Find out what the penalties and fines are for bringing prohibited or restricted goods into Canada, or failing to declare items that are subject to tax or duty.
Seizure of Goods, Monetary Penalties and Prosecution
If you do not declare goods, or if you falsely declare them, CBSA officers can seize the goods. This means that you may lose the goods permanently or that you may have to pay a penalty to get them back. Depending on the type of goods and the circumstances involved, CBSA may impose a penalty that ranges from 25% to 80% of the value of the seized goods.
If you do not declare tobacco products and alcoholic beverages at the time of importation, they will be seized permanently.
Failure to declare restricted and prohibited goods may result in penalties of up to $400, permanent seizure of goods and in some cases, criminal prosecution.
Seizure of Vehicle
In addition, the Customs Act provides border services officers with the authority to seize all vehicles that were used to import goods unlawfully. When this happens, CBSA imposes a penalty that you must pay before they return the vehicle.
Future Border Crossing Issues
A record of infractions is kept in the CBSA computer system. If you have an infraction record, you may have issues crossing the border in the future and may have to undergo more detailed examinations.
Penalty & Fine Resolution
If you have had your goods seized, and disagree with the action taken, you can appeal. To do this, you should write a letter to CBSA within 90 days of the date of the seizure to tell them you want to appeal. You can find more information about the appeal process on your seizure receipt form.