Effective June 1, 2009.
U.S. citizens will be required to present one of the following documents for entry:
U.S. citizen children under the age of 16 will be able to present the original (or copy) of their birth certificate or other proof of U.S. citizenship such as a naturalization certificate or citizenship card. Knowing what documents are required and having them ready when you return home will help streamline the entry process and ensure your return to the U.S. is as smooth as possible.
Personal belongings or baggage may be brought with you when entering Canada, such as: clothing, camping or sports equipment, cameras, vehicles, etc... You may be asked to fill out a customs declaration card. These items are for your personal use only and may not be used by any resident of Canada or business based in Canada. No tax or duty will be charged on personal baggage items brought with you upon re-entry to the U.S., however, Customs may request a security deposit on your goods which will be returned upon leaving Canada.
Over 48 Hours in Canada
American residents who spend more than 48 hours in Canada are allowed to take up to $400 (usd) worth of goods purchased in Canada back into the U.S. You may take advantage of this exemption only once every 30 days. (If you have already used this exemption, the $200 (usd) exemption applies). You must be over the legal drinking age (19) to bring:
Less Than 48 Hours in Canada
American residents who spend less than 48 hours, or if you have already claimed a $400 (usd) exemption in the previous days, you are allowed to take goods purchased in Canada worth up to $200 (usd) back into the U.S.
You must be over the legal drinking age (19) to bring:
Duty will be charged on any goods worth more than the exemptions described above. Duty on the first $1400 (usd) worth of goods ( including the $400 (usd) exemption ) is being phased out. This applies only to goods that are stamped either "Made in Canada" or "Made in the U.S.A.".
Any goods worth more than the $1400 (usd) limit will be charged duty at various rates and reservations.
Members of a single family, traveling together and living in the same residence, are allowed to pool their exemptions to cover their combined purchases.
You may bring gifts into Canada tax and duty free, only if the gifts are valued at less than $60 (cdn). Gifts over $60 will be charged duty of the excess amount.
Obscene or hate materials, weapons or items generally harmful to the environment are prohibited from entering Canada. If you are bringing weapons, dairy or meat products, plants, animals, vehicles or anything you are unsure about, please contact Canada Customs beforehand for guidance.
NEXUS, SENTRI or FAST enrollment cards can speed your entry into the U.S. and are issued only to pre-approved, low-risk travelers. The cards are valid for use at land or sea the NEXUS card can be used in airports with a NEXUS kiosk.
On weekdays (between Monday and Thursday) you can expect to wait approximately 10 minutes at the Canadian Customs Inspection Station. On Weekends (Friday, Saturday and Sundays) and Holidays, this wait time can increase from 20 minutes to one hour at peak times. Be prepared to show the appropriate documents as listed above, and be prepared for your vehicle to be inspected by customs officials. View current border wait times.
You may be detained by Canadian Customs if: