CBSA advises travellers to plan ahead for the Civic Holiday Weekend

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The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is anticipating heavy traffic volumes at ports of entry in Eastern and Northern Ontario this Civic Holiday long weekend and would like to remind travellers to plan their border crossing to avoid delays.

Beat the border rush by crossing at a non-peak time. Regardless of your itinerary, try to plan crossing the border in the morning, especially if you cross on Sunday or Monday. Most lineups at the border start building in the afternoon and carry on throughout the evening.

“This civic holiday long weekend is historically the busiest for ports of entry in Eastern and Northern Ontario. Travellers should plan to cross the border outside of peak traffic periods if possible to avoid delays.” said, Paul Loo, Acting Regional Director General, CBSA, Northern Ontario Region.

Travel Tips

1. Plan your border crossing – Check border wait times using the CanBorder App or follow us on Twitter for hourly border wait time updates and cross at the least busy port of entry in the area.

2. Have proper ID – One of the best ways you can save time returning to Canada is to ensure that you have proper identification for yourself and everyone in the vehicle readily available. Some acceptable forms of identification for entry into Canada include a passport, a NEXUS card and an enhanced driver’s license.

3. Know your purchases, have your receipts in hand, and know your exemptions and restrictions – If your family has made purchases in the United States, mailed gifts, or made major repairs or upgrades to your vehicle or boat, you will need to declare the total value of your purchases and back your claim with the receipts. Each traveller is entitled to certain personal exemptions on items like alcohol and tobacco depending on the length of your visit, and this can save you money.

If you were in the U.S. for less than 24hours there is no exemption, 24 hours but less than 48 hours you’re allowed $200 CND and over 48 hours you can bring back up to $800 CND.

Alcoholic beverages and tobacco products may be included in your 48-hour or 7-day exemption, provided you are of legal age. Certain restrictions apply.

4. The four Fs – Fishing, Firewood, Fireworks and Firearms – Fishing enthusiasts and campers are reminded that they cannot bring live bait into Canada without a permit. Furthermore, firewood cannot be brought into the country because it can introduce invasive species and spread disease to Canada’s trees. Campers should buy firewood on site, burn firewood on site, and leave all unused firewood on site. The CBSA also reminds travellers that an import permit issued by Natural Resources Canada is required to import fireworks into Canada. Fireworks that do not have the necessary permit will be refused entry into Canada. Lastly, don’t forget firearms or weapons must be declared at the CBSA port of entry to Canada. Failure to declare any firearms or weapons may lead to penalties, including seizure action and prosecution.

Travellers can consult the CBSA’s website for information on firearms, firewood, and fireworks.

5. Not sure? Ask the CBSA officer – The single best thing you can do to save time returning to Canada is to simply be open and honest with the CBSA officer. If you are not sure about what to declare, don’t hesitate to ask. The officers are there to help you.