OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 8, 2011) - March is a busy month for travel as many families and friends shake off the last of the cold by jetting off to a sunny destination. Guarantee a perfect ending to a great getaway by being informed of your obligations upon returning to Canada: know before you go!

Consider these common scenarios. Can you answer these travel tips trivia?

  • A family of four takes a return flight to Canada after visiting Florida for two weeks. When the family reaches the front of the CBSA queue, they are greeted by a border services officer (BSO). What should the family have readily available to provide to the BSO?

    • Proper identification for each traveller, including children. Remember that passports are required for air travel outside of Canada.

    • A complete and accurate declaration form (Form E311), as provided by the airline prior to landing in Canada.

  • A retiree returns to Canada after spending two months in the Dominican Republic. The traveller approaches the BSO with a valid passport, and a declaration form which indicates that the traveller has purchased three 1.14L bottles of rum from the duty-free shop. Will the traveller have to pay duties and/or taxes?

    • Yes. The traveller has exceeded his exemption and must pay duties and taxes for two bottles, or abandon them.

    • Personal exemptions are dependent on the amount of time you have been outside of Canada. In this case, the traveller has been absent from Canada for seven days or more and is entitled to an exemption of CAN$750, one 1.14L bottle of liquor or 1.5L of wine, and 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars, 200 grams (7 ounces) of manufactured tobacco and 200 tobacco sticks.

  • A student returns to Canada after spending reading week with friends at an all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean. After waiting in line, the traveller approaches the BSO with a valid passport, and a declaration form which indicates that she has purchased $30 dollars worth of goods. While speaking with the BSO, the traveller explains that the $30 item is a hand-carved wood statuette. Is this item prohibited from entering Canada?

    • Many items, including souvenirs, may appear safe but actually pose a threat to Canada. For example, wood statuettes are only admissible if the wood is properly treated. Wood that is not properly treated may carry harmful insects that could pose a threat to Canada. Prohibited items will be confiscated and destroyed, and cause unnecessary delays for you and others.

Know before you go by visiting the Travel Tips section of the CBSA Web site at where you will find information on identification requirements, personal exemptions, prohibited items, and many other subjects that will help you to experience a fast and safe return to Canada. 

Remember: know before you go and guarantee yourself a great March Break! The CBSA wishes you a good trip and a safe return to Canada.

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