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Packing for Canada? Read this.

Knowing what may go to Canada and what won’t make it past customs is sure to save you a lot of time, money and frustrations and it gives you the opportunity to prepare for the replacement of items that may not cross the border into Canadian territory.

Packing For Canada

When relocating to Canada from another country, you may bring your personal and household goods with you without paying duty. But you will have to pay duty on any item you bring that has not been used.

Antiques, appliances, such as a stove or refrigerator, books, clothes, furniture, bobby tools and other hobby items, jewellery, linens, musical instruments, private collections of coins, stamps or art, silverware and gifts valued at less than CDN $60 are considered duty free.

But you would have to pay duty on items you have leased or rented. The Canada Border Service Agency does not consider that you own leased or rented items.

You would also be expected to pay duty charges on items you have bought on your way to Canada, vehicles you plan to use for business, farm equipment and equipment you plan to use in construction, contracting or manufacturing
If you are unsure about whether or not you have to pay duty on certain items, it is best to keep your original sales receipts and registration documents handy so that that customs and excise officers may assist you in this regard.

Wedding gifts

If you get married within three months of coming to Canada or if you plan to marry no later than three months after you arrive here, you may bring your wedding gifts without paying duty. However, you must have owned them before you arrived in Canada. In these items the “use” requirement for the goods does not apply. These same conditions apply to household goods you bring in as wedding gifts.

Alcohol and tobacco

If you bring alcohol or tobacco, you may have to pay duty on it.


Vehicles brought into Canada for personal use are duty free. Some restrictions may apply. Cars must meet Canadian safety and pollution control standards.

Restricted items

Speak to your New World Immigration consultant about obtaining a full list of items that may be brought into the country and ask about what should be excluded from your container and baggage. This is usually firearms endangered species, animals and plants and animal and plant products.

Jewellery or precious ornaments

Officers may ask you questions about these items during your customs interview. Make sure you describe these items on your list of goods. To avoid delays at customs when you enter Canada:

• On your list of goods, use the wording from your insurance policy or jeweller’s appraisal.
• Have photographs of the items.
• Know how much you paid for the items or have a receipt showing how much you paid. You do not need to pay duty or tax on family heirlooms.


You must declare all gifts to the Canada Border Services Agency. Gifts worth CDN $60 or less each may be brought into Canada duty-free and tax-free, but must be declared. For gifts worth more than CDN $60, you may have to pay duties and taxes on the excess amount. Tobacco and alcohol cannot be imported as gifts.

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