Border Tips for Canada Day and U.S. Independence Day Travel

Pigeon River Border Crossing
Pigeon River Border Crossing

THUNDER BAY – TRAVEL – Are you headed to the United States for Canada Day or for the 4th of July?

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) reminds travellers of what to expect when crossing the border for the upcoming Canada Day and U.S. Independence Day holidays.

Protecting Canadians and Ensuring Smooth Border Crossings

The CBSA works daily to protect Canadians, support the economy, and ensure the efficient movement of people and goods. In 2023, over 86 million travellers were welcomed, and more than 72,200 kg of prohibited substances were intercepted, marking a 30% increase from 2022.

Preparing for Peak Travel Periods

To minimize border wait times during peak periods like long weekends and summer months, the CBSA monitors traveller volumes and strategically plans operations.

Travel Tips for a Smooth Border Crossing

Plan Ahead

  • Check Border Wait Times: Early mornings are ideal for crossing to avoid delays. The Mondays after long weekends tend to be the busiest. Consider alternative ports of entry with shorter wait times and verify their hours of operation on the CBSA Directory of Offices and Services.
  • Use Navigation Apps: When using GPS applications (Google Maps, Apple Maps, Waze), explore different routes to find the best travel option.
  • Have Travel Documents Ready: Speed up processing times by having all travel documents easily accessible.
  • Travelling with Children: If travelling with a child who is not your own, carry a consent letter from their parent or legal guardian.
  • Advance Declaration: Flying into Canada? Use Advance Declaration to make your customs and immigration declaration up to 72 hours before arrival at participating airports.
  • Entering by Boat: Private boaters must report to the CBSA without delay. Review reporting requirements before travel.

At the Border

  • Declare Everything: Whether arriving by land or water, declare all items with you, including those in your vehicle or boat.
  • Specific Items:
    • Food, Plant, or Animal Products: Check the Automated Import Reference System (AIRS) for guidelines.
    • Poultry Products: Be aware of current restrictions from the U.S.
    • Fireworks: Ensure compliance with regulations on importing fireworks.
    • Medication: Understand your responsibilities for travelling with medication.
    • Firewood: Firewood from outside Canada is prohibited. Buy and burn locally.
    • Goods Purchased Abroad: Know your personal exemptions and use the CBSA duty and taxes estimator.

Restricted and Prohibited Goods

  • Firearms: Leave them at home unless you have checked the import rules.
  • Weapons: Items like pepper spray, switchblades, and butterfly knives are restricted.
  • Narcotics: Possession of illegal drugs such as cocaine and heroin can lead to arrest and prosecution.
  • Cannabis: Legal in Canada, but bringing it across borders without proper authorization is a criminal offense.

Need Assistance?

If unsure about what to declare, ask a CBSA officer. For more information, visit the CBSA Website or call 1-800-461-9999.

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