What Is a TDC?
A TDC (Traveller Declaration Card) is a form that allows Canadian residents who are members of the Trusted Traveller programs (TTP) entering Canada to declare goods purchased, received or otherwise acquired, and to pay any applicable duties and taxes, through the credit card information provided on the form.
Traditionally, travellers would go to an Enrolment Centre to pick up their TDC paper-booklets, and complete their TDCs manually.
While the remaining TDC booklets are still valid and will continue to be processed in the regular manner, it is important to note that the paper version of the TDC is gradually being phased out. The online version of the TDC will eventually be the only way to obtain the form.
The Online TDC
The Traveller Declaration Card (TDC) has been redesigned and is available on the CBSA Web site in PDF fillable format.
Since June 1, 2012, travellers are able to save a partially completed form on a computer or laptop. This allows users to fill out the majority of the fields on the form only once, rather than having to fill them out every time. Canadian residents are able to access the form at any point before or during travel, complete it by hand or electronically and sign the printed form.
Canadian residents who are members of the CBSA's Trusted Traveller programs (NEXUS, Free and Secure Trade (FAST), CANPASS Air or Commercial Driver Registration Program (CDRP)) can access the form for download from the CBSA Web site at any point before or during travel, rather than using a previously issued booklet.
For Trusted Traveller program members who have never previously been issued a TDC booklet, no previous TDC enrolment is required to use the online version of the TDC.
Why the Online TDC is Useful
For the traveller's convenience, only the online TDC will be available in the near future. You will no longer have to go to an Enrolment Centre in person to obtain your TDC forms. You can download the form, fill it in, choose to save the partially completed form, and print it at your convenience.
The online TDC facilitates your travel by allowing you to arrive at the border with your TDC nearly fully completed. At any point prior to entering Canada you must complete the remaining fields in writing (using a black pen) or complete the form electronically, listing the goods you have purchased, received or otherwise acquired. Then print and sign your TDC, and deposit it in the secure TDC drop box to complete your passage into Canada.
The CBSA will collect any duties or taxes owing through the credit card information provided on the TDC.
The secure TDC boxes are conveniently located near the border services officers' booths in the TTP designated lanes in the land mode and near the NEXUS and CANPASS Air self-serve kiosks in the air mode.
Where You Can Use It
Each NEXUS, Free and Secure Trade (FAST) or Commercial Driver Registration Program (CDRP) member entering Canada at a land border crossing may complete a traveller declaration card (TDC) to report goods that have been purchased, acquired or received while outside Canada.
Each NEXUS and CANPASS Air member arriving in Canada by commercial airline who has exceeded their personal exemption, as stated on the CBSA Declaration Card (E311), may complete a TDC or must proceed to a cashier to pay any duty and taxes owing.
How To Use It
The TDC must be completed in advance to expedite your entry into Canada.
When completing the TDC, use a black ink pen ONLY. If you make a mistake on the card, do not attempt to correct it. To ensure accuracy, please complete a new TDC.
Step 1: At any point before or during travel, visit the CBSA Web site to download and complete your TDC form.
For this step you will need your credit card information as well as your personal identification number. Your personal identification number is a number on your membership card. For NEXUS and FAST members, please refer to the 9-digit PASS ID number on your membership card; for CANPASS Air members, please refer to the 10-digit Client ID number on your membership card; and for members of CDRP, please refer to the 12-digit document ID number on your membership card.
You can also visit Locating your Membership ID on your Trusted Traveller membership cards to find the location of your identification number on your membership card.
Note: If you already have a partially completed form saved on your computer or laptop, you don’t need to download a new form. Instead, simply complete your saved form to save time.
Step 2: Prior to entering Canada, you can declare your goods in writing on the TDC form (or complete the form electronically), and select the categories for the goods you are importing.
Step 3: Check the box agreeing to the terms and conditions of the TTP and sign the TDC. (Note: By checking this box and signing the TDC, this enables the CBSA to apply the applicable charges to your credit card).
Step 4: Deposit your TDC in the secure TDC box, located near the border services officers' booths in the TTP designated lanes in the land mode. For the air mode, the drop boxes are located near the NEXUS and CANPASS Air self-serve kiosks.
Helpful Information on Declaring Your Goods
Only personal goods can be declared using a TDC. Commercial goods must be reported to an officer in a regular lane.
You can refer to the tariff guide (form E604) to determine the category(ies) for the goods you are importing. If the goods are not listed on the tariff guide, you can identify them as Category 4, "Miscellaneous goods not elsewhere specified." Note: This does not apply to restricted or prohibited goods. Restricted, prohibited or controlled goods or any good requiring a permit cannot be declared using a TDC.
- "Exemption only"
- Indicate how long you have been outside of Canada. To be eligible for an exemption, you must have been away for the full length of time indicated. If you have been away for less than 24 hours, leave the "Exemption" box blank. You cannot combine exemptions.
- "The goods are valued in"
- Indicate whether the goods you are bringing back are valued in U.S. or Canadian dollars. You may not indicate both.
- "The goods were made in"
- Indicate where the majority of the goods you are importing are from (based on dollar value). For example, if you are importing $100 worth of merchandise and $51 or more of these goods are made in the U.S., indicate the USA box. If $51 or more of the goods are made elsewhere, other than Canada or the U.S., you must indicate "Other."
- "Select the categories of your goods"
- Indicate the total value of the goods for each applicable category by using the tariff guide (E604). In most cases, any foreign sales tax added to, or included in the price, is part of the value.
You Cannot Use a TDC if…
You cannot use a TDC if you are bringing back any of the following items:
- cigars (non-duty paid)
- cigarettes (non-duty paid)
- tobacco sticks
If you have any of the items listed above when arriving at the land border crossing, NEXUS members must use a regular lane. If you are a NEXUS or CANPASS Air member, you must select the cashier option at the kiosk when arriving by commercial airline.
In addition, restricted or prohibited goods and commercial goods cannot be declared using the TDC method of reporting.
You may reside in a province that does not have a harmonized sales tax. If so, use Category 6 to declare the total dollar value of provincial sales tax-exempt goods after you have declared them in the appropriate category(ies). For example, if you buy a $50 adult shirt and a PST-exempt $50 children's shirt, you declare $100 in Category 2 (Clothing) and the $50 PST-exempt total in Category 6.
For alcohol and tobacco, state the dollar value and quantity. To import alcohol you must meet the minimum age requirements set by the province or territory where you enter Canada.
You may qualify for a personal exemption when returning to Canada. This allows you to bring goods up to a certain value into the country without paying regular duty and taxes.
Are you eligible?
You are eligible for a personal exemption if you are one of the following:
- a Canadian resident returning from a trip outside Canada;
- a former resident of Canada returning to live in this country; or
- a temporary resident of Canada returning from a trip outside Canada.
Children are also entitled to a personal exemption as long as the goods are for the child's use. Parents or guardians can make a declaration to the CBSA on behalf of the child.
What are your personal exemptions?
The length of your absence from Canada determines your eligibility for an exemption and the amount of goods you can bring back, without paying any duty and taxes. (The exception is a special excise duty that may apply to certain tobacco products. Refer to Tobacco Products section.)
- Personal exemptions do not apply to same-day cross-border shoppers.
- You can claim goods worth up to CAN$200.
- Tobacco products and alcoholic beverages are not included in this exemption.
- If the value of the goods you are bringing back exceeds CAN$200, you cannot claim this exemption. Instead, duty and taxes are applicable on the entire amount of the imported goods.
- Goods must be in your possession and reported at time of entry to Canada.
- A minimum absence of 24 hours from Canada is required. For example, if you left at 19:00 on Friday the 15th, you may return no earlier than 19:00 on Saturday the 16th to claim the exemption.
- You can claim goods worth up to CAN$800.
- You may include alcoholic beverages and tobacco products, within the prescribed limits. Refer to sections Tobacco Products and Alcoholic Beverages.
- Goods must be in your possession and reported at time of entry to Canada.
- If the value of the goods you are bringing back exceeds CAN$800, duties and taxes are applicable only on amount of the imported goods that exceeds CAN$800.
- A minimum absence of 48 hours from Canada is required. For example, if you left at 19:00 on Friday the 15th, you may return no earlier than 19:00 on Sunday the 17th to claim the exemption.
- You can claim goods worth up to CAN$800.
- You must have tobacco products and alcoholic beverages in your possession when you enter Canada, but other goods may follow you by other means (such as courier or by post). However, all of the goods you are bringing back must be reported to the CBSA when you arrive. See Unaccompanied Goods section.
- A minimum absence of seven days is required. When calculating the number of days you have been absent, exclude the day you left Canada but include the day you returned. For example, we consider you to have been absent seven days if you left Canada on Friday the 7th and return no earlier than Friday the 14th to claim the exemption.
What conditions apply?
- You cannot combine your personal exemptions with another person's or transfer them to someone else.
- You cannot combine your personal exemptions. For example, if you are absent from Canada for 9 days total, you cannot combine your 48-hour exemption (CAN$800) with your 7-day exemption (CAN$800) for a total exemption of CAN$1,600.
- In general, the goods you include in your personal exemption must be for your personal or household use. Such goods include souvenirs that you purchased, gifts that you received from friends or relatives living outside Canada or prizes that you won.
- Goods you bring in for commercial use or for another person do not qualify for the exemption and are subject to applicable duties and taxes. In all cases, goods you include in your 24-hour exemption (CAN$200) or 48-hour exemption (CAN$800) must be with you upon your arrival in Canada.
- Except for tobacco products and alcoholic beverages, goods you claim in your 7-day exemption (CAN$800) may be shipped to your home by mail, courier or other means of transportation.
- You must always report the value of the goods you are importing in Canadian funds. Foreign currency amounts including any foreign taxes must be converted to Canadian dollars at the applicable exchange rate recognized by the CBSA.
For more information on personal exemptions, consult I Declare.
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