Announcements and advisories - Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board

Appointment Opportunities Notice

Please note that an Appointment Opportunities Notice for Members of the Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board is currently posted on the Governor in Council (GIC) Appointments website.

Candidates must apply online by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on August 24, 2017, via the Governor in Council Appointments website. The appointment opportunity specifies how to apply online.

If you have any questions or comments, do not hesitate to contact us.

Outstanding Significance and National Importance (OS/NI) Guidelines Mandatory as of January 2016

September 9, 2015

In December 2013, the Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board published guidelines on writing an effective OS/NI justification for certification applications. A primary objective of this document was to clarify the framework used by the Board in its deliberations of OS/NI and to provide applicants with a tool to create effective justifications. To this end, the guide presents a series of factors and indicators for applicants to consider and discuss, a template for structuring the OS/NI justification, and three samples.

Although a number of applicants continue to base their texts on acquisition justifications that do not always link the cultural property to the national heritage, over 70% have adopted the template and proposed terminology since the OS/NI guidelines were first published. In light of the positive reception, the Review Board recently moved to make the guidelines mandatory.

Effective January 5, 2016 , all certification applicants must adhere to the Review Board’s Guidelines on Writing an Effective OS/NI Justification (PDF version, 513 KB).

Applications submitted after January 5, 2016, with a justification that does not use the required template found in section 5, “Structuring the OS/NI Justification” (p.9), will be considered incomplete by the Secretariat and returned to the applicant. Such applications may be re-submitted with a compliant justification for a subsequent meeting.

The Secretariat is here to help if you have questions or concerns. Please do not hesitate to contact the Secretariat to the Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board.

Transfer of the CCPERB Secretariat to the Administrative Tribunals Support Service of Canada

November 1, 2014

Official Announcement

Through the coming into force of the Administrative Tribunals Support Service of Canada Act on November 1, 2014, the Government of Canada is consolidating the provision of support services to eleven administrative tribunals – including the Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board (CCPERB) – into a single organization, the Administrative Tribunals Support Service of Canada (ATSSC). This administrative change does not affect the mandate of CCPERB. Case matters will continue to be filed, managed, and safeguarded in accordance with existing CCPERB procedures.

Message from the Executive Director, Secretariat to CCPERB

Background – Transfer of the CCPERB

The Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board (CCPERB) was created in 1977 by the Cultural Property Export and Import Act. Since that time, CCPERB has been supported by a Secretariat that functions as its administrative arm, receiving and processing case files for review by board members, preparing and issuing decision letters, and working closely with board members to develop guidelines and procedures.

Since its establishment in 1993, the Department of Canadian Heritage has been responsible for providing secretariat services to CCPERB. CCPERB reports to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages but operates at arm’s length as an independent decision-making body.

Administrative Tribunals Support Service of Canada Act

On November 1, 2014, the Administrative Tribunals Support Service of Canada Act came into force. Under this legislation, the CCPERB Secretariat has been transferred to a newly established federal organization in the Department of Justice portfolio, the Administrative Tribunals Support Service of Canada (ATSSC).

The ATSSC will now be responsible for providing CCPERB and ten other administrative tribunals with the support services and facilities they need to exercise their powers and perform their duties and functions in accordance with the rules that apply to their work.

What does the change mean for CCPERB?

Status quo: CCPERB’s mandate, independence, and authority under the Cultural Property Export and Import Act have not changed.

CCPERB remains in the Canadian Heritage portfolio, where it will continue to report to the Minister and to engage stakeholders across the heritage community.

What does the change mean for the Secretariat?

All twelve Secretariat staff have been transferred to the ATSSC, where they will continue to support CCPERB operations. The transition has been carefully planned to ensure seamless continuity of service to stakeholders.

What does the change mean for you?

Status quo: the transfer of the Secretariat is an administrative change with no implications for stakeholders.

CCPERB will continue to meet four times per year to consider certification applications and to hear appeals of refused export permits. The secretariat will continue to process case files and to communicate decisions on behalf of the board.

New Value Threshold for Second Appraisals

October 2014

Following its September 2014 meeting, the Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board moved to raise the minimum value threshold for second appraisals from $20,000 to $50,000 (CAD).

Effective immediately for all new certification applications, a second appraisal will be required only where the aggregate fair market value of the donation is equal to or greater than $50,000 (CAD).

However, a single appraisal may still be provided if it is prepared by a committee (e.g., the Art Dealers Association of Canada or the National Archival Appraisal Board). The Review Board recognizes that such appraisals represent the opinion of more than one expert.

Please note that this change supersedes the current requirement in the certification application guide, which will be updated accordingly.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Secretariat to the Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board.

Bill C-31: Amendment to the Income Tax Act for certified cultural property acquired as part of a tax-shelter gifting arrangement

June 2014

Background – Amendment to the Income Tax Act

In recent years, the Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board (Review Board) has become increasingly vigilant with respect to tax-shelter gifting arrangements involving movable cultural property. These complex transactions can be used to manipulate purchase price and the fair market value determined by the Review Board in order to obtain unjustifiably high tax benefits, essentially turning what is intended to be a charitable donation into a profit-making venture.

In March 1998, a memorandum of understanding was established between the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), the Department of Canadian Heritage, and the Review Board to facilitate the open and ongoing exchange of information, including that about tax-shelter promoters and participants. Since October 2010, certification applicants have been required to declare whether an acquisition is part of a tax-shelter gifting arrangement and, if so, to report the tax-shelter identification number registered with the CRA.

Amendment to the Income Tax Act

The donation of cultural property certified by the Review Board could be a target for abuse by tax-shelter promoters because of the combination of its favourable tax treatment, the inherent uncertainties in appraising the value of art and artifacts, and, until recently, an exemption in the Income Tax Act from the rule that deems the value of a gift made through a tax shelter to be no greater than its cost to the donor.

To improve the integrity of the tax system and to strengthen tax compliance, Bill C-31, which received Royal Assent on June 19, 2014, has eliminated this exemption for donations of certified cultural property acquired as part of a tax-shelter gifting arrangement. Effective retroactively from February 11, 2014, the value of such donations for tax purposes shall not exceed the donor’s cost of acquisition, regardless of the fair market value determined by the Review Board. All other donations of certified cultural property will remain exempt from this rule: their value for tax purposes will continue to be based on the fair market value determined by the Review Board.

Tax-shelter gifting arrangement

The Income Tax Act defines a tax shelter as any property for which a promoter represents that an investor may claim deductions or receive benefits that equal or exceed the amount invested within four years of the property’s purchase. For example, if a promoter promises taxpayers donation tax credits that are greater than the price to acquire a property, the arrangement would meet the definition of a tax shelter.

Tax-shelter gifting arrangements involving cultural property may be distinguished by one or more of the following characteristics:

  • large collections, often photographic, by non-Canadian creators
  • property acquired by the donor(s) shortly before the donation
  • purchase price difficult to ascertain or subject to later adjustment
  • uncertainty surrounding legal title to the property
  • purchase agreements that can be undone if a minimum fair market value is not determined by the Review Board

Further information

Anyone considering entering into a tax-shelter gifting arrangement should obtain independent professional advice from a lawyer and/or tax advisor. The Canada Revenue Agency has more information on alerts and fact sheets about tax shelters.

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