Canada's customs regulations are complicated, as import restrictions apply to a wide variety of items, from plants to meat products. Knowing which items are restricted and not attempting to bring them into the country saves travelers time and trouble at the border.
Canada restricts the import of raw poultry products, eggs, live birds and raw pet foods from the Pacific Northwest states and California. It also prohibits the import of Christmas trees, wreaths, and garden plants. While potatoes are permitted, they must be free of leaves, dirt or other debris. There are restrictions regarding certain produce from the Pacific Northwest states of Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Those attempting to bring these items are subject to detailed inspections by customs agents at the border.
Those attempting to bring firearms, alcohol, motor vehicles or tobacco into Canada must declare their items and submit to inspections. In some cases, some of these items must also be accompanied by documentation, such as vehicle titles.
There are variations to customs regulations for those hoping to import any of the above items for commercial purposes. Regardless of whether or not a person is planning to import items commercially or for personal use, it is best to contact customs officials within the destination province before planning a trip as some regulations vary by province.