Travel tips from the Canada Border Services Agency

MONTREAL, June 19, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - This summer, many Canadian residents will cross the Canadian border during their holidays. The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is making every effort to effectively manage the increased volumes of passengers during this peak period; travellers can facilitate their re-entry into Canada by keeping the following tips in mind.

- Plan ahead to avoid delays at the land border when you return to Canada
The CBSA suggests that you avoid travelling during peak periods, which occur mainly during weekends and statutory holidays, between 2:00 p.m. and midnight. You may also keep track of border wait times. To inquire about border wait times at major ports of entry, you may consult the CBSA Web site (, the Web site for mobile devices ( or Twitter general: @CBSA_BWT; St-Bernard-de-Lacolle: @CBSA_SBL; Stanstead: @CBSA_STD; St-Armand/Philipsburg: @CBSA_SAP).

You may also plan an alternate route back by choosing to enter Canada through a less-travelled port of entry (list of all ports of entry:

- Bring appropriate identification
Have on hand identity documents for yourself and for all children travelling with you. CBSA officers watch closely for missing children and may ask you detailed questions about the children who are travelling with you. If you have or share legal custody of the children, have copies of the relevant legal documents, such as custody rights, on hand. Appropriate identification includes:

  • a passport;
  • an enhanced driver's licence (EDL) or an enhanced identification card (EID);
  • a NEXUS card (used where the program is offered);
  • a Free and Secure Trade (FAST) program card used in FAST lanes;
  • a Canadian citizenship card;
  • a Certificate of Indian Status;
  • a birth certificate accompanied by a photo identification (such as a regular driver's licence) issued by a government; or
  • a valid permanent resident card.

- Declare all merchandise you have bought and have all your receipts on hand
Officers may ask you to show receipts for the goods you have purchased and your hotel receipts to verify the length of your stay outside Canada. Keep all of your receipts together and on hand to avoid unnecessary delays.

- Be aware of your personal exemptions
Depending on the length of your stay abroad, you may be entitled to certain personal exemptions.

After being away for:

  • less than 24 hours - No exemption
  • 24 hours or more - You can bring back goods, tax and duty free, worth up to: $CAN200. If the amount being imported exceeds CAN$200, the duty and taxes are applicable on the entire amount of the imported goods.
  • 48 hours or more - You can bring back goods, tax and duty free, worth up to: $CAN800. Duty and taxes are applicable on the amount of imported goods above CAN$800.

Alcoholic beverages and tobacco products may be included in your 48-hour exemption, provided you are of legal age, but certain restrictions apply.

Alcohol: Exemption on alcohol (after a stay of 48 hours or more). Only one of the following amounts may be imported free of duty and taxes:

  - 1.5 L of wine (two 750 ml bottles); or
  - 1.14 L (40 oz.) of liquor; or
  - 24 X 355 ml (12 oz.) containers of beer.
    You must be of legal age in the province of importation.

Tobacco: Exemption on tobacco (after a stay of 48 hours or more). The following amounts of tobacco products may be imported free of duty and taxes:

  - 200 cigarettes; and
  - 200 tobacco sticks; and
  - 50 cigars or cigarillos; and
  - 200 g (7 oz.) of manufactured tobacco
  (Note: A special duty fee might be applicable.)

- Know before you go
Certain goods are prohibited or restricted from entering Canada (weapons, certain plant and animal products, etc.). Certain restrictions exist related to the import of meat, eggs, milk products, honey, fresh fruit and vegetables, etc. You can find out more about this by consulting the I Declare brochure.

Since December 2003, the CBSA has been an integral part of the Public Safety Portfolio, which was created to protect Canadians and maintain a peaceful and safe society. The CBSA's mission is to ensure the security and prosperity of Canada by managing the access of people and goods to and from Canada. The CBSA administers more than 90 acts, regulations and international agreements, many on behalf of other federal departments and agencies, the provinces and the territories.

For more information, visit the CBSA Web site at or contact the Border Information Service at 1-800-461-9999.

SOURCE: Canada Border Services Agency

For further information:

Media Relations, Quebec Region
Canada Border Services Agency

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