Holiday travel tips with CBSA

With Christmas Day fast approaching, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is expecting higher than usual traffic volumes. To prepare for this, the CBSA is offering some tips to help make border crossings smoother – and keep you out of trouble.

The agency’s Charles Fisher said that for starters, you might want to put off wrapping your gifts if you plan to take them across the border.

“Officers will use their discretion as much as they can, but just because something is wrapped up in pretty paper doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s not going to be opened if it needs to be to figure out what it is,” he said.

“Knowing what you have is very important.”

Fisher said if a person is planning on bringing a turkey or other poultry product with them, make sure it’s still in its packaging – and leave the leftovers behind when returning home.

“You cannot bring things like leftovers or poultry products that are purchased from somewhere like a farmer’s market if it’s not commercially packaged, or roadside stand, things of that nature,” said Fisher.

Agency officials said that although cannabis is legal in Canada, you can’t bring such products across the border.

“They are not legal to take in or out of the country, so make sure you don’t have any cannabis products with you,” said Fisher.

The CBSA is also reminding people to have the necessary travel documents with them when they cross – that can include a passport, a NEXUS card, a status card or an enhanced driver’s license.