Customs Regulations

US customs allows each person over the age of 21 to bring 200 cigarettes or 100 cigars (non-Cuban unless from an authorized Cuba trip) duty-free into the country, plus 1L of liquor. US citizens and permanent residents are allowed to import, duty-free, $800 worth of gifts from abroad, while non-US citizens are allowed to bring in $100 worth. US law permits you to bring in, or take out, up to $10,000 (cash, traveler's checks etc); greater amounts must be declared to customs.

Canadian customs in BC allows visitors 19 years and older to bring in 1.14L of liquor or 1.5L of wine or a case of beer (24 cans or bottles), plus 200 cigarettes and 50 cigars and 200g of loose tobacco, duty-free. You can also bring in gifts up to $60 in value without being taxed.

Visas

Requirements vary widely for entry to the US and Canada. Check https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en.html (USA) and www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit (Canada).

Entering the USA

Getting into the United States can be complicated, depending on your country of origin, as the rules keep changing. For up-to-date information about visas and immigration, check the website of the US Department of State (www.travel.state.gov) and the travel section of US Customs & Border Protection (www.cbp.gov).

For the most part, all foreign visitors need a visa to enter the US. Exceptions include most citizens from Canada and Bermuda, certain NAFTA professional workers and those entering under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). Visitors should carry their passport (valid for at least six months) and expect to be photographed and have their index fingers scanned.

Entering Canada

Visitors to Canada from major Western countries need no visa, but citizens of more than 150 nations do. Visa requirements change frequently, so check Citizenship & Immigration Canada (www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/visas.asp) before you leave.

Officially, US citizens don't need a passport or visa to enter Canada by land; some proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate along with state-issued photo identification, will ordinarily suffice. However, since the introduction of tighter border security, officials recommend that US citizens carry a passport to facilitate entry.