The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is reminding all travellers who are celebrating the upcoming holidays of Rosh Hashanah (September 18 to 20, 2020) and Yom Kippur (September 27 and 28, 2020), that travel restrictions are still in place at all Canadian international border crossings including land, marine, air and rail ports of entry.
The Government of Canada remains committed to protecting the health and safety of Canadians and minimizing the risk of spreading of COVID-19 in Canada. Before you travel, consult federal and provincial/territorial entry, quarantine and public health requirements.
In anticipation of the holidays, residents living in Canada may want to import traditional items by mail from abroad such as Ram’s horn, Challah (bread), Kreplach (dumplings) or other items. The travel restrictions do not impact the cross-border movement of goods. However, before placing your order, ensure that you know the rules as the importation of certain goods, including food, plant or animal products, may be restricted or prohibited in Canada, while other items may require permits.
To facilitate and expedite processing when receiving international mail items including online purchases, the CBSA asks you to keep in mind the following tips, which can be shared with friends and family sending you items from abroad:
- If you are expecting a gift from abroad, the person must send it to you personally and include a card or other notice indicating that it is a gift. Any gift to someone living in Canada is duty and tax-free, provided its value is CDN$60 or less. For a gift of over CDN$60, applicable duties and/or taxes will be collected on the difference between the value of the gift and CDN$60.
- Some items are restricted and prohibited goods. If prohibited goods are discovered, the CBSA will take appropriate enforcement action. If restricted goods are discovered, the CBSA will hold the items and inform you by mail that you need the proper import documents before they can be released.
- The temporary restrictions on all optional/discretionary travel to Canada continue and may be prolonged for public health reasons.
- Canadian citizens, permanent residents and Registered Indians under the Indian Act continue to enter Canada by right, and are subject to COVID-19 entry screening measures.
- All persons entering Canada, unless exempted – no matter their country of origin or mode of entry – must quarantine themselves for 14 days if they do not have symptoms of COVID-19 or isolate themselves for 14 days if they have symptoms of or are confirmed as having COVID-19. Foreign nationals who are displaying symptoms of COVID-19 will not be permitted to enter Canada, regardless of their reason for travel.
- The CBSA has temporarily suspended or reduced service at certain small vessel reporting sites, small airports of entry, ferry terminals and to the Remote Area Border Crossing program. Travellers should review the list of CBSA locations that remain open during this temporary service suspension.
- Travellers should consult the respective provincial/territorial websites to ensure that they are aware of the provincial/territorial entry, quarantine and public health requirements and can abide by those requirements.
- Anyone arriving in Canada in any mode (air, land or marine) must provide their contact information to a border services officer (either by paper, online, via the ArriveCAN App or verbally to the officer) when seeking entry. This information is collected on behalf of the Public Health Agency of Canada to support their compliance and enforcement of the 14-day quarantine or isolation requirement outlined in Order in Council 2020-0589. Travellers are encouraged to download the mobile ArriveCAN App prior to arrival to reduce wait times and limit contact at the border.
- Asymptomatic immediate family members, spouses or common-law partners of Canadian citizens and permanent residents who meet the immediate family member definition and are coming to Canada for a minimum of 15 days will be exempt from the prohibition from entering Canada for a discretionary/optional purpose.
- Failure to comply with the current border restrictions is an offence under the Quarantine Act and could lead to up to $750,000 in fines, and/or imprisonment of up to 6 months. If a traveller causes a risk of imminent death or serious bodily harm to another person while willfully or recklessly contravening this act or the regulations, they could be liable for up to $1,000,000 in fines, and/or imprisonment of up to 3 years.