Thu | Nov 15, 2018

Immigration Corner | I don't want any trouble at Customs!

Published:Tuesday | January 16, 2018 | 12:00 AM

Dear Miss Powell,

I'm planning a trip to Jamaica and I'm worried about the types of things I can bring back to Canada. My sister's Christmas cake was recently taken away upon entry. I don't want that kind of trouble at Customs.

- AP

Dear AP,

When taking items into Canada, you will be asked to declare all items that you are planning to take into the country. There is a declaration form that you should complete. This is often provided to you on the plane or on landing.

Non-permitted items are items that are not necessarily harmful but are not permitted because of safety concerns. Non-permitted items are not allowed past the security checkpoint, such as sharp objects, aerosols, some toiletries and liquids. If you are carrying liquids, you should place them in one clear, closed and re-sealable plastic bag, no larger than one litre ,for examination.

Prohibited items include specific weapons that are illegal under the Criminal Code of Canada. You are not allowed to have these items in your possession, regardless of whether they are in your checked luggage. Some items not to bring are caustic soda, mace, pepper spray, switchblade, machete, drugs or marijuana.




Firearms of all types, including pistols, revolvers, rifles and shotguns, are prohibited. You cannot bring toy, replica and imitation weapons that could be mistaken for real weapons. You should not bring slingshots or catapults.

Licensed firearm holders who are planning to travel with a firearm, ammunition or cartridges must declare the items during the check-in process and complete a declaration form.

If you are planning to take any of the above items into Canada, you will need to declare them and have a valid reason for requesting permission to take these items into the country.

Some permitted items are: Snow globes, whips, knitting needles, breast milk, disposable lighters. You can bring cremated remains on the plane ,but it must pass through an X-ray. It must be in an urn or cremation container. You must speak with your airline and ensure that you have all the necessary documents from the crematorium to present. Do not put the remains in your

checked bag.

You can carry up to a maximum of five litres of alcoholic beverages containing between 24 and 70 per cent alcohol by volume, in retail packaging, by air. There are no restrictions on alcoholic beverages containing 24 per cent alcohol or less. When buying rum, pay attention to the size that you are buying. They come in one, litre bottle and 750ml. Ensure that you do not exceed the limit or you could be asked to pay a fee/ duty if you go over the limit.

Patties, cakes and cooked meals are generally permitted. Ensure that they are packaged carefully and labelled. I do not recommend that you add ganja as an ingredient, as these products will most likely be confiscated.

Remember, when in doubt, declare it, or better yet, leave it out. Your suitcases may be scanned and subject to individual search.

Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator and notary public who is a member of the Jamaican and Ontario, Canada Bars, with main office located in Ottawa, Ontario. Her areas of practice are in immigration, real estate, commercial, personal injury,

family and administration of estates. Email: Subject line: Immigration or Tel: 613.695.8777