Another Long Weekend is heading our way and if your plans take you south of the border, The Canadian Border Services Agency wants to share a few tips that will make your trip back to Canada go as smooth as possible.
- Especially over long weekends, beat the border rush by crossing in the morning. In Saskatchewan, we recommend using the North Portal port of entry because it is open 24-7 and has the greatest processing capacity during peak travel times. You can also monitor border wait times for North Portal from your mobile device – just download the CanBorder app.
- Know your personal exemption limits. Once you have been out-of-country for more than 24 hours, you can claim goods of up to CAN$200 as free of duty and taxes. This increases to CAN$800 after 48 hours. Note that only goods for your own personal use qualify for this exemption; items you are bringing back for others are subject to applicable duty and taxes.
- Know the limits on alcohol and tobacco. Once you have been out-of-country for 48 hours, you can return with one of the following free of duty and taxes: 1.5 litres of wine, 1.14 litres of liquor, or 8.5 litres of beer. Additional amounts are subject to duty and taxes, as well as provincial levies. There are also 48-hour personal exemptions for stamped tobacco products sold at duty-free stores: 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars, 200 grams manufactured tobacco, and 200 tobacco sticks. You must meet minimum age requirements.
- Before returning to Canada with food products, visit the CFIA website to make sure they are allowed entry. Certain goods are restricted or prohibited because they can harbour foreign animal and plant pests and diseases. Your food products may not be allowed entry to Canada, but you will not face a penalty as long as the items were declared to the CBSA officer.
- 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.
- Bring appropriate identification for yourself and for all children travelling with you. If you share legal custody of the children, have copies of the relevant legal documents, such as custody rights, on hand. CBSA officers watch for missing children, and may ask detailed questions about any accompanying minors.