Heading South to the United States? Plan Your Return



Make Your Border Crossing as Simple as Possible – CBSA

THUNDER BAY – “Travellers should plan to cross the border outside of peak traffic periods if possible to avoid delays.Travellers can also help speed up processing by ensuring that they have proper identification for everyone in their vehicle readily available upon arrival to Canada. Returning Canadians should have receipts for all purchases in hand,” states Paul Loo, Acting Regional Director General, CBSA, Northern Ontario Region.

Now that summer is officially here, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is making every effort to effectively manage the expected higher traffic volumes during this peak period. Travellers, however, can help make their border crossing smoother, by keeping several tips in mind:

  1. Plan your border crossing Check border wait times using the CanBorder App or follow us on Twitter for hourly border wait time updates and cross at the least busy port of entry in the area.
  1. Have proper ID – Ensure that you have proper identification for yourself and everyone in the vehicle readily available. Some acceptable forms of identification for entry into Canada include a passport, a NEXUS card and an enhanced driver’s license.
  1. The four Fs – Fishing, Firewood, Fireworks and Firearms – Fishing enthusiasts and campers are reminded that they cannot bring live bait into Canada without a permit. Furthermore, firewood cannot be brought into the country because it can introduce invasive species and spread disease to Canada’s trees. Campers should buy firewood on site, burn firewood on site, and leave all unused firewood on site. The CBSA also reminds travellers that an import permit issued by Natural Resources Canada is required to import fireworks into Canada. Fireworks that do not have the necessary permit will be refused entry into Canada. Lastly, don’t forget firearms or weapons must be declared at the CBSA port of entry to Canada. Failure to declare any firearms or weapons may lead to penalties, including seizure action and prosecution.

Travellers can consult the CBSA’s website for information on firearms, firewood, and fireworks.

  1. Know your personal exemptions – Be aware of your personal exemptions, including those for alcohol and tobacco. Remember there are no personal exemptions for same-day cross-border shopping trips so be prepared to pay the harmonized sales tax (HST) on your purchases and possibly duty.
After being away for… You can bring back goods, tax and duty-free, worth up to…
Less than 24 hours No exemption
24 hours or more CAN$200
48 hours or more CAN$800

Alcoholic beverages and tobacco products may be included in your 48-hour or 7-day exemption, provided you are of legal age. Certain restrictions apply.

For more information, visit the CBSA website at www.cbsa.gc.ca or contact the Border Information Service at 1‑800‑461-9999.

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