Crossing the Border? CBSA Offers Tips

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Pigeon River Border Crossing
Pigeon River Border Crossing

THUNDER BAY – LIVING – Long weekends in Thunder Bay and Fort Frances mean for thousands, a trip south of the border to the United States.

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is pleased to welcome the returning volumes of travellers crossing the border.

The Agency is working with industry partners to improve the traveller experience and manage volumes; this includes the International-to-Domestic and the International-to-International programs that significantly decrease connection times, as well as the Primary Inspection Kiosks, and Advance CBSA Declaration.

Travellers can also prepare for a smoother trip. Here are some tips for those who plan to cross the border during this upcoming Thanksgiving long weekend and for the US Columbus Day long weekend:

  • Plan ahead and check border wait times. Travellers crossing the border by land are encouraged to cross during non-peak hours, such as early morning. The Monday of holiday long weekends tend to be the busiest, with longer border wait times.
  • Advance CBSA Declaration for air travellers. Travellers arriving at the Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal international airports can choose to submit their customs and immigration declaration to the CBSA prior to their arrival using the Advance CBSA Declaration feature within ArriveCAN app. This optional feature will also become available at the Winnipeg international airport on October 13, 2022, and at the Calgary, Edmonton, Billy Bishop Toronto City, Ottawa, Québec City and Halifax international airports in the coming months.
  • Use the latest technology. Travellers can make use of the primary inspection kiosk or eGates, available at certain airports, to verify their travel documents, confirm their identity and complete an on-screen customs and immigration declaration if not already done in ArriveCAN by using Advance CBSA Declaration.
  • Avoid importing raw poultry products or by-products. There are currently restrictions on imports of live birds, bird products and by-products from U.S. states affected by Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza. It is recommended you not bring poultry products – including a turkey, eggs, and/or chicken. Otherwise, be prepared to prove the origin of your poultry product at the border.
  • Know your exemption limits. Returning residents planning to make purchases or pick up online purchases across the border should be aware of their personal exemption limits. Be sure to check the CBSA duty and taxes estimator to calculate taxes on goods purchased in the United States and to help make informed decisions when shopping abroad.
  • Cannabis: Don’t bring it in. Don’t take it out. Transporting cannabis across the border in any form, including any oils containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or cannabidiol (CBD), without a permit or exemption authorized by Health Canada remains a serious criminal offence subject to arrest and prosecution, despite the legalization of cannabis in Canada.
  • Be prepared to declare. All travellers must declare their goods upon entry into Canada. If travelling with gifts, it is recommended they not be wrapped. For returning residents, have your receipts readily available for goods purchased or received while outside of Canada. Travellers can consult the CBSA’s website for information on firearms and other restricted and prohibited goods.
  • Ensure you are eligible to enter Canada. Foreign nationals must meet the admissibility requirements under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and provide appropriate travel and immigration documentation. Admissibility decisions are made by a border services officer at the time of entry.
  • Declare any foods, plants, or animals such as raw meats, fruits, house plants, live animals, wood products (including firewood and wooden souvenirs) to the border service officer. Be sure to check the Automated Import Reference System to help determine all specific import requirements.
  • Children. When travelling with children, it is recommended that the accompanying adult have a consent letter authorizing them to travel with the child. Border services officers are always watching for missing children, and in the absence of the letter, officers may ask additional questions, to help them identify the relationship between the child and the accompanying adult.

For more information, visit the CBSA Web site or call us at 1-800-461-9999.