What you can bring home to Canada
Below are some general guidelines on what you can and cannot bring home when returning to Canada. For more specific information please visit I Declare on the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) website.
Even though the following items are allowed into Canada, you still must declare them on your declaration form.
Alcoholic beverages are products that exceed 0.5% alcohol by volume. You must be of legal age in the province of importation.
You are allowed to import only one of the following amounts of alcohol and alcoholic beverages free of duties and taxes as part of your personal exemption:
|Wine||Up to 1.5 litres||Up to 53 fluid ounces||Two 750-ml bottles of wine|
|Alcoholic Beverages||Up to 1.14 litres||Up to 40 fluid ounces||One large standard bottle of liquor|
|Beer or Ale||Up to 8.5 litres||Up to 287 fluid ounces||Approximately 24, 355-ml cans or bottles of beer or ale|
*While bottle sizes vary, the amounts listed are firm.
You must be of legal age in the province of importation. While you are permitted to import alcoholic beverages in excess of the amounts listed above, you will be responsible for paying duties and taxes on the additional alcoholic beverages you are importing.
The CBSA classifies "cooler" products according to the alcoholic beverage they contain. For example, beer coolers are considered to be beer and wine coolers are considered to be wine.
If you are planning to import a car, trailer or anything else that runs on wheels from the United States, please visit Importing a Vehicle from the United States.
Food, plants, animals and related products
Certain food, plants, animals and related products pose a risk to Canada. Food can carry disease, such as E. coli. Plants and plant products can carry invasive alien species, such as the Asian Long-Horned Beetle. Animals and animal products can carry diseases, such as avian influenza and foot-and-mouth disease.
Because of these risks, the Government of Canada regulates the import and export of controlled food, plants, animals, and related products to and from Canada.
Food, plant, and animal-related threats that pose a risk to Canada are constantly changing. Refer to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s Automated Import Reference System (AIRS) to obtain complete and current CFIA import requirements. AIRS is an automated reference tool that uses a question and answer approach to guide the user through a series of questions about the Harmonized System (HS) Code, origin, destination, end use and miscellaneous qualifiers of the product they wish to import.
Hint: Search AIRS by “key word” if you do not know the HS Code of the good you want to import.
Certain species of plants and animals might also be subject to the requirements of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). These requirements will not appear in AIRS and for this reason, it is important to also check the CITES Control List.
Also, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT) may require permits and/or impose an import quota on certain commodities. For more information, visit the Export and Import Controls Bureau section of the DFAIT Web site.
While you are outside Canada, you can send gifts free of duties and taxes to friends at home in Canada under certain conditions. To qualify, each gift must not be worth more than CAN$60 and cannot be a tobacco product, an alcoholic beverage or advertising matter. If the gift is worth more than CAN$60, the recipient will have to pay regular duties and taxes on the excess amount. It is always a good idea to include a gift card to avoid any misunderstanding.
While gifts you send from outside Canada do not count as part of your personal exemption, gifts you bring back in your personal baggage do count, as they are treated like any other purchases.
Because jewellery often has significant value and can be difficult to identify, you should travel with as little jewellery as possible.
Taking the following steps before you leave Canada will make it easier for you to re-enter the country with jewellery:
- Obtain an appraisal report and a signed and dated photograph of each piece of jewellery from a recognized Canadian gemologist, jeweller or your insurance agent.
- Obtain written certification that the items or jewellery in the photographs are the ones described in the appraisal report.
- Take the jewellery appraisal reports, certification statements and photographs to a CBSA office to be validated.
- If the jewellery was purchased in Canada, retain the sales receipt.
- If you imported the goods previously, make sure you have a copy of your receipt.
- Carry the appraisal reports, the certifications and photographs when travelling outside Canada.
Prizes and awards
In most cases, you have to pay regular duties and taxes on prizes and awards you receive outside Canada. Prizes can be declared as part of your personal exemption and duties must be paid on any excess amount.
Note that non-resalable prizes such as medals, trophies or plaques are generally duties- and taxes- free. For more information, within Canada call the Border Information Service at 1-800-461-9999. TTY is also available within Canada at 1-866-335-3237. From outside Canada, call 204-983-3500 or 506-636-5064.
If you are 18 years of age or over, you are allowed to bring in all of the following amounts of tobacco into Canada free of duties and taxes within your personal exemption:
- 200 cigarettes
- 50 cigars
- 200 grams (7 ounces) of manufactured tobacco, and
- 200 tobacco sticks.
If you include cigarettes, tobacco sticks or manufactured tobacco in your personal exemption, you may receive only a partial exemption. You will have to pay a special duty on these products unless they are marked "CANADA DUTY PAID • DROIT ACQUITTÉ." Canadian-made products with this mark are sold at duty-free shops. You can speed up your clearance by having your tobacco products available for inspection when you arrive.
The importation of certain goods is restricted in Canada. The following are some examples of these goods. Make sure you have the information you require before attempting to import these items into Canada.
Certain antiques or cultural objects considered to have historical significance to their country of origin cannot be brought into Canada without the appropriate export permits. Before you import such items, you should contact Canadian Heritage:
Movable Cultural Property
25 Eddy Street, 9th floor (25-9-N)
Gatineau QC K1A 0M5
Explosives, fireworks and ammunition
You are required to have written authorization and permits to bring explosives, fireworks and certain types of ammunition into Canada. For more information, contact:Explosives Regulatory Division
Natural Resources Canada
1431 Merivale Road
Ottawa ON K1A 0G1 Telephone: 613-948-5200
Firearms and weapons
You must declare all weapons and firearms at the CBSA port of entry when you enter Canada. If not, you could face prosecution and the goods may be seized.
For more detailed information on importing a firearm into Canada, read Importing a Firearm or Weapon Into Canada or call the Border Information Service at one of the telephone numbers listed in the Additional information section. For information about applying for a Canadian firearms licence or a firearms registration certificate, or to obtain an Application for an Authorization to Transport Restricted Firearms and Prohibited Firearms (Form CAFC 679) in advance, please contact:Canadian Firearms Program
Ottawa ON K1A 0R2 Telephone: 1-800-731-4000 (toll-free in Canada and the United States)
506-624-5380 (from all other countries)
www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca Canada and the United StatesCanada and the United States1-888-848-8240
Prohibited consumer products
This is a partial list of consumer products that are banned in Canada and cannot be imported:
- Baby walkers
- Infant self-feeding devices
- Jequirity beans and items containing them.
- Lawn darts with elongated tips.
A full list of products that are prohibited under the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act is provided in Canada Consumer Product Safety Act Quick Reference Guide - 2011.
Regulated consumer products
This is a partial list of regulated consumer products that must meet Canadian safety requirements:
Car seats must meet the Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (CMVSS) and have a National Safety Mark and a compliance label stating the height and weight of the child for which the seat was designed. For more information, see Cross Border Shopping Is Not the Best Deal for Your Child's Safety;
Children's Sleepwear must meet flammability requirements. For more information, see Children's Sleepwear: Flammability Requirements Guideline;
Cribs should have the manufacturer's label indicating the model number, date of manufacture and assembly instructions.
Strollers must meet labelling and performance requirements.
Toys must meet mechanical, electrical, toxicological and flammability requirements. For more information, see Toys and Toy Boxes.
Hockey helmets and face protectors must meet the requirements of standards published by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA).
Playpens must meet labelling and performance requirements.
For more information, please visit Health Canada’s website: www.hc-sc.gc.ca/cps-spc/index-eng.php
Obscene material, hate propaganda and child pornography cannot be imported into Canada.
Used or second-hand mattresses
You cannot import used or second-hand mattresses into Canada unless you have a certificate, letter or any other document signed by a person qualified to clean and fumigate that clearly verifies the mattresses have been cleaned and fumigated.
Health products (prescription drugs)
In Canada, health products may be regulated differently than they are in other countries. For example, what is available without a prescription in one country may require a prescription in Canada. There are also restrictions on the quantities and types of health products that can be brought into Canada.
For more information on importing health products into Canada, please consult Health Canada's Guidance Document on the Import Requirements for Health Products under the Food and Drugs Act and its Regulations.
- MEMORANDUM D2-3-6, Non-Commercial Provincial Tax Collection Programs (PDF)
- See Health Canada publication Bringing Consumer Products into Canada (PDF)
- To temporarily import a vehicle to Canada consult the Memorandum D19-12-1
- Date modified: