Customs

What you can bring with you

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.

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.

Note:
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.


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