International events in Canada
Importing goods

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Temporarily imported goods

Foreign Expeditions and Arctic Research

To learn more about the CBSA processing of foreign expeditions and arctic research, please review Memorandum D2-1-2, Foreign Scientific or Exploratory Expeditions in Canada.

Goods imported for an event held in Canada by a foreign organization

Tariff item 9830.00.00 and the Foreign Organizations Remission Order (FORO) may apply to some goods being imported for meetings or conventions held in Canada by foreign organizations. Two provisions may apply:

  1. Certain goods may be customs duty-free under tariff item 9830.00.00;
  2. The FORO relieves the goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST); and excise taxes otherwise owing on those same goods.

What is a foreign organization?

Under both provisions, a foreign organization (but not a Canadian branch of that organization) is defined as a corporation with a head office outside Canada or an association that is not incorporated and no member of which is a resident of Canada.


Both provisions have the following conditions:

Customs duty-free goods

The following goods are conditionally customs duty-free under tariff item 9830.00.00:


Souvenirs are give-away items (such as lapel buttons, billfolds, key cases, pens, pencils, corsages, T-shirts and scarves) that are distributed free to all persons attending an event. The quantities must be limited to the expected attendance at the event.

What can be claimed:

Process and requirements:

Official paraphernalia

Official paraphernalia means mugs, jewellery, pens, scarves, T-shirts, badges and similar items bearing the official registered symbol of a foreign organization. The paraphernalia is generally imported by the foreign organization for sale at its meeting or convention. Official paraphernalia that is given away is treated as a souvenir.

What can be claimed:

Process and requirements:

Office machines and equipment

What can be claimed:

Process and requirements:

Advertising material

Advertising material such as catalogues, price lists and trade notices may be imported into Canada customs duty-free under tariff item 4911.10.10 and tariff item 9929.00.00 when conditions of these tariff items are met. Goods classified under these tariff items may also be eligible for GST/HST relief under the Advertising Material Remission Order. For more information: Memorandum D8-3-1, Administration of the Advertising Material Remission Order.

Commercial samples and apparel samples

Commercial samples of negligible value coming from the United States, Mexico, Chile or Costa Rica, regardless of the country of origin or tariff treatment, and imported solely for the solicitation of orders for goods or services provided from a country other than Canada, may be imported into Canada customs duty-free under tariff item 9990.00.00.

Samples originating in any country that are representative of a particular category of goods that have been produced or an article for which production is contemplated may be imported into Canada customs duty-free under tariff item 9991.00.00.

Goods classified under tariff items 9990.00.00 and 9991.00.00 may be entitled to GST/HST relief under the Samples of Negligible Value Remission Order.

For more information: Memorandum D8-2-8, Samples of Negligible Value (Tariff Items 9990.00.00 and 9991.00.00)

For more information on apparel samples: Memorandum D8-2-14, Tariff Item 9936.00.00 – Apparel Samples

Display goods

Display goods may only remain in Canada for 18 consecutive months from the time the goods are temporarily imported into Canada. Note that for the most part, the period for GST/HST and excise tax relief is the same. However, display goods are only granted relief of the GST/HST for six months with no possibility of extension.

During this period, the goods must be displayed at a recognized public exhibition or convention, en route from one recognized event to another or accounted for and delivered into a bonded warehouse.

For more information: Memorandum D8-1-1, Administration of Temporary Importation (Tariff Item no. 9993.00.00) Regulations (Appendix A)

Security deposits

To ensure temporarily imported goods are exported from Canada, a CBSA Border Services Officer may require the importer to post a security deposit. The goods would then be documented on a Form E29B, Temporary Admission Permit.

For more information: Memorandum D8-1-4, Administrative Procedures Related to Form E29B, Temporary Admission Permit

Process and requirements

The CBSA border services officer at the port of entry or at the inland CBSA office will outline any conditions that will require a refundable security deposit at the time of importation. This refundable deposit covers any duties and taxes that would apply if all the goods were to remain in Canada.

Once the goods are taken out of the country under CBSA supervision, the security deposit will be refunded by a Government of Canada cheque that will be mailed to the address indicated on the Form E29B. If the goods were destroyed while in Canada, and the damage was certified by a CBSA officer, a police officer or fire marshal, any security deposit made on those goods at the time of importation will be refunded.

If the goods are eligible for full relief of the GST/HST and the CBSA border services officer determines that the importer will comply with the terms of the temporary importation, the goods may be released without a security deposit and documentation on a Form E29B.

Amount of security deposit

The maximum amount of a security deposit cannot exceed the customs duties (including the GST/HST and any other taxes) that would be payable if the goods were permanently imported (i.e. if the goods were accounted for under the provisions of section 32 of the Customs Act). The current deposit required (as of July 1, 2006) is 13% of the value for customs duty of the goods (5% GST plus the average rate of 8% customs duty).

If the goods are imported for commercial purposes and the total customs duties that would be owed (if the goods were permanently imported) is $100 or less, a security deposit is not collected. The $100 amount does not include the GST/HST.

When is a security deposit not required?

A security deposit is not required on commercial goods imported temporarily into Canada if they meet the conditions of tariff item 9993.00.00 and one of the following conditions:

For more information on foreign government privileges: Memorandum D21-1-1, Customs Privileges for Diplomatic Missions, Consular Posts, and International Organizations (Tariff Item No. 9808.00.00).

Changing temporary import status

If the goods are sold

Goods that are sold must first be accounted for on a Form B3 (Type 30), Transfer of Goods Entry, to change the importer of record. With respect to the determination of value for customs duties for temporarily imported goods sold in Canada, see Memorandum D13-11-1, Goods Sold in Canada While Entered Temporarily for Conventions and Exhibitions.

The individual exhibitors or their agents can then present a Form B3 (Type 20), Ex-Warehouse, Consumption Entry, to account for all applicable customs duties and taxes on sold goods.

If the goods are to remain in Canada

If the goods are to remain in Canada, the importer or the importer's agent must submit a Form B3, together with any supporting documentation, to the nearest CBSA office. These accounting forms must be accompanied by all copies of the Form E29B that were returned to the importer or the importer's agent when the goods were imported.

If the goods are used for another purpose

If goods are temporarily imported (free of customs duties and taxes) and are sold or disposed of in Canada, or if the goods are used for another purpose than identified at the time of importation, the person who imported the goods or diverted the goods to another use is liable to pay the customs duties and taxes owing and to report the diversion (see the section "Goods Remaining in Canada" in Memorandum D8-1-1, Administration of Temporary Importation (Tariff Item No. 9993.00.00) Regulations).

If the goods are imported for further manufacturing

Importers who temporarily import goods for further manufacturing or processing should refer to the Duty Deferral Program. Security deposits are not required when goods are documented on an ATA carnet or Taiwan carnet.

For more information:

ATA carnet and Taiwan carnet

Carnets are international customs documents that simplify and streamline temporary entry procedures. Carnets are particularly useful for goods that will be imported into more than one country during the period for which the carnet is valid.

A carnet replaces national temporary entry documents such as the CBSA Form E29B, and also guarantees customs duties will be paid if the temporarily imported goods are not re-exported in the time period allowed. Consequently, carnets eliminate the requirement to post security with the CBSA.

For more information: Memorandum D8-1-7, Use of A.T.A. Carnets and Canada/Chinese Taipei Carnets for the Temporary Admission of Goods

Certificate of origin

To benefit from a preferential tariff treatment provided under NAFTA, CIFTA, CCFTA or CCRFTA, importers must have the applicable Certificate of Origin. At the time of accounting, a claim for a preferential tariff treatment will indicate that the prescribed Certificate of Origin is in the importer's possession. The Certificate of Origin must be presented upon request to a CBSA officer.

For more information:


Like a national sales tax or a value-added tax paid by consumers in other countries, Canada's 5% goods and services tax (GST) is a value-added tax charged by GST/HST registrant businesses on most goods and services provided in Canada. HST is charged on most goods and services provided in five of the ten Canadian provinces Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador.

For more information: Foreign conventions (Canada Revenue Agency)

Prohibited, restricted or controlled goods

Goods cannot be temporarily imported into Canada if they are prohibited. Import restrictions or controls are not waived just because the goods are being imported temporarily. The goods must meet all Government of Canada requirements.

For more information: Requirements for prohibited, restricted or controlled goods

Value for duty

Goods for Sale

If you are importing goods for sale within Canada, you must pay full duties and taxes at their first point of entry, as outlined in the Accounting for Imported Goods and Payment of Duties Regulations. However, if you have on-site/off-site CBSA clearance privileges, the goods can travel directly to the event site for processing by a CBSA Border Services Officer or the goods will enter a sufferance warehouse for processing and release by the CBSA (see Memorandum D4-1-4, Customs Sufferance Warehouses).

When any unsold goods are exported at the close of an event and proof of export has been provided to the CBSA, the importer is entitled to a refund of the duties and some taxes (but not the GST/HST) paid on the unsold portion of the shipment (see Memorandum D17-2-1, Coding of Adjustment Request Forms).

For more information: Memorandum D8-1-4, Administrative Procedures Related to Form E29B, Temporary Admission Permit (see the section "Alternate Proof of Export")

Under certain circumstances, a portion of an event site may be licensed by the CBSA as a bonded warehouse. Once an event site is authorized as a licensed bonded warehouse using the CBSA's bonded warehouse option, the goods for sale will move directly into the bonded warehouse area and the duties and taxes (including the GST) will be deferred until the goods have been either sold or exported.

Claiming a Refund

To claim a refund of the duties and taxes imposed under the Excise Tax Act, you must submit a completed Form B2, Canada Customs – Adjustment Request, for all official paraphernalia that is exported under CBSA supervision. Memorandum D6-2-3, Refund of Duties, outlines the legislation and explains the policy and procedures for the refund of duties on imported goods.

A refund may be granted as specified in section 6 of the FORO (see Memorandum D8-1-1, Administration of Temporary Importation (Tariff Item No. 9993.00.00) Regulations).

Border clearance

On-Site/Off-Site Service ("Border to Show")


Rather than being processed at the port of entry, commercial shipments for events that have been granted the "Border to Show" option with on-site or off-site service, may be authorized to move directly to an event site. For more information on "Border to Show" see Memorandum D8-1-2, International Events and Conventions Services Program (IECSP).


Event goods being shipped by a bonded carrier can be reported at the first port of arrival (FPOA), and moved to an in-land destination (as stated on a Form A8A(B), In Bond Cargo Control Document) and processed by the CBSA at the inland port. The goods may also be moved directly to the event site if the event has International Events and Conferences Services Program (IECSP) "border to show" approval authorizing on-site/off-site CBSA service.

For more information:

On-site/off-site service allows bonded carrier shipments to move directly to the show site once the goods are reported on entry. This pre-approval procedure expedites border crossings, allows for faster set up at the event site and can provide on-site expertise and problem resolution.

If you would like to be considered for on-site/off-site clearance, be sure to request this service in your initial letter to the IECSP (usually at least 15 to 30 days before an event). The IECSP regional coordinator will determine if the event qualifies for on-site/off-site services and reply with a Letter of Recognition authorizing this service. In some instances, special service charges may apply.

Bonded Warehouse Option

Bonded warehouses are facilities licensed and regulated by the CBSA and operated by the private sector. Goods stored in a bonded warehouse are considered to have been brought into Canada but have not been released by the CBSA. IECSP-recognized events may be eligible for a temporary bonded warehouse license (up to 90 days with a possible extension) for the event location or part of the location if the requirements of the CBSA's Duty Deferral Program are met.

For more information: Memorandum D7-4-1, Duties Relief Program

Moving goods to your event

Common Carrier

Reporting requirements

All event goods being shipped by a common carrier (in all modes of transport) must be presented to the CBSA with a Form A8A(B), In Bond Cargo Control Document.

The form can be completed before or on arrival at the port of entry, and it must provide enough details about the goods to allow the CBSA to determine if they are admissible. Attaching an inventory list of the goods and a copy of the Letter of Recognition will be beneficial.

Display goods

A common carrier that ships display goods to a recognized event with on-site/off-site clearance privileges may be eligible for a one-trip authorization to transport the goods inland to the event site. The one-trip authorization requires a refundable security deposit and a completed Form E370), Application to Transact Bonded Air or Rail Carrier Operations With the Canada Border Services Agency.

For more information on single-trip authorizations and guidelines on in-bond movement of goods: Memorandum D3-4-2, Highway Pre-arrival and Reporting Requirements (Paragraphs 15-22) and Memorandum D1-7-1, Posting Security for Transacting Bonded Operations.

Security Requirements

Depending on the risk associated with the goods, the shipment may be documented on a Form E29B, Temporary Admission Permit. A refundable security deposit is required and can be paid in cash, by certified cheque or money order or by a bond in an amount equal to the customs duties and taxes payable on the goods. The deposit cannot be less than $1,000.00.

Goods for sale

Commercial goods (i.e. goods for sale) being shipped by a common carrier to an event site cannot be documented on a Form E29B, Temporary Admission Permit. The importer or the customs broker must present the appropriate Form B3, Canada Customs Coding Form, and pay any required customs duty and taxes to release the goods into Canada.

Private, Rental or Company Vehicle

Tourists, visitors and temporary residents such as students or individuals with valid work permits can temporarily import a motor vehicle into Canada provided the vehicle is exported within three years.

For more information: Memorandum D2-1-1, Temporary Importation of Baggage and Conveyances by Non-residents

Delegates bringing goods in hand baggage or by private, rental or company vehicles should carry an inventory list of goods as well as a copy of the Letter of Recognition to present when they arrive at the border.

Travellers to the event should be prepared to answer questions from CBSA border services officers about the accompanying goods (description, quantity, value and origin).

Highway Bonded Carrier

A bonded carrier is authorized to transport goods into Canada and assumes full liability for the goods.

On arrival in Canada, the bonded carrier must report to the CBSA all goods carried in the vehicle on a Form A8A(B), In Bond Cargo Control Document, for each shipment. When goods are released to an inland destination, the carrier will present copies of the Form A8A(B) to the inland CBSA office at the destination.

For more information: Memorandum D3-4-2, Highway Pre-arrival and Reporting Requirements

Importation by Courier

Courier means all common commercial carriers, regardless of mode of transport, including freight forwarders and de-consolidators.

When it has been determined that the value for customs duty of goods being imported by a courier does not exceed CAN$20 per shipment, the goods are generally non-taxable for GST/HST purposes.

For more information: Memorandum D8-2-16, Courier Imports Remission.

Exporting display goods

Proof of Export and Validation

When you export display goods after the event, you must present the following to the CBSA for examination and validation:

This can be done at the CBSA office at the point of exit or at the inland CBSA office (for goods being exported in bond).

Goods that are exported in bond are authorized to leave Canada under CBSA supervision to the port of exit where CBSA border services officers will process the temporary import document(s) to show proof of export. The officers will also ensure a refund of any security deposit collected by the CBSA at the time of entry.

Upon proof of export, any security deposit will be refunded by a Government of Canada cheque or by cancelling the tendered bond.

For more information: Memorandum D20-1-4, Proof of Export, Canadian Ownership, and Destruction of Commercial Goods

The security given for display goods when they were imported shall also be refunded if the goods were destroyed and this is certified by a CBSA officer, police officer or fire marshal.

Additional proof

In addition to presenting the original receipts, which need to be validated, you may be asked to show the following:

If you fail to submit the Form E29B to CBSA border services officers at the time of export, the following documents may be accepted as alternative proof of export:

The information provided by the alternative proof of export must be sufficient to satisfy the CBSA officer responsible for the E29B forms that the goods exported are those on the Form E29B and that the goods were exported before the expiry date of the Form E29B.

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