Duty and Taxes

Duty, Tax and Imports to Canada from the United States

The Canada Border Services Agency collects duty and taxes on imported goods, on behalf of the Government of Canada. Duty is a tariff payable on a good imported to Canada. Rates of Duty are established by the Department of Finance Canada and can vary significantly from one trade agreement to another. No duty is payable on goods imported for personal use, if it is marked as “made in Canada, the USA, or Mexico”, or if there is no marking or labeling indicating that it was made somewhere other than Canada, the USA, or Mexico. Most imported goods are also subject to the Federal Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Provincial Sales Tax (PST) or, in certain provinces and territories, the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST).

Duty Free Limits for Canada

Less than 24 Hours – $0 CAD
There is no duty free allowance for absences of less than 24 hours.

24 Hour Exemption – $200 CAD
If you are absent from Canada for more than 24 hours, you may claim up to $200 CAD worth of goods duty free as your personal exemption and all goods must be with you when you arrive. If the total value of goods you bring back to Canada exceeds $200 CAD in total, you cannot claim this exemption and you will have to pay duties and taxes on the value of all goods you bring in to Canada, not just the amount that exceeds your allowance. You can NOT include tobacco or alcoholic under this exemption.

48 Hour Exemption – $800 CAD
If you are absent from Canada for more than 48 hours, you may claim up to $800 CAD worth of goods duty free, and must have the goods with you when you arrive at the border. If the total value of goods you bring back to Canada exceeds $800 CAD in total, you can still claim this exemption and you will only have to pay duties and taxes on the value of goods that exceeds $800 CAD. You may include some tobacco and alcohol products under this exemption.

7 Day Exemption – $800 CAD
If you are absent from Canada for more than 7 days, you may claim up to $800 CAD worth of goods duty free. With the exception of tobacco and alcohol products, you do not need to have the goods with you when you arrive at the border. If the total value of goods you bring back to Canada exceeds $800 CAD in total, you can still claim this exemption and you will only have to pay duties and taxes on the value of goods that exceeds $800 CAD. You may include some tobacco and alcohol products under this exemption. To calculate the number of days you have been absent, do not include the date you left Canada but include the date you returned. Dates matter, not times. For example, you are considered to have been absent for seven days if you left Friday the 7th and returned Friday the 14th.

Alcoholic Beverage Limits

Product Metric Imperial Estimates
Wine Up to 1.5 litres Up to 53 fluid ounces Two 750 ml bottles of wine
Spirits Up to 1.14 litres Up to 40 fluid ounces One standard bottle of liquor
Beer or Ale Up to 8.5 litres Up to 287 fluid ounces Approximately 24 cans or bottles

*You are allowed to import only one of the amounts listed in the table above as part of your personal exemption.

Tobacco Product Limits

Cigarettes 200 cigarettes
Cigars 50 cigars
Tobacco 200 grams of manufactured tobacco
Tobacco sticks 200 tobacco sticks

*If you bring in more than your personal exemption, you will have to pay regular assessments on the excess amount. These regular assessments can include duty and taxes, as well as provincial or territorial fees. When they calculate the amounts owing, border services officers will give an allowance for products that have an excise stamp “DUTY PAID CANADA DROIT ACQUITTÉ”.