WINTER: Snowbird locations and overnight RVing. TRAVEL ALERTS: Know Before You Go

Spences Bridge over the Thompson River - Don Weixl/TOTA

Border and Customs

We have compiled a list of advice on Border and Custom which can be useful for anyone planning a trip to beautiful British Columbia.


The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is responsible for border access, services and security. The Canada Border Services Agency web site details many answers to questions frequently asked by travellers.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency handles the rules concerning the temporary importing of Pets such as dogs.

Border Wait Times

For expected wait times crossing Canada-United States land borders click here: Border Wait Times


Customs officers at all Canadian entry points are authorized to interview persons seeking entry to Canada to determine admissibility. Their goal is to facilitate the entry of legitimate travellers as quickly as possible.

When you enter Canada, a customs officer will ask to see your passport and a valid visa, if one is necessary.

Everyone from every country arriving in Canada by Air, Land or Sea needs a valid passport, or equivalent travel document.

Personal Baggage

As a visitor, you can bring certain goods into Canada for your own use as “personal baggage.” Personal baggage includes clothing, camping and sports equipment, cameras, tape recorders and even personal computers. It also includes vehicles, vessels and aircrafts.

First and foremost, as required by law, all goods must be declared at the time of your initial contact with Customs. Customs does conduct import/export examinations. For the most part, these are routine in nature, and serve to verify declarations.

Visitors aged 19 years or over may import up to 50 cigars, 200 cigarettes and 200g (8 ozs) of tobacco, up to 1.14 litres (40 oz) of liquor or 1.5 litres of wine, or 8.5 litres (288 oz) of beer or ale, providing it is to be used for personal consumption.

Currency and monetary instruments equal to or greater than CAN$10,000 must be reported to Canadian Customs.

All revolvers, pistols, fully automatic firearms and other weapons, and self-defence sprays such as pepper spray and mace are prohibited entry into Canada. All firearms (ie: hunting rifles, shotguns) and personal protection devices (ie: stun guns, mace, pepper spray) must be declared.


Visitors can import gifts for friends in Canada duty free and tax free, as long as each gift is valued at CAN$60 or less. If the gift is worth more than CAN$60, you will have to pay duties and taxes on the excess amount. You cannot claim alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, or business advertising matter as gifts.


Under the National Animal Health Program, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) establishes import requirements for all animals and animal products entering Canada-including domestic pets. For more information visit the CFIA website.

Vehicles and Boats

During your stay, you are considered to be a visitor to Canada. As a visitor, you can temporarily import passenger and recreational vehicles, such as snowmobiles, outboard motors, boats, trailers, and most other kinds of vehicles for your personal use. However, you have to export these items by the date you end your visit, unless you have been issued a Form BSF375, CBSA Report (formerly known as Form E99).


Canada’s firearms laws help make Canada safer for both residents and visitors. You have to declare all firearms and weapons at customs when you enter Canada. If you do not declare all firearms or weapons, customs officers will seize them and you could face criminal charges. You may need documents to prove that you are entitled to possess a firearm in Canada, and you will have to transport it safely.

If you need more information about the changes to Canada’s firearms laws, a specific firearm, weapon, device, or any fees that may apply, contact the Canadian Firearms Centre at 1-800-731-4000 (in Canada and the U.S.) and (506) 624-5380 (from other countries) or visit the web site: Canadian Firearms Centre

Camping Lodging

The Super Camping / Select Lodging Guide

First Published in 1989