Prohibited and Restricted Goods

When you are shopping in the United States, it is important to remember that certain goods are prohibited or restricted. This means that you are not allowed to bring these goods back in to Canada, or may only bring them in under compliance with strict rules and regulations.

Before planning your cross border shopping trip, we suggest you review this list to ensure you do not encounter any issues when leaving or returning to Canada.

Prohibited Goods

You are not allowed to import prohibited goods such as obscene materials, hate propaganda and child pornography into Canada.

Firearms

The following requirements apply to the importation of firearms and weapons:

  • you must be at least 18 years of age;
  • you can import non-restricted and restricted firearms provided all documentation and other requirements are met; and
  • generally, you may not import prohibited firearms or any type of prohibited weapons or devices, including silencers, replica firearms, switchblades, pepper spray and other weapons.

You are required to declare all weapons and firearms at the CBSA port of entry when you return to Canada. If not, you could face prosecution and the goods may be seized.

Before you attempt to import a firearm or weapon or to obtain an application for an Authorization to Transport Restricted Firearms and Prohibited Firearms (Form CAFC 679), we suggest you call BIS at one of the telephone numbers listed later in this section or contact the Canada Firearms Centre for more information:

Canada Firearms Centre
Telephone: 1-800-731-4000 (toll-free in Canada and the United States)
 

Explosives, fireworks and ammunition

Written authorization and permits are required to bring explosives, fireworks and certain types of ammunition into Canada. For more information, contact Natural Resources Canada:

Explosives Regulatory Division
Natural Resources Canada
1431 Merivale Road
Ottawa ON K1A 0G1

Telephone: 613-948-5200

Currency and monetary instruments

If you are importing or exporting monetary instruments equal to or greater than CAN$10,000 (or the equivalent in a foreign currency) to or from Canada, whether in cash or other instruments, you must report this to the CBSA when you arrive or before you leave. For more information, we suggest you read the publication called Crossing the Border with $10,000 or More?, available from the Canada Border Services Agency under “Publications and forms.”

Goods subject to import controls

The Canadian government places import controls on items such as clothing, handbags and textiles. These controls are outlined in the Export and Import Permits Act. Depending on the value, quantity or type of goods you intend to import, you may need an import permit even if you qualify for a personal exemption.

For more information, call Border Information Services (BIS) at:

Toll-free in Canada: 1-800-461-9999
Outside Canada: 204-983-3500 or 506-636-5064 (long-distance charges apply)

Or contact Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada:

Export and Import Controls Bureau
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
Tower C, 4th Floor
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa ON K1A 0G2

Web site: http://www.international.gc.ca/

Used or second-hand mattresses

You are not allowed import used or second-hand mattresses into Canada unless you have a certificate verifying the mattresses have been cleaned and fumigated in the country of export. A letter or other document that demonstrates this requirement has been met is acceptable if it is signed by a person qualified in cleaning and fumigating.