article itself does not have to be labeled.
Enforcement--Inspectors from Industry Canada carry out controls on imported goods following specific complaints or notification by Customs. Inspectors check fiber content, review product classification issues, and perform random controls in shops.
The Textile Labelling Act prohibits a dealer from importing into Canada consumer textile articles without a disclosure label. However, the regulations allow a dealer to import incompletely or improperly labelled consumer textile articles and label them in Canada, provided a Competition Bureau officer is notified at the time, or in advance of importation, of all pertinent details on the nature and quantity of the importation, the date and port of entry and the address of the premises where the re-labeling will be completed. On completion of the re-labeling, the dealer must notify the officer and provide a reasonable opportunity to inspect the labeled goods prior to resale.
Product safety labeling--Under the Hazardous Products Act and regulations concerning floor coverings, small carpets and rugs as well as floor coverings intended for use exclusively out of doors that do not meet nonflammability requirements of the act may be exempted, provided they bear a warning label giving prescribed information to alert consumers to their flammability. “Small” items are defined as floor coverings with an area of no more than 24 square feet and a length of no more than six feet.
Environmental labeling--Industry is charged with ensuring that any claims about a product being "environmentally-friendly" are accurate and in compliance with relevant legislation. In general, environmental claims that are ambiguous, misleading or irrelevant, or that cannot be substantiated, should not be used. In all cases, environmental claims should indicate whether they are related to the product itself or to the product's packaging materials. The Canadian government has issued a set of guiding principles governing the use of environmental labeling and advertising which may be obtained by contacting Industry Canada.
Advertising--Advertisements for textile and apparel products are subject to the advertising requirements of the Textile Labeling and Advertising Regulations. Fiber content disclosures are not required in the advertising of the product. However, if the fiber content is mentioned, the generic names of all fibers must then be stated in descending order of predominance. False representations in the advertising of apparel and textiles are strictly prohibited. Copies of the Canadian Textile Labeling and Advertising Act may be obtained from Canada Government Publishing or see the Competition Bureau Canada website.
Return to Top
Market Information - Canada
See Industry Canada's textile page for Canadian import/export data and textile and apparel market information.
The Canadian Government maintains a Canadian Importers Database, available on-line on Strategis, Industry Canada's website. The database includes companies that import specific products into Canada, providing names and locations of major importers and brokers, by product or by city, as well as by origin of shipments. The database also provides total import value by product.
Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement (TPP)--On November 14, 2009, President Obama announced that the United States would engage in Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement negotiations, which currently includes the United States, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, Canada, Mexico and Japan. For further information about TPP, see the Trans-Pacific Partnership page on the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative website.
Government Procurement-- See Global Procurement Opportunities for U.S. exporters.
The Public Works and Government Services Canada - PWGSC is the Government's principal purchasing arm. Departments and agencies must use PWGSC for procurement of goods, although authority to acquire low-dollar-value items, of up to Can$5,000 (Can$25,000 in some cases) has been delegated to departments. The Canadian government’s official Internet-based electronic tendering service MERX gives subscribers access to open tenders from the federal government, provincial governments, and many municipalities, school boards, universities, and hospitals that are subject to Canada’s trade agreements. Also see buyandsell.gc.ca.
U.S. organizations account for the largest share of military contract awards by the Government of Canada. See the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces website.
Chapter Ten of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) provides national treatment in Canada for U.S. companies on Canadian federal government procurement contracts. Provincial and local procurements generally do not offer national treatment opportunities to U.S. companies as they are excluded from Chapter Ten of NAFTA.
Return to Top