OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 15, 2013) - Spring brings increased numbers of travellers crossing the border. The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is committed to providing the best possible service, which includes reducing wait times by helping you know what to expect when you arrive at the Canadian border.

Have proper identification readily available

Ensure that you have proper identification (ID) readily available for yourself and everyone travelling with you. A border services officer will scan your documents, so presenting a preferred form of identification could get you on your way more quickly.

Passport are the preferred form of identification for entry or re-entry into Canada. Other acceptable forms of ID include: enhanced driver's licences; birth certificates with accompanying photo ID such as regular driver's licences; permanent resident cards; citizenship cards or certificates of Indian status; or NEXUS cards or Free and Secure Trade (FAST) cards when travelling by land or boat.

Declare all your purchases

Know your personal exemptions, including those for alcohol and tobacco, and declare all purchases made including duty-free purchases. And have your receipts readily available.

Be aware of what goods and souvenirs are prohibited from entering Canada by consulting the I Declare brochure. Also, some food, plant and animal products are prohibited from entering Canada.

Importing firewood, fireworks or firearms

Make sure you have the information you require before attempting to import these items into Canada to avoid possible penalties, including seizure or prosecution. For more information, consult our fact sheets specific to firearms, firewood, and fireworks.

Reporting requirements for recreational boaters

Reporting requirements were modernized in 2011 to make it easier for recreational boaters to comply with regulations when entering Canadian waters.

Certain boaters may call the CBSA Telephone Reporting Centre from their cellular telephones at the location they entered Canadian waters. For more information, consult the Reporting Requirements for Private Boaters fact sheet.

Additional questions or inspection

We understand that travellers may feel anxious when crossing the border and especially when referred for a secondary inspection. But we want you to know that secondary referrals are a normal part of the cross-border travel process that any returning resident or visitor to Canada may experience. For information on what to expect and what we ask of you, consult What to Expect: Secondary Services and Inspections.

Limits for personal exemptions
After being away for:
Less than 24 hours There are no personal exemptions 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

- Up-to-date information on our 23 busiest land ports of entry, including border wait times, can be found on our Web site. You can also receive updated Border Wait Times on Twitter.

- For more information on personal and commercial travel to Canada, please consult our Frequently Asked Questions.

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

Have something to say? We want to hear it! If you have concerns about an interaction with our border services officers, we encourage you to speak to a CBSA superintendent who may be able to immediately address the situation. Alternately, you can visit the CBSA Web site and fill out an electronic feedback form where you can voice your compliments, comments or complaints.

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

Contact Information:

Headquarters: Media line

Northern Ontario Region:
Caroline Desjarlais

Prairie Region:
Sean Best

Quebec Region:
Media Line

Pacific Region:
Faith St. John

Greater Toronto Area Region:
Media Line

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

Atlantic Region:
Media Line