Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is one of the most anticipated shopping days of the year in the United States. Canadians who want to take advantage of the deals across the border should keep in mind a few tips provided by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). While ensuring a smooth and efficient flow of travel and trade, the CBSA also works diligently to keep harmful goods out of Canada.
To avoid unnecessary delays when crossing the border, it is essential to plan ahead. Check the CBSA’s border wait times web page and try to cross during non-peak hours, such as early in the morning. Avoid crossing on the Monday of holiday long weekends as it tends to be the busiest day. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the hours of operation of the port of entry you intend to use.
Know your exemption limits. If you purchased or received goods outside of Canada, familiarize yourself with personal exemption limits. The CBSA provides a duty and taxes estimator to help you calculate any monies owed.
Have your travel documents ready. Regardless of your mode of transportation, having your travel documents readily accessible will help speed up the crossing process. Remember to declare all goods upon entry into Canada, and if you have receipts for goods purchased or received outside of Canada, make sure to have them readily available.
It is crucial to be aware of the rules and regulations regarding the import of firearms and other restricted or prohibited goods. While the CBSA encourages travelers not to carry firearms, if you choose to do so, verify the guidelines provided on the CBSA website.
If you are flying into certain international airports, consider using Advance Declaration to expedite your customs and immigration declaration. This service allows you to complete your declaration up to 72 hours before your arrival and provides access to express lanes.
When crossing the border with food, plants, or animals, consult the Automated Import Reference System (AIRS) on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency website for any restrictions or requirements. Additionally, if you plan on bringing turkey across the border, ensure that it is retail packaged, intended for human consumption, and labeled as a “Product of the USA.”
If you are traveling with children and share custody or are not the parent or legal guardian, it is recommended to have a consent letter authorizing the child to travel with you. Border services officers may ask for additional information in the absence of such a letter.
Lastly, remember that bringing cannabis across the border without the necessary permits or exemptions authorized by Health Canada is a serious criminal offense. Medical prescriptions from a doctor do not count as authorization.
By following these tips and being open and honest with the CBSA officers, travelers can ensure a smooth and efficient border crossing experience on Black Friday and throughout the Thanksgiving weekend.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. Can I cross the border during non-peak hours to avoid delays?
Yes, crossing during non-peak hours, such as early morning, can help you avoid unnecessary delays at the border.
2. How can I calculate the monies I owe for goods purchased outside of Canada?
The CBSA provides a duty and taxes estimator that can help you calculate any monies owed for goods purchased or received outside of Canada.
3. Can I bring firearms across the border?
While the CBSA encourages travelers not to carry firearms, if you choose to do so, make sure to check the guidelines provided on the CBSA website.
4. Are there any restrictions on bringing food, plants, or animals across the border?
Before bringing any food, plant, or animal products into Canada, consult the Automated Import Reference System (AIRS) on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency website for any restrictions or requirements.
5. Is it allowed to bring cannabis across the border?
No, bringing cannabis across the border without the necessary permits or exemptions authorized by Health Canada is a serious criminal offense, regardless of the legalization of cannabis in Canada.