Canada Border Services Agency
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Coming to Canada by Small Aircraft or Recreational Boat


Table of Contents


Private aircraft and recreational boats arriving in Canada

Pilots that arrive in Canada by private, company owned or charter aircraft carrying 15 people or less, as well as travellers on recreational boats carrying 29 people or less, have to call a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) Telephone Reporting Centre (TRC) to obtain authorization to enter Canada.

How to present and report goods to the CBSA

Aircraft

The pilot is the person in charge of the aircraft and must follow these steps:

  • Call 1-888-226-7277 at least 2 hours before but no more than 48 hours prior to the aircraft's arrival in Canada;
  • give the estimated time of arrival (ETA);
  • give the aircraft tail number / aircraft registration mark; and
  • arrive during regular CBSA office hours at a designated airport of entry (AOE). The list of AOEs can be found on our Web site at www.cbsa.gc.ca.

The pilot also has to follow these steps:

  • give the full name, date of birth and citizenship for all persons on board (including crew);
  • give the destination, purpose of trip and length of stay in Canada for each passenger who is a non-resident of Canada;
  • give the length of absence for each passenger who is a returning resident of Canada;
  • give the passport and visa information of passengers (including crew), if applicable;
  • make sure all passengers have photo identification and proof of citizenship documents;
  • declare all goods being imported, including firearms and weapons;
  • report all currency and monetary instruments totaling CAN$10,000 or more;
  • for returning residents of Canada, declare all repairs or modifications made to goods, including the aircraft, while these items were outside Canada; and
  • give true and complete information.

If a pilot is not a CANPASS member, he or she will be required to make a second call to the TRC upon arrival at an airpot of entry.

If no verification is necessary the border services officer at the TRC will provide a report number to the pilot. The receipt of this report number will constitute release unless an officer on-site otherwise instructs the pilot.

If verification is to be conducted, the border services officer at the TRC will advise the pilot to remain at the site and to ensure that all goods and passengers remain on board until the verification team arrives. The verification team will conduct the verification and provide the pilot with a report number.

Note
Calling 1-888-226-7277 arranges border clearance only. It does not replace the requirements to file a flight plan with NAVCAN.

Should the 1-888 service not be available, pilots must call the following TRC. Long distance charges may apply.

TRC for all of Canada
Hamilton, ON
Telephone: 905-679-2073
Fax: 905-679-6877

As proof of presentation, the border services officer will give the pilot a report number for the records. The pilot must give this number to an officer upon request.

Return to Top of Page

Recreational boats

The master of a recreational boat is the person in charge. As master of the recreational boat, he or she is required to go to a designated telephone reporting marine site and call the telephone reporting centre at 1-888-226-7277. No one except the master may leave the boat until the CBSA gives authorization.

Note
To find designated telephone reporting marine sites in your area, call 1-888-226-7277.

The master is required to follow these steps:

  • give the full name, date of birth and citizenship for every person on the boat;
  • give the destination, purpose of trip and length of stay in Canada for each passenger who is a non-resident of Canada;
  • give the length of absence for each passenger who is a returning resident of Canada;
  • give the passport and visa information of passengers, if applicable;
  • make sure all passengers have photo identification and proof of citizenship documents;
  • declare all goods being imported, including firearms and weapons;
  • report all currency and monetary instruments totaling CAN$10,000 or more;
  • for returning residents of Canada, declare all repairs or modifications made to goods, including the boat, while these items were outside Canada; and
  • give true and complete information.

If no verification is necessary, the border services officer at the TRC will provide a report number to the master. The receipt of this report number will constitute release unless an officer on-site otherwise instructs the master.

If verification is to be conducted, the border services officer at the TRC will advise the master to remain at the site and to ensure that all goods and passengers remain on board until the verification team arrives. The verification team will conduct the verification and provide the master with a report number.

The master must give this number to a border services officer upon request.

Return to Top of Page

What are the import restrictions?

All travellers can import goods for their personal use. U.S. residents must return all goods to the United States that they imported into Canada unless those goods were consumed while they were in Canada.

If you import any promotional materials, including samples, commercial goods, or equipment, you have to clear your importations through a commercial broker, pay duty and taxes, or provide security, as required.

Travellers cannot import controlled, restricted or prohibited animals, plants or goods as described in the publications called I Declare (for Canadian residents) or Visitors to Canada and Other Temporary Residents (for U.S. residents). These publications are available on our Web site at www.cbsa.gc.ca.

There are restrictions on importing alcoholic beverages and tobacco products into Canada. For more information, see the publications called I Declare or Visitors to Canada and Other Temporary Residents. You cannot import prohibited firearms or weapons including mace, pepper spray and stun guns. If you plan to import firearms or weapons, for hunting or for a competition for example, read and follow the procedures stated in the publication called Importing a Firearm or Weapon into Canada.

Are there penalties?

You will be subject to random examinations to ensure that you comply with customs and immigration legislation as well as any other legislation administered or enforced by the CBSA.

Depending on the severity of the violation, the CBSA can impose penalties and seize any goods and any aircraft or boat used to carry the goods. As well, you may be subject to criminal prosecution.

The CBSA can arrest and remove non-residents of Canada for violations of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

CBSA programs for registered trusted travellers

CANPASS and NEXUS programs streamline the border clearance process for pre-approved, low-risk travellers into Canada and the United States. For more information, please consult the publication called I Declare or Visitors to Canada and Other Temporary Residents.

Need more information?

For more information within Canada, call the Border Information Service at 1-800-461-9999 .From outside Canada, call 204-983-3500 or 506-636-5064 (long distance charges will apply). Agents are available Monday to Friday (08:00-16:00 local time / except holidays). TTY is also available within Canada at 1-866-335-3237.

You may obtain further information by consulting the publications (Guides and Brochures) available on the CBSA Web site at www.cbsa.gc.ca.