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Border reminder checklist

Travellers crossing the border, especially during peak periods, such as holiday long weekends and summer months, can prepare ahead of time.

Follow these travel tips to ensure a smooth border crossing.

Plan ahead

Check border wait times for port of entry hours of operation

  • Avoid crossing during peak travel times like weekend evenings and the Monday of a holiday weekend.
  • Consider crossing at the least busy port of entry in the area.

Always check the official CBSA Directory of Offices and Services for accurate information

If you are using a GPS application (such as Google Maps, Apple Maps, or Waze) to direct you to a port of entry, consider checking different navigation options (such as fastest and shortest routes) to determine the preferred route of travel.

Boaters planning to travel in or near Canadian waters, or enter Canada by boat, should review Reporting requirements for private boaters

All travellers entering Canada by boat must report to the CBSA without delay.

Prepare your documents

Ensure that you have proper identification for you and your family readily available

Acceptable forms of identification for entry into Canada include a passport, a NEXUS card and an enhanced driver's licence.

When travelling with children, it is recommended that the accompanying adult have a consent letter authorizing them to travel with the child if they share custody or are not the parent or legal guardian

Border services officers are always watching for missing children, and in the absence of the letter, officers may ask additional questions.

If travelling with pets, know that, dogs and cats that are three months of age or older need valid signed and dated certificates from a veterinarian verifying vaccinations against rabies

These are usually valid for 1 to 3 years. Service dogs are exempt when accompanied by their owners.

Declare your goods

Save time with Advance Declaration

  • Travellers arriving at the Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Winnipeg, Halifax, Québec City, Ottawa, Billy Bishop, Calgary and Edmonton international airports can make their customs declaration to the CBSA prior to their arrival using Advance Declaration.
  • Travellers who use this option have access to express lanes to get to an airport kiosk or eGate faster.

Declare all purchases and have your receipts readily available

  • Returning residents can bring back, tax and duty free, goods valued at CAN$200 after being away for 24 hours, and goods valued at CAN$800 after 48 hours.
  • There are no personal exemptions for same-day cross-border shopping trips so be prepared to pay tax on those purchases and possibly duty.
  • Use the CBSA duty and taxes estimator to help calculate monies owed.

Declare any foods, plants, animals or other products such as untreated wooden souvenirs to the border services officer

Declare all money or currency equal to or over CAN$10,000

It is not illegal to bring such amounts into Canada, but you must declare it on arrival and/or departure from Canada. Travelling with CAN$10,000 or more.

If travelling with firearms or weapons, you must declare them when you enter Canada

Failure to do so means border services officers may seize the weapons, and file criminal charges. Most weapons are prohibited from entering Canada, including tasers. Be sure to check the CBSA website for the rules on importing firearms and other restricted and prohibited goods.

Not sure? Ask a border services officer. If you are not sure about what to declare, don't hesitate to ask. Our officers are here to help.

Contact us

Border information services

Get help with CBSA programs and services.

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