Customs and Immigration
This information is of interest to those from outside of Canada planning, exhibiting at or attending an event at the Ottawa Convention Centre.
Canada Customs & Immigration is overseen by the Canada Border Services Agency. The CBSA delivers a variety of programs and services for people (travelers, settlers, etc.) and for goods (trade shows and commercial trade). Some programs and services are designed to help travelers and trade enter Canada smoothly, while others are focused on enforcing laws and keeping threats to our safety and health out of Canada. CBSA has taken steps to ease border-crossing formalities by simplifying customs and excise requirements, but hiring a customs broker is still the best way to ensure the smooth shipment of convention-related materials and equipment you plan to bring into Canada.
Most customs brokers will advise you to notify CBSA as early as possible (preferably 6 months in advance of your event), and provide you with all the forms necessary for corresponding with customs authorities. The forms, which you must complete yourself, request information on your organization, plus the specifics of your convention and the goods you intend to bring into the country. The CBSA will reply to you by letter, advising you of the procedures that will apply to your shipment. You should make sure that your Broker has a copy of the letter when he/she clears your goods at Customs.