Customs Controlled Areas

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The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is designating Customs Controlled Areas (CCA) at Canadian ports of entry. These designated areas will help the CBSA address internal conspiracies or criminal activities at Canadian ports of entry and other areas associated with the border.

The CBSA's objective is to ensure that individuals with a legitimate reason to be in a CCA are able to carry out their business as usual. CCAs will include existing customs offices, buildings or other facilities, as well as additional areas designated by the Minister of Public Safety, as per the CCA regulations. CCAs will be demarcated and identified at exit/entry points and within the designated area through the use of notices and signage so that individuals are aware of when they are in a CCA and what their obligations are.

What's New?

In the past, the Customs Act provided CBSA officers with powers of questioning, examination and search that were limited to international travellers and goods. Amendments to the Act allowed for the creation of CCAs. CCAs will be areas where there is a likelihood that departing domestic travellers and domestic workers may come into contact with international travellers and goods not yet processed or released by the CBSA.

These legislative amendments will allow CBSA officers to carry out specific enforcement activities within a CCA, as well as at exit points; this expanded authority will give the CBSA the flexibility it needs to effectively monitor and control these areas. Any person in or exiting a CCA will be required to present and identify themselves to a CBSA officer when requested to do so. They must answer truthfully any questions asked by the officer and, upon request, present goods for examination.


The CCA regulations prescribe the persons or classes of persons that may be granted access to a CCA and the manner in which individuals must present themselves and report goods to a CBSA officer while in or exiting a CCA. In addition, the regulations stipulate the manners in which officers may conduct searches. The regulations allow CCAs to be enforced with minimal disruption to travellers, employees and businesses that have a legitimate purpose for being in a CCA, while enabling CBSA officers to focus on areas of risk and persons of interest.

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