Travelers can help reduce border wait times by being prepared

Border Services Agency offers tips for crossing the border this summer, next long weekend

Notice to travellers:

The Victoria Day long weekend is approaching and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is reminding travelers what to expect when crossing the border.

Changing requirements related to COVID-19 may result in longer wait times during peak periods, the CBSA said in a news release issued today.

“The CBSA is working to alleviate long wait times at the border, but there are also things travelers can do to make the process easier for themselves and other travellers,” the statement read. .

“Travelers can help reduce border wait times by preparing and completing their mandatory ArriveCAN submission within 72 hours of arriving at the border.”

For more information, see the following press release:

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) reminds all travelers crossing the border over the Victoria Day long weekend of what to expect at the border during the busy summer months, that they are returning home to Canada or are visiting.

This summer, travelers are returning to a differently managed border with ever-changing COVID-19 requirements, which can cause delays during peak periods. The CBSA is working to alleviate long wait times at the border, but there are also things travelers can do to make the process easier for themselves and other travellers.

Travelers can help reduce border wait times by preparing and completing their mandatory ArriveCAN submission within 72 hours of arriving at the border.

The CBSA invests considerable effort each year in planning and preparing for peak periods, such as the summer months. The Agency is working with bridge and tunnel operators, airport authorities and travel industry groups to plan and review service requirements, opportunities for improvement and resources needed, so that together we can deliver the best service to all travelers.

The CBSA has also implemented modern processes to improve the traveler experience and manage volumes, such as the International-to-Domestic and International-to-International programs that significantly reduce connection times, as well as kiosks to CBSA Primary Inspection and Advance Reporting. option.

Key tips for all travellers:

  • Make sure you are eligible to enter Canada Foreign nationals must meet entry requirements under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and provide the appropriate travel and immigration documents. The final entry decision is made by a border services officer at the port of entry.
  • Understand the rules regarding COVID-19. Border measures are still in place for COVID-19. They vary depending on who is travelling: foreign nationals, returning residents or Canadian citizens. Answer a few questions to find out what requirements apply to you and if you can enter Canada.
  • Use ArriveCAN. All travelers, regardless of their vaccination status, are required to submit their information in ArriveCAN (free as a mobile app or website), up to 72 hours before entering Canada. ArriveCAN collects contact, health and travel information to protect the health and safety of travelers and expedite border processing. It’s the fastest, easiest and safest way for travelers to show they meet public health requirements.
    • Travelers should ensure they have the latest version of the ArriveCAN app (check the Google Play Store or iPhone App Store.)
    • Travelers should print or take a screenshot of their ArriveCAN receipt and bring it with them when travelling.
    • Travelers without a smartphone or mobile data can submit their information by logging online through a computing device. If travelers are unable to enter their information themselves, they can ask a friend or family member to enter it for them.

  • Prepare all your documents. Travelers should have the following items ready to present to the border services officer: their ArriveCAN receipt; passport or travel documents, proof of vaccination; and the identification of all persons on board the vehicle.
  • Plan ahead and check border wait times. Travelers crossing the border by land are encouraged to plan to cross outside peak hours, such as early morning. The Monday of the long bank holiday weekends tends to be the busiest, with longer border wait times.
  • Entering Canada by water. Unless exempt, all travelers entering Canada by sea must report their arrival to the CBSA without delay. All travellers, including those entitled to enter (Canadian citizens, permanent residents and persons registered under the Indian Act), must submit their mandatory information in ArriveCAN before or upon entering Canada at a sea entry point.
  • Be ready to declare. Travelers returning to Canada must be prepared to declare all goods purchased and/or received outside the country. It is recommended that you do not wrap gifts as we may need to examine them further. Have your receipts handy for purchases made outside of Canada.
  • Know your exemption limits. Returning residents planning to shop or pick up online purchases across the border should be aware of their exemption limits. Be sure to consult the CBSA’s Duty and Tax Estimator Tool to calculate taxes on goods purchased in the United States and to help you make informed decisions when shopping abroad.
    • Residents can return duty-free and duty-free goods worth CAN$200 after 24 hours of absence and goods worth CAN$800 after 48 hours. There is no personal exemption for same-day cross-border shopping trips, so be prepared to pay taxes on such purchases and possibly duties.

  • Declare any food, plant or animal such as raw poultry products and by-products that are not fully cooked, to the border services officer. There are currently restrictions on the importation of live birds, bird products and by-products from states affected by highly pathogenic avian influenza into the United States. Also declare all wood and wood products (including firewood and wooden souvenirs). Be sure to check the
  • Automated Import Reference System to help determine any specific import requirements.
  • Declare any money or currency of C$10,000 or more. It is not illegal to bring such sums into Canada, but they must be declared upon arrival.
  • Cannabis. Don’t bring it. Don’t take it out. Cross-border transportation of cannabis in any form, including any oil containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or cannabidiol (CBD), without a license or exemption authorized by Health Canada remains a serious criminal offense subject to arrest and prosecution, despite the legalization of cannabis in Canada.
  • Statement. Air travelers landing in Toronto (YYZ) or Vancouver (YVR) can use ArriveCAN (web version) to complete their customs and immigration declaration before arriving in Canada. This functionality will be extended to other airports in the future.
  • Know the contents of your vehicle. Travelers can consult the CBSA website for information on firearms and other regulated and prohibited goods.
  • Use the latest technology. Upon arrival at select major airports in Canada, travelers can use a Primary Inspection Kiosk to check their travel documents, confirm their identity and complete an on-screen declaration.
  • Children. When traveling with children, it is recommended that the accompanying adult have a consent letter authorizing them to travel with the child. Border services officers are always on the lookout for missing children, and if the letter is missing, officers may ask additional questions to help them identify the relationship between the child and accompanying adult. .

For more information, visit the CBSA website or call us at 1-800-461-9999.

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