With Canada Day and US Independence Day approaching, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has shared a reminder and expected border procedures for travelers in order to have a smoother trip traveling between the two countries.
According to the reminder issued on Monday, CBSA employees will be monitoring travelers to ensure the prevention of entry of harmful goods into Canada.
CBSA says that its employees facilitated the arrival of over 60 million travelers in 2022 while keeping more than 1,100 firearms and 24,400 prohibited weapons off the streets and seized over 41,000 kg of illegal drugs.
To ensure a smooth border crossing experience, CBSA recommends considering the following tips:
Plan ahead: Check the border wait times web page and avoid traveling during the peak hours – Monday of holiday long weekends tend to be the busiest – instead, cross the border during non-peak hours such as early in the morning.
Find out your port of entry: If you’re using a GPS application to direct you to a port of entry, you’re advised to check with the CBSA Directory of Offices and Services for the information required to cross.
Use Advance Declaration to save time: Use the Advance Declaration, available in Canada’s major airports, to make your customs and immigration declarations to the CBSA prior to your arrival.
Have your travel documents ready: Having travel documents ready helps you to save time while traveling, whether by land, air or water.
Have a consent letter if you’re traveling with a child: Have the consent letter authorizing you to travel with the child if you share custody or are not their parent or legal guardian.
Know your exemption limits: Use the CBSA duty and taxes estimator to calculate any money owed on goods you’re bringing over the border.
Carrying cannabis: Avoid carrying Cannabis across the border without a permit or exemption authorized by Health Canada. In parts of the US, possessing cannabis is a serious criminal offense subject to arrest and prosecution.
Declare your belongings: Prepare your goods and have their receipts readily available while entering Canada. You are encouraged not to travel with firearms, but if you choose to do so, be sure to check the CBSA website for the rules on importing firearms and other restricted and prohibited goods.
Bringing fireworks into Canada?: Check your fireworks and make sure you’re bringing the authorized ones.
Coming by boat?: Review reporting requirements for private boaters before making travel plans. All travelers entering Canada by boat must report to the CBSA without delay.
Declare any foods, plants, or animals: Consult the Automated Import Reference System (AIRS) on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency website before bringing any food, plant and animal products into Canada.
Know what poultry products or byproducts you can import: Currently, conditions and restrictions may apply to some live birds, bird products and byproducts imported from the US Updates are ongoing, so check for the latest information for travelers and be prepared to prove the origin of your poultry product at the border.
Not sure?: Ask a border services officer. The best thing you can do to save time is to be open and honest with the CBSA, according to the agency.
Reporting for this story was paid for through The Afghan Journalists in Residence Project funded by Meta.