Customs & Taxation

Death and taxes, right? Here’s how to dodge at least one of them.

There are very few things you can be certain about in life. In the case of your event in Halifax, at least, you may be able to get a rebate on your taxes. Here are all the nitty-gritty details of our GST/HST, and Visa requirements

Goods & Services Tax (GST)/Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) rebate

Generally, sponsors and organizers of international conventions are entitled to a GST or HST rebate. An international convention is defined as a convention that meets both of the following requirements: 

  • At least 75% of the expected delegates planning to attend the conference will be arriving from outside of Canada. 
  • The sponsor or organizer of the event has a head office outside of Canada (or, if the organization has no head office, then the majority of members of the organization are non-residents.)

International sport events are ineligible for the rebate. For details about tax rebates, visit the Revenue Canada Agency website. The section titled “GST/HST rebate for sponsors and organizers of foreign conventions” explains in depth what you need to know as an international visitor. To apply for a rebate, use these forms.

Exemption from the collection of Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) Foreign (International) conference registration fees are generally exempt from charging HST to their delegates.


We recommend the services of a local Customs Broker to assist with and advise on the temporary importation of supplies and services required for a foreign (international) conference. Please contact Discover Halifax for advice on local custom broker organizations. For more information, visit the Canada Border Services Agency.

Entering Canada (Canadian Visa Requirements)

All international travellers to Canada will require a Passport and an electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). Some travellers may require a Visa. To be sure, consult the list of Visa-exempt and Visa-required nations. Travellers to Canada are generally exempt from taxes and duties on personal property they are carrying with them. For more information visit the Canada Border Services Agency.

Too complicated? We can help

Don't worry if this all seems like another language.  Your Discover Halifax contact will help you through the process and ensure that you get everything you need (and are entitled to)!  Contact us today.