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 citizens or Permanent Residents depends upon the amount of time the resident has been outside of the country. Residents who have been out of Canada for 24 hours or more you can bring in CAN$200 worth of goods free of duty and tax. If the goods you bring in are greater than CAN$200 in total, the exemption cannot be claimed and the full applicable duties and taxes must be paid on all goods brought in; 48 hours or more you can bring in CAN$800 worth of goods free of duty and tax; 7 days or more, you can bring in CAN$800 worth of goods free of duty and tax with the exception of tobacco and alcoholic products. Young children and infants are also entitled to a personal exemption. As a parent or guardian, you can make a declaration to the CBSA for a child as long as the goods you are declaring are for the child's use. Children are not entitled to alcohol or tobacco exemptions. Be sure to have the receipts for all purchases mad abroad readily available.

Certain restrictions apply to the quantity of tobacco and alcohol products that can be imported into Canada under the personal exemption. The following amounts are allowed as long as you are of legal age, have been outside of Canada for 48 hours and are a citizen or permanent resident.

Tobacco products are limited to all of the following:

  • 200 cigarettes
  • 50 cigars or cigarillos
  • 200 grams (7 ounces) of manufactured tobacco
  • 200 tobacco sticks

Alcohol is limited to one of the following:

  • 1.5 liters (53 imperial ounces) of wine
  • 1.14 liters (40 ounces) of liquor,
  • up to a maximum 24X 355 ml (12 oz.)/8.5 liters of beer or ale

In most cases, personal or household use, such as a personal gift or clothes, and the item is marked "made in Canada, the USA, or Mexico", or if there is no marking or labeling indicating that it was made somewhere other than Canada, the USA, or Mexico, you do not need to pay duties on those goods. 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.

See the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) page for personal travel questions or contact the CBSA by email at or through the Border Information Service line at 1-800-461-9999.

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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