When you return to Canada, you have to declare all of the goods you acquired while outside Canada, such as purchases, gifts, prizes or awards that you are bringing with you or are having shipped to you. Include goods that are still in your possession that you bought at a Canadian or foreign duty-free shop. As well, make sure you declare any repairs or alterations you made to your vehicle, vessel or aircraft while you were out of the country.
If you aren't sure if an article is admissible or should be declared, always declare it first and then ask the border services officer. Remember that officers are there to help you and will work out your personal exemption and any duty and taxes you owe in the way that benefits you most.
Personal exemption limits
|Less than 24 hours||Personal exemptions do not apply to same-day cross-border shoppers.|
|24 hours or more||Up to CAN$200 – Alcohol and tobacco cannot be claimed. Goods must be in your possession at time of entry to Canada. If the value of the goods you have purchased abroad exceeds $200 after a 24 hour absence, duty and taxes are applicable on the entire amount of the imported goods.|
|48 hours or more||Up to CAN$800 – May include alcohol and tobacco products, within the prescribed limits set by provincial or territorial authorities. Goods must be in your possession at time of entry to Canada. Travellers absent for periods of 48 hours or more will have the applicable exemption level credited against the total value of goods.|
|7 days or more||Up to CAN$800 – May include alcohol and tobacco products, within the prescribed limits set by provincial or territorial authorities. For the seven-day exemption, goods may be in your possession at time of entry to Canada but are also permitted to follow entry to Canada (such as via courier, mail or delivery agency), except alcohol and tobacco products, which must be in your possession. All the goods will qualify for duty- and tax-free entry if they are declared at the initial return to Canada.|
Alcohol and tobacco limits
|Wine||Up to 1.5 litres||Up to 53 fluid ounces||Two 750 ml bottles of wine.|
|Alcoholic Beverages||Up to 1.14 litres||Up to 40 fluid ounces||One large standard bottle of liquor|
|Beer or Ale||Up to 8.5 litres||Up to 287 fluid ounces||Approximately 24 cans or bottles (355 ml each) of beer or ale.|
|You are allowed to import only one of the amounts listed in the table free of duty and taxes, as part of your personal exemption.|
|Tobacco||200 grams of manufactured tobacco|
|Tobacco sticks||200 tobacco sticks|
If you bring in more than your personal exemption, you will have to pay regular assessments on the excess amount. These regular assessments can include duty and taxes, as well as provincial or territorial fees. When they calculate the amounts owing, border services officers will give an allowance for products that have an excise stamp “DUTY PAID CANADA DROIT ACQUITTÉ”.
If you are 18 years of age or over, you are allowed to bring in all of the amounts listed in the table into Canada free of duty and taxes within your personal exemption.
If you include cigarettes, tobacco sticks or manufactured tobacco in your personal exemption, a partial exemption only may apply. You will have to pay a special duty on these products unless they have an excise stamp "DUTY PAID CANADA DROIT ACQUITTÉ." You will find Canadian-made products sold at duty-free shops marked this way. You can speed up your clearance by having your tobacco products available for inspection when you arrive.
Popular topics in this category
- Restricted and prohibited goods
- Prizes and awards
- Travelling with CAN$10,000 or more
- Importing for personal use
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