Despite the fact that cannabis (marijuana) is legal and regulated in Canada, it remains illegal to transport cannabis in any form – including any oils containing THC or cannabidiol (CBD), across Canada’s national borders whether you are entering or leaving Canada. Additionally, receiving or sending cannabis in any form into or out of Canada by mail or courier is also illegal. Unauthorized purchases from outside Canada (online or other) will be confiscated at the border and may lead to arrest and criminal prosecution
For more information, consult cannabis (marijuana) legalization.
The Conveyance Presentation and Reporting Requirements Modernization Act became law on June 19, 2017, thereby enacting new exceptions in the Customs Act to a person’s obligation to present themselves and report their goods to the CBSA when entering Canadian waters.
Conditions for a Reporting Exception
Persons who enter Canadian waters are not required to present themselves and report their goods to the CBSA if they:
- do not land on Canadian soil and do not anchor, moor or make contact with another conveyance while in Canadian waters; and
- do not disembark or embark any people or goods in Canada.
Persons who leave and re-enter Canadian waters are not required to present themselves and report their goods to the CBSA if they:
- did not land outside Canada and did not anchor, moor or make contact with another conveyance while outside of Canadian waters; and
- did not embark or disembark any people or goods while outside Canada.
The exceptions apply to all types of private and commercial cross-border movements through Canadian waters, regardless of their origin and destination. Boaters enjoying activities such as cruising, fishing, water skiing, tubing and swimming in Canadian waters qualify for an exception if the conditions are met.
The person in charge of the conveyance is also relieved from his/her obligation to transport passengers and crew to a CBSA office when the conditions for an exception are met.
Persons crossing an international border should carry proper identification, even if the conditions for an exception are met.
Canadian immigration law requires foreign nationals to be properly documented for entry into Canada and have in their possession acceptable identification and a valid visa (if necessary) at all time. In addition, commercial operators, such as tour boats and fishing charters, continue to require work permits (if necessary) and must meet their transportation company obligations.
All firearms, including non-restricted firearms, must always be reported to the CBSA when entering Canadian waters. Firearms found on board the conveyance that have not been reported to the CBSA will be seized and the boater could face criminal charges, even if the conditions for an exception are met.
Restricted and Prohibited Goods
Goods on board the conveyance must be permissible for entry in Canada. Restricted and prohibited goods, including all types of firearms, must always be reported to the CBSA when entering Canadian waters. Restricted and prohibited goods found on board the conveyance will be seized and the boater could face criminal charges, even if the conditions for an exception are met.
Currency and Monetary Instruments
Currency and monetary instruments totaling CAN$10,000 or more on board the conveyance are not required to be reported to the CBSA when the conditions for an exception are met.
Making Contact with Law Enforcement Authorities
Boaters are not required to report to the CBSA if they make contact with a law enforcement vessel on the water and meet all other conditions for a reporting exception. Examples of law enforcement authorities who patrol the waters are the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the United States Customs and Border Protection (USCBP), the Coast Guard, local police agencies, conservation officers, etc.
Boaters who make contact with any other type of conveyance are required to report to the CBSA.
Report to the USCBP
Boaters who voluntarily reported to USCBP by telephone (e.g., NEXUS members or I68 permit holders) but did not touch U.S. soil, did not anchor, moor or make contact with another conveyance, and did not embark or disembark people or goods while in U.S. waters, are not required to report to the CBSA upon their return to Canada.
The exceptions to the presentation and reporting of goods requirements are for persons on board marine vessels only, and do not apply to snowmobiles, hovercraft, or any other land-based conveyance arriving in Canada on frozen waterways. Persons on board a snowmobile or any other land-based conveyance are required to report to the CBSA, even if they do not touch land and stay on frozen Canadian waters.
Reporting to the CBSA
Persons who do not meet the conditions for an exception must proceed to a telephone reporting site/marine (TRS/M) to call the CBSA Telephone Reporting Centre (TRC) and request clearance to enter Canada, or proceed to a direct reporting site for marine private vessel (DRS/M) and present themselves in person to a border services officer.
Reporting from the water
Boaters who anchor in Canadian waters do not meet the conditions for an exception and must report to the CBSA. However, they are permitted to do so by calling the CBSA Telephone Reporting Centre (TRC) using a cell phone from their location in Canadian waters if they meet all of the other conditions for an exception.
Boaters who report to the TRC from the location where they anchor in Canadian waters may be required to proceed to a telephone reporting site/marine (TRS/M) or a direct reporting site for marine private vessel (DRS/M) for examination.
Telephone Reporting Centre (TRC):
Toll free: 1-888-226-7277
- Date modified: