How much can I take across the border?
Canadians and Americans are allowed to bring as much as they like when they cross the border. However, only a portion of what is brought into the U.S. is considered free of taxes and duties. The portion that is tax and duty free is called a customs allowance.
On June 1st, 2012 the Canadian Duty Free allowances were increased. The updated amounts have been reflected in the chart below.
Canadians can bring 1L of alcohol (1L of spirits, wine and beer) and some tobacco into the U.S. regardless of the duration of the stay in the U.S., so long as the alcohol and tobacco is for personal use.
You may have to pay taxes and duties on purchases over and above the customs allowance. This will be calculated by a Customs official after you declare.
Upon entering the U.S., you may be asked to pay, on average, the following amounts for products over your customs allowance:
US $2 – $3 per bottle of liquor, on average
US $1.30 per case of beer, on average
US $10.03 per carton of cigarettes, on average
Products other than alcohol and tobacco may also require a duty payment.
If you are Canadian, when you return to Canada you may be asked to pay the regular taxes and duties on the value of items over your customs allowance. Be aware that many items qualify for reduced or zero duty.