How much can I take
across the border?

Canadians and Americans are allowed
to bring as much as they like when
they cross the border. However,
only a portion of what is brought into
the U.S. is considered free of taxes
and duties. The portion that is tax and
duty free is called a customs allowance.

When you cross the border purchase more than your customs allowance — you still save.

To find out your customs allowance, please select one of the following options.

        

 

Duration of stay
in the U.S.
Customs allowance
for travellers entering
the U.S.
*Per person
Customs allowance for travellers returning to Canada
*Per person
Anytime exemption for "personal consumption"
- please check with the regulations of the State you are arriving in; they may have more restrictive limits.
Tobacco:
  • 200 cigarettes;
  • 50 cigars (non Cuban); or
  • 2 kilograms of manufactured tobacco.
Alcohol:
  • 1.0 litre of wine, liquor or beer, or ale.
 
Between 24 and 48 hours   $50.00 personal exemption.
Between 48 hours and 7 days   Upon returning to Canada, import up to $400.00 duty free including:
Tobacco:
  • 200 cigarettes;
  • 50 cigars (non Cuban) or cigarillos;
  • 200 tobacco sticks; and
  • 200 grams of manufactured tobacco.
Alcohol:
  • 1.5 litres of wine; or
  • 1.14 litres of liquor; or
  • 24 - 355 ml cans/bottles (8.5 litres) of beer or ale.
After 72 hours (eligible once every six months) You are allowed up to $100 USD worth of merchandise, free of duty and tax, as gifts for other people if you plan to stay for 72 hours. You may include 100 cigars (non-Cuban) but not alcohol. Do not wrap gifts until Customs has inspected them.  
After 7 days   Upon returning to Canada, import up to $750.00 duty including: Tobacco:
  • 200 cigarettes;
  • 50 cigars (non Cuban) or cigarillos;
  • 200 tobacco sticks; and
  • 200 grams of manufactured tobacco.
Alcohol:
  • 1.5 litres of wine;
  • 1.0 litres (40 oz.) of liquor; or
  • 24 - 355 ml cans/bottles (8.5 litres) of beer or ale.
*To purchase and take liquor into the U.S. you must be 21 years of age, for tobacco the age is 19 years old.
Duration of stay
in Canada
Customs Allowance for travellers
entering the U.S.
*Per person
Between 24 and 48 hours $200.00 USD per person, this includes 50 cigarettes and 10 cigars (non Cuban) and 150 milliliters (5 fl. oz.) of alcoholic beverages or 150 milliliters
After 48 hours $800.00 USD per person. This is a monthly exemption. Family members can combine their $800 per person monthly import privileges. You can import 1 Litre (33.8 fl. oz.) of alcoholic beverages or 1 case of beer (24 bottles). You are also allowed to include up to 200 cigarettes and 100 cigars (non Cuban) in your exemption.
*To purchase and take liquor into the U.S. you must be 21 years of age, for tobacco the age is 19 years old.
How much can I bring across the border?


I am 21 years of age or older: To purchase and take liquor into the U.S. you must be 21 years of age; for tobacco the age is 19 years old.
I am 21 years of age or older: To purchase and take liquor into the U.S. you must be 21 years of age; for tobacco the age is 19 years old.

   I plan to be away:   

   I plan to be away:   

   Items I might buy:   




 





   My allowance:   

OR
OR

Find out how much you can save at Duty Free here.

What is an anytime personal exemption?

Canadians can bring 1L of alcohol (1L of spirits, wine and beer) and some tobacco into the U.S. regardless of the duration of the stay in the U.S., so long as the alcohol and tobacco is for personal use.

How much tax and duty will I be charged if I go over my customs allowance?

You may have to pay taxes and duties on purchases over and above the customs allowance. This will be calculated by a Customs official after you declare.

Upon entering the U.S., you may be asked to pay, on average, the following amounts for products over your customs allowance:

US $2 - $3 per bottle of liquor, on average
US $1.30 per case of beer, on average
US $10.03 per carton of cigarettes, on average

Products other than alcohol and tobacco may also require a duty payment.

If you are Canadian, when you return to Canada you may be asked to pay the regular taxes and duties on the value of items over your customs allowance. Be aware that many items qualify for reduced or zero duty.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

I spent more than my exemption - can I combine my purchases with another person?

Canadian residents are not allowed to combine customs allowances upon their return to Canada. More

What do I have to declare?

Cross border travellers should declare all purchases, gifts and prizes. Personal belongings that you need for the trip (clothing, personal care products, camping gear, etc) do not need to be declared. More

What happens if I do not declare a purchase and I am caught?

If you are caught not declaring some or all of your items the consequences will be determined by border services and are likely dependant on the severity of the omission.
Find out information about the Canadian Border Services Agency.

What if I bring back more than my personal exemption?

You will likely be asked to pay the duty and taxes; you might get lucky and waved through. More

Does my child qualify for a customs exemption?

Yes, children are eligible for a customs allowance. Parents or guardians will declare the purchases on the child's behalf, but the items must be for the child's use. More

What is a NAFTA exemption?

You save the duty on NAFTA exempted items, and only pay the sales tax, even if the value is over and above your customs allowance. More

Tip: always keep your receipts handy

 

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