Everything you didn't know you couldn't bring back from Asia: CBSA

Jan 24 2020, 9:46 am

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is reminding travellers about import requirements and cross-border regulations before the Lunar New Year.

The January 25 celebration means lots of travel, and it’s high time to remember that certain food products and delicacies from other countries are not allowed in Canada.

Last year, border services officers seized prohibited goods from Asia including:

  • Bird’s nest
  • Pig snouts and tail
  • Rabbit meat
  • Asian giant hornet’s nest
  • Chinese sausage
  • Duck gizzards
  • Chicken legs
  • Deer pizzle
  • Infested wooden statues
  • Raw beef
  • Lamb
  • Bushmeat
  • Live birds
  • Plants with soil
  • Wood cuttings
  • Cherry tree blossoms
  • Bamboo or willow branches and other foliage

CNW Group / Canada Border Services Agency

As such, it’s a good idea to check out the Automated Import Reference System (AIRS) on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency website before attempting to bring food, plant, and animal products into the country, the CBSA says.

Further, stemming from “an abundance of caution” and the goal to prevent the introduction of the novel coronavirus into Canada, in the coming days, international travellers arriving at the TorontoMontreal, and Vancouver international airports will be asked if they have been to Wuhan, China, in the last 14 days.

CNW Group / Canada Border Services Agency

Those who have will be subject to additional screening measures.

And, travellers experiencing flu-like symptoms will be sent for further examination by a public health officer. Others will be provided a handout of information.

CNW Group / Canada Border Services Agency

The CBSA’s recommendations for a smooth, quick border process include:

  • Be prepared: Have your travel documents, proper identification, and any receipts from purchases outside of Canada ready to present to the border services officer.
  • Report currency of CAN $10,000 or more: If you will be carrying CAN $10,000 or more to fill red envelopes (monetary gifts), you must declare your currency to the border services officer. This includes any combination of Canadian or foreign currency and monetary instruments, such as stocks, bonds, bank drafts, and cheques.
  • Know your personal exemption limits: If you exceed your exemption limits, you may be subject to pay duty and taxes.
  • Declare your goods: Everything that you have purchased or acquired outside of Canada, including any gifts, must be reported to the border services officer upon your arrival in Canada. The consequences of failing to accurately declare your goods can include seizures, fines, and criminal prosecution.
  • Leave any pork behind: At the moment, the risk of African swine fever being introduced in Canada is extremely high. For this reason, please refrain from bringing any pork or related meat products into Canada.

When in doubt, the recommendations say, be honest with border service officers and ask about what you have to declare.