The duty-free limit for residents returning to Canada is 1.5 L for wine only, 8.5 L for beer and ale only or 1.14 L for all alcoholic beverages.

The relief provisions for wine and alcoholic beverages in general can be found under heading 98.04 (9804.10.00 and 9804.20.00) of the Customs Tariff.

But I was unable to find where the exemption for a case of beer comes from.

  • 1
    The legal basis is that it's the law. Are you asking about the rationale behind the amount of the beer exemption? Oct 25, 2021 at 23:06
  • 3
    @BlueDogRanch No, I would like to know which law or regulation permits the 8.5-L exemption for beer, since I have only found the exemption (from the Customs Tariff) for wine and alcoholic beverages in general.
    – xngtng
    Oct 25, 2021 at 23:10
  • 2
    Searching that link for "ale", TIL that Canada has a tariff for "a live specimen of the mongoose family", including Helogale, Donogale, and several others ending in -ale. Oct 26, 2021 at 2:23
  • The text that appears over and over is just "wine not exceeding 1.5 litres or any alcoholic beverages not exceeding 1.14 litres". I wonder if there is a general rule somewhere specifying a conversion factor for beer, e.g. 1 litre of beer counts as 135 ml of "alcoholic beverage". Sep 16, 2023 at 16:38

1 Answer 1


If it helps, beer is described as "beer made from malt" and is in tariff category 2203 which is part of Chapter 22. Between countries with "most favored nation" status like the U.S. and Canada, beer is duty free no matter how much of it you import, although it might otherwise have to be declared.

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