When you return to Canada, you are allowed to bring goods which were purchased or given to you for personal use–not business. So, things you’d get at your typical retail store: clothes, gadgets, jewellery, etc. You’re not allowed to bring back a work vehicle, office equipment, or inventory you plan to then sell in Canada.
You are allowed to bring in a certain dollar amount based on how long you’ve been away. The following amounts include the value of liquor and/or tobacco that you are permitted.
- $ 50 per person, when you spend more than 24 hours outside Canada
- $ 400 per person when you spend more than 48 hours outside Canada
- $ 750 per person for 7 days or more outside Canada
If you keep it under these limits, you don’t have to pay additional tax or duty at the border when you return to Canada. If you bring home more than the above amounts, you must “declare” how the item(s) and value(s). Many purchases may be duty free under NAFTA (North America Free Trade Agreement)–between the USA and Mexico, for example, but HST will be applicable.
Above are the dollar amounts you’re allowed to bring into Canada. Below are the actual quantities you’re allowed to bring in on certain items, specifically alcohol and tobacco:
- 1.5 litres of wine OR 1.16 litres of spirits OR 8.5 litres of beer.
- 200 cigarettes (that’s a carton) AND 50 cigars AND 200 grams of tobacco AND 200 tobacco sticks
A more comprehensive explanation can be read in the “I Declare” available on the Canada Border Services website.
Happy shopping & happy travelling!