Food, plant and animal inspections
Be aware and declare

Declaring is the law

You are required by law to declare all food, plant and animal products you bring with you into Canada. For instance, you must declare:

  • live animals and animal products, such as cooked or raw meats, hides, skins, trophies, milk, fat, butter, cheese, eggs, fish, seafood
  • plant products, such as fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, trees, houseplants, wood (and wood products such as furniture, carvings, bark), roots, vines, herbs, flowers, insects, bulbs, soil

Failure to declare any of these products or to provide required permits/certificates can lead to:

  • detention of your products
  • a penalty up to $1300
  • prosecution

Inadmissible goods may be confiscated and disposed of, or ordered removed from Canada. Travellers may also be held responsible for any costs related to the disposal, quarantine, treatment or removal of these items from Canada.

Common mistakes

Many travellers fail to declare items such as:

  • processed or canned foods
  • homemade food
  • handmade crafts, such as wooden items
  • cooked or cured meats
  • soil
  • plants used for homeopathic or medicinal purposes
  • milk products, such as butter, yogurt, kefir
  • fruits and vegetables.

Travellers may not realize the hazards associated with food, plant and animal products. These products may carry invasive species and diseases and may cause risks to Canada's food supply, economy, environment and our health.

Date modified: