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Canada Temporary Entry - Event Organizers: Guidance

Information on temporary entry and travel to Canada. Also includes taxes and standards guides.

Canada Temporary Entry - Event Organizers: Guidance

Postby bridgat » Mon Nov 17, 2008 12:20 pm

Organizers of business conferences, trade shows and exhibitions featuring U.S. products and services will be interested in working with the U.S. Commercial Service in Canada. With professional staff in seven major cities in Canada, the U.S.Commercial Service can provide valuable assistance and support to event organizers and participants interested in developing business relationships in Canada. Contact any of the U.S. Commercial Service centers listed below.

Step I: Working with Revenue Canada:

Revenue Canada is the primary point of contact within the Canadian government for the meetings, conventions and incentive travel (MCIT) industry. This agency will play a pivotal role in providing access to key Canadian Government departments and will ensure that the event organizers are fully aware of all Canadian border requirements related to their event. U.S. special event organizers planning to work in Canada are advised to contact Revenue Canada through the regional customs office closest to their desired site in Canada early in the planning process, or at least three months before the event. A list of regional customs offices and conventions coordinators is provided at the end of this report. When contacting Revenue Canada to plan a major events, organizers will be requested to provide the regional customs office with the following information:

• Location and dates of the proposed event
• Estimated number of participants (Canadian and foreign)
• Name of customs broker or individual responsible for
• Clearing in-bound shipments
• A list of inbound goods, including their origin, intended use, and shipping details
• A request to be considered for the foreign organizations remissions order and/or on-site/border-to-show clearance, if eligible

U.S. event organizers are encouraged to contact the MCIT specialist at the Canadian consulate in their region (listed below) for further information and assistance in addressing Revenue Canada.
Step II: Obtaining a Letter of Recognition:

A Letter of Recognition, issued by Revenue Canada, technically authorizes an event organizer to bring personnel and goods into Canada. The letter of Recognition will specify the tariff classification to be used for goods intended for the event, and will specify whether security deposits are required for these goods, whether on-site clearance privileges are granted, and will specify any additional government requirements. A Letter of Recognition can be obtained in two to three weeks Copies of this document should accompany all shipments to the event and be in the pssession of each exhibitor, delegate and speaker traveling to the event in order to facilitate customs and immigration clearance at the border.

Step III: Entry into Canada:

U.S. citizens and permanent residents do not require visas to enter Canada. However, major event participants should be prepared to show proof of citizenship or residence when entering Canada. Travelers to Canada are strongly encouraged to carry identification papers showing their citizenship or residency status, such as a passport, birth certificate, naturalization certificate or resident alien card (i-151or i-551).

Import Duties and Taxes

Even though event organizers and participants must report all materials they are importing into Canada, Revenue Canada will provide tax and duty-free access for temporary imports of meeting and convention materials. Items eligible for duty-free treatment include: banners and flags; papers; shields; stand decorations; stationery; paper clips, pens, pencils and similar items; identification badges; printing plates, films, and other similar goods needed to produce advertising materials, information bulletins, booklets, or programs relating to the meeting or convention, or products to be displayed at the event. Applicable duties and taxes become payable only on goods left in Canada. The same rule applies to souvenirs valued at less than cdn$25 (US$18.50). Imported souvenirs valued higher than C$25 must have identifying markings that refer to the meeting or convention in Canada to enjoy duty-free access. Goods to be sold at the event will be subject to duties and taxes at the point of entry; and refunds will be provided on unsold goods with proof of export following the event.

Tax Rebates

Non-resident sponsors, organizers, exhibitors, and participants at major events held in Canada may be eligible to apply for a rebate of the seven percent goods and services tax (GST) and the eight percent provincial sales taxes (PST) paid for goods and services related to their participation in the special event. Organizers can file for a tax rebate, using form GST386, convention organizers rebate application. To be eligible for this tax rebate the event must be restricted to registered attendees (not open to the general public); attendance must be at least 75% foreign; and the event host or sponsor must be headquartered outside of Canada. For additional information contact the Visitor Rebate Program office listed below.

Hiring a Customs Broker

Customs brokers are licensed by Revenue Canada to provide customs clearance services for shipments arriving in Canada. A qualified customs broker will work with the event organizers and Revenue Canada officials to ensure that the most favorable duty rates are extended to the event organizers and will prepare all necessary documentation required for shipments entering Canada. They will also arrange for all of your shipping needs (i.e. from your headquarters to the event site and back home again). For more information on Canadian customs brokers, refer to the contacts listed below.

Shipping Materials to the Event

All shipments to Canada by common carrier require form A8A (customs cargo control document, (CCD) for entry into Canada. The CCD can be completed by the shipper or customs broker on or before arrival of the goods. To ensure prompt customs clearance of event-related materials, whether shipped separately or hand carried, shipping documents should include a complete list of items entering the country and a copy of the letter of recognition issued to the event organizers by Revenue Canada.

Clearing Goods for the Event

Unless the event has been authorized for on-site clearance, the responsibility for clearing the goods at the border lies with the shipper or a designated customs broker. Shipments for exhibit or display will require a completed form E29B -Temporary Admission Permit. A security deposit, or payment of duties and taxes, may be required in some cases upon entry into Canada. As stated above, tax and duty rebates can be obtained when the goods leave Canada.

On-Site Clearance

Event organizers that have their event approved for on-site clearance can arrange to have their goods shipped directly to the event site. The Letter of Recognition will indicate whether the event qualifies for on-site customs clearance. The advantages of this procedure are: reduced costs; faster border crossings; faster set-up at the event site; and on-site problem resolution. A customs officer will be available on-site during the move-in time and at other times during the event to review documentation and perform any necessary examinations. A security deposit may be required depending on the nature of the event and the goods which are being imported into Canada. To take advantage of the on-site clearance option, U.S. firms should indicate such interest in their onitial letter to Revenue Canada.

Employment Authorizations

NAFTA allows U.S. citizens to sell, take orders and negotiate contracts in Canada for an enterprise located in the United States. However, people engaged in sales at trade events will need employment authorization (EA) if they are selling and delivering goods during their stay in Canada. Any applicable EAs will be specified in the Letter of Recognition. However, event organizers and planners, speakers, delegates and sponsors do not require EAs and can enter Canada as visitors. Show or event service contractors will need EAs and are expected to hire Canadian labor. Exhibitors who only display or demonstrate goods at an event do not need EAs.

U.S. Visitor Information

As with most countries, Canada has restrictions on the importation of firearms, animals and animal products, plants and plant products, fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as, certain food and drug products. U.S. visitors are allowed to bring gifts into Canada, duty-free, if each gift is valued under C$60 (US$44). Gifts valued over this amount may be subject to duties and taxes. Tobacco and alcohol are not considered gifts items and are subject to strict limitations. For further information contact any of the Canadian consulates listed below.

Revenue Canada Offices:

Atlantic Region:

Revenue Ccanada
Regional Customs Offices and Conventions Co-ordinators
CIBC Building
5th Floor
1809 Barrington Street
Halifax, NS B3J 3K8
TEL: 902/426-2663; FAX: 902/ 426-5042

Quebec Region:

Revenue Canada
Regional Customs Offices and Conventions Co-ordinators
130 Dalhousie Street
P.O. Box 2267
Quebec City, QC GLK 7P6
TEL: 418/649-6492; FAX: 418/649-8069

Revenue Canada
Regional Customs Offices And Conventions Co-ordinators
400 Youville Square
Montreal, QC H2Y 2C2
TEL: 514/283-2949; FAX: 514/496-7055

Revenue Canada
Regional Customs Offices and Conventions Co-ordinators
2265 St. Laurent Blvd.
Ottawa, ON KLG 4K3
TEL: 613/991-6900; FAX: 613/991-4126

Southern Ontario Region:

Revenue Canada
Regional Customs Offices and Conventions Co-ordinators
Lester B. Pearson International Airport
P.O. Box 40
Toronto AMF, ON LSP LA2
TEL: 905/405-3810; FAX: 905/612-7862

Revenue Canada
Regional Customs Offices and Conventions Co-ordinators
400 Grays Road
Suite 108
Hamilton, ON L8E 3J6
TEL: 905/308-8703; FAX: 905/308-8714

Revenue Canada
Regional Customs Offices and Conventions Co-ordinators
60 Walnut Street
Fort Erie, ON L2A 5N7
TEL: 905/354-3239; FAX: 905/354-8586

Revenue Canada
Regional Customs Offices and Conventions Co-ordinators
750 Crumlin Road
London, ON NSV 3B6
TEL: 519/451-3177; FAX: 519/451-4275

Revenue Canada
Regional Customs Offices and Conventions Co-ordinators
P.O. Box 1655
Windsor, ON N9A 7G7
TEL: 519/250-7891; FAX: 519/972-9816

Prairies Region:

Revenue Canada
Regional Customs Offices and Conventions Co-ordinators
145 Mcdermott Avenue
Winnipeg, MB R3B OR9
TEL: 204/983-6164; FAX: 204/984-2312

Regional Customs Offices and Conventions Co-ordinators
3033-34th Avenue N.E., Bay 32
Calgary, AB T17 6X2
TEL: 403/292-5892; FAX: 403/292-4840

Pacific Region:
Revenue Canada
Regional Customs Offices and Conventions Co-ordinators
3rd Floor
333 Dunsmuir Street
Vancouver, BC V6B 5R4
TEL: 604/666-1492; FAX: 604/666-3144

National Conventions Co-ordinator:

National Customs Offices and Conventions Co-ordinators
5th Floor
555 Mackenzie Avenue
Ottawa, ON KLA OL5
TEL: 613/946-0237; FAX: 613/954-3577

Canadian Meetings, Conventions And Incentive Travel (MCIT) Specialists in U.S.

Atlanta Region Markets Covered: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands

Contact: Steven D. Felahis
Canadian Consulate General
Tourism Section
1175 Peachtree Street North East
Suite 1700
100 Colony Square
Atlanta, GA 30361-6205
TEL: 404/532-2033; FAX: 404/532-2050

Boston Region, Markets Covered: Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire,
Vermont, Rhode Island, and Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon

Contact: Candee Treadway
Canadian Consulate General
Tourism Section
Suite 400
Three Copley Place
Boston, MA 02116
TEL: 617/262-3760, EXT. 3504; FAX: 617/262-3415

Buffalo Region, Markets Covered: Western Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Western, Central, Upstate New York

Contact: Lynn Niederlander
Canadian Consulate General
Tourism Section
3000 Marine Midland Center
Buffalo, NY 14203-2884
TEL: 716/858-9520; FAX: 716/852-4340

Chicago Region, Markets Covered: Illinois, Missouri, Wisconsin, The Quad City Region of Iowa, Five Northwestern Counties of Indiana, And Kansas City

Contact: Ross Ament
Canadian Consulate General
Tourism Section
Suite 2400
Two Prudential Plaza
180 North Stetson Avenue
Chicago, IL 60601
TEL: 312/616-1860; FAX: 312/616-1877

Dallas Region, Markets Covered: Arkansas, Kansas (Except Kansas City), Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, And Texas

Contact: Sandi Galloway
Canadian Consulate General
Tourism Section
Suite 1700
750 North St. Paul Street
Dallas, TX 75201
TEL: 214/922-9806; FAX: 214/922-9815

Detroit Region, Markets Covered: Indiana (Except The Five Northwest Counties), Michigan, Ohio, And Kentucky

Contact: Heather Phelps
Canadian Consulate General
Tourism Section
Suite 1100
600 Renaissance Center
Detroit, MI 48243-1704
TEL: 313/567-2340; FAX: 313/567-2164

Los Angeles Region, Markets Covered: Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah, Hawaii

Contact: Michael Zaretsky
Canadian Consulate General
Tourism Section
9th Floor
550 South Hope Street
Los Angeles, CA 90071
TEL: 213/346-2788; FAX: 213/620-8827

Minneapolis Region, Markets Covered: Minnesota, Iowa (Except The Quad City Region), Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, And Colorado

Contact: Phyllis A. Campbell
Canadian Consulate General
Tourism Section
Suite 900
701 Fourth Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55415-1899
TEL: 612/333-4641, EXT. 3501
FAX: 612/332-4061

New York Region, Markets Covered: Southern New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Bermuda

Contact: Dena Kerren
Canadian Consulate General
Tourism Section
16th Floor
Exxon Building
1251 Avenue of The Americas .
New York, NY 10020-1175
TEL: 212/596-1684
FAX: 212/596-1614

Seattle Region, Markets Covered: Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, And Washington

Contact: Jill Seidel
Canadian Consulate General
Tourism Section
412 Plaza 600
Sixth & Stewart
Seattle, WA 98101-1286
TEL: 206/443-1777; FAX: 206/443-9662

Washington Region, Markets Covered: District of Columbia, Maryland,Virginia, Delaware, Eastern Pennsylvania

Contact: Stephan J. Gerhardt
Canadian Embassy
Tourism Section
501 Pennsylvania Avenue N.w.
Washington, D.C. 20001
TEL: 202/682-7706; FAX: 202/682-7721

Canadian Custom Broker Associations

Canadian Brokers Association of Canada
Suite 1011
50 O'connor Street
Ottawa, ON KLP 6L2
TEL: 613/236-9039; FAX: 613/236-9175

Canadian Society of Customs Brokers
55 Murray Street, Suite 320
Ottawa, ON
Canada KLN 5M3
TEL: 613/562-3543; FAX: 613/562-3548

Visitor Rebate Program

Visitor Rebate Program
Revenue Canada
Summerside Tax Centre
Summerside, PE CLN 6C6
TEL: 1-800-668-4748 (WITHIN Canada); TEL: 902/432-5608 (OUTSIDE Canada)

U.S. Commercial Service

Region I - the Atlantic Provinces

U.S. Commercial Service
Halifax, Nova Scotia
TEL: (902) 429-2482; FAX: (902) 429-7690

Region II - the Province of Quebec

U.S. Commercial Service
Montreal, Quebec
TEL: (514) 398-0673; FAX: (514) 398-0711

U.S. Commercial Service
Quebec City, Quebec
TEL: (418) 692-2087; FAX: (418) 692-4640
Region III - the Province of Ontario
U.S. Commercial Service
Ottawa, Ontario
TEL: (613) 238-4470; Ext. 219; FAX: (613) 238-5999

U.S. Commercial Service
Toronto, Ontario
TEL: (416) 595-5412; FAX: (416) 595-5419

Region IV - Prairie Provinces and the Northwest Territories

U.S. Commercial Service
Calgary, Alberta
TEL: (403) 265-2116; FAX: (403) 266-4743

Region V - the Province of British Columbia and the Yukon Territory

U.S. Commercial Service
Vancouver, British Columbia
TEL: (604) 685-3382
FAX: (403) 687-6095

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