Updated - CBSA is helping Canadians get home

News release

Ottawa, Ontario - Canada Border Services Agency

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is prepared to help Canadians who have been outside of Canada for an extended period and are heeding the advice of the Government of Canada to return home.

The CBSA is working closely with the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) to help prevent the spread of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Canada. We have measures in place at all ports of entry to help keep those in Canada safe and limit further introduction and transmission of COVID-19 in our country. Those returning must do their part.

At land borders, all Canadians and permanent residents coming home will be screened for symptoms of COVID-19 and must complete a contact form to help PHAC monitor and enforce the 14-day self-isolation requirement.

If you have no symptoms, you will be provided with important health advice from PHAC and be told that you must QUARANTINE (self-isolate) yourself for 14 days. This is mandatory. You are at risk of developing symptoms and infecting others.

If you have symptoms, you will be provided a mask, referred to a health professional and be told you must ISOLATE yourself for 14 days. This is mandatory. If required, immediate medical attention will be provided upon arrival in Canada.

As you make your way home, it is important that you avoid contact with others. Do not stop at a hotel, a restaurant or for groceries – go straight home. You should use a drive-thru if you need to stop for food, and pay for gas at the pump.  Use rest areas or other places where you can park and rest in your vehicle.  Once home, use food delivery services or online shopping to purchase essential items, and ask family, a neighbor or friend to help with essential errands if possible, while avoiding direct contact with you (knock and drop).

In the current circumstances involving the COVID-19 pandemic, some residents may need to cross the border in a United States (U.S.)-plated vehicle in order to get home. To further facilitate travel home, we have temporarily changed the regulations for driving U.S.-plated vehicles in Canada. The Government of Canada recognizes the need for additional flexibility in these times.

The CBSA will facilitate entry for residents driving U.S.-plated vehicles by permitting the temporary import of U.S. vehicles without paying duties and taxes for up to 60 days from the date of importation in accordance with the Temporary Importation of Conveyances by Residents of Canada.

Following the mandatory 14-day isolation period, residents may use a temporarily imported U.S.-plated vehicle in Canada for essential purposes such as obtaining groceries or medical supplies. This is only permitted if residents do not have access to a Canadian-registered vehicle.  Using the U.S.- plated vehicle in Canada for non-essential purposes, such as touring or for other leisure activities, would result in the vehicle being subject to the payment of duties and taxes.

If you are coming home with a U.S.-plated vehicle, this is what you can expect at the border:

  • A border services officer will explain the terms and conditions of temporarily importing your vehicle and if you agree, the officer will grant you a Temporary Admission Permit (E29B). While the vehicle is in Canada, you must always have this permit available in the event that you are asked about its importation.
  • If you are unable to return the vehicle to the U.S. within the specified time period or have any questions regarding its importation, contact the nearest CBSA office before the expiry date indicated on your E29B permit. Please note that the appropriateness of the time limit may be re-evaluated as the COVID-19 situation evolves.
  • Vehicles imported temporarily may also be subject to Transport Canada requirements. If necessary, a border services officer will request any additional documentation required on behalf of other Government departments related to the temporary importation of your vehicle.
  • If you must use your U.S.-plated vehicle for non-essential purposes while you are in Canada, please make that known to the border services officer, who can help you permanently import your vehicle.

The CBSA Memorandum D2-4-1 provides additional information concerning the temporary importation of vehicles by residents of Canada.

Not sure? 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. Don’t hesitate to ask, the officers are there to help you.

Associated Links

Temporary Importation of Conveyances by Residents of Canada Regulations

Transport Canada: Applying to make a declaration to import non-compliant vehicles temporarily for special purposes (Declaration)

U.S.-Canada joint initiative: Temporary restriction of travellers crossing the U.S.-Canada border for non-essential purposes

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

- 30 -


Media Relations

Canada Border Services Agency



Follow us on Twitter (@CanBorder), join us on Facebook or visit our YouTube channel.

Page details

Date modified: