All travellers into Canada must declare food, plants and animals, as well as by-products of each, at the border. Even if unintentional, not declaring such goods can result in their confiscation. In extreme situations, travellers may even incur a hefty fine or face persecution.
Travel regulations are law and a safeguard against unnecessary harm to our ecosystems. Animals and plants carry foreign pests and diseases that can run rampant here. Apart from an abundance of health concerns, damage to our livestock and forestry industries can impact the economy.
Changing Regulations on Food, Plant and Animal Declarations
What travellers can and cannot transport into Canada changes frequently. For example, the 2015 outbreak of HPAI (the Avian Influenza) led to a ban on:
- Live birds and hatching eggs;
- Eggs, yolks, egg whites;
- Raw poultry meat and raw pet foods made with poultry products;
- And more.
Since pest and disease crises arise unexpectedly, you should always research Canadian border alerts to avoid unnecessary delays or complications coming into the country. A good source of information is the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Here, you can find a list of commonly accepted goods and the documents required to transport each.
When to Present Documentation for Goods Coming into Canada
Especially for livestock, travellers may require special permits for goods entering Canada. There are various everyday items with similar restrictions that can get seized at the border without licensing. For example, Canadian firearm laws differ from the United States.
Even with the proper documentation, some items are strictly prohibited when crossing the border. Some examples include:
- Fresh fruit;
- Weapons (i.e. pepper spray, brass knuckles, some hunting knives);
- Obscene material;
- Soiled camping gear.