What to expect at the border

COVID-19: Latest update

Visit Current border measures and requirements for information about how COVID-19 is affecting travellers, border services, programs and business.

Help keep African swine fever out of Canada

Preventing the spread of African swine fever is everyone’s responsibility. If you plan to travel to a country impacted with African swine fever, you may unknowingly be spreading this pig disease to Canada. Avoid this by always declaring farm visits, contact with pigs, and any food, plants and animal products when entering the country or face a monetary penalty up to $1,300 CAD.
Learn more about African swine fever and how to protect Canadian pigs.

All travellers arriving in Canada are obligated by Canadian law to present themselves to a border services officer, respond truthfully to all questions and accurately report their goods. This includes a requirement to report any food, plant and animal products in their possession.

We remind travellers to have all identification and travel documentation ready. Being prepared to make a full and accurate declaration, including the amount in Canadian dollars of goods you are bringing with you, will help us get you on your way as quickly as possible.

Arriving by air

Depending at which airport you arrive, you will either use a Primary Inspection Kiosk to confirm your identity and complete an on-screen declaration or will need to complete a Declaration Card onboard. If you're looking to save more time at a Primary Inspection Kiosk, you can prepare your declaration in advance using the eDeclaration mobile app. For a step-by-step guide, consult Arriving by Air.

Arriving by land

If arriving by land, follow the signs to the first check point — referred to as Primary Inspection – where a border services officer will examine your identification and other travel documents, and take your verbal declaration. Select Border Wait Times to access the estimated wait times for crossing the Canada-United States land border at certain locations.

Arriving by private boat

If arriving by private boat, proceed directly to a designated marine telephone reporting site and call the Telephone Reporting Center (TRC) at 1-888-226-7277 in order to obtain CBSA clearance. Certain private boaters may now present themselves to the CBSA by calling the TRC from their cellular telephones from the location at which they enter Canadian waters. For more information, consult our fact sheet.

CBSA Declaration Card

The CBSA Declaration Card tells us what we need to know about you, your travels and what you're bringing into the country. CBSA Declaration Cards are distributed to passengers arriving by air, and are also used at some locations for travellers arriving by train, boat or bus. Bringing a pen in your carry-on baggage will help you complete it, as required, prior to arrival.

Instructions on how to complete the card are attached for your assistance. You can list up to four people living at the same residence on one card. Once the card is completed, detach and discard the instructions. Please do not fold the card, as this allows us to serve you more quickly.

Be sure to keep the card handy along with your identification and other travel documents. You will be asked to show this card to our border services officers several times.

If you have any questions about the card or Canadian regulations, please ask the border services officer when you arrive.

For more information to help you make your declaration, consult I Declare.

Examination of digital devices

When making a declaration at a point of entry, you may be referred to a secondary inspection by a border services officer. This is part of the normal cross-border travel process.

During secondary inspection, an officer may verify your documentation, make further enquiries about your visit to Canada, or examine your goods such as luggage and digital devices.

Under Canada's Customs Act, digital devices (including laptops, cell phones and tablets) are considered goods and subject to an examination.

For more information on your privacy rights and obligations, consult Examining digital devices at the Canadian border.

Date modified: