While cannabis may be legal in Canada, it is a serious criminal offence to bring it across the border. If discovered, it may be confiscated by a CBSA officer. As of , if you don't declare it, you may also face a monetary penalty.
On this page
- Declare your cannabis
- Failure to declare your cannabis
- How to pay your penalty
- How to request a correction or formal review
- Related links
Declare your cannabis
If you have cannabis or cannabis products with you, no matter the quantity, you must properly declare them to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). Failure to do so could be an expensive mistake.
Avoid penalties of up to $2,000 CAD at the Canadian border. Remember to:
always declare any cannabis or products containing cannabis (including CBD products made from cannabis or hemp)
provide information to the officer that is true, accurate and complete such as correct quantity and type of cannabis product
have with you the proper permits, licences or exemptions
have all your cannabis or cannabis products easily accessible for examination
Failure to declare your cannabis
If you don't declare your cannabis or cannabis products to the CBSA or you give inaccurate information in your declaration (for example, incorrect quantity, incorrect product) you may be issued a monetary penalty.
A CBSA officer will give you a Notice of Penalty Assessment (penalty notice) that lists the offence and penalty amount. The officer will base the amount of the penalty on:
- the type of offence (undeclared cannabis, inaccurate information)
- the severity of offence (concealed undeclared cannabis, quantity of undeclared cannabis)
- the history of non-compliance (a past penalty or a past seizure record)
The CBSA keeps records on previous enforcement actions, including monetary penalties. Your request to become a member of a Trusted Traveller program (such as NEXUS or FAST) may be rejected or your existing membership may be cancelled if the CBSA issues you a penalty.
How to pay your penalty
You can pay your penalty:
- in person at any CBSA office open to the public
- by mail to the address listed on the penalty notice
Make sure a copy of your penalty notice is included with the payment. The penalty becomes payable on the day the notice of assessment is served to you. If not paid within 30 days after the date of the notice, interest will begin to accrue beginning on the day after the notice was served.
If you request a correction or formal review, you may delay paying the penalty until a decision is made. However, if the decision finds that the penalty was correctly issued, you must pay the penalty. Interest will be calculated from the day after the Notice was served to the day the penalty is paid in full.
How to request a correction or formal review
If you believe that the penalty issued by the CBSA was incorrect, you may contact the issuing CBSA office to request a correction.
Request a correction
This must be done within 90 days of the date your monetary penalty was issued. Errors must be evident to both parties.
You can request a correction to your penalty notice if:
- personal information is incorrect
- example: if the CBSA officer entered your name or address in error
- the penalty level is incorrect
- example: if you receive a level-one penalty but it is cancelled and replaced by a second-level penalty you can request to have it lowered to the correct level
- the penalty amount assessed is incorrect
- example: if an obvious error was made on the quantity of cannabis or an incorrect currency was applied that affects the amount of the penalty
Request a formal review
You have the right to request a formal review of the penalty assessed within 90 calendar days from the date you were served the Notice of Penalty Assessment.
You can request a formal review online. Submit this electronic form to appeal an enforcement action.
Alternatively, your may mail in a written request. Include the number on your penalty notice and any information or additional documentation to support your case. Send your request to:
Canada Border Services Agency
333 North River Rd Tower A 11th Floor
Ottawa ON K1A 0L8
Border Information Services (BIS)
Within Canada and the United States
TTY (for those with hearing or speech impairments)
Outside Canada and the United States
Long distance charges apply
Contact us online: Client support contact form
Border Information Services
- Personal Administrative Monetary Penalties for Cannabis-Related Contraventions (D-Memo D22-2-1)
- Cannabis at the border
- Recourse – Appeals/Reviews
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