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Thursday November 23rd, 2017

Posted at 8:38pm

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If you’re planning to cross the border for Black Friday shopping, come prepared, say border officials.

Plan your border crossing:  Consult the Travel Tips section of their website, check border wait times using the CanBorder App and cross at the least busy port of entry in the area. Historically, the United States Thanksgiving weekend results in higher than normal volumes. Plan your entry during non-peak hours such as early morning. The Sunday of this holiday long weekend tends to be busiest; plan accordingly.

Know your purchases and keep travel documents handy:  Know your personal exemptions and restrictions and make sure that each passenger has the correct travel documents. Have your travel documents and receipts in hand when you arrive at the border. It is recommended that you travel with a passport as it is the only universally recognized travel document.

Declare all purchases, acquisitions, and/or gifts received when returning to Canada:  Refer to I Declare on the CBSA website for more information. If you are bringing gifts, it is recommended that they not be wrapped as an officer may need to examine the item.

Know the contents of your vehicle:  Travellers can consult the CBSA’s website for information on firearms and other restricted and prohibited goods. Special reminder for visitors to Canada: Please leave your hand guns at home. But, if you do accidently bring a firearm of any kind, avoid penalty and/or prosecution by declaring all firearms to the CBSA officer in the inspection booth at the first point of contact with the CBSA.

Become a NEXUS member:   NEXUS is designed to expedite the border clearance process for low-risk, pre-approved travellers into Canada and the United States. NEXUS members receive expedited border clearance in the land, air, and marine modes, and a NEXUS membership is valid for five years. Additionally, you may take advantage of NEXUS expedited benefits when going through Canadian Air Transport Security Authority at key airports across Canada.

Not sure? Ask the CBSA officer:   The single best thing you can do to save time when entering Canada is to simply be open and honest with the CBSA officer. If you are not sure about what to declare, don’t hesitate to ask. The officers are there to help you.

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