Canada Border Services Agency

Canada Border Services Agency

December 14, 2011 11:00 ET

Making Your Return to Canada Easier During the Holidays

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 14, 2011) - December brings with it an expected increase in traveller volumes, as Canadians celebrate the holidays. Whether you travel by land or air, plan ahead.

For information, including entry requirements into Canada, visit the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) Web site at http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca, click on Travel Tips and then I Declare. There, you'll find a downloadable copy of I Declare, outlining what to expect when you arrive. The following is just some of what you'll find covered in this publication. If you plan to fly, view our video Arriving by Air: Welcome home. Welcome to Canada at http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/travel-voyage/aba-apa-eng.html.

Travel documents

  • A valid Canadian passport, while not mandatory, is the preferred piece of identification for Canadians entering Canada and the United States. Other acceptable identification includes an enhanced driver's licence, a Secure Certificate of Indian Status, as well as a NEXUS or Free and Secure Trade (FAST) card for Canadian and U.S. citizens.

  • For more information about U.S. entry requirements, visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Web site at www.CBP.gov.

Save yourself time at the border with your NEXUS card

Join NEXUS to take advantage of simplified and expedited border clearance for low-risk, pre-approved members. NEXUS members avoid long lineups using automated, self-serve kiosks at airports or designated NEXUS lanes at specific land border crossings.

Travelling with children

If you are travelling alone with minor children or if you are not the legal guardian, you should carry proper documentation, such as custody and legal separation documents and a letter of authorization to facilitate your entry back into Canada.

Protect your valuables prior to departing Canada

Available at all CBSA offices is a free identification service for items (excluding jewellery) that have serial numbers or other unique markings, making them identifiable for customs purposes as goods that are legally in Canada. Because jewellery often has significant value, it is recommended that you travel with as little as possible.

Declaring your gifts and other goods

If you are travelling with gifts, do not wrap them prior to crossing the border. Gifts received while outside Canada and brought home count towards your personal exemption. As a Canadian resident, you may qualify for a personal exemption, depending on the length of time you were away. Keep all of your receipts close at hand and have the total of your combined receipts readily available. If you have any questions about Canadian regulations, ask the border services officer when you arrive.

Food, plants and related products

To avoid bringing pests, viruses and diseases into Canada, all food, plants and related products from other countries must be declared at the border. If you are unsure whether the product is allowed, declare the item and discuss it with a border services officer. No penalties are assessed if goods are declared. Goods that are not declared are subject to seizure, penalties and could lead to prosecution.

Plan ahead

Be sure to check our Web site for travel tips at www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca. You'll find information to help you avoid peak wait times at http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/waittimes.

Follow us on Twitter @CanBorder.

Contact Information

  • Headquarters:
    Media line
    613-957-6500

    Pacific Region:
    Faith St. John
    604-666-5492

    Prairie Region:
    Lisa White
    403-292-4011

    Northern Ontario Region:
    Chris Kealey
    613-991-5197

    Greater Toronto Area Region:
    Antonella DiGirolamo
    905-803-5366

    Southern Ontario Region:
    Jean D'Amelio Swyer
    905-933-5463 or 519-967-4330

    Quebec Region:
    Media Line
    514-350-6130

    Atlantic Region:
    Laurie Gillmore
    902-426-0900