Canada Border Services Agency
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News Release

Black Friday Travel Tips

Niagara Falls, Ontario, November 16, 2012 — The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) would like to simplify your return to Canada on Black Friday. This Black Friday weekend, higher travel volumes are expected, and the CBSA advises travellers that this may affect border wait times at some ports of entry. Additional staff will be available to process the anticipated higher volumes of travellers. The CBSA has some helpful tips to simplify your return to Canada on this Black Friday weekend.

Check Canada-bound border wait times before you return by one of the following three ways:

Peak periods for returning to Canada on the Black Friday weekend are traditionally between 12:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.

Ensure that you have proper identification for yourself and everyone in the vehicle ready to present to the officer in the primary booth. For returning Canadian citizens and permanent residents, acceptable forms of identification are a Canadian passport, a Canadian birth certificate, a permanent resident card, a citizenship card or a certificate of Indian status.

Try to car pool with friends or family to reduce the traffic congestion on the bridge and in the secondary parking areas at the CBSA offices. Be patient and follow the directions of traffic directors assisting you in parking your vehicle.

NEXUS members can cross faster by using one of the following Canada-bound NEXUS lanes: 

  • Ambassador Bridge from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday to Friday, and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. during weekends and holidays as well as an additional NEXUS lane Monday to Friday, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.;
  • Windsor–Detroit Tunnel from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday to Friday, and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. during weekends and holidays as well as an additional NEXUS lane Monday to Friday, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.;
  • Blue Water Bridge from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.; additional lane from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. Monday to Thursday and from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday to Sunday;
  • Peace Bridge from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. as well as an additional NEXUS lane Monday to Friday, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.;
  • Queenston–Lewiston Bridge from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.;
  • Whirlpool Bridge is a dedicated NEXUS crossing for NEXUS members only, open seven days a week, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

NEXUS members who are also Canadian residents are encouraged to complete a Traveller Declaration Card (TDC) when entering Canada to declare goods purchased and to pay any applicable duties and taxes through the credit card information on the TDC. This will expedite your travel by allowing you to arrive at the border with your TDC fully completed to reduce congestion and expedite processing during high volume periods. For further information and to complete a TDC: http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/travel-voyage/instructions-eng.html

Know your personal exemptions, including those for alcohol and tobacco. Remember there are no personal exemptions for same-day cross-border shopping trips so be prepared to pay HST on those purchases and possibly duty.

After being away for... You can bring back goods, tax and duty free, worth up to...
Less than 24 hours No personal exemption
24 hours CAN$200
48 hours or more CAN$800

Also on the mobile Web site is a Duty and Taxes Estimator to help you calculate taxes owing on goods purchased in the United States and help you make informed decisions when shopping abroad.

Be prepared to declare all of your purchases. Failure to report all goods may lead to penalty action up to and including seizure of the goods. Smuggling, undervaluation and other Customs Actcontraventions may also lead to prosecution in a court of law.

Keep your receipts readily available, totalled and categorized by the items purchased (i.e. groceries, electronics, children's clothing, adult clothing, toys, etc.) when presenting them to the officer inside the office. Keep in mind that paying the cashier in cash is quicker to process than debit and credit card transactions.

If you are travelling with a larger group of shoppers or on a shopping bus, be patient as border services officers must process each shopper individually.

Make sure you are not returning with food, plant or animal products that are restricted in Canada. To determine the most up-to-date import requirements for these items, refer to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency Automated Import Reference System.  

Shoppers are reminded that you can only bring one turkey from the United States, duty free and without additional import requirements. Additional turkeys are subject to very high duties that will more than double the cost of the turkey.

For even more travel tips, watch the CBSA's travel tips video on YouTube or visit our Web site at www.cbsa.gc.ca/traveltips.

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For media information

CBSA availability for on-camera interviews on November 20 at 11 a.m., at the Windsor-Detroit Tunnel, Blue Water and Rainbow Bridges. Please call to confirm.

Canada Border Services Agency
Southern Ontario Region
Tel: 905-354-2011 or 519-967-4330
CBSA-ASFC_SouthernOntarioRegionNews@cbsa-asfc.gc.ca

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