Source: Canada Border Services Agency

CBSA: Know before you go!

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 23, 2013) - Many Canadians take advantage of the winter season to travel to warmer destinations. If you plan on travelling south this winter, let the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) help you prepare for your return home.

Ensure that you have proper identification for yourself and everyone travelling with you readily available.

A border services officer will scan your documents so presenting preferable forms of identification could get you on your way more quickly. A passport is the preferable piece of identification for entry into Canada. Other acceptable identification includes an enhanced driver's licence, a birth certificate with accompanying photo ID such as a regular driver's licence, a permanent resident card, a citizenship card or a certificate of Indian status, and a NEXUS card or Free and Secure Trade (FAST) card when travelling by land or boat.

Consider applying for NEXUS and save time when entering Canada or the U.S.

Know your personal exemptions, including those for alcohol and tobacco. Declare all purchases made (including duty-free purchases), and have your receipts readily available upon your return to Canada.

Souvenirs can be a good way to remember your trip, but certain goods are prohibited from entering Canada, including some food, plant and animal products. Be aware of what goods are prohibited from entering Canada by consulting the I Declare brochure.

Prior to arriving in Canada by air, all travellers are provided with a Declaration form (Form E311). Be sure to fill it out accurately and keep it in an accessible place until a border services officer asks you for it.

Limits for personal exemptions
After being away for:
Less than 24 hours There is no personal exemption for stays less than 24 hours.
24 hours or more CAN$200

If the amount being imported exceeds CAN$200, the duty and taxes are applicable on the entire amount of the imported goods.

Goods must be in your possession at time of entry to Canada.

You cannot include alcohol and tobacco in this exemption.
48 hours or more CAN$800 with limits on alcohol ( and tobacco (

Duty and taxes are applicable on the amount of imported goods above CAN$800.

Goods must be in your possession at time of entry to Canada.
7 days or more CAN$800 with limits on alcohol ( and tobacco (

Duty and taxes are applicable on the amount of imported goods above CAN$800.

Goods may be in your possession at time of entry to Canada but are also permitted to follow entry to Canada (via courier, mail or delivery agent or pickup by the importer).

Alcohol and tobacco must be in your possession at the time of entry to qualify for a duty-free exemption.

Stay connected.

We know you are mobile and now we are too. Stay connected with us at

For even more travel tips, watch the CBSA's travel tips video on YouTube.

For a list of Travel Health Notices, please visit the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Have something to say? We want to hear it! If you have questions about your interactions with our border services officers, we encourage you to speak to a CBSA superintendent who can address your questions or concerns at that time.

Alternatively, you can visit the CBSA Web site and fill out an electronic feedback form where you can voice your comments, complaints and compliments.

Follow us on Twitter (@CanBorder), join us on Facebook or visit our YouTube channel.

Contact Information:

Headquarters: Media line

Pacific Region:
Faith St. John

Northern Ontario Region:
Caroline Desjarlais

Greater Toronto Area Region:
Media Line

Prairie Region:
Lisa White

Southern Ontario Region:
Jean D'Amelio Swyer
905-354-2011 or 519-967-4330

Quebec Region:
Media Line

Atlantic Region:
Media Line