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3 tips for a smooth trip back to Canada

(NC) Whether you’re returning from an international holiday or work-related travel, once you get to the airport or border crossing, you probably just want to get home. But, first, you need to pass through customs and immigration. Here are three tips to help you speed up the process next time.

Prefill your customs declaration
Instead of filling in your customs declaration when you get to the airport, you can complete the form up to 72 hours before arriving at select Canadian airports, which will give you access to express lanes. You’ll need to confirm your declaration when you get to the airport kiosk.

Know your limits
If you’re out of the country for more than 48 hours, you can bring back goods worth up to $800 without paying any duty or taxes.

There are also limits on the quantity of certain products you can bring back, including food. Restrictions vary depending on the item and the country from which it originates. In addition, certain foods or products may not meet Canadian standards or regulations regarding ingredients, labelling or production practices.

What not to bring back to Canada
Some souvenirs and mementos from your travels may be prohibited or require permits because they are fully or partly made of endangered or threatened species. It’s important to check before coming back to Canada. The country you’re bringing these items from may also require a permit to export them.

Certain foods are also prohibited, including pork products. This is to protect Canada’s pigs from African swine fever (ASF). It’s a viral disease that cannot be transmitted to humans and is not a food safety risk, but it’s almost always deadly for any type of pig. Leaving pork products in their country of origin is an important step in avoiding an outbreak of ASF that would have extreme impacts on Canadian producers and our economy.

Remember, if you have any prohibited food, plant or animal items in your luggage and you do not declare them, you can receive a penalty of up to $1,300.

Learn more on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency website at

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