International Boundary Commission
Memorandum D19-6-2

ISSN 2369-2391

Ottawa, April 25, 2016

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In Brief

  • This memorandum has been revised to reflect new contact information within the International Boundary Commission.

This memorandum outlines the prohibitions against building next to the international boundary and interfering with boundary monuments.


International Boundary Commission Act, sections 2, 5 and 6

Guidelines and General Information

1. The following are defined in the International Boundary Commission Act and apply in this memorandum:

boundary monument
means a buoy, post, tablet, cairn or other object or structure placed, erected or maintained by the Commission to mark the boundary and includes a reference monument, triangulation station or other marker or structure placed, erected or maintained by the Commission to assist in determining the boundary.
means any ditch, earthwork, building or structure of any description or any lines of telephone, telegraph or power, including posts, piers or abutments for sustaining or protecting the wires or cables of those lines.

2. Provision is made in section 5 of the International Boundary Commission Act that, except with the permission of the International Boundary Commission, no person shall:

3. To perform any type of work on the 20-foot-wide vista along the boundary, a letter of authorization from the Commission is required. The applicant should submit to the Commission a written request that contains the following documents:

4. Requests that originate in Canada should be submitted to the Canadian section of the Commission at the address shown below:

International Boundary Commission
588 Booth Street, Suite 210
Ottawa ON  K1A 0Y7
Telephone: 613-992-1294
Fax: 613-947-1337

5. Provision is made in section 6 of the International Boundary Commission Act that, except with the permission of the Commission, no person shall:

6. Any erection of billboards or other structures within ten feet of the international boundary, or any reconstruction of a line building or other structure which has suffered destruction, or any making of additions to any structure erected on the international boundary, or any interference with boundary monuments, constitutes an offence under the International Boundary Commission Act. Such nfractions should be reported immediately to the International Boundary Commission (please refer to paragraph 4 for contact information).

Penalty Information

7. Provision is made in the International Boundary Commission Act that every person who, or whose employee or agent, has contravened any provision of the Act is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to both.

Additional Information

8. 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: 1-866-335-3237.


Issuing office:
Other Government Department Programs Unit
Program and Policy Management Division
Commercial Program Directorate
Programs Branch
Headquarters file:
Legislative references:
International Boundary Commission Act
Other references:
Superseded memorandum D:
D19-6-2 dated
Date modified: