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When returning to Canada, residents are generally given a personal exemption on goods they bring back with them from another country. But when it comes to tobacco products such as cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos, tobacco sticks and loose tobacco, this general exemption does not apply.
However, Canadian residents and temporary residents of Canada returning from a trip outside Canada, as well as former Canadian residents returning to live in Canada, are allowed to bring a limited amount of these tobacco products into the country without having to pay duty or taxes under certain circumstances. When considering your return to Canada, remember that this duty-free allowance applies only if the tobacco accompanies you, and you have been outside Canada for more than 48 hours.
Duty-Free Allowance When Returning With Tobacco
A special duty will apply to cigarettes, tobacco sticks or manufactured tobacco unless the products are marked "DUTY PAID CANADA DROIT ACQUITTÉ." Tobacco products sold at duty-free shops are marked this way.
When returning to Canada with tobacco, these products are considered in units. Each bulleted item is considered one unit, and residents can return with all of the following units:
- 200 cigarettes
- 50 cigars or cigarillos
- 200 grams (7 ounces) of manufactured tobacco
- 200 tobacco sticks
Bringing More or Other Tobacco Products Into Canada
You may bring in more than the personal allowances of tobacco listed above as long as you pay full duties, taxes, and provincial or territorial fees on the extra. Canadian-made products marked "DUTY PAID CANADA DROIT ACQUITTÉ" are taken into account when customs officials calculate what you must pay.
You can also bring unmarked tobacco products into Canada, and they will be assessed a special duty rate and taxes. Your personal duty-free allowance does not count for these unmarked tobacco products, and the limit for this tobacco is five total units from the bulleted list above.
Tips for Clearing Customs With Tobacco
- To speed things up and simplify your return, have your tobacco products available for inspection when you arrive at the border.
- Be sure to declare all tobacco on a CBSA Declaration Card.
- Only residents 18 years or older can bring any tobacco back to Canada.
- Contact the Canada Borders Services Agency with any additional questions.