Do Not Bring These to Canada: CBSA Travel Guidelines for Lunar New Year Travel

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is reminding all travellers of the import requirements and cross-border regulations ahead of the Lunar New Year on January 25.

Certain food products and delicacies from other countries may not be permitted in Canada. The CBSA strongly recommends that you consult the Automated Import Reference System (AIRS) on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency website before bringing any food, plant, and animal products into Canada.

In 2019, border services officers seized prohibited goods from Asia including:

  • Bird’s nest
  • Pig snouts and tail
  • Rabbit meat
  • Asian giant hornet’s nest
  • Chinese sausage
  • Duck gizzards
  • Chicken legs
  • Deer pizzle
  • Infested wooden statues
  • Raw beef
  • Lamb
  • Bushmeat
  • Live birds
  • Plants with soil
  • Wood cuttings
  • Cherry tree blossoms
  • Bamboo or willow branches and other foliage

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As part of the effort to prevent the introduction of the novel coronavirus into Canada, all international travellers arriving at the Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver international airports will be asked an additional screening question to help identify those who may have visited Wuhan. Travellers who have visited Wuhan will be subject to additional screening measures. Travellers experiencing flu-like symptoms will be referred for further examination by a public health officer. All others will be provided an information handout.



CBSA has some tips to make your border process a smooth and quick experience:

  • Be prepared: Have your travel documents, proper identification, and any receipts from purchases outside of Canada ready to present to the border services officer.
  • Report currency of Can$10,000 or more: If you will be carrying Can$10,000 or more to fill red envelopes (monetary gifts), you must declare your currency to the border services officer. This includes any combination of Canadian or foreign currency and monetary instruments, such as stocks, bonds, bank drafts, and cheques.
  • Know your personal exemption limits: If you exceed your exemption limits, you may be subject to pay duty and taxes.
  • Declare your goods: Everything that you have purchased or acquired outside of Canada, including any gifts, must be reported to the border services officer upon your arrival in Canada. The consequences of failing to accurately declare your goods can include seizures, fines, and criminal prosecution.
  • Leave any pork behind: At the moment, the risk of African swine fever being introduced in Canada is extremely high. For this reason, please refrain from bringing any pork or related meat products into Canada.

See more here.

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