Posted on 11/07/2014, 12:45 pm, by mySteinbach

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) encourages Canadians to recognize Remembrance Day and to take a moment of silence to honour Canada’s veterans.

If you are traveling this upcoming weekend or on Remembrance Day, the CBSA reminds you to continue to use the Emerson border crossing. During peak hours, all primary inspection lanes will be open and the port will be operating at maximum capacity.

Here are a few other tips to expedite your entry:

1. Beat the border rush. Cross at a non-peak time.

Regardless of your itinerary, try crossing the border in the morning, especially if you cross on Monday or Tuesday. Most border lineups start building in the afternoon and carry on throughout the evening. You can use Border Wait Times services to check lineups at Coutts, AB; North Portal, SK; and Emerson, MB. You can also subscribe by Twitter (@CBSA_BWT) to see listings on the go. U.S.-bound or Canada-bound information is available.

2. Keep travel documents handy. An officer will scan them.

One of the best ways your family can save time returning to Canada is to make sure each passenger has the correct travel document handy to give to the CBSA officer. A passport is the best bet. If you prefer to travel without a passport, an enhanced driver’s license might be for you (available to Manitoba residents only). Other acceptable forms of ID include: birth certificates with accompanying photo ID such as regular driver’s licenses; permanent resident cards; citizenship cards or certificates of Indian status.

3. Know your purchases, know where your receipts are, and know your exemptions and restrictions.

If you have purchased goods outside of Canada, mailed gifts, or made major repairs or upgrades to your vehicle or boat, you will need to declare the total value of your purchases and provide the receipts. Each traveller is entitled to certain personal exemptions on items like alcohol and tobacco depending on the length of their visit. The Duty and Taxes Estimator tools will help you better plan your return.

Also remember that certain items such as firearms are restricted in Canada. Take the time to know what you are bringing back to Canada; this will pay dividends at the border.

4. Know the contents of your vehicles.

It is also important to declare items in your vehicle and/or boat when returning to Canada. For example, if you have food in coolers or organic items such as soil in a bait container, or firewood, make sure you tell the border services officer. These items are easily forgotten when crossing the border, but could potentially create health and environmental problems in Canada.

5. Not sure? Ask the CBSA officer.

The best thing to do to save time when returning to Canada 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.