How To Import Temporary Event Equipment Into Canada

Your how to guide on event and trade show imports into Canada

When temporarily importing compact audio products, external power supplies, TV and video products into Canada, and other products for a trade show or event you must know what government parties are involved, what regulations must be followed, and the fundamental aspects of temporary event imports.

Parties Involved:

Main Regulations:

  • These items can be imported temporarily under an ATA carnet or E29B entry type.

Import Fundamentals:

  • You will be acting as the Importer of Record. Therefore, you are the party ultimately responsible for the accuracy and completeness of the import declaration; as well as, the payment of applicable duties and taxes into Canada
  • Duty and tax must be paid upon importation into Canada.
  • The rate of duty is determined by the tariff of the commodity being imported, the value of the goods and, the origin of the goods.
  • Certain import documentation is required to be presented to the border services officer at the port of entry.
  • Your import may be subject to a customs review, inspection or audit prior to, or after the importation. Additional fees may be levied by the Government of Canada for these services.
  • You are required to keep your import records for six years following the date of import and can be audited by Customs at any point during this time.

FAQ: Temporary Event Imports

What Is An ATA Carnet?
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An ATA Carnet is a document issued by the Chamber of Commerce in participating countries that allows the goods listed on it to enter and exit member countries without a formal customs entry or payment of duties and taxes. The key to the Carnet is that whatever goods it covers are exported from the importing country. You apply for a Carnet directly with the Chamber of Commerce in your country.
Can Items I Am Giving Away Be Included On My Carnet Or E29B?
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Items that stay in Canada cannot be included on your Carnet or E29B. The rule is that all items imported must be exported. Consumable items, including free giveaways, items that will be used up in the importing country and sale items, cannot be reported on a temporary entry.

Do I Need A List Of The Items Being Imported?
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Yes, you will need to have a list of items being imported. For an E29B, the list of items needs to include the quantity, value, country of manufacture, a complete description of each item and their destination(s) in Canada. This document is used to calculate the duty and tax that would be payable if the goods were to be imported on a formal entry and is the basis for the E29B deposit amount. A Carnet already includes the list of items approved to be imported using it, however it is always good to include the more detailed list should Customs request it.

What Happens If I Sell Or Leave Goods Behind In Canada?
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You will need to ensure the items sold or left in Canada are correctly accounted for, and the duty and tax is paid in compliance with all regulations. For an E29B at time of export, you will need to notify Canada Border Services Agency what has been left behind and present a customs entry for those items. For a Carnet the same process applies with the additional step of notifying the Chamber of Commerce from which you purchased the Carnet.

Would you like to learn more about importing for a trade show? Read our blog Trade Show Logistics, Not As Easy As 1-2-3

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