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Duty Free – what you can bring back to Canada

March 01, 2016 | Oksana Szwaluk

It can be a minefield to know what you are allowed to bring back into Canada without paying duty (extra taxes) on your goods.  And if you knew in 2015, you may be surprised now in 2016 as some of the allowances have changed!  So, here’s a rundown of the basics so you can make the most of your duty free allowance on your next trip out of Canada

(Please note, further regulations do exist, and can be found on http://travel.gc.ca/returning/customs/what-you-can-bring-home-to-canada)

The Canadian duty free allowance is basically divided into two main categories: the value of new purchases that you made abroad, and the amount or quantity of alcoholic beverages and tobacco products that you are allowed to bring.

The value of new purchases you’re allowed varies based on the length of your trip.

If your trip is less than 48 hours, but more than 24 hours long:  You are allowed to bring new purchases up to the value of $200 Canadian without incurring any extra taxes.

If your trip is up to 7 days long:  You can bring back new purchases worth up to $300 Canadian tax free.

If your trip is 7 days or longer:  You can bring back new purchases worth up to $800 Canadian without being charged duty.

The amount or quantity of alcohol and tobacco you can bring back in to Canada is fixed.  Of course, these allowances only apply to you if you are over the age of 18.  When you return to Canada you can carry, duty free, the following:


Two 750ml bottles of wine OR one litre of spirits OR 24 cans of beer (355ml size).


You are allowed to bring in all of the following amounts of tobacco into Canada duty- and taxes-free within your personal exemption:

  • 200 cigarettes
  • 50 cigars
  • 200 grams (7 ounces) of manufactured tobacco, and
  • 200 tobacco sticks.

So that’s your basic duty-free allowance of goods that you can bring back into Canada.  Remember, this doesn’t mean you can’t bring more!  It just means that if you have more, you will have to declare it and pay duty (taxes) on it when you enter Canada.  For more information, refer to http://travel.gc.ca/returning/customs/what-you-can-bring-home-to-canada