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Border Information Service

Notice - Surtax

Starting July 1, 2018, certain goods originating from the U.S. are subject to a surtax that will apply to commercial shipments as well as goods being imported by travellers above their personal exemptions. The list of goods is available on the Department of Finance website. For more information, please refer to Customs Notice 18-08, Memorandum D16-1-1 and Frequently Asked Questions.

The Border Information Service (BIS) is an automated telephone service that answers incoming calls and provides general information on CBSA programs, services and initiatives through recorded scripts.

Service in English or French

Calls within Canada


Calls outside Canada

Long distance charges apply

TTY within Canada

For those with hearing or speech impairments

You must choose one of the following four options before pressing “0” to speak to an officer.

  1. Personal or traveller
  2. Business importation/exportation
  3. Currency exchange rates
  4. Coming to Canada

Officers are available Monday to Friday (08:00 - 16:00 local time / except holidays) should callers require additional information.

During high volume call periods, callers will be placed into a queue until an officer is available.

Helpful Hints:

Touch-tone phone users may use shortcuts at any time during the recorded message:

  • Press "*" to return to the previous menu;
  • Press "#" to repeat the message.

Rotary-dial phone users cannot make selections from the recorded menus; however when calling during business hours, they will be transferred to an officer.

Speak with a BIS agent

Service Description: The option to speak with a BIS agent by pressing "0" during regular business hours – 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday to Friday local time (excluding holidays).

Service Standard: BIS agents will aim to answer calls within 60 seconds from the moment the client presses "0" to speak with an agent.

Performance Target: 80%

Performance Result for fiscal year 2017-18: The BIS agents answered 293,713 calls and met the service standard 78.5 % of the time.

For more information on all service standards and performance results for previous years, consult the CBSA Service Standards.

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