Residents Returning to Canada
This section applies to Canadian citizens, to permanent residents, and to foreign nationals returning to Canada who are already working or studying here, or who have a temporary resident permit.
Paying duty and taxes
The Canada Border Services Agency collects duty and taxes on imported goods, on behalf of the Government of Canada.
Duty is a tariff payable on a good imported to Canada. Rates of Duty are established by the Department of Finance Canada and can vary significantly from one trade agreement to another.
No duty is payable on goods imported for personal use, if it is marked as “made in Canada, the USA, or Mexico”, or if there is no marking or labelling indicating that it was made somewhere other than Canada, the USA, or Mexico.
Most imported goods are also subject to the Federal Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Provincial Sales Tax (PST) or, in certain provinces and territories, the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST).
Are you eligible for a personal exemption?
When you return to Canada, you may qualify for a personal exemption. This allows you to bring goods of a certain value into the country without paying regular duty and taxes, except for a minimum duty that may apply to some tobacco products.
You are eligible for a personal exemption if you are one of the following:
Even young children and infants are entitled to a personal exemption. As a parent or guardian, you can make a declaration to the CBSA for a child as long as the goods you are declaring are for the child's use.
For more detailed explanations of what constitutes a personal exemption, consult I Declare.
Personal exemption amounts
The length of your absence from Canada determines the amount of goods you can bring back, without paying any duties.
Increased traveller personal exemption limits effective June 1, 2012
For more information, consult I Declare.