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How to import personal and commercial works of art to Canada

import art works to Canada

Quebec is fairly considered Canadian center of arts due to rich collection of paintings gathered in Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (approximately 25,000 works of art produced either in Quebec, or by Quebec artists). Thousands of tourists and lovers of fine arts are attracted by this collection. Click here to learn more about currently available expositions in Galeria de Arta.

It is a fact that some collectors and artists themselves face with the difficulties associated with customs clearance of paintings and other works of art upon importing them to Canada. Let us talk over the details with Montreal customs brokers to avoid these problems in future.

First of all, a person, who is going to import a painting to Canada, should know that importing of works of art (original paintings, engravings, lithographs and prints) is classified under Chapter 97 of Customs Tariff. The works of art are defined as pieces produced in black and white or in color, completely executed by hand of the artist, regardless of the material or the process employed by the author, but not including any mechanical or photo-mechanical processes. Importing of original sculptures and statuary is also classified under chapter 97 of Customs Tariff, if these works of art are not mass produced reproduction or works of craftsmanship of commercial character. It means that only hand-painted or hand-decorated pieces are duty free. It is important to remember that paintings, drawings and pastels that are original pieces executed by hand of the artist are duty free so long as they are not decorated with manufactured items such as decorative plaques or collages. Other types of works of art produced in countries with no free trade agreement will be charged a 5.5% duty upon importation plus and GST/HST. Printed posters and photographs are classified under chapter 49 of Customs Tariff and are free of duty.

Antiques defined as items over 100 years old are also duty free. In fact, Chapter 99 of Customs Tariff defines that importations of any item 50 years or older (other than spirits or wines) is duty free.

Dominic Barnes for Montreal customs brokers.

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Dilas Intl Customs Brokers
5108 Rue de Lanaudiere Montreal
QC H2J 3R3 Canada (514) 613-0384
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