CBSA tips to facilitate your entry to Canada
As Canada celebrated 150 years with events across the country, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) advises travellers that it anticipates higher traveller volumes at its ports of entry. The CBSA shares the following tips to facilitate your border crossing:
Plan your border crossing – Check border wait times using the CanBorder App and cross at the least busy port of entry in the area. Historically, the holidays results in higher than normal volumes; plan your entry during non-peak hours such as early morning. The Monday of holiday long weekends tend to be busiest, plan around it.
For returning residents:
Know your purchases and keep travel documents handy – Know your personal exemptions and restrictions and make sure that each passenger has the correct travel document. Have your travel documents and receipts in hand when you arrive at the border. It is recommended you travel with a passport as it is the only universally recognized travel document.
Declare all purchases, acquisitions, and/or gifts received when returning to Canada – refer to I Declare on the CBSA website for more information. If you are bringing gifts, it is recommended they not be wrapped as we may need to examine them more in-depth.
For visitors to Canada:
Become a NEXUS member – NEXUS is designed to expedite the border clearance process for low-risk, pre-approved travellers into Canada and the United States. NEXUS members receive expedited border clearance in the land, air, and marine modes, and a NEXUS membership is valid for five years. Additionally, you may take advantage of NEXUS expedited benefits when going through Canadian Air Transport Security Authority at key airports across Canada.
Check if you need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) – eTA is a new entry requirement for visa-exempt foreign nationals, other than U.S. citizens, travelling to Canada by air. Canadian citizens, including dual citizens, cannot apply for an eTA and need to travel with a valid Canadian passport. Canadian permanent residents (PRs) are also not eligible for an eTA and, as always, need to travel with a PR card or a PR travel document. Lawful permanent residents of the U.S. need an eTA to board a flight to Canada.
Planning to celebrate with a bang? You must have written authorization and import permits to bring explosives, fireworks and certain types of ammunition into Canada. For more information, refer to Memorandum D19-6-1 – Administration of the Explosives Act or contact Natural Resources Canada.
Camping out under the Canadian skies? Invasive insects and diseases can exist in firewood; it cannot be imported into Canada without a permit. Buy firewood locally and burn it on site. Refer to Don’t Move Firewood.
Not sure? Ask the CBSA officer – The single best thing you can do to save time returning to Canada is to simply be open and honest with the CBSA officer. If you are not sure about what to declare, don’t hesitate to ask. The officers are there to help you.
For more information, visit the CBSA website at www.cbsa.gc.ca or contact the Border Information Service at 1‑800‑461-9999.