CBSA offering tips to anyone crossing the border for Canada Day

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The Canada Border Services Agency is offering some reminders to anyone crossing this border over the busy holiday weekend.

With Canada Day on Friday, July 1 and the U.S Independence Day long weekend on Monday, July 4, it's expected to be busy at both the Ambassador Bridge and Windsor-Detroit Tunnel.

The CBSA wants travellers to know they can reduce wait times at the border by coming prepared and by completing their mandatory ArriveCAN submission within 72 hours before arriving at the border.

Julie Michaelis, CBSA Director Windsor Tunnel, says very few travellers are showing up at the tunnel without the ArriveCan app filled out.

"We're pretty reasonable people, we may help you out if we can, but there may be times when we won't be able to and you'll have to go back to the United States to complete it," she says. "Or if you're a Canadian and you come through by right of entry, you run the risk of being put into quarantine."

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Vehicles enter Canada at the Windsor-Detroit Tunnel in Windsor, Ont. Canada. (smontgom65/iStock)

Key tips for all travellers:

- Understand the rules around COVID-19. There are still border measures in place for COVID-19. They vary depending on who is travelling-foreign nationals, returning residents or Canadian citizens. Answer a few questions to find out which requirements apply to you and if you can enter Canada.

- Use ArriveCAN. Whether you are travelling by air, land or marine, all travellers, regardless of vaccination status, are required to submit their information in ArriveCAN (free as a mobile app or on website), up to 72 hours before entering Canada. ArriveCAN collects contact, health and travel information to protect the health and safety of travellers and expedite processing at the border. It is the fastest, easiest and most secure way for travellers to show they meet public health requirements.

- Travellers must ensure they have the most up-to-date version of the ArriveCAN app (consult the Google Play Store or the App Store for iPhone). 

- Travellers should print or take a screenshot of their ArriveCAN receipt and bring it with them when they travel. 

- Have all your documents ready. Travellers should have the following ready to present to the border services officer: their ArriveCAN receipt; passport or travel documents, proof of vaccination; and identification for all persons in the vehicle.

- Travellers returning to Canada must declare all goods purchased and/or received while outside the country. It is recommended that gifts not be wrapped as CBSA officers may need to examine them. Have your receipts readily available from purchases made outside of Canada.

-Residents can bring back tax and duty free goods valued at CAN$200 after being away for 24 hours, and goods valued at CAN$800 after 48 hours. There are no personal exemptions for same-day cross-border shopping trips, so be prepared to pay tax on those purchases and possibly duty. Alcohol and tobacco allowances may also vary depending on your length of absence from Canada.

- Declare any foods, plants, or animals such as raw poultry products and by-products that are not fully cooked, to the border services officer. There are currently restrictions on imports of live birds, bird products and by-products from states affected by Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in the United States. Also declare all wood and wood products (including. firewood and wooden souvenirs). Be sure to check the Automated Import Reference System to help determine all specific import requirements.

- Declare all currency and/or monetary instruments of CAN$10,000 or more. It is not illegal to bring such amounts into Canada, but it must be declared on arrival.

- Cannabis. Don't bring it in. Don't take it out. Transporting cannabis across the border in any form, including any oils containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or cannabidiol (CBD), without a permit or exemption authorized by Health Canada remains a serious criminal offence subject to arrest and prosecution, despite the legalization of cannabis in Canada.