New duty-free limits took effect on June 1, but some travellers may not know how the rules function.

With Labour Day approaching, thousands of Manitobans are heading to the U.S. for back-to-school shopping.

The new duty exemptions, announced in this year's federal budget, mean Canadians can now buy up to $200 worth of goods for a 24-hour trip across the border without having to pay duty. The previous limit was $50. The exemption for a 48-hour to seven-day trip has increased to $800, up from the previous amount of $400.

Border officials are offering up a clarification for travellers.

"That exemption is a little bit different than the other ones in that if you go over the $200 Canadian then the whole amount that you are bringing back (is) subject to the applicable taxes,” said Terry Kreitz from Canada Border Services Agency.

People can also be taxed on all of their purchases if they return short of the allotted time frame, such as someone staying only 23 hours in the U.S., said the CBSA.




Photo ID required, including one of the following:

  • Passport
  • enhanced driver's licence
  • a birth certificate with photo ID
  • a permanent resident card
  • a citizenship card or a certificate of Indian status
  • a NEXUS card
  • Free and Secure Trade (FAST) card

For children under 16 - original or copy of their birth certificate

If travelling with another adult, letter of permission from parent required.


Information on border wait times on Twitter

CBSA travel tips