This Canada Day long weekend, several Canadians are planning to skip the festivities at home and travel south to the U.S. instead. The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) predicts higher-than-normal volumes of travellers crossing the U.S. border at multiple ports of entry.
With that in mind, the CBSA has shared a list of important tips that are intended to remind Canadians of the customs process and ensure their safe and problem-free crossing into the U.S. Here's what they advise:
For travellers headed to the U.S.
Make sure to check border times — The CanBorder App is a useful tool that helps you plan your border crossing ahead of time. Once downloaded, the app works entirely on airplane mode so you don't have to worry about incurring data charges. Typically on holidays, the best time to arrive on at the border is during non-peak hours such as early in th emorning. Monday is anticipated to the busiest day at the border this weekend.
Know what's in your vehicle — Before departing, make sure you check your car and keep track of all the goods inside of it. The CBSA website has information on firearms and other restricted goods. Make sure to check the list and remove those items from your vehicle.
Do not travel with cannabis — Cannabis remains illegal in Canada, and even once it becomes legal, it will still be prohibited to transport across the border. Failure to comply to this law could result in being apprehended by U.S. border police.
Use a primary inspection kiosk (airports) — Canadians travelling by air can verify their identities and make on-screen declarations using primary inspection kiosks. This saves them the trouble of having to wait in line to complete the process. The eDeclaration app is also available for those who would rather fill out their declaration forms while enroute to the airport.
For returning residents
Declare all of your purchases, gifts and acquisitions — Know all of the personal exemptions, restrictions and tax requirements when crossing the border. For Canadians who have stayed in the United States for more than 48 hours, a spending limit of $800 is imposed per head.
Keep all of your travel documents on you — This mainly includes your passport, driver's license and any receipts acquired during the trip. If driving, always keep your passport with you in case you are stopped and questioned about your driver's license. Also have all the aforementioned travel documents ready for the customs agent at the border.