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Canada increases duty-free limits for cross-border travellers

Photo of canada flag frontThe Canadian government has announced that it will increase the value of goods that can be imported duty- and tax-free by Canadian residents returning from abroad after short trips in the 2012 Federal Budget, announced this week.

The limits will be increased from C$50 ($50) to C$200 ($200) for travellers who spend more than 24 but less than 48 hours abroad and to C$800 ($800) for travellers spending more than 48 hours out of the country. The previous limits were C$400 ($400) for those staying abroad between 48 hours and seven days and C$750 ($750) for travellers spending more than seven days out of the country.

Canada minister of finance Jim Flaherty said Canadians take about 30m overnight trips outside of Canada every year, often returning with goods purchased abroad, and the modernisation of the rules applied to these purchases had been “long overdue”.

The changes will be effective from June 1 and harmonise Canadian duty-free limits for cross-border travellers with US levels. “This measure will facilitate cross-border travel by streamlining the processing of returning Canadian travellers who have made purchases while outside Canada,” he added in a statement.

The Canadian government estimates that the measure will reduce federal revenues by C$13m ($13m) in 2012–13 and by C$17m ($17m) in 2013–14.

New Travellers’ Exemption Limits

Length of Absence

Current Limits

Limits from June 1 2012

More than 24 hours



More than 48 hours



More than 7 days



One comment

  1. Seems to me I have been waiting 15 years or so for the over 7 day limit of 750 to increase Now at 800 June 1 Seems to me I will be bringing back about 12 the stuff I could bring back 15 years ago It suck as far as Im concerned