Summer Cross-Border Recreation Travel
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The sun is out and so are our plans to see the world! If you are someone who likes to adventure north of the border and explore all the wilderness adventures Canada has to offer, you may wonder what you can and cannot bring with you. Do you need to formally import anything? Are any things I want to bring prohibited? Do I require specific documentation? In this blog, we will review common items that are packed up and brought along with you on your journey through Canada.

Bringing Pets Into Canada Temporarily

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA aka Canada Customs) regards animals entering the country temporarily as similar to those being brought in to reside. The rules depend on the type of animal and its age. They are in place to protect the environment, and safety, of Canada’s flora and fauna. 

Download Now: Free Dog Import Requirements Into Canada

Certain documentation will be required such as a valid rabies vaccination certificate which should be reviewed before arriving at the border. Review the CFIA’s informational page on Travelling with a Pet before bringing your animal to Canada.

Get your guide here.

Food & Other Perishable Items

According to CBSA’s website, “all food, plants, animals and related products must be declared.” This includes items such as homemade foods, handmade wooden crafts, fishing bait, and plants used for homeopathic or medicinal purposes. 

A declaration helps CBSA officers determine the risk of allowing certain goods into the country, should they be vulnerable to carrying diseases and invasive species. Even if the product was grown in Canada, it will need to be declared.

Recreational Vehicles

Just like other personal items such as clothing, camping, sporting goods, cameras, and personal computers, recreational vehicles can be brought into Canada for a visit as long as they are not for commercial use.

This includes vehicles, boats, motor homes, and other motor-powered pleasure vehicles. See Transport Canada’s page on Temporarily importing vehicles and CBSA’s page on Reporting requirements for private boaters for more information. 

Note: Boats must be clean and the bilge empty to ensure invasive species are not inadvertently transported to Canada. Off and on-road vehicles and equipment are to be clean and free of soil or soil-related matter for the same reason.

Cash & Gifts

Cash amounts in excess of $10,000 Canadian dollars must be declared to CBSA. If your cash is in US dollars, you will need to calculate the Canadian dollar amount.

With regards to those lovely gifts you will be giving your Canadian relatives or friends, it’s important to not wrap them. CBSA may want to see the gift, and will, unfortunately, need to unwrap it if you’ve got it all tied up with a bow! 

Pro Tip: Bring your wrapping items on the side so you can wrap it once you’ve successfully crossed into the country.

Other Restricted Items

For the most part, CBSA has made Canada very accessible with many considerations made for personal goods. However, some goods require further action to bring them along with you, so make sure that you obtain the permits and permissions necessary for the below items:

Also, you should note that certain consumer goods that may be allowed in other countries, may not be in Canada, such as baby walkers.

Happy travels!

Disclaimer: While reading, kindly note the date of this blog. At PCB we do our due diligence to write on the most relevant topic every week and naturally content may become dated as developments in a certain program/topic occur. For this reason, we greatly appreciate your readership and hope you continue reading with the posting date in mind. For the latest information on this topic please use our website's search function, or better yet, subscribe to our "Trading Post" newsletter to receive these updates directly to your inbox.
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About Author
Gloria Terhaar
CCS (CA/US), CTCS, CBSA Prof. Designate

Gloria Terhaar began her career in Canadian customs brokerage 2007. She currently works in our Canadian division as a Trade Compliance Supervisor and Regulatory Compliance Specialist. Gloria has extensive experience in all aspects of documentation and regulatory requirements as they relate to importing products into Canada. Gloria is often called upon to train industry with some recent talks for MNP, the Surrey Board of Trade, TFO Canada and the BC Produce Marketing Association. In 2018, Gloria also participated in the Canadian Produce Marketing Association and the Canadian Horticultural Council advocacy event "Fall Harvest" in Ottawa where she participated in advocacy efforts for the Canadian produce industry.

While we strive for accuracy in all our communications, as the Importer of Record it is incumbent upon your company to ensure that you are aware of the requirements under the new regulations so that you maintain compliance as always.