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International visitors can expect at least a probing question or two at the border or airport. Normal baggage and personal possessions should be no problem — but plants, animals, and weapons are among the items that may be prohibited or require additional documents before they’re allowed in.

For specific information about Canadian rules, check with the Canada Border Services Agency (tel. 506/636-5064 from outside the country or 800/461-9999 within Canada. Search for “bsf5082” to get a full list of visitor information.

Tobacco and alcoholic beverages face strict import restrictions: Individuals 18 years or older are allowed to bring in 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars, or 200 grams of tobacco; and only one of the following amounts of alcohol: 1.14 liters of liquor, 1.5 liters of wine, or 24 cans or bottles of beer. Additional amounts face hefty taxes. Possession of a car radar detector is prohibited, whether or not it is connected. Police officers can confiscate it and fines may run as high as C$1,000. A car driven into Canada can stay for the duration allowed the visitor, which is up to 6 months unless the visitor has arranged permission for a longer stay. Visitors can temporarily bring recreational vehicles, such as snowmobiles, boats, and trailers, as well as outboard motors, for personal use. If you do not declare goods or falsely declare them, they can be seized along with the vehicle in which you brought them.

For information on what you’re allowed to bring home, contact one of the following agencies:

U.S. Citizens: U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP)

1300 Pennsylvania Ave., NW,
Washington, DC 20229
Tel. 877/287-8667

U.K. Citizens: HM Revenue & Customs

Crownhill Court, Tailyour Road
Plymouth, PL6 5BZ
Tel. 0845/010-9000 or 020/8929-0152
From outside the U.K. -

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