Braving the Canadian Border

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Title: Braving the Canadian Border
Creator: Suzanne Robinson
Date(s): April 1992
Medium: print
Fandom: fanart
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Braving the Canadian Border is a 1992 article/essay by Suzanne Robinson, a member of The Team, eh.

The topic is factual info for fans who bring fanart into the Canada to sell or show at conventions.

It was printed in Artistic Endeavors #2 (and possibly elsewhere?).

From the Essay

When the Canadian federal government announced the establishment of a 7% Goods and Services Tax (GST) effective January 1991, it appeared that a new obstacle had been placed in front of American artists who wished to take, or ship, their art to Canadian cons.

Happily, experience has proven this fear to be groundless. In fact, thanks to a very helpful and very competent lady who heads up the Exhibits and Conventions Unit at Revenue Canada in Toronto, we have found the process to be fairly straightforward.

The Team, eh had two art shows in June - Ad Astra and Toronto Trek V. In contacting the Exhibits and Conventions Unit we discovered that we could obtain a "Temporary Admission Permit" for art brought in person or shipped across the border by American artists. The art show must post a security against the GST to be collected on the sale of this art (7% of the projected sale of American art; for a show the size of Ad Astra - forty 4x8ft panels and ten tables - the deposit was $200). A copy of this permit is then sent to every American artist reserving panel space for the show.

If the artist is bringing the art in person and customs asks to see something, the artist merely has to show the copy of the permit. Likewise, if the artist ships the art, the process is relatively simple: include a copy of the permit inside the package, together with an "invoice" listing the art and value for each piece in Canadian dollars. On the outside the artist must also affix a label with instructions to customs, the text for which is provided by the art show director. The only restriction in shipping is that it is preferable to ship the art by mail, but that if the artist uses a courier it must be Federal Express (and not UPS whose depot is way out of town which slows down the customs clearance process).

That is all that is involved from the artist's point of view. At the art show, we charge the 7% GST on the art sold by American artists. Following the show we gather up all the notices received from Canada Customs re the shipped art together with the sales records for the art sold, and then we visit the Exhibits and Conventions Unit downtown. There the art show writes out a cheque equalling 7% on the value of American art sold, and the government processes the return of our security deposit. All in all, relatively simple and painless.

The major point for American artists thinking of exhibiting in Canada should remember: make sure the art show has, or is getting, a temporary admission permit. With it, getting art across the border will be relatively hassle-free.