How to Cross the Canadian Border Into the USA With Food

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Travel between the United States and Canada is a fairly simple affair. Those traveling by land or water need only have identification and proof of citizenship to cross the border, and air travel simply requires a passport. Entering the U.S. with food from Canada can be a bit more difficult, however. While many types of food products are admissible, it is important to take the time to prepare for customs. Keeping up to date with the acceptable food products can save you a headache when you cross the border.

Things You'll Need

  • Receipts for food purchased
  • Hunting license or permit

Determine whether the food you are transporting can be brought into the United States legally. Poultry, beef, fish and game products are generally allowed with the exception of poultry from Saskatchewan. Fruits and vegetables that were grown in Canada are admissible; however, produce that was not grown in Canada, such as tropical fruits, may not be allowed. Condiments are typically acceptable. All guidelines are subject to change, especially in the case of unexpected outbreaks of foodborne illnesses.

Retain the receipt for all food purchased in Canada. To prove that your food is admissible, you must be able to show where you bought it.

Keep your hunting license or permit on hand if you are transporting game products for personal use.

Keep all food products in an easily accessible place. These items will need to be inspected by customs upon entry into the United States.

Declare any and all food products. Failure to do so can result in a fine of up to $10,000.

Tips & Warnings

  • Rules and regulations regarding food products can change quickly, so if you're traveling between Canada and the U.S. often, stay up to date (see Resources for U.S. and Canadian government sites).
  • Be prepared to surrender items that are deemed unacceptable at customs.

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