The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) reminds travellers what to expect when crossing the border on their return from the construction holidays in Québec.
The CBSA invests significant effort planning and preparing for peak periods, such as holiday long weekends and summer months. The Agency monitors traveller volumes and border wait times and works hard to minimize processing times at the ports of entry, including international airports, without compromising the safety and security of Canadians.
To ensure your trip runs smoothly:
- Plan ahead and check the CBSA border wait times web page. Travellers crossing the border by land are encouraged to cross during non-peak hours such as early morning. The Sunday of the final construction holiday weekend tend to be the busiest, with longer border wait times – pick another day to cross the border if you can.
- Looking for a port of entry’s hours of operation? Always best to check the official CBSA Directory of Offices and Services for this information. And, if you are using a GPS application (such as Google Maps, Apple Maps, or Waze) to direct you to a port of entry, consider checking different navigation options (such as fastest and shortest routes) to determine the preferred route of travel.
- Save time with Advance Declaration. Travellers arriving at the Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Winnipeg, Halifax, Québec City, Ottawa, Billy Bishop, Calgary and Edmonton international airports can make their customs and immigration declaration to the CBSA prior to their arrival using Advance Declaration. Travellers who use this option have access to express lanes to get to an airport kiosk or eGate faster.
- Have your travel documents handy. Whether travelling by land, air or water, you can help speed up processing times by coming prepared with your travel documents.
- When travelling with children, it is recommended that the accompanying adult have a consent letter authorizing them to travel with the child if they share custody or are not the parent or legal guardian. Border services officers are always watching for missing children, and in the absence of the parental letter, officers may ask additional questions.
- Know your exemption limits. Returning residents who make purchases or pick up online purchases outside of Canada should be aware of their personal exemption limits. Use the CBSA duty and taxes estimator to help calculate your monies owed.
- Cannabis: Don’t bring it in. Don’t take it out. Bringing cannabis across the border in any form, including oils containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or cannabidiol (CBD), without a permit or exemption authorized by Health Canada is a serious criminal offence subject to arrest and prosecution, despite the legalization of cannabis in Canada. A medical prescription from a doctor does not count as Health Canada authorization.
- Be prepared to declare. All travellers must declare their goods upon entry into Canada. Have your receipts readily available for goods purchased or received while outside of Canada. If travelling with firearms, consult the CBSA’s website for the rules on firearms and other restricted and prohibited goods.
- Boaters planning to travel in or near Canadian waters, or enter Canada by boat should review Reporting requirements for private boaters before making travel plans. All travellers entering Canada by boat must report to the CBSA without delay.
- Not sure? Ask a CBSA officer. The best thing you can do to save time is to be open and honest with the CBSA officer. If you are not sure about what to declare, don’t hesitate to ask. Our officers are here to help!
Across the country, CBSA front line employees are keeping harmful goods out of Canada, while ensuring legitimate travel and trade can continue efficiently and safely. In 2022, we facilitated the arrival of over 60 million travellers while intercepting more than 1,100 firearms and 24,400 prohibited weapons and seizing over 41,000 kg of illegal drugs.