To Better Assist Individuals Moving to Canada From the United States or Other Countries.

Intercontinental has prepared an overview of general and most common issues that would need to be considered or addressed by individuals relocating to Canada, prior to their actual international relocation.

  • It is most important to note that neither Intercontinental nor any other mover has any direct control over the enforcement of Canada Customs Regulations, Policies or Application. Therefore, we encourage you to directly contact the appropriate agencies or consulate to obtain detailed information, specific to various Canada authorities.
  • We would highly recommend that you do your research and preparation well in advance of your actual move, as it can take time to have everything prepared and in order. We have included various agencies contact information for your use.
  • We at Intercontinental trust this information will be of assistance in making your move to Canada as smooth as possible, and should you require additional information, please contact our office.


*VERY IMPORTANT - Upon arrival into Canada as an immigrant or returning Canadian each person must report to Canada customs any "goods to follow" and submit the B4E declaration form along with inventory list for each shipment at time of arrival at Airport or Border Port. If you have multiple shipments ALL should be declared as "Goods to Follow" For more information visit:


This is any person moving to Canada with the intention of establishing a residence for more than 12 months and has obtained all correct paper work from Canada customs and immigration. An immigrant may import free of duty and taxes household and personal effects that were owned and used by him in his former country of residence.

The key is that the goods have to have been in "ownership, possession & use" for example. if you have owned and had possession of goods but have never used them. This would mean they are considered "new" and would be subject to duty & tax. All three conditions must be met.


  • Passport including the immigration identification validated upon arrival to Canada
  • Your "Goods to Follow List" for all shipments, including values (English / French)-Detailed inventories and submit the B4E to Canada customs upon arrival at airport of entry and receive stamped original by custom officer. B4E forms can be obtained on line from CBSA or from Intercontinental Van Lines upon request.
  • Advice notice obtained from Intercontinental Van Lines or its Agents.
  • Previous airport of US / CANADA BORDER declaration papers "Goods to Follow" (B4E)
  • Liquor import declaration (if applicable) For more information please contact Intercontinental Van Lines

Liquor / Wine / Beer will require an "Import permit" in advance from your destination province Liquor Control Board!


May bring back duty free all household and personal effects including personal vehicles, provided they have been acquired and used six months prior to arrival in Canada. (After 5 years, the 6-month provision is eliminated) There is, however, a valuation limit placed on these goods of CAD $10,000 per item which includes automobiles, Duty & taxes will be levied against any one item that exceeds the limitation. For example; If an item is valued at $15,000.00 duty & tax is charged on the $5000.00 over the limitation.


Canadians, who have lived outside of Canada for less than 1 year and are bringing in new items, can be subject to duties and taxes.

  • Passport
  • Proof of residency and duration outside Canada (Utility bills / Foreign work permit / letter from employer / statement from Canadian Consulate at origin / rent/mortgage receipts / foreign driver’s license / etc.)
  • A complete list of all items being imported (English / French-detailed inventories)
  • Receipts of items purchased outside Canada (proof or ownership of minimum 6 months is required) Any one individual item with a value of less than $10,000 CAD is entitled to be imported duty free. - SEE CAD $10,000 LIMIT.
  • Liquor Import declaration (if applicable)- Import permit is required from the provincial or territorial liquor control authority in advance of your arrival in Canada
  • List of items with a value over $10,000 CAD (including vehicles)
  • Previous airport or US / Canada border declaration papers customs issued documents at time of individual’s arrival & declaration of "Goods to Follow" (B4E)


  • Passport including a valid Visa issued by Canada Employment & Immigration
  • Advice Notice, obtained from Intercontinental Van Lines
  • A complete list of all items being imported for your personal use while you remain in Canada (English / French)-detailed inventories
  • All documentation proving ownership, possession and use
  • All receipts for new items being imported
  • Previous airport or US / Canada border declaration papers (see note below)
  • Liquor import declaration (if applicable)


  1. All items imported must be for your personal use during your stay
  2. All goods must be exported when you leave Canada
  3. The goods may not be disposed of in Canada without Customs Authorization


Any person who is not a resident of Canada but owns a residential property or has leased a residence for at least 3 years for his / her personal use.

  • Proof of purchase / copy of lease agreement is required.
  • Passport
  • A detailed list of all items being imported in English. Import of used household & personal effects is duty free on a ONE time entry basis only and the goods cannot be sold for at least 1 year.
  • Copy of Lease / Title of Canadian Residence a copy of Permanent Residence Lease / Title
  • Inheritance or Gifts in Anticipation of Death Requirements
  • Personal identification
  • A detailed list of all items (English / French)
  • Advice Notice obtained from the moving company – will be issued on shipments arrival!
  • Inheritance a copy of the Death Certificate, a copy of the will or a letter from the Executor of the Estate stating you are a beneficiary!
  • Gifts require a signed statement from the donor giving reason for the gift and a declared Value for customs purposes. (Gifts could be subject to import duties and taxes)


Most vehicles arriving from countries other than the USA are under strict control and more often than not will be refused entry. Contact Intercontinental Van Lines for specifics.

Immigrants may import on a duty-free basis an automobile that they have owned, used and had in their possession prior to coming to Canada. Returning residents who have lived outside Canada for a minimum of 1 year and have owned had in their possession and used a vehicle for at least 6 months may bring them in duty free. However, taxes may apply. Auto’s returning to Canada should not be taxable, but proof required.

More info:

However, in all cases any vehicle less than 15 years old must comply with all Canadian safety and emission standards. Please note that not all autos made in the US or made to US specifications meet Canadian standards. Any vehicle 15 years or older may be imported from countries other than the USA.

More info:


All liquor is subject to duty and taxes. Do not ship wine between October 1 and March 31, to avoid the possibility of freezing. * Liquor permits are required for any quantity in all provinces. Please check with the provincial or territorial liquor control authority in advance of your arrival in Canada or advise your move coordinator for assistance.


A rifle or shotgun for sporting purposes is not restricted. However, pistols, revolvers, or fully automatic firearms are restricted, and a firearm permit is required. Special rules apply for shippers entering Canada on a work permit. Please check this with the local Canadian Consulate. Guns are not recommended for Import to Canada Ammunition is prohibited.


Dogs, birds, livestock and horses must comply with health regulations and have appropriate vaccination documents. Please check and confirm with Canadian Ministries.



Plants or plant material require a permit from the Department of Agriculture, Plant Products Division before arrival. Write to Agriculture Canada for a permit application. If you are arriving from the USA, you will need to contact your local US Department of Agriculture ( ) and obtain a "PHYTO Certificate". Canadian Plan protection office: (416) 665-5055

House plants from USA can be allowed but check first!


Write for information to the Meat Inspection Division of the Department of Agriculture, Ottawa, Authority to import meat or meat products is necessary; otherwise they will be confiscated on arrival.

A copy of the will or estate document is required together with a copy of death certificate.


Wedding presents may be imported duty and tax free, without restrictions of possession and use, if you were married 3 months before arrival, or plan to be married within 3 months after arrival. Documentation & Values are recommended.

*CAD $10,000.00 LIMIT - For Returning Canadians:

Any single item of personal and household effects including a motor vehicle that was acquired after March 31,1977 and is valued at more that $ 10,000.00 on the date of importation is subject to regular duties and taxes on the excess amount.


If a person has been residing outside Canada for at least one year, but less than 5 years, the personal and household effects must have been in ownership, possession and use for at least 6 months. After an absence of 5 years or more, the goods need only to have been in ownership, possession and use before returning to Canada; 6months minimum does not apply.


This information is intended for the general guidance. Intercontinental Van Lines cannot take responsibility for any errors or omissions or for any loss or damage that may occur from its use. As such it is advisable to contact the nearest Canadian customs office for full and current information prior to importation.

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