The Victoria Day long weekend is one of the busiest the Canada Border Services Agency, as Canadians head south to take advantage of the holiday, and many Americans come up north to go camping ahead of their long weekend at the end of the month. With a lot of traffic expected at ports like North Portal and Regway, along with smaller crossings like Oungre and Torquay, the CBSA is reminding travellers of a few tips to make the process as smooth as possible.
“We would remind Canadians who are coming back to beat the border rush by crossing as early in the day as possible, keep your travel documents handy, make sure each passenger has the correct documents, and know your purchases, where your receipts are, and your personal exemptions and restrictions,” explained Luke Reimer, a spokesperson with the CBSA.
Reimer said one issue which comes up is when travellers aren’t forthcoming with their declarations. For some, it is because they are unsure if it is something they are allowed to bring across, or they simply don’t want to get caught with it. If a traveller declares an item, and it happens to be inadmissible to Canada, they won’t necessarily face a penalty, Reimer related. He added if you aren’t sure, it is as simple as asking the officer.
“They’re there to help, they’re there to answer your questions, and by declaring at the first opportunity then you’ll ensure you won’t be penalized or prosecuted under the Customs Act,” Reimer said.
The CBSA spokesperson added when it comes to certain things like weapons, and even some food products, it is better to check ahead, either on the CBSA website or by calling the CBSA, to ensure what you are purchasing can be brought into Canada.