Travellers must declare all food, plants, animals and related products when entering Canada. These items could introduce harmful diseases, pests, viruses and microorganisms that threaten Canadian animals, plants and natural habitats.
Seemingly harmless products such as wood carvings or fruits may carry insects and larvae (often invisible to the naked eye) that are capable of causing significant damage to Canada's forests.
Similarly, feathers, meats and other animal products could spread avian influenza (bird flu) or other animal diseases. In addition to affecting Canadian agriculture, many animal diseases may also harm human health and food safety.
Before Leaving Canada
The list of pests, diseases and environmental threats that pose a risk to Canada is constantly changing. These changes will impact what food, plants and animals and related products are restricted and prohibited.
To be sure you can bring a specific product into Canada, seek advice before travelling. Permits may be required for certain items.
Travellers and importers should use the Automated Import Reference System (AIRS) as a first step to help determine import requirements. AIRS is an extensive database designed for commercial importers but it does include helpful import information for individuals who are familiar with product classification systems.
If travellers have further questions, they should contact the CBSA BIS line.
When Returning to Canada
Declare all food, plants, animals and related products.
Avoid contact with farmed animals (including poultry), zoo animals or wildlife for 14 days after you return if you were exposed to similar animals while you were abroad.
Avoid visiting Canadian farms for 14 days if you visited a farm or had contact with wild birds while abroad. The footwear you wore should be disinfected and your clothing washed thoroughly and dried at a high temperature. Complete the appropriate areas of your Customs Declaration Card regarding farm visits.
It's the law to declare what you are bringing into Canada. It's your responsibility to be informed and make the right decision. And it's your chance to do your part to protect your country.
So be aware and declare!
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