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Transporting Goods
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A Provocative Description of the Pacific Northwest

Border Crossing

Transporting Goods Into Canada

Disclaimer: This information is provided as a service to our visitors and no guarantee is made as to its completeness or correctness. All information should be independently verified with the relevant authorities.

The personal exemption for Canadian residents depends upon the amount of time the resident has been outside of the country. Residents who have been out of Canada for 24-47 hours can claim $50 CAD; more than 48 hours but less than 7 days, $400 CAD; and 7 days or more, $750 CAD. If the value of the declaration exceeds the personal exemption, the declarer must pay duty on the remaining value.

Some items can only be imported in limited quantities; others have no limit attached to them. Tobacco products are limited to one of the following: 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars or cigarillos, 200 grams (7 ounces) of tobacco product, or 200 tobacco sticks. Note that tobacco products only qualify for a partial exemption unless they are marked "Canada Duty Paid."

Alcohol is limited to one of the following: 1.5 liters of wine, 1.14 liters of liquor, a 24-pack of beer or ale, or 1.14 liters of wine and liquor together. Alcohol products are duty free if they are limited to the above quantities.

In most cases, duty-free items must be for personal or household use, such as a personal gift or clothes. Please refer to our page regarding eligible foods for a list of limitations and restrictions.

As in the United States, some products are duty free if they are covered by the North America Free Trade Agreement. In this instance, they must be marked as having been made in the U.S. or Canada, or not stamped as having been made in any other country than the U.S. or Canada.

Canadian duty exemptions differ from U.S. regulations in a few distinct ways: Unlike in the U.S., Canadians can not declare a gift for another person as a personal exemption. The traveler can send gifts back to Canada by mail, and such gifts ( of less than $60 CAD) are not considered a personal declaration.

Duty rates differ and may also be subject to Goods and Services Tax (GST).

More Information

U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) telephone numbers for customer service:

  • Local: 202-354-1000

  • Toll-free (from US): 1-877-227-5511.

Also see telephone numbers listed under "Ports of Entry". For additional information, please visit either of the following web sites:

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)

U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP)

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