With the Labour Day long weekend quickly approaching, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is reminding travellers that crossings can be extra busy as families and tourists fit in one last summer trip. As such, CBSA is giving tips to ensure crossing the border anywhere in the country goes as smoothly as possible.
“Across the country, CBSA front line employees are keeping harmful goods out of Canada, while ensuring legitimate travel and trade can continue efficiently and safely,” the CBSA shared in a release.
“In 2022, we facilitated the arrival of over 60 million travellers while keeping more than 1,100 firearms and 24,400 prohibited weapons off our streets and seized over 41,000 kg of illegal drugs. Over the Canada Day long weekend, our officers welcomed more than one million travellers while keeping wait times to a minimum.”
In order to keep travel plans as frustration-free as possible, the CBSA recommends travellers be prepared before they get to their crossing of choice by checking wait times online, along with the port of entry’s hours of operations.
“Travellers crossing the border by land are encouraged to cross during non-peak hours such as early morning,” the CBSA says.
“The Monday of holiday long weekends tends to be the busiest, with longer border wait times – pick another day to cross the border if you can. Looking for a port of entry’s hours of operation? [It’s] always best to check the official CBSA Directory of Offices and Services for this information. If you are using a GPS application (such as Google Maps, Apple Maps, or Waze) to direct you to a port of entry, consider checking different navigation options, such as fastest and shortest routes.”
The agency also notes that all passengers in a vehicle should have their travel documents ready for officers once they reach the border. Additionally, the agency recommends having letters of consent authorizing adults in the vehicle to travel with children if they share custody or are not the parent or legal guardian.
“Border services officers are always watching for missing children, and in the absence of the letter, officers may ask additional questions,” the agency warns.
Travellers should also be prepared to declare good upon entry to Canada, and to know what can and cannot be brought into the country. Have your receipts of purchase ready for border officials and be prepared to pay duty andMore specifically, the CBSA warns that, while cannabis and related products might be legal in Canada, bringing it or any of its forms across the border without a permit or exemption authorized by Health Canada is a criminal offence subject to arrest and persecution. Medical prescriptions from a doctor do not count as authorization from Health Canada.
“Not sure? Ask a border services officer,” the CBSA states.
“The best thing you can do to save time is to be open and honest with the CBSA officer. If you are not sure about what to declare, don’t hesitate to ask. Our officers are here to help!”
For more information about travelling across the Canada-U.S. in advance of the Labour Day long weekend, contact the CBSA at 1-800-461-9999 or visit the CBSA website.