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Get ready to celebrate Canada Day with a smooth border crossing

Pack your bags, wave your maple leaf proudly, and get ready to celebrate Canada Day with ease.

Canada Day is just around the corner, and if you're planning to join in on the festivities across the border or enjoy a vacation in the land of maple syrup and poutine, it's time to brush up on some travel tips.

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) wants to make sure your journey is hassle-free, and they've got some valuable advice for all travellers. 

Let's face it: crossing the border can sometimes be a bit of a challenge, but fear not! The CBSA is dedicated to keeping Canada safe and secure while ensuring a seamless travel experience for everyone. In fact, in 2022 alone, they helped over 60 million travellers reach their desired destinations.

To make your border crossing as smooth as a Canadian lake on a calm summer day, the CBSA has shared some handy tips that will have you feeling like a travel pro:

Plan ahead and be a time-savvy traveller: Check the CBSA website for border wait times before you hit the road. If you're crossing by land, try to avoid peak hours and opt for early mornings. Trust us, the Monday of a long weekend is notorious for longer border wait times, so consider choosing another day if possible. Your patience will thank you!

Know your way around: If you're using a GPS app to guide you, such as Google Maps, Apple Maps, or Waze, it's always a good idea to explore different navigation options. Check out the fastest and shortest routes to determine the best path to your destination. Oh, and if you're curious about a port of entry's hours of operation, the official CBSA Directory of Offices and Services will be your trusted companion.

Fast-track your way through customs with Advance Declaration: Travellers arriving at selected international airports like Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, and more have the opportunity to make their customs and immigration declaration to the CBSA before even landing. This nifty feature grants you access to express lanes, so you can breeze through the process and be on your way in no time. Talk about efficiency!


Keep those travel documents handy: Whether you're travelling by land, air, or water, it's essential to be prepared. Keep your passports, IDs, and any other necessary documents easily accessible. Remember, organized travellers are happy travellers.

Travelling with children: Smooth sailing is just a consent letter away. If you're accompanied by a child and you're not their parent or legal guardian, it's highly recommended to have a consent letter authorizing you to travel with them. Border services officers are always on the lookout for missing children, so having this letter can save you from unnecessary questioning.

Stay within your limits: Returning residents who indulge in a little retail therapy outside of Canada should be aware of their personal exemption limits. Want to avoid any surprises? The CBSA duty and taxes estimator will help you calculate any potential fees you may owe. No one likes unexpected charges, right?


Leave the cannabis at home: While Canada may have legalized cannabis, it's important to remember that bringing it across the border without the proper permit or exemption authorized by Health Canada is a serious no-no. Even if you have a medical prescription, it doesn't count as authorization. So, to stay out of trouble, it's best to leave the cannabis behind and enjoy the festivities without it.

Declare your goods, eh? As a responsible traveller, it's crucial to declare any goods you're bringing into Canada. For returning residents keep your receipts handy for any purchases made abroad. It's worth noting that firearms should generally be left at home, but if you absolutely must travel with them, make sure to check the CBSA website for rules on importing firearms and other restricted items.

Light up the sky responsibly: If you're planning to bring fireworks into Canada, make sure they are authorized. It's always better to consult the guidelines for importing or exporting fireworks to ensure you're on the right side of the law. 

Ahoy, boaters: If you're cruising in or near Canadian waters or planning to enter Canada by boat, familiarize yourself with the reporting requirements for private boaters before setting sail. Remember, all boaters entering Canada must report to the CBSA promptly.

Food, plants, and animals: Before you pack up those delicious snacks, beautiful plants, or cute critters, consult the Automated Import Reference System (AIRS) on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency website. It's essential to be aware of any restrictions or regulations regarding food, plant, and animal products. 

Poultry enthusiasts, take note: If you're considering importing live birds, bird products, or by-products from US states affected by Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza, there may be specific conditions and restrictions in place. Stay up-to-date with the latest information from the CBSA to ensure you comply with all regulations and can prove the origin of your poultry products at the border.

Remember, when in doubt, don't hesitate to ask a friendly border services officer. They are there to help you navigate the process and ensure your journey is a breeze. Being open and honest will save you time and make your border crossing a stress-free experience.

So pack your bags, wave your maple leaf proudly, and get ready to celebrate Canada Day with ease. The Great White North awaits, and the CBSA is here to welcome you with open arms. Happy travels, eh!