Travel tips for the holiday season in the Pacific Region

News release

December 18, 2018                     Surrey, British Columbia                       Canada Border Services Agency

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) advises travellers to prepare for a busy holiday season at the border in the Pacific Region. The CBSA anticipates higher than normal traffic volumes. Here are a few things you can do to make your cross-border trip a little easier:

  • Plan ahead: Please check border wait times on the CBSA website before leaving for your trip to pick the best route. It will be busy at the border this holiday season.
  • Be prepared: Have your travel documents, proper identification for all persons in the vehicle, and receipts from purchases outside of Canada ready to present to the border services officer. Be ready to declare all goods purchased and/or received while outside the country.
  • Know your exemption limits: If you plan to make purchases or pick up online purchases across the border, be aware of your exemption limits. Be sure to check the CBSA duty and taxes estimator to calculate taxes on goods purchased in the United States and to help you make informed decisions when shopping abroad.
  • Cannabis. Don’t bring it in. Don’t take it out: Despite the fact that cannabis (marijuana) has become legal and regulated in Canada as of October 17, 2018, it remains illegal to take cannabis across Canada’s national borders, whether you are entering or leaving Canada. For more information, consult cannabis (marijuana) legalization.
  • Travelling with children: Border services officers watch for missing children, and may ask detailed questions about any minors travelling with you. For more information on requirements when travelling with children, please consult the travel tips section on the CBSA website or visit travel.gc.ca.
  • Ask the CBSA officer: The single best thing you can do is to be open and honest with the CBSA officer. If you are not sure about what to declare, don’t hesitate to ask. The officers are there to help you.
  • NEXUS: To expedite the border clearance process, apply to become a NEXUS member. For information on the NEXUS enrollment process and hours of operation, please visit the CBSA website.

The Douglas port of entry (POE) is the busiest land border crossing in British Columbia. Travellers are strongly encouraged to use alternate POEs that are easily accessible and may have shorter wait times. Lower Mainland POEs include:

  • Pacific Highway: One kilometre east of Douglas POE – take exit 275 off Interstate Five.
  • Aldergrove: 20 kilometres east (approximately 20 minutes) of Douglas POE – turn east on H Street Road in Blaine, WA.
  • Abbotsford-Huntingdon: 41 kilometres east (approximately 40 minutes) of Douglas POE – turn east on H street in Blaine, south on WA-539, east on WA-546 and north on WA-9.

To avoid delays, travellers should also ensure they check border wait times.

Here are ways to find border wait times:

  • Download the CanBorder app (CBSA’s free border wait time app);
  • Visit the CBSA website for border wait times;
  • As you approach Canada, pay attention to Washington Department of Transportation signage as it lists border crossings and estimated wait times; and
  • The Government of British Columbia also has a page that lists border wait times.
  • Quick facts

    • Last year, approximately 22,621 vehicles entered Canada through the five Lower Mainland border crossings during Christmas and Boxing Day 2017 (December 25 – December 26, 2017).
    • The busiest crossings were the Douglas and Pacific Highway POEs, which processed approximately 7,372 and 7,288 vehicles respectively.

      For more information, please visit the travel tips section on the CBSA website or contact Border Information Service.

    Contacts

    Media Relations, Pacific Region

    Canada Border Services Agency

    Telephone: 604-818-9701

    Email: PAC_CBSA-Communications@cbsa-asfc.gc.ca

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