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Friday, July 22, 2011

Travel tips on crossing the Canadian border upon returning from vacation this summer

Montreal, Quebec, July 19, 2011 – The summer holiday season is upon us, and many Canadians will likely be travelling abroad over the coming weeks. The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is making every effort to minimize border wait times during this peak period; travellers can facilitate their re-entry into Canada by keeping the following five tips in mind. 


  1. Plan ahead to avoid delays at the Canada–U.S. land border. The CBSA suggests that you avoid travelling during peak periods such as afternoons and weekends, and use the Internet to keep track of wait times. You can consult border wait times on the CBSA Web site, on Twitter at www.twitter.com/CBSA_BWT, or on your cell phone at wap.gc.ca or www.gc.ca.
  2. Bring appropriate identification for yourself and for all children travelling with you, regardless of their age. CBSA officers watch closely for missing children and may ask you detailed questions about the children you are travelling with. If you have or share legal custody of the children, have copies of the relevant legal documents, such as custody rights, on hand. 
  3. Declare all merchandise you have bought and have all your receipts on hand. Officers may ask you to show receipts for the goods you have purchased and your hotel receipts to verify the length of your stay outside Canada. Keep all of your receipts together and on hand to avoid unnecessary delays.
  4. Be aware of your personal exemptions. Depending on the length of your stay abroad, you may be entitled to certain personal exemptions.
After being away for… You can bring back goods, tax- and duty-free, worth up to…
24 hours or more CAN$50 
48 hours or more CAN$400 
7 days or more CAN$750 
Alcoholic beverages and tobacco products may be included in your 48-hour or seven-day exemption, provided you are of legal age. Certain restrictions apply.
  1. Know before you go. Certain goods are prohibited or restricted from entering Canada (weapons, certain plant and animal products, etc.). You can find out more about this by consulting the I Declare brochure.
Finally, use your NEXUS card and save time at marine, land and air ports of entry when entering Canada or the United States. Visit www.nexus.gc.ca for more information or to apply for a membership.
For more information, visit the CBSA Web site or contact the Border Information Service at 1‑800‑959‑2036.

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