Custom Regulations

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This information is provided as a guide and travellers should familiarize themselves with the laws and restrictions at the time of travel with relevant authorities for each country.

CANADA

Free import
• As a visitor, you can bring certain goods into Canada for your own use as "personal baggage". Personal baggage includes clothing, camping and sports equipment, cameras and personal computers. It also includes vehicles, private boats and aircraft.
• You must declare all goods when you arrive at the first CBSA port of entry. Border services officers do conduct examinations of goods being imported or exported to verify declarations. If you declare goods when you arrive and take them back with you when you leave, you will not have to pay any duty or taxes. These goods cannot be:
• used by a resident of Canada;
• used on behalf of a business based in Canada;
• be given as a gift to a Canadian resident; or
• disposed of or left in Canada.

The border services officer may ask you to leave a security deposit for your goods, which will be refunded to you when you export the goods from Canada. Should this occur, the officer will issue a Form E29B (PDF, 507 KB), Temporary Admission Permit, retain a copy and give you one for your records. When you leave Canada, present your goods and your copy of Form E29B to the officer who will give you a receipt copy of the form and your security deposit will be refunded by mail.

• Gifts
You can import gifts for friends into Canada duty- and tax-free as long as each gift is valued at CAN$60 or less. If the gift is worth more than CAN$60, you will have to pay duty and taxes on the excess amount. You cannot claim alcoholic beverages, tobacco products or business-related material as gifts.

• International events in Canada
You can find information on streamlined border processes by going to the International Events section of the A-Z Index of the CBSA Web site at www.cbsa.gc.ca. These streamlined border processes facilitate the entry and exit of people and goods temporarily entering Canada to participate in conventions, international sporting competitions, political summits, research expeditions, meetings, trade shows and incentive travel.

• Alcohol and tobacco
As a visitor or a temporary resident, you may import, free of duty and taxes, the following amounts of alcoholic beverages and tobacco products, as long as these items are in your possession when you arrive in Canada.

• Alcoholic beverages
Alcoholic beverages are products that exceed 0.5% alcohol by volume. If you meet the minimum age requirements of the province or territory where you enter Canada, you can include limited quantities of alcoholic beverages in your personal entitlement. Minimum ages for the importation of alcoholic beverages, as prescribed by provincial or territorial authorities, are as follows: 18 years for Alberta, Manitoba and Quebec; and 19 years for the remaining provinces and territories.

You are allowed to import only one of the following amounts of alcoholic beverages free of duty and taxes:
• 1.5 litres (53 imperial ounces) of wine; or
• a total of 1.14 litres (40 ounces) of alcoholic beverages; or
• up to 8.5 litres of beer or ale.

• The CBSA classifies "cooler" products according to the alcoholic beverage they contain. For example, beer coolers are considered to be beer and wine coolers are considered to be wine. Beverages not exceeding 0.5% alcohol by volume are not considered to be alcoholic beverages.

The quantities of alcohol you can bring in must be within the limit set by the province or territory where you enter Canada. If the value of the goods is more than the free allowance, you will have to pay duty and taxes, as well as provincial/territorial assessment on the excess amount. In Nunavut and the Northwest Territories, you cannot bring more than the free allowance. For more information, check with the appropriate provincial or territorial liquor control authority before your arrival to Canada.

• Tobacco products
You are allowed to bring all of the following amounts of tobacco into Canada free of duty and taxes:
• 200 cigarettes;
• 50 cigars;
• 200 grams (7 ounces) of manufactured tobacco; and
• 200 tobacco sticks.

In addition, the Excise Act, 2001 also limits the quantity of tobacco products that can be imported (or possessed) by an individual for personal use if the tobacco product is not packaged and stamped "CANADA DUTY PAID ● DROIT ACQUITTÉ." The limit is currently five units of tobacco products. One unit of tobacco products consists of one of the following:
• 200 cigarettes;
• 50 cigars;
• 200 grams (7 ounces) of manufactured tobacco; or
• 200 tobacco sticks.
• Currency and monetary instruments

If you are importing or exporting monetary instruments equal to or greater than CAN$10,000 (or the equivalent in a foreign currency), you must report the amount to the CBSA when you arrive or before you leave Canada. This applies to either cash or other monetary instruments. For more information, please refer to the publication called Crossing the border with $10,000 or more? that is available on the CBSA Web site at www.cbsa.gc.ca under "Publications and forms."

Prohibited
• Obscene material
• Hate propaganda
• Child pornography
• Used or second-hand mattresses
• Health products (prescription drugs)
• Cultural property

Restricted
• Firearms and weapons must declare at the CBSA port of entry when you enter Canada.
• Explosives, fireworks and ammunition have to imported with written authorization and permits to bring explosives, fireworks and certain types of ammunition into Canada.
• U.S. residents are allowed to operate aircraft, marine, amateur, citizens' band (CB), General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) and Family Radio Service (FRS) radios as well as cellular and PCS (personal communications service) mobile radio telephones in Canada without explicit permission from Industry Canada. If you are not a U.S. resident, you will need permission from Industry Canada to use this equipment.
• Items imported for commercial use

If you import vehicles, farm equipment or other capital equipment to use in construction, contracting or manufacturing, or other goods to use or to be used in a trade, you have to pay the goods and services tax (GST) and any applicable duty on these items.

Goods subject to import controls.

 

USA

Non Residents
• Tobacco products : 200 cigarettes and 100 cigars.
• 1L of alcohol for persons of 21 years or older
• Other goods for personal use.
• USD 100 worth of dutiable items as a gift
• Non-residents are allowed up to $100 worth of merchandise. To claim this exemption, you must remain in the United States for at least 72 hours, and the gifts must accompany you.

This $100 gift exemption can be claimed only once every six months. You may include 100 cigars within the gift exemption, but alcoholic beverages may not be included. Family members may not group their gift exemptions. If you've used your gift exemption and then return to the United States before the six-month period has ended, you may still bring in up to $200 worth of merchandise free of duty for your personal. Any of the following may be included in this $200 exemption:
- 50 cigarettes
- 100 cigars (non-Cuban)
- 150 ml of alcoholic beverages
- 150 ml of perfume containing alcohol, or equivalent amounts of each.
If you exceed any of these limitations, however, or if the total value of all dutiable articles exceeds $200, no exemption can be applied.

Prohibited
Applicable for residents of U.S.A and non-resident
• Eat or any products thereof (dried, canned etc.)
• Narcotics and some medication containing prohibited substances
• Absinthe (unless thujone free)
• Plants , seeds , vegetables, fruits
• Soil, livestock or animal pests
• Biological (bacteria cultures, fungi specimens, viruses and others for research and etc. permissible only with APHIS permit)
• Unprepared fish and fish eggs
• Imports from embargoed countries (Iran, Cuba, Myanmar, Sudan) and leather souvenirs imported from Haiti (drums).
• Endangered wildlife species and products thereof (for example clothing and accessories)
• Cultural artefacts from Byzantine period, Pre-Columbian period, Khmer sculptures (unless with permission)
• Dog and cat fur
• Items infringing trade and copyright regulations
• Fully automatic weapons and semi-automatic weapons (see the restricted section).
• Pornography
• Articles infringing copyrights
• Traitorous material and material igniting agitation
• Hazardous articles like fireworks, uncertified toys, health hazardous substances.

Restricted
• Pets - cats and dogs must be accompanied by:
- Health certificate, issued within 30 days at point of origin. The certificate must state that animals have lived in an area which has not been under quarantine due to contagious, infectious or transmissible disease;
- Rabies certificate issued within 6 months (if the animal is over 4 months old).
• Birds require a health certificate issued immediately prior to shipment. The certificate must state that the birds were found free of psittcosis or ornithosis. For more detailed information please contact U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE.
• Seafood – please contact the U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE
• Medication - all health related drugs need to be properly labelled (preferably in their original packaging) and the quantity should not excess the amount you would normally need for the duration of your stay. It is strongly advisable to accompany the drugs with prescription or written letter from your personal physician.
• Arms and ammunition (non-residents only):
In order to import firearms, ammunition and implements of war an approved ATF Form 6-Part I). The ATF Form 6 should be submitted approximately 60 days prior to the intended importation. (Application and Permit for Importation of Firearms, Ammunition and Implements of War)".