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Getting to Know Canadian Customs

It’s a known fact that if you are relocating to another country, you are going to need to pass through customs. The same goes for those moving to the great land of Canada. With its lush scenery and plenty of outdoor activities, it is no wonder that so many choose to relocate to Canada. Not to mention Canada is a great place to raise a family due to its great quality of life. But before you hop in a plane, car, bus or train, you must first prepare your shipment for Canadian customs. No need to enter panic mode; this article will help you to get to know the Canadian customs process so you are ready. When you are prepared you will clear customs with no problem.

Preparing Your Shipment

It is very important that you pack your household goods according to Canadian customs. Every country has a list of items that are banned, prohibited, and restricted, including Canada. If you are shipping goods into Canada then they must adhere to Canadian rules and regulations. Packing items that are restricted, banned or prohibited may result in fines, penalties, or delay in shipment. In order to have a smooth relocation process, remember to pack your goods according to customs.

To give you a better idea of what you should avoid packing, listed below is a short list of restricted and prohibited items for entering Canada.

  • Cultural property
  • Used or second hand mattresses
  • Hate propaganda
  • Health products (prescription drugs)
  • Child pornography
  • Obscene materials
  • Firewood
  • Fresh fruit
  • Radar detectors
  • Most weapons including tasers, brass knuckles, and pepper spray


  • Must declare all firearms and weapons at the CBSA port of entry upon arrival in Canada
  • Explosives, fireworks, and ammunition may only be imported with written authorization; certain types of ammunition require a permit
  • Items for commercial use only
  • Regulations for food and meat products are constantly changing; check with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency before shipping. Many meats will be confiscated upon arrival.
  • Automobiles are regulated under various rules, check before shipping
  • Certain types of live bait require a permit

You can always enlist the help of your shipping company to help point you in the right direction if you are having trouble finding information on Canadian customs. This can be a frustrating process, but just think of it as a safety precaution meant to protect the citizens and residents of Canada. Once you have properly prepared your shipment you are sure to have a smooth customs process.

Declaring Your Goods

Along with packing your shipment in line with Canadian customs, you will also be required to fill out certain documents and declare the goods you are bringing with you. Many countries, including Canada allow a certain amount of household goods to be imported duty and tax free; although, your goods will be required to meet certain requirements.

Upon arriving in Canada you will be required to declare all of your household goods. If you are bringing your vehicle to Canada, keep in mind that it must comply with all Canadian vehicle standards. Motor vehicles from the United States do not have the same regulations as vehicles in Canada. So make sure your automobile is up to par if you plan on bringing it into Canada.

After preparing your shipment for customs and declaring your household goods, you will be well on your way to your new life. The process to clear Canadian customs will take some time and patience, but it will be well worth it once you have settled into your new home.