Going to Canada? You need to know what you can (and cannot) bring into the country

Going to Canada? You need to know what you can (and cannot) bring into the country
Canada is among the most accommodating countries in the world. However, that doesn’t mean that it offers no restriction on what you can bring into its borders. Yes, whether you’re a visitor, a temporary resident, or a permanent resident, there are certain rules you have to follow regarding this matter.
Plan to come to Canada? Here's what you need to know about what you can (and cannot) bring at a glance 

     1. Visitors 
Basically, as a visitor, you are allowed to bring items which can be considered as “personal items,” or items in your personal baggage like toiletries, clothes, sports equipment, and gadgets. You are also required to declare all such goods at the port-of-entry with the border security officer. Any products which you plan to take back with you as you leave the country will generally be exempt from taxation, however, some items you intend to leave in the country, such as gifts may be deemed taxable upon entry, subject to current regulations.
As per regulations, some items considered non-taxable include those which: will be disposed of or left in Canada, will be used on behalf of a business based in Canada; will be used by a resident of Canada; or will be given as a gift to a Canadian resident. If you have items which don’t meet the above requirements, you may be allowed to deposit them for the short term within the border office’s security deposit box. The deposit fee is refundable when you decide to leave the country.

   2. Temporary Residents 
If entering Canada as a temporary resident permit holder, you are required to list all items you will bring into the country.  Every item should be listed with its appropriate brand, value, and serial number. It should be a typewritten document; just in case the border security officer may have some difficulties in comprehending your handwriting. For all the goods whose value or brand are difficult to determine (jewelry, for instance) all you need to do is bring a proper documentation revealing its value and proof that it belongs to you. 

  3.  New Permanent Residents 
The same general restrictions will apply to you if you are entering the country with as a permanent resident. However, you can visit the Canadian Borders Service Agency’s website to find more about the detailed rules on the matter.
  4.  Restrictions and Limits
In general, the following items are banned regardless of your traveler classification:
  • Firearms and weapons
  • Explosives, fireworks and ammunition
  • Radio transmitting equipment
  • Items imported for commercial use
  • Goods subject to import controls
  • Prohibited consumer products
  • Food products, plants, animals and related products
 5.   Regarding Alcoholic Beverages & Tobacco
Eligibility to bring alcoholic beverage into the country depends on the territory the foreign national will visit. For example, you need to be at least 19 years old to bring a bottle wine with you if you’re going to Canadian provinces and territories that aren't Alberta, Manitoba or Quebec; for these three provinces, you need to be at least 18 years old. Nonetheless, a traveler may only bring one of the following quantities of alcoholic beverages free of duty and taxes:
  • Up to 8.5 litres of beer or ale
  • 1.5 litres (53 imperial ounces) of wine
  • A total of 1.14 litres (40 ounces) of alcoholic beverages
For tobacco products, on the other hand, you are allowed to bring:
  • 200 cigarettes
  • 200 tobacco sticks
  • 200 grams (7 ounces) of manufactured tobacco
  • 50 cigars
 6.   Regarding Gifts
 Bringing a gift for a friend is generally allowable in Canada. However, it may be duty- and tax-free generally if the gift is worth CAN$60 or less. If you exceed this value, you will generally be required to pay duty and taxes on the extra amount.
7.    Restrictions on Food
Many viruses, including the Avian Influenza (HPAI) as prevalent today in some US states has resulted with the Canada Border Services Agency to establish a new set of rulings on specific foods which travelers can bring into Canada.  Refer to the Canadian Border Services Agency website for further details.
For more information on this matter, visit CIC's website or for information on planning your stay, entries in Canada, any specific visa questions including entry requirements and previous convictions and charges, speak to one of our in-house ICCRC  Regulated Canadian Immigration consultants.

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