Tips for snowbirds returning to Canada

After wintering down here, Canadian snowbirds are beginning to fly – and drive – north in increasing numbers.

This is peak travel time at many Canadian border crossings and the Canada Border Services Agency offers the following tips to Florida Keys snowbirds to make the return to Canada as quick and smooth as possible:

Remember to declare: Make a list of all goods acquired outside of Canada since leaving the country, and present it to the Border Services officer. This list should note the monetary values of each item, which include any sales tax paid. Retain the receipts for all goods you are importing and be prepared to provide them if asked.

Be aware: Some types of goods such as food products, live animals, firearms, weapons and ammunition have specific reporting requirements. Do your research beforehand and make sure you have any required documentation.

Snowbirds returning to Canada with boats must ensure they are free of aquatic invasive species or else risk detention or seizure of the equipment they are attached to.

Snowbirds should research their personal exemptions following an absence of more than 48 hours, which include goods worth up to $800 Canadaian and specific amounts of tobacco and alcohol products. Finally, have your passport ready and ensure that parcels are opened and unwrapped when crossing the border, as an agent may need to examine them to verify your declaration.