Customs & Duty Free Allowances And Restrictions

New Customs & Duty Free allowances effective June 1, 2012. Click Here to see the exciting new changes.

Non-residents entering Canada:

Tobacco*…200 cigarettes and 50 cigars and 200g of loose tobacco
Liquor*…1.14L of spirits, 1.5L of wine,or 24 bottles or cans of beer.(8.5L)
*Applies only to passsengers over 18 yrs of age
Perfume….Reasonable amount
Cameras….No restrictions
Film…….Reasonable amount
Gifts……$60 Cad max per gift -excludes tobacco/liquor
Agricultural items/currency…Refer psgr to consulate

Residents returning to Canada:

After 24 hr absence…C$50
–No Tobacco and Liquor

After 48 hr absence…C$400
Tobacco…200 Cigarettes and 50 Cigars and 200g of loose Tobacco.
Liquor….1.14L of spirits, 1.5L of wine,or 24 bottles or cans of beer.(8.5L)

After 7 days absence…C$750
Tobacco…200 Cigarettes and 50 Cigars and 200g of Tobacco
Liquor….1.14 litres of liquor or 1.5 litres of wine.

Former residents entering Canada:
1 year absence any articles owned for at least 6 months before return to Canada

Prohibited items:
The importation of firearms, explosives, endangered species or animals and plants, animal products, meat, food and plant material is subject to certain restrictions and formalities. The importation of fresh fruit is prohibited. Dogs and domestic cats may be imported from certain rabies-free countries (including the united kingdom and the republic of ireland) subject to certain restrictions and formalities (but note that rabies is present in Canada and pets will generally face quarantine on returning home).

Bringing Goods into Canada for Personal Use
Most things that you bring into Canada for your personal use during your visit will be considered “personal baggage” by Canada Customs. Some examples of personal baggage are food, fishing tackle, cars, boats and motors, snowmobiles, fuel, sports equipment, television sets, musical instruments, computers and cameras.

You are not allowed to carry a weapon, such as a firearm or mace or any other spray to be used against humans, for self-defence in Canada. There is more information about the restrictions on importing firearms to Canada below.

Canada Customs’ chief concern is to establish that you really are bringing the goods in for your personal use. If you are going to be carrying large amounts of consumable products, such as food or fuel, please contact a Canada Customs office before you begin your trip to determine what special measures you should take.

You may also bring bona fide gifts worth up to Canadian $60 each for your friends in Canada without paying duty, provided these do not consist of tobacco or alcoholic beverages.

Information about Canada Customs & Revenue Agency, including excise and GST, is of a general nature only and is not intended to constitute advice for any specific situation. For particular questions, the reader is invited to contact Canada Customs

Restrictions on items for Personal Use

Those meeting the age requirements of the province or territory of entry (19 in most provinces; 18 in Alberta, Manitoba, and Québec) may bring into the country either:

  • 1 liters (40 ounces) of liquor or wine; or
  • 24 containers, at 355 milliliters (12 ounces) each, or their equivalent, of beer or ale Any alcohol in excess of these amounts will be subject to duty, provincial fees and taxes, except where it is illegal to bring in more alcohol than specified above.

Visitors meeting the age requirements of the province or territory of entry are allowed to bring the following amounts of tobacco into Canada without paying duty:

  • up to 200 cigarettes,
  • 50 cigars,
  • 200 grams (7 ounces) of loose tobacco
  • and 200 tobacco sticks.

Any additional quantities are subject to duties and provincial fees and taxes. Some provinces may also limit the total amount of tobacco that can be brought into their jurisdiction.

Drugs for Medical Use
Prescription drugs should be clearly identified and should be carried in the original packaging with a label that specifies both what they are and that they are being used under prescription. It is also a good idea to bring a copy of your prescription and a contact number for your doctor.

Diabetics and others who have to bring syringes with them should also carry some evidence of their need for using these.

Bringing Firearms into Canada
Canada has strict laws governing the cross-border movement, possession and use of firearms.

All goods, including firearms, must be declared to Canada Customs & Revenue Agency customs at the first point of entry.

A visitor may import a non-restricted firearm, such as a sporting rifle or shotgun, only for the following purposes:

  • sporting or hunting use while in Canada
  • bonafide competition use;
  • transport though Canada to another country;
  • protection against wildlife in remote areas of Canada (excluding national parks) if the customs officer is satisfied that the circumstances warrant the firearm’s importation.

No special documentation is currently required to import non-restricted firearms.

Handguns are classed as restricted firearms and may be imported only for use at approved shooting competitions. A Permit to Carry, which may be obtained from Canadian police agency, is required.

Requests for a Permit to Transport restricted firearms (e.g. most handguns) through Canada to other parts of the U.S., including Alaska, or another country are normally denied. Visitors should discuss their options with Canada Customs & Revenue Agency customs officials before leaving for Canada.

Certain handguns and all automatic weapons are classed as prohibited firearms and are banned from entering Canada. Severe penalities and confiscation apply to the possession of illegal firearms in Canada.

Before importing a firearm, you should check with a firearms officer for the Canadian province or territory you intend to enter. For more information and the addresses of these officials, see the brochure Importing a Firearm or Weapon into Canada, or Memorandum D19-13-2, Importation of Offensive Weapons. You may get both of these publications at any Canada Customs & Revenue Agency customs office.

The Government of Canada is actively reviewing possible changes to the rules for the importation of firearms. Prior to any visit, be sure to ask either customs or a provincial firearms officer as to whether new requirements have been put into place.

Radio Communication Equipment
If you have an American operator’s licence, you may use your aircraft, marine or amateur radio while visiting Canada without a Canadian licence. All other types of radio transmitting stations may only be used in Canada if accompanied by a letter of registration from: Industry Canada’s Radio Regulatory and Broadcasting Branch. Call (613) 998-3372 for more information.

Transporting Goods through Canada
Goods “in transit” to another country (but not handguns) may be brought through Canada. To facilitate your border crossings, you should carry three copies of a list of all the goods you are bringing with you, including values and serial numbers if applicable. Consumable goods, such as alcohol, tobacco and food, should be packed in containers that can be corded and sealed by Canada Customs at the time of entry.

Meetings, Conventions & Incentive Travel
Special arrangements are available for Companies wishing to hold business meetings or conventions in Canada. For a copy of the brochure Welcome to Canada-Your Guide to Bringing a Convention, Meeting, Trade Show, or Exhibition across the Canadian Border click here.

Booklets explaining aspects of Canada’s goods and services tax (GST)/ harmonizing sales tax (HST) relevant to those holding business meetings or conventions are available. These include: GST / HST Information for Non-Resident Meeting Planners and Convention Organizers and How the GST / HST Applies to Non-Resident Incentive Travel Organizers. Call the GST / HST information line at (613) 990-8584 to order your copy.

Leaving Items in Canada between Visits
If you will be making more than one trip to Canada over a specific period of time and intend to leave goods in Canada between these visits, you must obtain an E99 permit from Canada Customs when you enter the country. Please note that boats, motors and boat trailers may only be left in Canada during the off-season if you are having maintenance or repair work done on them at a bona fide marina.

An E99 permit also enables you to leave your vehicle at an airport or marine terminal while you travel in Canada.

There are special measures in place for American residents who have purchased a cottage or other vacation home in Canada for use a sa seasonal residence or who have rented one on a three-year lease or longer. For more information, contact Canada Customs and ask for the brochure Seasonal Residents.

Regional Customs Offices
Trade Administration Services and Customs Border Services Offices will provide additional information about entry into Canada or bringing goods into Canada. Please contact the office that deals with the area of the country you are planning to visit.

Further information on Canada Border Services Agency’s website