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Canadian Travel tips from Border Services


Vancouver, B.C.: To make your holiday travels more pleasant this year, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) provides the following advice:

Be prepared to pay duties and taxes on goods that were purchased outside of

the country - including gifts - You are required to declare all goods

purchased outside of the country when returning to Canada and you must pay

any applicable duties and/or taxes. If you are not sure what to declare

when you arrive at the border, declare all items first and then discuss them

with an officer of the CBSA. Depending on the length of your absence from

Canada, you may be entitled to certain personal exemptions.

If you bring gifts back from your trip, do not wrap them - Officers may

unwrap gifts for inspection. If you have friends or relatives coming to

visit you in Canada, remind them not to wrap their gifts.

Declare currency over $10,000 - On January 6, 2003, the Cross Border

Currency and Monetary Instrument Reporting Regulations took effect. The

regulations were the final element of the Proceeds of Crime (Money

Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act to be put in place. The legislation

requires all persons and entities to report to an officer of the Canada

Border Services Agency the import and export of currency and monetary

instruments of $10,000 or more.

Keep all of your receipts handy - Officers may ask you to show receipts for

the goods you've purchased and your hotel receipts to verify the length of

your stay outside Canada. To avoid unnecessary delays, keep receipts

together and readily accessible.

Certain plant and animal products are prohibited from entering Canada - Many

travellers are unaware that products such as meat, live birds, plants and

fruit can harbour diseases and pests, which can harm Canada's agricultural

industry and environment.

Carry appropriate identification - All travellers entering Canada are

required to provide proof of citizenship. A passport is ideal, however we

will accept the following documents if presented with valid photo

identification: birth certificate, permanent resident card, record of

landing, or Certificate of Indian Status.

Carry identification for all children travelling with you, regardless of

their age - Our officers watch for missing children and may ask detailed

questions about the children who are travelling with you. If you have legal

custody of the child(ren) or if you share custody, have copies of relevant

legal documents, such as custody rights. If you are not the custodial parent

or not the parent or legal guardian of the child(ren), carry a letter of

permission or authorization for you to have custody when entering Canada. A

letter would also facilitate entry for any one parent travelling with their

child(ren). This permission should contain contact telephone numbers for the

parent or legal guardian. If you are travelling as part of a group of

vehicles, be sure that you are in the same vehicle as your child(ren) when

you arrive at the border.

"The holiday season is a busy time for our officers. Travelers can speed-up

their border clearance by making sure they understand their rights and

obligations before they begin their travels," said Blake Delgaty, CBSA's

Regional Director General.

For more information on what you need to know if you are traveling outside

Canada consult CBSA's publication I Declare, call 1-800-461-9999 (toll free)

or visit the web site: www.cbsa.gc.ca