Tariff classification policy on ratchet drives
Memorandum D10-14-36

Ottawa, November 28, 2020

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In brief

The editing revisions made in this memorandum amend the administrative policy on the classification of separately imported ratchet drives in accordance with the terms of the headings.

This memorandum explains the Canada Border Services Agency’s administrative policy for the tariff classification of ratchet drives imported either as part of a socket set or as separate goods.


Customs Tariff

82.04 Hand-operated spanners and wrenches (including torque meter wrenches but not including tap wrenches); interchangeable spanner sockets, with or without handles.

82.07 Interchangeable tools for hand tools, whether or not power-operated, or for machine-tools (for example, for pressing, stamping, punching, tapping, threading, drilling, boring, broaching, milling, turning or screw-driving), including dies for drawing or extruding metal, and rock-drilling or earth-boring tools.

Guidelines and general information

Description of the goods

1. Ratchet drives consist of a steel bar. At the working end of the bar, there is a “drive” which is a small, rectangular or hexagonal metal “male” head that permits the attachment of spanner sockets. Typical drives are 1/4, 3/8, 1/2, 3/4 or 1-inch square, or 1/4, 3/8 or 1/2 inch hexagonal, each with a height approximately equal to its width.

2. The basic mechanism of the ratchet in the ratchet drive is the pawl and ratchet, which consists of a pivoting spike that engages with the ratchet wheel to allow motion in only one direction.

3. The other end of the ratchet drive is shaped like a handle to permit the ease of use. These include: flex handles (breaker bars), ratchet handles, speed handles (crank handle drivers), spinner (straight comfortable grip) handles and T-handles.

4. Socket sets come in many different varieties. A basic set may consist of at least one driver (also known as a handle), several sockets, and one or more extension pieces. Various components of socket sets combine to form wrenches and are thus fully functional hand tools. Socket sets are often associated with tool sets that are of a type used for automotive repair.

Tariff classification policy

5. Both ratchet drives and sockets are considered to be interchangeable tools. Although unsuitable for independent use, they are designed to be fitted into each other to make a complete functional article.

6. Interchangeable sockets with or without handles are named in the text of heading 82.04 specifically, subheading 8204.20. In accordance with Item 2 in the Explanatory Note to heading 82.04, drives and extensions are also classified under this heading if they are imported with the sockets.

7. Heading 82.07 provides for a wide range of interchangeable tools for hand tools. These tools are described in the Explanatory Notes to heading 82.07 as “an important group of tools which are unsuitable for use independently, but are designed to be fitted, as the case may be, into (A) hand tools, whether or not power-operated.” The design and function of ratchet drives are reflected in this reference as hand tools.

Administrative guidelines

8. When the ratchet drives are imported as part of a socket set, they are classified along with other components of the set under tariff item 8204.20.00 as interchangeable spanner sockets, with or without handles.

9. When imported separately, non-adjustable ratchet drives are classified under tariff item 8204.11.00 and adjustable ratchet drives are classified under tariff item 8204.12.00.

Additional information

10. For certainty regarding the tariff classification of a product, importers may request an advance ruling on tariff classification. Details on how to make such a request are found in Memorandum D11-11-3, Advance Rulings for Tariff Classification.

11. For more information, call the Border Information Service (BIS) at 1-800-461-9999 (accessible within Canada and the United States). If calling outside Canada and the United States, call 204-983-3500 or 506-636-5064. Long distance charges will apply. Our automated telephony service provides general information in English and French on CBSA programs, services and initiatives through recorded scripts. Live agents are also available to assist you from 6 am to 10 pm (eastern daylight time), 7 days a week. TTY is also available within Canada: 1-866-335-3237. Alternatively, you may send your enquiries to the following address: contact@cbsa.gc.ca.


Issuing office:
Trade Policy Division
Headquarters file
Legislative references

Customs Tariff

Other references
Superseded memorandum D
D10-14-38, dated January 7, 2014
Date modified: