Holiday travel will once again be upon us this weekend, including trips across the border to visit family, to do some shopping or other activities.
Charles Fisher is an Operations Chief with the Canada Border Services Agency in the Thunder Bay region and says years of Covid-19 travel restrictions may have made some people forget some of the realities and requirements.
"We're out of practice, and I think the biggest thing I think to stress really is be prepared for that border crossing experience, and know what you have know what you're allowed to have."
To that end, Fisher wants to remind anyone planning on coming back with leftovers they will sadly have to be left behind due to stringent rules regarding homemade food containing poultry.
Commercially packaged birds and any game shot through hunting is ok, but prepared food, even from restaurants is not allowed.
This is as a result of diseases prevalent in some American poultry.
Planning ahead and checking border wait times online can help you pick and choose which crossing best suits your needs, and it should be noted crossing during non-peak hours such as early morning will help you avoid traffic.
If at all possible avoid crossing on the Monday of the holiday long weekend, as they tend to be the busiest.
Chances are you might be travelling with children, and the CBSA is recommending you bring a few extra items to help with identification, Fisher explains this comes as a result of child trafficking and abduction.
"Make sure you have a letter from the parents or the parent who are not there basically authorizing the person travelling with the child that they have permission to cross the border."
Those requirements have substantially increased the number of children being rescued and reunited with their proper families during those types of incidents.
Being prepared to declare is a key way of keeping your travel flowing without delays.
Any goods purchased in America must be declared, and having receipts from those deals will save you a headache.
A 24 hour trip will let yo bring back $200 worth of goods, that jumps to $800 after 48 hours.
You can also bring back a case of beer, a 1.14L of hard liquor or 1.5L of wine after that 48 hour time frame.
Firearms and fireworks are somewhat of a challenge, you can bring them across the border, say for a hunting trip or for celebration.
Its been legal in Canada since 2018 and some jurisdictions within the United States have begun to legalize cannabis for recreational purposes, however crossing the border with products containing cannabis has become an issue.
"You can declare them and if you do happen to have some and abandon them at the port of entry but you can;'t bring them into Canada with you. So that is something we're seeing across the board quite a lot of."
Health Canada authorization is required to take cannabis between the two countries, however that prescription from your doctor doesn't count as that authorization.