Certain Russian Goods Remission Order: SOR/2023-160

Canada Gazette, Part II, Volume 157, Number 15

SOR/2023-160 July 7, 2023


P.C. 2023-712 July 6, 2023

Her Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Finance, makes the annexed Certain Russian Goods Remission Order under section 115footnote a of the Customs Tariff footnote b.

Certain Russian Goods Remission Order

Remission and Condition


1 Remission is granted of the customs duties paid or payable under the Customs Tariff in respect of goods classified under tariff item No. 2844.43.00 that originate in Russia and that are imported during the period beginning on the day after the day on which the Most-Favoured-Nation Tariff Withdrawal Order (2022-2) ceases to have effect and ending five years after the day on which this Order comes into force.


2 Remission is granted on condition that a claim for remission is made to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness within two years after the day on which the goods are imported.


3 This Order is repealed on the seventh anniversary of the day on which it comes into force.

Coming into Force


4 This Order comes into force on the day on which it is registered.


(This statement is not part of the Order.)


Following the withdrawal of eligibility for Most-Favoured Nation (MFN) tariff treatment from Russian and Belarusian goods on March 2, 2022, it became apparent that a critical medical good sourced from Russia, Cobalt-60, cannot be sourced elsewhere in the short or medium term. In October 2022, the Government of Canada restored eligibility for Cobalt-60 imports to MFN tariff treatment, thus making imports from Russia and Belarus duty-free. In light of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, Bill C-47, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 28, 2023, implemented legislative amendments to the Customs Tariff to indefinitely extend withdrawal of MFN tariff treatment from Russian and Belarusian goods. In order to uphold the intent of these legislative amendments to incentivize Canadian importers to seek alternate sources of supply, while recognizing the medium-term challenge to source Cobalt-60, the Certain Russian Goods Remission Order (the remission Order)will provide duty relief for imports of Cobalt-60 of Russian origin for a period of five years.


On February 24, 2022, Russian military forces invaded the sovereign country of Ukraine, including through the territory of Belarus with the permission of that country’s government. In close coordination with its allies and partners, the Government of Canada responded with a broad range of trade measures, including the withdrawal of eligibility for MFN tariff treatment under section 31 of the Customs Tariff for goods of Russian and Belarusian origin, resulting in the application of the General Tariff, at a rate of 35%, to virtually all goods from those countries since March 2, 2022.

The policy rationale for MFN withdrawal is to encourage diversification of Canadian import sourcing and supply chains away from Russia and Belarus, either toward domestic or other foreign sources. Between MFN withdrawal and other measures, including the Government’s ban on Russian oil imports, imports from these two countries have fallen by over 90% compared to pre-conflict levels (2019–2021).

The Government of Canada has heard from several stakeholder groups about the impact of MFN withdrawal on their import sourcing and operations. In the case of the isotope Cobalt-60, which is widely used in the sterilization of medical products and equipment, there are limited alternative suppliers and imports from Russia are necessary to meet Canadian demand. As a result, in October 2022, the Government of Canada introduced a new Most-Favoured-Nation Tariff Withdrawal Order (2022-2), excluding Cobalt-60 and other products imported from Russia or Belarus under tariff item 2844.43.00 from the 35% tariff. The result was to reinstate duty-free MFN tariff treatment for these imports. This Order expired on May 5, 2023.

Budget 2023 proposed legislative amendments to indefinitely extend the withdrawal of MFN tariff treatment from imports of Russian and Belarusian origin, which were recently implemented through Bill C-47.


  1. Avoid undue costs for the import of a critical input for medical goods that have health and safety implications.
  2. Continue to encourage Canadian Cobalt-60 import sourcing and supply chains to move away from Russia over the medium term, by sending a clear and predictable signal as to future costs.


This measure provides temporary duty relief for imports of Cobalt-60 and other goods of tariff item 2844.43.00 originating in Russia.

The remission Order, as provided for by section 115 of the Customs Tariff, will remit duties on imports of tariff item 2844.43.00 of Russian origin entering Canada between May 6, 2023, and for a period of five years after the remission Order comes into force.

Regulatory development


Targeted consultations were undertaken with importers whose operations were affected by the implementation of the General Tariff on Russian imports of Cobalt-60. Consultations with Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada and Global Affairs Canada were also undertaken related to this industry, the availability of alternative technologies and sources for Cobalt-60. These consultations confirmed the lack of immediate or short-term alternate sources and the supply constraints which are likely to persist for the medium term.

Following the recent expiry of the Most-Favoured-Nation Tariff Withdrawal Order (2022-2), and recent legislative amendments to the Customs Tariff as part of Bill C-47, this measure has been granted an exemption from the requirement to prepublish in the Canada Gazette, Part I, to provide importers with greater certainty regarding the ongoing tariff treatment for these goods.

Modern treaty obligations and Indigenous engagement and consultation

The remission Order is not expected to impact potential or established Aboriginal or treaty rights, which are recognized and affirmed in section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982.

Instrument choice

Regulatory amendments are required to maintain time-limited duty relief for Cobalt-60 in the context of the indefinite withdrawal of eligibility for MFN tariff treatment from Russia and Belarus. A remission order under section 115 of the Customs Tariff is the most appropriate mechanism, as it was created to provide temporary relief from customs duties.

While a legislative approach was considered, it was not considered appropriate as an indefinite legislative exception for Cobalt-60 would not create the incentive to move away from Russian import sources. A legislative approach would also result in the extension of duty relief to radioactive isotopes from Belarus and North Korea, the other two countries subject to the General Tariff.

Regulatory analysis

Benefits and costs

This measure will result in foregone tariff revenue, which would otherwise have been paid to the Government of Canada by importers of goods under tariff item 2844.43.00. It is anticipated that importers of goods under tariff item 2844.43.00 will save approximately $3.43 million per year as a result of this measure. For the purpose of the cost-benefit analysis, these cost savings are considered a transfer, thus making the measure cost neutral.

Given supply constraints, limited available substitutes, and its essential nature, demand for imported Cobalt-60 from Russia is expected to remain constant with or without this measure. Therefore, it is not expected that this measure will have any impact on the volume of Russian imports of Cobalt-60, and therefore, no impact on the efficacy of Canada’s trade sanctions against Russia. Although this measure will temporarily decrease the incentive for development of new sources of supply for Cobalt-60, the limited five-year term of the exemption is intended to signal a need to identify new supply sources over the medium term.

Small business lens

Analysis under the small business lens concluded that the remission Order will not impact Canadian small businesses. However, this measure will decrease costs for importers of goods under tariff item 2844.43.00, including the principal importer of Cobalt-60, which is a mid-sized health sciences company.

One-for-one rule

There will be a minor administrative burden for importers seeking to access duty relief during the retroactive period of the remission Order. During this time, importers seeking a remission of customs duties will need to seek a refund from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). The annualized administrative cost associated with this process is estimated to be negligible, i.e. less than an annualized value of $10. For importations of these goods occurring after registration of the remission Order, importers will bear no additional administrative burden, as they can identify the Statutory Orders and Regulations (SOR) number in their assessment to prevent duty liability and the need for a refund request.

As the regulations relate to tax or tax administration, this increase is exempt from the requirement to offset administrative burden under the one-for-one rule.

Regulatory cooperation and alignment

On March 2, 2022, Canada was the first country to withdraw MFN tariff treatment from goods originating in Russia and Belarus. Since then, several allied countries have implemented tariff increases or import bans on Russian and Belarusian imports, including the United States and the United Kingdom. These jurisdictions have also excluded sensitive products based on their domestic circumstances, including due to conditions of short supply.

Strategic environmental assessment

In accordance with the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals, a preliminary scan concluded that a strategic environmental assessment is not required.

Gender-based analysis plus

No gender-based analysis plus (GBA+) impacts have been identified for the remission Order.

Implementation, compliance and enforcement, and service standards

The Certain Russian Goods Remission Order comes into force on the day on which it is registered. The CBSA will monitor compliance with the terms and conditions of the remission Order in the normal course of its administration of customs- and tariff-related legislation and regulations. The CBSA will update its systems to account for the remission Order and will inform importers through public materials.

Duty relief can be claimed by the importer either at the time of assessment, or subsequently by requesting a refund from CBSA within two years of the date of importation.


Yannick Mondy
Trade and Tariff Policy
International Trade Policy Division
Department of Finance Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0G5
Email: tariff-tarif@fin.gc.ca