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Sunday,  July 14, 2024 4:30 AM 

Planning to travel for Easter? Here are some tips from CBSA for a smooth trip

  • Other
  •   03-22-2024  11:58 am
  •   Pax Global Media

Planning to travel for Easter? Here are some tips from CBSA for a smooth trip
(Shutterstock/Prostock-studio)
Pax Global Media

Planning to travel over the Easter long weekend?

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has some tips for a smooth trip:

  • Plan ahead, expect delays and check border wait times. Travellers crossing the border by land are encouraged to cross during non-peak hours, such as early mornings. The Monday of holiday long weekends tend to be the busiest, with longer border wait times.
  • When travelling with children, it is recommended that the accompanying adult have a consent letter authorizing them to travel with the child if they share custody or are not the parent or legal guardian. Border services officers are always watching for missing children, and in the absence of the letter, officers may ask additional questions.
  • Have your travel documents handy. Whether travelling by land, air or water, travellers can help speed up processing times by always coming prepared with their travel documents.
  • Save time with Advance DeclarationYou can make your customs and immigration declaration up to 72 hours in advance of your arrival into Canada at the Toronto, Vancouver, Montréal, Winnipeg, Halifax, Québec City, Ottawa, Billy Bishop, Calgary and Edmonton international airports. Data shows that using this tool can reduce time at a kiosk or eGate by up to 50 per cent.
  • Be prepared to declare. All travellers must declare their goods upon entry into Canada. For returning residents, have your receipts readily available for goods purchased or received while outside of Canada. Travellers should be aware of everything that is inside their vehicle and are responsible for its contents. You are encouraged not to travel with firearms, but if you choose to do so, be sure to check the rules on importing firearms and other restricted and prohibited goods, which includes pepper spray and certain knives.
  • Bringing in a food product for a religious tradition? The CBSA strongly recommends that you consult the Automated Import Reference System (AIRS) on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency website before bringing any food, plant, and animal products into Canada.
  • Bringing poultry across the border? Poultry products must be for human consumption, retail packaged and labelled as a "Product of the USA." Homemade food or leftovers containing poultry cannot be brought into Canada. Check the latest Information for travellers: Restrictions on poultry and birds from the United States before bringing these products across the border.
  • Know your exemption limits. Returning residents planning to make purchases or pick up online purchases across the border should be aware of their personal exemption limits, including alcohol and tobacco. You are encouraged to use the CBSA duty and taxes estimator to help you calculate monies owed on goods purchased abroad. You can bring in your Easter chocolate as long as it's for personal use and doesn't exceed a certain weight.
  • Visitors to Canada may also bring gifts for their friends and family as long as the gifts are declared: Bringing goods to Canada - Canada.ca.
  • Cannabis: Don't bring it in. Don't take it out. Bringing cannabis across the border in any form, including oils containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or cannabidiol (CBD), without a permit or exemption authorized by Health Canada is a serious criminal offence subject to arrest and prosecution, despite the legalization of cannabis in Canada. A medical prescription from a doctor does not count as Health Canada authorization.
  • Travelling with medication? Make sure you understand your responsibilities.
  • Bringing traditional Indigenous medicines or ceremonial goods to Canada? Medicines such as sage, cedar, sweetgrass, peyote and tobacco are recognized as sacred items and can be brought across the border. However, plant materials are subject to regulations and inspections.
  • If you are travelling with a pet or planning to import an animal into Canada, you will need the right paperwork at the border to meet Canada's import requirements.
  • Not sure? Ask a CBSA officer. The best thing you can do to save time is to be open and honest with the CBSA officer. Be sure to follow all instructions they provide to you. If you are not sure about what to declare, don't hesitate to ask. Our officers are here to help! You may also contact Border Information Service (BIS) line toll-free within Canada at 1-800-461-9999 for more information.

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