Travelling or returning to Canada? CBSA tips for the holiday season in the Southern Ontario Region

News release

December 20, 2018                                                    Niagara Falls, Ontario                                  Canada Border Services Agency

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), Southern Ontario Region, would like to share the following tips to facilitate your border crossing during the holiday season:

Quick facts

  • Plan ahead – Check border wait times using the CanBorder App and cross at the least busy port of entry in the area. Historically, long weekends result in higher than normal volumes; plan your entry during non-peak hours such as early morning. Boxing Day tends to be busiest; plan around it.

  • Know your exemption limits – Know your personal exemptions and restrictions. Be sure to check the CBSA duty and taxes estimator to calculate taxes on goods purchased outside of Canada and to help you make informed decisions when shopping abroad.

  • Be prepared – Have your travel documents and receipts in hand when you arrive at the border. Make sure that each passenger has the correct travel document.

  • Declare all purchases, acquisitions, and/or gifts received when entering Canada – refer to the I Declare brochure 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. Please refer to our website for more information related to food products allowances and restrictions.

  • Cannabis. Don’t bring it in. Don’t take it out – Despite the fact that cannabis (marijuana) became legal and regulated in Canada, it remains illegal to take cannabis across Canada’s international borders, whether you are entering or leaving Canada. For more information, consult cannabis (marijuana) legalization.

  • Know the contents of your vehicle – Travellers can consult our website for information on firearms and other restricted and prohibited goods.

  • NEXUS Members can cross faster by using the Canada-bound NEXUS lanes. In the Southern Ontario Region, NEXUS lanes are available at the Windsor-Detroit Tunnel and Ambassador, Blue Water, Peace and Queenston-Lewiston bridges. The Whirlpool Bridge in Niagara Falls, Ontario, is the only dedicated NEXUS crossing in Canada, only a few minutes from the Horseshoe Falls.

  • Travelling with children –  CBSA officers watch for missing children, and may ask detailed questions about any accompanying minors. Travellers who share custody of their children should carry a consent letter and contact information for the other parent, so that officers can follow up and confirm details. Visit our website to learn more about travel documentation and other identification requirements.

  • If you are unsure, ask the CBSA officer – The single best thing you can do to save time entering 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 or contact the Border Information Service.


Media Relations, Southern Ontario Region

Canada Border Services Agency

Media Line:       1-844-580-3636


Twitter:              @CanBorderSOR

Facebook:         CanBorder

YouTube:          CanBorder

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