What Can You Bring Through Canadian Customs?


Quick Answer

Canadians returning to Canada or travelers entering the country may bring consumer products through Canadian customs. Alcohol, tobacco, food and firearms are subject to restrictions or duties, notes the government of Canada.

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Full Answer

The amount of consumer goods that Canadian residents can bring into Canada duty free depends on the period of absence. Absences over 24 hours have a $200 CAD personal exemption and all other absences over 48 hours have an $800 CAD personal exemption, notes the Canada Border Services Agency.

Some specific goods are subject to restrictions. Canadian residents and visitors may bring alcohol into Canada, but only within certain limits. These include 1.5 liters (53 ounces) of wine, 8.5 liters (287 ounces) of beer and 1.14 liters (40 ounces) of spirits. Tobacco is also subject to limits. These are defined as 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars, 200 grams (7 ounces) and 200 cigarettes. People who exceed the limits for alcohol and tobacco must pay duties.

Food is subject to strict regulation. People traveling from the United States may bring less than 250 kilograms (551 pounds) of fresh fruits and vegetables; however, there are restrictions in some provinces for produce originating from Washington, Oregon, California and Idaho. People traveling from U.S. destinations may also bring some dairy, meat and seafood products into Canada. Visitors traveling from destinations other than the U.S. face stricter regulations depending on the country of origin.

Canadian customs highly restricts explosives, fireworks and ammunition. Travelers must have permits and written authorization before bringing these items through customs. Firearms and weapons are also subject to strict regulations and must be declared when going through customs.

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