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Customs Requirements For Entry To Canada

customs requirements
If you are moving to Canada it is important to understand the customs requirements for entry in to Canada.  We provide guidelines here but the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) website has a wealth of detailed information

You will need two copies of an inventory of all the goods you intend to bring into Canada as part of your personal effects indicating the value, make, model and serial number (where applicable) of all the goods.

The inventory should list the goods you are bringing with you in the first section and the goods to follow in the second section. Goods that arrive later will only qualify for duty- and tax-free importation under your entitlement if they are on this original inventory.

The inventory will need to be provided at your first point of entry even if you have no goods with you on arrival.  The officer will complete Form BSF186, Personal Effects Accounting Document and give you a copy of the completed form as a receipt. This will be used to claim free importation of your unaccompanied goods when they arrive. Form BSF186 can be completed before your arrival in Canada.

To import goods duty and tax free, those entering Canada with the intention of establishing for the first time a residence of one year or more, must have owned, possessed and used the goods abroad prior to arriving in Canada.  Any goods imported without paying duty must not be given away or sold within 12 months or the exempted duty will become payable.


The following personal and household effects are duty and tax-free provided they are not individually valued at over Can$10,000:

  • clothing and linen
  • furniture
  • furnishings
  • appliances
  • silverware
  • jewellery
  • antiques
  • family heirlooms
  • private collections of coins, stamps and art
  • personal computers
  • books
  • musical instruments
  • hobby tools and other hobby items
  • personal vehicles
  • pleasure boats and the trailers to carry them (trailers are subject to Transport Canada requirements)
  • mobile trailers, no more than 2.6 metres (9 feet) wide, that the owner is capable of moving on his or her own
  • utility trailers
  • motor homes
  • private aircraft
  • tool sheds or garages that do not attach to or form part of a dwelling



Importing certain goods into Canada is restricted or prohibited. Here are some examples:


There are no restrictions on importing or exporting foreign or Canadian currency.