Canada Border Services Agency
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Fact Sheet

June 2012

Planning a Convention, Meeting, Trade Show or Exhibition in Canada

The Canada Border Services Agency’s (CBSA) International Events and Convention Services Program (IECSP), in partnership with other Government of Canada departments and agencies, assists event planners and trade show organizers with border coordination and provides guidance on entry requirements specific to events.

The first step in ensuring a successful entry process is to contact an IECSP Conventions Coordinator nearest to the location where the event is taking place, one to six months prior to the event’s scheduled start date.

The IECSP Coordinator is able to access a vast network of Government of Canada agencies and departments on the planner’s behalf, and will provide advice on what organizers need to know about bringing different events to Canada, including information on:

  • Letters of Recognition - a letter of introduction issued by the IECSP Coordinator that is presented to the CBSA upon arrival in Canada to facilitate your entry process;
  • border-related requirements, fee exemptions, entitlements and available services that may apply to a specific event;
  • moving goods from the Canadian border to the event venue;
  • foreign nationals working in Canada;
  • visitor visa requirements for persons from countries that require a visa to visit Canada; and
  • duties and taxes and security deposits.

Program Benefits

  • Facilitates and expedites the border clearance of people and goods coming to Canada for an event and helps to minimize any unnecessary delays of time sensitive event goods at the Ports of Entry;
  • Provides guidance and advice from the initial planning stage through the closure of the event to facilitate event success;
  • Pre-arrival communication informs event organizers of any import requirements in the early planning stages, minimizing the possibility of delays at the border;
  • “Border to Show” on-site service privilege allows goods to move directly to the event;
  • Event organizers are informed of special tax incentives they may be entitled to that will help reduce event costs.

Additional Resources