Customs & Duty Free Allowances And Restrictions

For up to date information on Duty Free:
For up to date information on Customs & Duty Charges:

Canadian Residents Returning to Canada:

Canadians can bring 1L of alcohol (1L of spirits, wine and beer) and some tobacco into the U.S. regardless of the duration of the stay in the U.S., so long as the alcohol and tobacco is for personal use.

You may have to pay taxes and duties on purchases over and above the customs allowance. This will be calculated by a On purchases over and above the customs allowance, you may be required to pay some nominal taxes and duties. This will be calculated by a Customs official after you declare.

Here’s how it adds up: if you exceed your duty free allowance and exemptions entering the U.S., the following approximate U.S. duty and tax rates apply:
US $2 – $3 per bottle of liquor, on average
US $1.90 per case of beer, on average
US $10.07 per carton of cigarettes, on average
*US duty rates on purchases exceeding 1 litre of alcohol are assessed according to alcohol content
Products other than alcohol and tobacco may also require a duty payment.

If you are Canadian, when you return to Canada you may be asked to pay the regular taxes and duties on the value of items over your customs allowance. Be aware that many items qualify for reduced or zero duty.

Entering the US
    200 Cigarettes
    200G of Fine Cut Tobacco
    50 Cigars
    1.0L of Wine, Liquor, Beer or Ale
    Goods, Tax & Duty Free
    $100 CAD to be left in the US

Please check with the regulations of the State you are arriving in; they may have more restrictive limits.

Returning to Canada (24-48 HOURS)
    Subject to duties and taxes
    Subject to duties and taxes
    Goods, Tax & Duty Free
    $200 CAD per person
Returning to Canada (Over 48 HOURS)
    200 Cigarettes (1 Carton)
    200 Tobacco Sticks
    50 Cigars or Cigarellos
    200G of Manufactured Tobacco
    1.5L of wine OR 1.14L of liquor OR 355ML cans/bottles of beer or ale
    Goods, Tax & Duty Free
    Up to $800 CAD per person

Canada Border Services Declaration Guide

Read online: I Declare: A Guide for Residents Returning to Canada
This online guide provided by Canada Border Services Agency provides an overview of the laws, restrictions, entitlements and obligations that apply to Canadian residents returning to Canada following international travel of less than one year. For more information, check out the Frequently Asked Questions or call the Border Information Service (BIS).

Health Products & Prescription Drugs

In Canada, health products may be regulated differently than they are in other countries. For example, what is available without a prescription in one country may require a prescription in Canada. Canada has restrictions on the quantities and types of health products that can be brought in. Refer to Import Requirements for Health Products under the Food and Drugs Act and its Regulations on Health Canada’s website.

Restricted and Prohibited Goods

The following information is provided by Canada Border Services Agency. Updated 26/5/2017
The importation of certain goods is restricted or prohibited in Canada. To avoid the possibility of penalties, including seizure or prosecution, make sure you have the information you require before attempting to import items into Canada.

The following are some examples of restricted or prohibited goods:

  • Firearms and weapons: You must declare all weapons and firearms at the CBSA port of entry when you enter Canada. Import and Export a Firearm or Weapon into Canada provides more information on importation requirements.
  • Food, plants, animals and related products: All food, plants, animals, and related products must be declared. Food can carry disease, such as E. coli. Plants and plant products can carry invasive alien species, such as the Asian Long-Horned Beetle. Animals and animal products can carry diseases, such as avian influenza and foot-and-mouth disease. The Food, Plant and Animal Inspections section of our Web site provides more information on importation requirements.
  • Explosives, fireworks and ammunition: You must have written authorization and import permits to bring explosives, fireworks and certain types of ammunition into Canada. For more information, refer to Memorandum D19-6-1 – Administration of the Explosives Act or contact Natural Resources Canada.
  • Vehicles: Vehicles include any kind of pleasure vehicles such as passenger cars, pickup trucks, snowmobiles and motor homes, as long as you use them for non-commercial purposes. There are many requirements that apply to the importation of vehicles. More information on importation requirements: Memorandum D19-12-1 – Importation of Vehicles.
  • Consumer products: The importation of certain consumer products that could pose a danger to the public (e.g., baby walkers, jequirity beans that are often found in art or bead work) is prohibited. Canadian residents should be aware of consumer products that have safety requirements in Canada. Many of these safety requirements are stricter than requirements of other countries.
    For more information on restricted/prohibited goods, consult I Declare or the publications listed above.

  • Updated 26/5/2017