Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA)
IF YOU ARE ENTERING CANADA FROM ANOTHER COUNTRY:
The Vancouver International Guitar Festival has been officially recognized by the CBSA International Events and Convention Services Program.
This means that Non-Canadian exhibitors may import display items temporarily as outlined in the provisions of tariff classification 9993.00.00.00 duty free, on the condition that the goods will be exported from Canada upon the completion of the event.
To ensure a smooth entry process at the border, foreign exhibitors should present the following documents to Border Services Officers when arriving at the Canadian border:
1) CBSA's Letter of Recognition (click button to download)
2) An itemized list of goods including a description, country of origin, quantity and value.
SHIPPING DISPLAY ITEMS TO CANADA
If your event materials will be imported by a commercial carrier or courier service, a copy of the two documents referenced above (the CBSA Letter of Recognition and your list of itemized goods) should be attached to any shipping documents. It may help to include a short notice on the list that specifies: “Goods are to be temporarily imported for display and demonstration purposes only, not for sale in Canada.”
SELLING ITEMS WHILE IN CANADA
Since this event is ultimately an Exhibition, and not a Marketplace, it is best that, when you’re crossing the border, you do not indicate any intention of selling your instruments at the event; otherwise, you will need to pay Duties and Taxes up front, as well as apply for a Work Permit.
We did discuss with the CBSA contact that an exhibition attendee may offer to purchase an instrument. If you do have customers interested in purchasing your instruments at the show, you have two options:
Option 1 (recommended): From the CBSA perspective, it is easier for you to take the sales order, bring the instrument home and then ship it to the customer.
Option 2: If you sell a physical item at the event, before leaving Canada, you must report the sale to Canada Customs and pay duty at any of these offices:
- Downtown Vancouver: 1611 Main Street (at Terminal), 4th Floor, Vancouver, BC
- By Vancouver International Airport (not inside it, down the road): 5000 Miller Road, Richmond, BC
- Pacific Highway Border Crossing: 28 176th Street, Surrey BC (Note, for this office the CBSA office is on the east side of the street right before the US Border. If they go too far they will go through the US border.)
As a recap, there are two components to crossing the border - the people side of things (Immigration, which includes Work Permits), and the goods side of things (Customs Duty).
You can avoid the need for a Work Permit by explaining to the border official you have no intention to sell. However, if a sale takes place while you’re at the exhibition, you need to follow the options above.
INDIVIDUALS REQUIRING A VISA TO VISIT CANADA
In addition to the information provided above regarding the importation of your exhibition materials, please note that individuals from the countries listed in this link require a Visa to travel to Canada: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/visas-all.asp.
If you fall under this category, VIGF can provide you with an official Letter of Invitation. We are relying on you to determine if you require this letter, and if so to provide us with your full legal name, company name, and full address.