International events in Canada
In this section
As you plan your sporting competition, political summit, global congregation, convention, meeting, trade show, exhibition, scientific or exploratory expedition, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) will be your contact for any border-related questions.
The CBSA will help you coordinate border-related requirements in partnership with other Canadian government departments and agencies.
- As an event organizer you can find information on border crossing requirements, admissibility requirements, and collaboration between government departments and agencies.
- As a spectator or visitor to Canada, you are required to follow all the rules for general visitors to Canada.
- As a participant, you may be entitled to certain exemptions based on your level of participation in the event. Please contact your event organizer.
The information you provide is collected under the authority of Section 107(9) of the Customs Act for the purpose of the facilitation of border coordination services for organizers of international events being held in Canada. The information may be disclosed to other government departments and agencies for the purposes of providing assistance with admissibility requirements.
Individuals have the right of access to, the protection and correction of their personal information under the Privacy Act – Section 12. The information collected is described under the International Events Personal Information Bank CBSA PPU 040 which is detailed at www.infosource.gc.ca.
Major international events
Events such as the Pan American Games, G8 summits or World Youth Day can create temporary and irregular border pressures. To address these pressures, the CBSA's Major Events Management team offers a variety of event coordination services including:
- Liaising with authorities on any admissibility requirements;
- Supporting import and export requirements with all Canadian government departments and agencies;
- Determining eligibility for special entitlements and whether duties and taxes must be paid;
- Ensuring that border services officers can process people and goods for your event in a timely and effective manner; and
- Offering continuous guidance based on extensive experience and precedence.
For further information, contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Event Queries
Service Description: This service ensures that the International Events Section (IES) responds to client queries regarding international event (mail, email, fax, phone and online) registration.
Service Standard: The IES will aim to respond to clients' queries (mail, email, fax or phone) and online registrations within 2 business days.
Performance Target: 95%
Performance Result for fiscal year 2018-19: The International Events Section responded to 961 queries and met the service standard 100% of the time.
2. Event Recognition Decisions
Service Description: This service ensures clients who submit event recognition requests more than 15 days prior to the start date of an event, will receive a decision and written communication 2 business days before the event's start date.
Service Standard: The IES will endeavour to render a decision and provide written communication 2 business days prior to the events start date.
Performance Target: 95%
Performance Result for fiscal year 2018-19: The CBSA rendered 1,004 decisions and met the service standard 99.9% of the time.
For more information on all service standards and performance results for previous years, consult the CBSA Service Standards.
Conventions, meetings, trade shows and exhibitions
CBSA regional coordinators will make sure that you are aware of all the border requirements early in your planning.
Contact a regional coordinator to start your border clearance planning.
Foreign expeditions and arctic research
The CBSA's Foreign Expeditions and Arctic Research (FEAR) program serves as an information focal point for expedition organizers who are planning travel to Canada, including Canada's Far North. The mandate of this program ensures that expedition planners receive accurate, timely and consistent information.
The Foreign Expeditions and Arctic Research program provides border-related information to foreign expeditions taking place in Canada while ensuring compliance with Canadian regulations and safety procedures. Clients include scientific research forays, the international research community, Arctic explorers, foreign educational institutions, and the high-adventure travel industry.
For more information or to include the Foreign Expeditions and Arctic Research program in the planning phase of an upcoming expedition, please contact us by e-mail at FEAR-EERA@cbsa-asfc.gc.ca.
- D8 series of memoranda — Information on the legislation, regulations, policies and procedures related to temporary imports.
- Memorandum D2-1-2: Foreign Scientific or Exploratory Expeditions in Canada — information on the temporary entry of all foreign scientific or exploratory expedition team members, accompanying foreign crew members, vessels, aircraft, vehicles, animals, equipment, personal goods and tools, associated with expeditions taking place in Canada
- 27.2 Conventions (Canada Revenue Agency) — Outlines the goods and services tax rebate available to convention sponsors, organizers and exhibitors under the Excise Tax Act.
- RC4160 (Canada Revenue Agency) — Pamphlet on the rebate for tour packages, foreign conventions and non-resident exhibitor purchases.
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