With a busy shopping season ahead of us, the Canadian Border Services Agency has released a few tips to help your trip across the border go as smooth as possible.
"We recommend the North Portal port of entry for Saskatchewan-bound travellers because it is open 24-7 and has the greatest processing capacity during peak travel times. Travellers can also monitor border wait times for North Portal prior to arrival by downloading the CanBorder app. Border-savvy travellers choose to cross in the morning, as weekend lineups tend to build during the afternoon and evening."
They also suggest that you keep track of what you have purchased.
"There are no personal exemptions for same-day travellers, and your purchases will be subject to applicable duty and taxes. Travellers who have been out-of-country for at least 24 hours are entitled to a CAN$200 exemption, and this increases to CAN$800 once you have been away for 48 hours. Make sure to have the total of your purchases added up, and all your receipts readily available."
"When travelling with gifts, wrap them after you re-enter Canada. Otherwise, our officers may need to unwrap them when verifying your declaration at the border."
Online shopping is also very popular, but there could be some surprises waiting for you when you pick up your package.
"All international mail coming into Canada is subject to review by the CBSA, so order online gifts early to make sure they arrive in time for the holidays. Also be prepared to pay duty on items worth more than CAN$20. Travellers picking up parcels from the U.S. need to make sure they know the contents and value of each one. Open parcels before arriving at the border and bring an extra copy of the purchase invoice along, as some shippers may not include one in the package. Finally, make sure the goods you want to import are in fact allowed in Canada."
"Just like any other time of the year, and whether you're driving or flying, have your passport ready, make a full and accurate declaration, and when in doubt, ask the CBSA officer for help. You can also contact our Border Information Service in advance of your crossing if you have any questions."