ARCHIVED - BSF5064 - CANPASS - Private Aircraft Participant's Guide

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Catalogue No. PS38-19/2014E-PDF
ISBN 978-0-660-02063-1

Welcome to the CANPASS – Private Aircraft Program

We trust that, as a program member, your needs will be met and you will enjoy the benefits extended to you.

Authorization into the CANPASS – Private Aircraft Program is finalized once all of your documents are verified on your initial passage into Canada.

This guide will provide you with information about the CANPASS – Private Aircraft Program. As an authorized participant of this program you will receive a CANPASS – Private Aircraft authorization, which you are required to verify and sign immediately upon receipt. You should also consult:

  • for Canadian residents, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) publication entitled, I Declare; and
  • for United States residents, the CBSA publication entitled, Visitors to Canada and Other Temporary Residents.

These publications can be downloaded from our Web site at:

CANPASS – Private Aircraft program procedures

As a CANPASS – Private Aircraft member, you can enter Canada at an airport of entry any time the facility is open for business, regardless of the hours of business of the local CBSA office. In addition, authorized persons may choose to use one of the designated "authorized CANPASS only" airports. A list of these airports is available on the CBSA Web site at, or by calling 1-888-CANPASS (226-7277).

The pilot is the person in charge of the aircraft and it is through the pilot that CANPASS members must present themselves and report goods. Pilots are responsible for presenting themselves, their crew, and passengers by:

  • calling 1-888-CANPASS (226-7277) at least two hours before, but not more than 48 hours prior to arrival in Canada;
  • giving the estimated time of arrival (ETA);
  • calling 1-888-CANPASS again, if necessary, to report any change in the ETA, point of arrival, or other information;
  • giving the aircraft tail number/aircraft registration mark;
  • giving the full name, date of birth, and citizenship for all persons on board the aircraft;
  • giving the destination, purpose of trip, and length of stay in Canada, for each passenger who is a non-resident of Canada;
  • giving the length of absence for each passenger who is a returning resident of Canada;
  • giving the passport and visa information of passengers (including members of the crew), if applicable;
  • making sure all passengers have photo identification and proof of citizenship documents;
  • declaring all goods being imported, including firearms and weapons;
  • reporting all currency and/or monetary instruments totaling CAN$10,000 or more;
  • for returning residents of Canada, declaring all repairs or modifications made to goods (including the aircraft), while outside of Canada;
  • providing the CBSA with a VISA or MasterCard number and expiry date, if duties and taxes are payable on any importations; and
  • giving true and complete information.

In addition to the above, the person in charge of the conveyance is responsible for the following:

  • ensuring that all persons being transported into Canada on board the aircraft are in possession of all travel documents required by the legislation, i.e. passports, visas, or other; and
  • the removal of inadmissible passengers and any associated administrative and medical expenses and fees.

Note: Should any of the above information change, you must contact the telephone reporting centre (TRC) and provide an update before the aircraft arrives in Canada.

Note: Any contraventions of the legislation may result in detention, seizure or forfeiture of the conveyance and/or lead to criminal prosecution, monetary penalties and/or imprisonment.

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

The aircraft has to land at the airport of entry reported to the CBSA and if a border services officer is not there to meet the aircraft when it arrives at the reported ETA or actual time of arrival (whichever is later), the pilot may then proceed to the final destination.

Calling 1-888-CANPASS arranges customs clearance only. It does not replace the requirement to file a flight plan with NAVCAN.

If transporting persons into Canada who are not CANPASS members, the aircraft must arrive during regular CBSA office hours at a designated airport of entry.

If the 1-888-CANPASS service is not available, (when calling from outside the U.S.) the pilot should call one of the following telephone reporting centres. Long distance charges will apply.

CANPASS participants' responsibilities

As a CANPASS member, whether you are the person in charge of the aircraft, a crew member, or a passenger, you must:

  • carry with you at all times your CANPASS authorization, personal identification, and any authorization documents issued to you by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) or the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (original documents);
  • show your CANPASS authorization, personal identification (original documents), and any required immigration documents to a border services officer upon request;
  • not transfer your CANPASS privileges, identification, or documents;
  • comply with the Customs Act, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, related regulations, and any other laws or regulations that the CBSA administers;
  • comply with the CANPASS terms and conditions as stated on your CANPASS authorization and the procedures outlined in this guide; and
  • agree that any CANPASS authorization issued is the property of the CBSA and must be returned upon request.

CANPASS program restrictions

You cannot use your CANPASS privileges when:

  • carrying non-authorized passengers;
  • importing weapons or firearms; or
  • importing promotional materials including samples, commercial goods, or equipment.

Whenever any of these instances apply, you must follow general aviation procedures for non-authorized traffic. For additional information on these procedures, see the pamphlet entitled, Coming to Canada by Small Aircraft or Recreational Boat, available on our Web site at

Change of information or loss of CANPASS authorization

You must notify your Canadian Processing Centre immediately if:

  • your CANPASS authorization becomes lost or stolen;
  • your personal information changes;
  • you have been convicted of a criminal offence in any country; or
  • your reason for coming to Canada changes for United States participants.

Contact one of the following offices:

Quebec and Atlantic Canada
Canadian Processing Centre
400 Place d'Youville
Montréal QC H2Y 2C2
Telephone: 514-350-6137

Canadian Processing Centre
6080 McLeod Road
P.O. Box 126
Niagara Falls ON L2G 7T4
Telephone: 905-371-1477 or 1-800-842-7647 (toll free)

Western Canada
Canadian Processing Centre
28-176th Street
Surrey BC V3S 9R9
Telephone: 604-538-3689

Importing restrictions

All travellers can import goods for their personal use. United States residents must return all goods to the United States unless the goods are consumed while in Canada.

However, even if you are a CANPASS member:

  • You cannot import any promotional materials, including samples, commercial goods, or equipment, using your CANPASS privileges. To import these goods, you have to follow non-CANPASS general aviation flight procedures and arrive during regular CBSA office hours at an airport designated as an airport of entry for customs purposes. For more information, see the publication entitled, Coming to Canada by Small Aircraft or Recreational Boat.
  • You cannot import controlled, restricted, or prohibited animals, plants, or goods as described in the publications for Canadian residents entitled, I Declare, or the Information for Visitors to Canada and Seasonal Residents, for United States residents. These publications are available on our Web site at
  • You cannot import prohibited goods into Canada. These include prohibited firearms and prohibited weapons such as mace, pepper spray, and stun guns. For information about prohibited goods, see the publications entitled, I Declare, and Information for Visitors to Canada and Seasonal Residents. If you plan to import firearms or weapons, for hunting or for a competition for example, read and follow the procedures in the publication entitled Importing a Firearm or Weapon Into Canada.
  • There are restrictions on importing alcohol and tobacco products into Canada. For more information, see the publications entitled I Declare, or Information for Visitors to Canada and Seasonal Residents.
  • Controlled, restricted, or prohibited goods will be seized and you may be subject to criminal prosecution.


It is the responsibility of the CBSA to provide security and protect the economic interest and social well-being of Canadians, by ensuring compliance with Canada's tax, trade, and border legislation.

Even if we determine that you are a low-risk traveller and we grant you a CANPASS – Private Aircraft membership, you continue to be subject to random examinations to ensure that you comply with the terms and conditions of the CANPASS Program as well as any other legislation administered or enforced by the CBSA.


Your membership may be revoked or suspended if you fail to comply with the requirements and procedures of the CANPASS – Private Aircraft Program. This includes non compliance with customs and immigration legislation or any other related laws the CBSA administers..

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

Need more information?

Visit our Web site at, or call the Border Information Service (BIS) at 1-800-461-9999, or one of the Canadian Processing Centres:

  • in Quebec at 514-350-6137;
  • in Ontario at 905-371-1477 or 1-800-842-7647 (toll free); or
  • in British Columbia at 604-538-3689.

Note: If you are calling from outside of Canada, you can access BIS by calling 204-983-3500 or 506-636-5064. Long distance charges will apply.

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