Ottawa, November 5, 2003
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1. This memorandum has been revised to reflect the changes made to the E311 Customs Declaration Card in May 2003. Since January 2003, under the Cross Border Currency Reporting Regulations, all persons entering Canada must declare currency and monetary instruments totalling CAN$10,000 or more.
2. Also, the CE311 leaflet has been revised to include the above information and the personal exemption limits for travellers importing alcohol and tobacco into Canada. In addition, the Croatian translation was replaced by Inuktituk, the most commonly spoken language and the language of work of many residents of Nunavut.
This memorandum outlines the purpose and distribution of the E311 Customs Declaration Card and multilingual leaflet CE311, Translation of the Customs Declaration Card.
Section 8 of the Customs Act provides that "The Minister may include on any form a declaration, to be signed by the person completing the form, declaring that the information given by that person on the form is true, accurate and complete."
Subsection 5(3) of the Reporting of Imported Goods Regulations provides that "Goods that are imported by a person arriving in Canada on board a commercial passenger conveyance other than a bus shall be reported in writing."
Guidelines and General Information
1. The E311 Customs Declaration Card was designed, in part, to replace certain questions customs officers ask travellers at the primary inspection line (PIL) on behalf of the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency (CCRA), Citizenship and Immigration Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Statistics Canada, Environment Canada, and Health Canada. The completion guide attached to the form also details the CCRA's requirements for importing goods qualifying for personal exemptions and allowances.
2. The multilingual leaflet CE311, Translation of the Customs Declaration Card, was developed to help travellers whose languages are other than English or French complete their E311 card. The leaflet is a six-panel foldout that gives instructions in languages commonly used by interpreters at international airports in Canada. These languages are Italian, Chinese, Polish, Japanese, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Dutch, Korean, and Inuktitut.
E311 Customs Declaration Card
3. The main purpose of the E311 card is to improve traveller processing at international airports in Canada while maintaining an acceptable level of enforcement.
4. Airline attendants hand out an E311 card to each passenger or head of a family on board transborder or international airline carriers en route to Canada. The card can be completed by up to four family members living at the same address. An announcement on the aircraft's public address system advises travellers to complete their declaration cards in advance and give them to customs officers on arrival in Canada.
5. When a traveller presents a completed E311 card at the PIL, the customs officer reviews the information on the card and questions the traveller if clarification is needed.
6. The customs officer considers the traveller's residential status, the type of goods being imported, as well as the quantity and value of personal exemptions claimed, before either allowing the traveller to leave or referring them to the appropriate secondary examination area for more questioning.
Multilingual leaflet CE311, Translation of the Customs Declaration Card
7. The CE311 multilingual leaflet was designed to:
- (a) help travellers accurately complete their E311 card;
- (b) improve passenger processing, particularly during peak periods;
- (c) reduce the number of referrals to Citizenship and Immigration Canada, the CCRA, and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's secondary examination areas solely for language reasons; and
- (d) reduce the time flight attendants spend interpreting for travellers completing their E311 cards.
8. To get a supply of E311 cards or CE311 multilingual leaflets, you should call 1-800-959-2221 (service in English) or 1-800-959-3376 (service in French), or visit the "Forms and publications" section on the CCRA's Web site at www.cra.gc.ca.
9. A supply of E311 cards and CE311 multilingual leaflets is also available at designated airports, for emergency situations only.
10. Any questions concerning this memorandum should be directed to:
Manager, Provincial/OGD Relations
Admissibility Programs Division
Operational Policy and Coordination Directorate
Sir Richard Scott Building
191 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa ON K1A 0L5
Telephone: (613) 957-1205
- Issuing office:
- Admissibility Programs Division
Operational Policy and Coordination Directorate
- Headquarters file:
- 7824-6 and 7824-8
- Legislative references:
- Section 8 of the Customs Act
Subsection 5(3) of the Regulations Respecting the Reporting of Imported Goods Regulations
- Other references:
- Superseded memorandum D:
- D2-5-7, July 15, 2002
- Date modified: