What you can bring with you to Canada?
Whether you are a Visitor, Temporary Resident (student/worker) or a new Permanent Resident, the Government of Canada has certain regulations on what you can and cannot bring (import) into the country.
These restrictions are based on Canada’s laws and are in place to protect the best interests of Canadians.
As a visitor, you can transport specific goods into Canada for your own individual use as “personal baggage”. Personal baggage includes cameras and personal computers, clothing, camping and sports equipment. This category also includes aircraft, vehicles and private boats.
When you arrive at a port of border entry, you must declare all goods you have with you. Border services officers do perform inspections of goods being imported and will want to confirm declarations. If you declare goods when you arrive to Canada and take them back with you when you leave the country, you will not have to pay any duty or taxes.
When you bring in your personal baggage, these goods cannot be:
- disposed of or left in Canada;
- used on behalf of a business based in Canada;
- used by a resident of Canada;
- be given as a gift to a Canadian resident.
A border services officer may request that you leave a security deposit for your goods. This deposit will be refunded to you when you export (or bring the items with you when you leave the country) the goods from Canada.
If you are asked to leave a security deposit, the border officer will issue a Form E29B, Temporary Admission Permit. They will keep a copy of the form and give you a copy of the form for your records. When you leave Canada, you will present your goods and your copy of Form E29B to the border officer who will give you a receipt copy of the form and your security deposit will be refunded by post.
If you would like to bring a gift for a friend in Canada you can. The gift can be Canada duty- and tax-free as long as the gift is worth CAN$60 or less. If the gift’s value is more than CAN$60, you will have to pay duty and taxes on the extra amount. You cannot declare alcoholic beverages, tobacco products or business-related items as presents.
Work or Study in Canada
If you are entering Canada to study or work for less than 36 months, you may be able to temporarily import (or bring with you) personal and household goods (such as appliances, tableware, furniture, silverware and motor vehicles) duty-and tax-free. You can bring these items into Canada as long as the following conditions are met:
- The goods cannot be used by a resident of Canada
- You must take all non-consumable items with you when you leave the country at the end of your stay
- You are not allowed to sell or otherwise leave the goods in Canada.
Temporary Residents Preparing to enter Canada
Prior to your arrival to Canada, you should bring two copies of a list (if possible typewritten) of all items brought into Canada. On your list you should note (if possible) the estimated value, make, model and serial number of each item.
If you are bringing jewelry into the country, it can be a challenge to describe the item accurately. If possible, have your jewelry appraised before you leave your country and bring the document with you to show the border service officer.
New Permanent Residents entering Canada
For information on what you can bring as a new permanent resident, or if you are returning to Canada see the Canadian Border Service Agency’s guide here. If you are entering Canada as a new Permanent Resident the same general restrictions will apply for your entry to the country.
You must be the minimum age to bring alcoholic beverages into Canada. The age is regulated by each of the provincial or territorial authorities. You must be18 years for Alberta, Manitoba and Quebec; and 19 years for the other provinces and territories in Canada.
You can bring with you only one of the following quantity of alcoholic beverages free of duty and taxes:
- Up to 8.5 litres of beer or ale
- 1.5 litres (53 imperial ounces) of wine
A total of 1.14 litres (40 ounces) of alcoholic beverages
You are permitted to bring with you all of the quantities of tobacco into Canada free of duty and taxes:
- 200 cigarettes
- 200 tobacco sticks
- 200 grams (7 ounces) of manufactured tobacco
- 50 cigars
Monetary instruments and Cash
If you are bringing into Canada or leaving Canada with currency equal to or greater than CAN$10,000 (or the equivalent in a foreign currency), you have to report the amount to a border officer when you either arrive or prior to leaving Canada. This policy applies to either cash or other monetary instruments.
They are certain goods which are restricted to bring into Canada. You will have to declare these items when you bring them into Canada and may be required to bring additional documentation with you.
Restricted items in Canada include (but not limited to):
- Firearms and weapons
- Explosives, fireworks and ammunition
- Radio transmitting equipment
- Items imported for commercial use
- Goods subject to import controls
- Prohibited consumer products
Food products, plants, animals and related products
They are certain items which you cannot bring into Canada with you. These items include; obscene material, hate propaganda and child pornography.
Other items which you cannot bring into the country with you:
- Used or second-hand mattresses
- Health products (prescription drugs) – In Canada, health products may be regulated differently than they are in other countries. Make sure to check if you are allowed to bring your health products or prescription into the country.
- Cultural property – Some cultural objects or antiquities which are considered to have historical significance to their country of origin, cannot be imported into Canada without the proper export permits.
For more information on what you can bring with you to Canada during your stay please visit: http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/travel-voyage/pdt-pdt-eng.html#_s3