Tips for Crossing the Border… What You Need to Know
In order to make your trip to Canada as smooth as possible, we have gathered important information regarding traveling to Canada and crossing the border that you need to know before you leave. This information is intended to help you while you make your travel plans, but may be incomplete in some areas. You should visit the Canada Border Services Agency for more complete information and publications before you make your travel arrangements.
Required Identification Documents
Upon entering Canada you may be asked by a border services officer to see a passport and a valid visa (if you are arriving from a country from which one is required). United States citizens are strongly advised to acquire a US Passport. Passports are not required to enter Canada, but are required to return to the United States. If you are flying, you are required to have a valid US Passport.
Travelers are encouraged to visit the US Custom and Border Protection website for detailed information regarding the US Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative and its travel requirements for entering or returning to the United States.
Anyone with a criminal record (including misdemeanors and driving while impaired) may be barred from entering Canada and must obtain a special waiver well in advance of any planned travel. To determine if you may be inadmissible and how to overcome this finding, please refer to the Canada Citizenship and Immigration website.
What You Can Bring with You
As a visitor you can bring certain goods into Canada for your personal use as “personal baggage”. Personal baggage includes clothing, camping and sport 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 service officers do conduct examinations of goods being imported to verify declarations. If you declare goods when you arrive and take them back with you when you depart, you are not required to pay duty or taxes.
Alcohol and Tobacco
Visitors may import the restricted amounts of alcohol and tobacco products as long as they are in your possession when you arrive in Canada.
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 alcohol beverages of you personal entitlement.
You are allowed to import only one of the following amounts of alcoholic beverages tax free:
You are permitted to bring all of the following amounts of tobacco into Canada free of duty and taxes:
Firearms and Weapons
You must declare all weapons and firearms at the CBSA port of entry when you enter Canada. Failure to do so could result in prosecution and forfeiture of goods.
For detailed information on importing a firearm into Canada, see the publication called Importing a Firearm or Weapon into Canada.