Travellers: what you can bring into Canada

Information for travellers

Travellers are required, by law, to declare all plant, animal, and food items they bring into Canada. This includes items related to plants, animals and food, or their by-products.

If you bring these products into Canada, you may go through further inspections at the point of entry (that is, border crossings, airports). Be prepared for delays if further inspection is required.

Review the Step-by-step guide if you are importing for commercial purposes.

If you are importing for personal purposes, remember that the product(s) you are importing into Canada must be accompanied by you. If the items are allowed into Canada, you still must declare them on your declaration form. Review the Canada Border Services Agency's (CBSA) What food, plant or animal products can I bring into Canada for more information.

If you are importing alcohol, firearms, tobacco or vehicles, visit the CBSA's I Declare: A guide for residents of Canada returning to Canada or Visitors to Canada and other temporary residents for additional information.

Before you travel, verify the requirements for what you can bring into Canada

Restrictions on what food items you are allowed to bring into Canada vary, depending on the product. Some restrictions also vary based on the province of destination.

Note

Because pest and disease situations are constantly changing, these requirements may be adjusted at any time.

For detailed information, please review the import requirements for specific products using the CFIA's Automated Import Reference System (AIRS). By following the appropriate prompts, you will be able to determine current requirements based on the type of product you want to bring with you.

For assistance in finding or interpreting the requirements listed in AIRS contact the National Import Service Centre (NISC).

The CBSA is responsible for determining duties and taxes for items coming into Canada.

Products allowed into Canada from the United States

Note

Some items do need documents to accompany them.

Animal fat or suet

  • Up to 20 kilograms per person

Baked goods, candies, etc.

  • No goods containing meat
  • Up to 20 kilograms per person

Coniferous wreaths and Christmas trees

  • Refer to AIRS

Dairy products (for example: cheese, milk, yogurt, butter)

  • Up to 20 kilograms per person
  • Over $20.00 may be subject to high rates of duty

Fish and seafood

  • All species except pufferfish and Chinese mitten crab (Eriocheir sinensis)

When importing a susceptible species of aquatic animal, an import permit will not be required when importing individual maximums of each of the following commodities of aquatic animals:

  • 10 dead finfish that are not eviscerated
  • 4 crustaceans with head on shell on
  • 3 kilograms of molluscs

Import permits are required for all live susceptible species of finfish and for amounts of crustaceans and molluscs greater than the limits listed above.

Flowers: cut

Fruits and vegetables

Dried (including herbs)

  • Up to 15 packages per person (but not more than 250 kilograms)

Fresh

  • 1 bag up to 4 kilograms of US No. 1 potatoes per person and the bag must be commercially packaged
  • 15 packages or less up to 250 kilograms of fresh fruits and vegetables per person (excluding potatoes)
  • Must be free from soil, pests, leaves, branches and plant debris
  • Check out the Plant Protection Policy Directives - Horticulture for more information

Frozen or canned (including herbs)

  • Fruits
    • Up to 15 frozen packages or 15 cans per person (but not more than 250 kilograms)
  • Vegetables
    • Up to 20 kilograms of frozen or chilled vegetables per person

Game animal carcasses

  • With a hunter's permit or a licence

Provincial restrictions may apply. For example, on deer, there may be restrictions due to chronic wasting disease.

Infant formula

  • Up to a maximum of 20 kilograms per person (commercially packaged)
  • Milk based or non-milk based, (dry/liquid) formula
  • For personal use only
  • Sealed

Leather goods and skins

  • Fully tanned hides and skins only

Meat and poultry products (for example, jerky, sausages, deli meats and patties, foie gras)

  • Up to 20 kilograms per person
  • Packages must have identifying marks, indicating what the product is
  • Proof of country of origin may be required

Meat and poultry: fresh, frozen and chilled

  • Up to 20 kilograms per person
  • 1 turkey per person
  • Packages must have identifying marks, indicating what the product is
  • Proof of country of origin may be required

Note

Within this limit on meat, the CBSA may have specific requirements.

Plants and plant parts for planting

Sea shells and sand

  • Sea shells and items made from them
  • Small quantities of sand from salt-water beaches
  • Must be free from all animal matter, soil, soil-related matter and plant debris

Spices, tea, coffee, condiments

  • Entry permitted

Wooden souvenirs

Must be free of bark, insects or evidence of insect activity

Products allowed into Canada from countries other than the United States

Baked goods, candies, etc.

  • Up to 20 kilograms per person
  • No goods containing meat

Dairy products

  • Cheese
    • Up to 20 kilograms per person
    • Quantities in excess of $20.00 may be subject to high rates of duty

These items are not allowed:

  • milk
  • milk products (whey, cream, skim milk, butter oil, and so on)
  • in these forms: dried, frozen, reconstituted, or fresh

Fish and seafood

  • All species except pufferfish and Chinese mitten crab (Eriocheir sinensis)

When importing a susceptible species of aquatic animal, an import permit will not be required when importing individual maximums of each of the following commodities of aquatic animals:

  • 10 dead finfish that are not eviscerated
  • 4 crustaceans with head on shell on
  • 3 kilograms of molluscs

Flowers: cut

Fruits and vegetables

Dried

  • Up to 20 kilograms per person

Fresh

When products are permitted, there is a maximum limit of:

  • 15 packages or fewer
  • weight not to exceed 250 kilograms per person
  • may be subject to regulations in the province of destination

Frozen or canned

  • Up to 20 kilograms per person

Herbs, spices, tea, coffee, condiments

  • Entry permitted

Infant formula

  • Up to 20 kilograms per person (commercially packaged)
  • For personal use only
  • Sterile

Leather goods and skins

  • Fully tanned hides and skins only

Meat

  • Maximum of 20 kilograms of cooked, commercially prepared, commercially sterile, and shelf-stable ( in other words safe at room temperature) meat in hermetically sealed, packaging may be imported per person
  • The packages must have identifying marks, indicating the product and the country of origin
  • Hermetically sealed packaging:
    • includes glass jars and cans
    • semi-rigid disposable serving dishes for ready-to-eat meals
    • retort pouches
  • Fresh, dried, and cured meats are not permitted
  • If the meat is of bovine, ovine, or caprine origin (beef, lamb/mutton, or goat) it may only be imported from countries of negligible risk for Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE or mad cow disease).

Sea shells and sand

  • Sea shells and items made from them
  • Small quantities of sand from salt-water beaches
  • Must be free from all animal matter, soil, soil-related matter and plant debris

Wooden souvenirs

  • must be free of bark, insects or evidence of insect activity

Required documents

Some items, if allowed into Canada (from the United States or other countries), may require documents such as:

  • permits issued in Canada in advance
  • certificates from the country of origin

These include:

  • meat and dairy products
  • nuts
  • plants
  • fruits
  • live animals

To request permits contact the Centre of Administration for Permissions. If you do not have the required documents, the items will not be allowed to enter Canada.

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