Importers should always verify with customs officials the international tariff classification for products they propose to import. The tariff classification determines the amount of any customs duties payable for a shipment.
In the case of a new product like electronic cigarettes, most importers apply for an advance ruling for that tariff classification because the tariff classification can change as more facts about the innovation become known.
The Canada Border Services Agency has issued two different advanced rulings on the tariff classification for e-cigarettes. The latest considers e-cigarettes as an electric nicotine delivery system under tariff item 8543.70.00 which is tariff-free.
After the Health Canada warning about importing e-cigarettes, some critics have said that electronic cigarettes may one day be subject to the same 12.5% customs duty as currently imposed on regular cigarettes containing tobacco under tariff item 2402.20.00.