shopping trip to usa from canada

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Home » Cross Border Shopping for Canadians

Cross Border Shopping for Canadians

Interested in cross border shopping? Canadians love to hit the boutiques, department stores, and premiere outlets in the US. When returning to Canada with goods purchased in the US, you may qualify for a personal exemption. This allows you to bring goods of a certain value into the country without paying regular duty and taxes. There are exceptions for a minimum duty that may apply to some tobacco products.


Considerations When Cross Border Shopping

Here are some general guidelines on what you can and cannot bring home when returning to Canada. Items allowed into Canada must still be declared on your declaration card .

Absence of less than 24 hours

There are no personal exemptions for same-day cross-border shoppers.

Absence of 24 hours or more

You can claim goods up to CAN$200 without paying any duty and taxes. You must have the goods with you when you enter Canada, and tobacco products or alcoholic beverages are not included in this amount. If you bring in goods worth more than CAN$200, you have to pay full duty and taxes on the total amount. 

Absence of 48 hours or more

You can claim goods worth up CAN$800 without paying any duty and taxes. You must have the goods with you when you enter Canada. Although you can include some tobacco products and alcohol, a partial exemption may apply to cigarettes, tobacco products, and manufactured tobacco. See the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) web pages on Alcoholic beverages and Tobacco products for more details. 

Special duty rate

If you exceed your personal exemption after a trip of 48 hours or longer outside Canada you will be charged a special duty rate of 7% on the next CAN$300-worth of goods. The rate applies only to goods that accompany you and does not apply to tobacco products or alcoholic beverages. You still have to pay any Goods and Services Tax (GST) or Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) that applies. In some provinces, the CBSA also collects the provincial sales tax.

Absence of seven days or more

You can claim up to CAN$800 worth of goods without paying any duty and taxes. You must have the tobacco and alcohol with you when you enter Canada, but the rest of the goods can arrive later by mail, courier, or delivery agency. Although you can include some tobacco products and alcoholic beverages, a partial exemption may apply to cigarettes, tobacco products, and manufactured tobacco. See the CSBA web pages on Alcoholic beverages and Tobacco products for more details.  

Part of the year outside Canada

Even if you spend part of the year in another country, you are still considered a resident of Canada. This means that you are entitled to the same exemptions as other Canadians. When you import foreign goods or vehicles for your personal use into Canada (even temporarily), you have to meet all import requirements and pay all applicable duty and taxes.

Personal Exemptions when Cross Border Shopping

Except for restricted items, you can bring back any amount of goods as long as you are willing to pay the duty and taxes and any provincial or territorial assessments that apply. This rule applies even if you do not qualify for a personal exemption.

You are eligible for a personal exemption if you are

• a Canadian resident returning from a trip outside Canada

• a former resident of Canada returning to live in this country, or

• a temporary resident of Canada returning from a trip outside Canada.

Even young children and infants are entitled to a personal exemption. As a parent or guardian, you can make a declaration on behalf of a child as long as the goods you are declaring are for the child’s use.

You cannot combine your personal exemptions with those of another person or transfer them to someone else.

You cannot combine your 48-hour exemption (CAN$800) with your seven-day exemption (CAN$800) for a total exemption of CAN$1,600.

In general, the goods you include in your personal exemption must be for your personal or household use. These goods include souvenirs, gifts that you received from friends or relatives living outside Canada, or prizes that you won.

Goods you bring in for commercial use or for another person do not qualify for the exemption and are subject to applicable duty and taxes.

You should have all purchases made abroad and your receipts readily available. Be prepared to make a full and accurate declaration, including the amount of goods you are bringing with you, in Canadian dollars.

Making a full declaration and paying any duty and taxes you owe is a simple, straightforward process. You can pay by cash, travelers’ cheque, Visa, American Express, or MasterCard. The CBSA also accepts debit cards at most offices. If an amount is no more than CAN$2,500, you can sometimes pay by personal cheque with suitable identification. A border services officer will give you a receipt showing the calculations and amount you paid. 


While you are outside Canada, you can send gifts free of duty and taxes to friends at home in Canada under certain conditions. To qualify, each gift must not be worth more than CAN$60 and cannot be a tobacco product, an alcoholic beverage, or advertising matter. If the gift is worth more than CAN$60, the recipient will have to pay regular duty and taxes on the excess amount. It is always a good idea to include a gift card to avoid any misunderstanding.

Gifts you send from outside Canada do not count as part of your personal exemption, but gifts you bring back in your personal baggage do and are treated like any other purchases. 

Because jewelry is often very valuable and can be difficult to identify, you should travel with as little as possible.

Take the following steps before you leave Canada. It will make it easier for you to re-enter the country with jewelry:

• Obtain an appraisal report and a signed and dated photograph of each piece of jewelry from a recognized Canadian gemologist, jeweler or your insurance agent.

• Obtain written certification that the items or jewelry in the photographs are the ones described in the appraisal report.

• Take the jewelry appraisal reports, certification statements, and photographs to a CBSA office to be validated.

• If the jewelry was purchased in Canada, keep the sales receipt.

• If you imported the goods previously, make sure you have a copy of your receipt.

• Carry the appraisal reports, certifications, and photographs when you are traveling outside Canada. 

Cultural property

Some antiques or cultural objects considered to have historical significance to their country of origin cannot be brought into Canada without the appropriate export permits. Before you import such items, you should contact Canadian Heritage :

Movable Cultural Property

Prohibited goods

Obscene material, hate propaganda, and child pornography cannot be imported into Canada. 

Prohibited consumer products

This is a partial list of consumer products that are banned in Canada and cannot be imported:

• Baby walkers

• Infant self-feeding devices

• Jequirity beans and items containing them

• Lawn darts with elongated tips

A full list of products that are prohibited under the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act is provided in Canada Consumer Product Safety Act Quick Reference Guide – 2011 . 

Health products (prescription drugs)

In Canada, health products may be regulated differently than they are in other countries. For example, a drug that is available without a prescription in one country may require a prescription in Canada. There are also restrictions on the quantities and types of health products that can be brought into Canada.

For more information on importing health products into Canada, please consult Health Canada’s Guidance Document on the Import Requirements for Health Products under the Food and Drugs Act and its Regulations .

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shopping trip to usa from canada

Jay Mohl, Sales & Marketing, Parksville Boathouse Parksville B.C.

Amanda Burr at BorderBuddy made our shipment seamless and her customer service was outstanding. Without question, we will work with Amanda and BorderBuddy again in the future. Thanks Amanda!

shopping trip to usa from canada

Don Mariutto

“I used BorderBuddy when were in a jam with a small tile shipment to Canada — just called them randomly after a Google search. Blair handled our case, and was in constant communication with updates, and got our shipment released within 24 hours, even though we were starting the process from scratch. Based on this experience, I can’t recommend Blair and the BorderBuddy team highly enough. Even though this was just a small shipment, they handled it like it was the most important on their agenda. We will definitely work with them again in the future – hopefully though, not on an emergency basis! THANK YOU!!”

shopping trip to usa from canada

Nathan Bird

company is always so very helpful in getting things across the border without any headaches. Tara was our agent this time around and she was prompt in answering any questions, super polite over the phone and coordinated everything for us. Highly recommend using their services.

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Cross-Border Shopping: Understanding U.S. Duties and Taxes

By Diane Amato

Miniature shopping cart on a black background filled with US dollars

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Published July 13, 2023 • 5 Min Read

You’ve just spent time shopping in the U.S., ready to return to Canada. Now, you’re faced with the question all cross-border shoppers face: Will I have to pay duty or taxes on my purchases?

When you love to shop across the border, the ins-and-outs of customs, duties and taxes can seem complex. Whether you’ve taken a weekend shopping trip or bought items online from a U.S. website, knowing how much beyond the price tag you’ll need to pay can be challenging. This rundown of taxes, allowances, exemptions, and duties can offer clarity so that you can shop confidently.

U.S. sales tax explained

In the U.S., like Canada, you can expect to pay sales tax on most items you buy. But unlike Canada, tax rates vary by state. And five states (Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon) don’t have state-wide sales tax. In addition to state-level sales taxes, 38 states charge local sales tax (which also varies depending on the state), and combined tax rates can range from 0 per cent to 9.55 per cent. As you plan your shopping trip, it’s a good idea to understand the tax rates in your destination and budget accordingly.

Duty-free allowances

A duty is a fee the government charges on some goods when they enter Canada. Based on the time you spend outside the country, you may qualify for a personal exemption that allows you to bring items of a certain value into Canada without paying duty and taxes.

If you’ve travelled between Canada and the U.S. before, you know you will be asked about the value and type of goods purchased when you cross the border. And if you’ve ever stood in the customs line adding up your purchases and calculating how they stack up against your personal exemption limits, you’re far from alone.

Here’s an overview of what you can bring home to Canada without paying duties.

If you’ve been in the U.S. for less than 24 hours:  Cross-border shoppers have no personal exemptions. You’ll have to pay duty on any purchases you bring back.

If you’ve been gone 24 – 48 hours:  You can claim goods of up to C$200 without paying any duty and taxes, and you must have the goods with you when you enter Canada.

If you’ve been away 48 hours or more : You can claim goods worth up to C$800 without paying any duty and taxes, and you must have the goods with you when you enter Canada.

If you’ve been away seven days or more : You can claim goods worth up to CAN$800 without paying any duty and taxes. The goods you’re claiming can arrive later, but any tobacco or alcoholic beverages you’re bringing back must be with you.

If you exceed the personal exemption : you’ll have to pay duty and/or taxes. The amount varies by the type of goods and where you live. This  duty and tax estimator  can give you an idea of what you can expect to pay.

Unaccompanied goods

Not everything you purchase in the U.S. is practical to bring back in your luggage — you may instead decide to ship an item to arrive home after your return. There are a few rules around unaccompanied goods, including:

You have 40 days from the date of your return to Canada to claim the items you have shipped

The good(s) mailed to Canada must qualify for the 7-day personal exemption

The shipment must not contain alcohol or tobacco products

When you return to Canada, you must tell a border services officer that you have shipped goods that aren’t with you

You’ll need to fill out a small amount of paperwork, which will help determine if there’s any duty or tax you’ll have to pay. The Canada Border Services Agency offers more details.

Buying online from a U.S. store

Buying something from a U.S. website and shipping it to your Canadian address? You may have to pay taxes or duty on that purchase. Here’s the lowdown:

If shipments are under the duty threshold (C$20), they can be imported duty-free, yet most goods valued under C$40 and shipped via courier from the U.S. can be imported free of duty and taxes. Most goods valued under C$150 can be imported duty-free but are subject to federal and provincial taxes.

But wait — there’s another exemption! If the item you’re shipping is valued under $3,300 and was made in the U.S. or Canada, you’ll be exempt from paying duty. A certificate of origin needs to be included with the shipment.

Tips to keep in mind

The world of taxes and duties isn’t easy to navigate, so here are some basic tips to remember:

Declare all your purchases . You don’t want to get caught holding back items — that can be embarrassing and costly as your undeclared items could be seized, and you may have to pay a hefty penalty to get them back. The border services agent can calculate any duty or taxes you must pay, so you don’t need to figure it out yourself.

Keep your receipts . You may need to show them at the border.

There are distinct rules for bringing tobacco and alcohol into Canada from the U.S. Review the  exemption guide  to learn what you can bring back.

The U.S. has some of the best shopping in the world — and being just across the border, it’s a great destination to find deals and items you can’t get in Canada. Just be sure to understand the basics of duties and taxes so you don’t face any surprises upon your return home.

Things our lawyers want you to know Things our lawyers want you to know

This article is intended as general information only and is not to be relied upon as constituting legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. Information presented is believed to be factual and up-to-date but we do not guarantee its accuracy and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the authors as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or any of its affiliates.

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U.S.-Canada Border Crossing: What You Need to Know

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Many, or all, of the products featured on this page are from our advertising partners who compensate us when you take certain actions on our website or click to take an action on their website. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money .

Table of Contents

Who can travel from the U.S. to Canada?

How many border crossings are there between the u.s. and canada, checklist for a u.s.-canada border crossing, special cases for alaska residents, if you want to cross the u.s.-canada border ….

Borders between the U.S. and Canada recently reopened to travelers more than a year after having closed due to COVID-19. Now, many who are eager to explore our neighbor to the north are left wondering what’s involved in a border crossing and what guidelines they’ll need to adhere to for a successful journey.

If you’re anxious to visit Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver or Calgary, here’s what to know to plan your U.S.-Canada border crossing, whether by land, air or sea.

Currently, Canadian borders are open to all U.S. citizens wishing to enter regardless of vaccination status. However, the requirements for entry will vary based on your vaccination status.

Fully vaccinated travelers no longer need to provide a negative COVID test for entry, but must still use the ArriveCAN app to submit mandatory entry information, including proof of vaccination, at least 72 hours prior to arrival and/or before boarding a cruise ship destined for Canada.

Not fully vaccinated? You won’t be able to visit Canada if you’re traveling for discretionary or leisure purposes. If you don't qualify as a fully vaccinated traveler but still need to travel to Canada for reasons other than leisure, you’ll be required to quarantine for 14 days, take a molecular COVID test, and register for a COVID test upon your arrival in the country, which you can do in advance to save time.

» Learn more: What COVID test is required for travel?

There are more than 100 land border crossings between the U.S. and Canada, and wait time to cross can vary widely.

At most crossings, how long you wait depends on the time of day and the day of the week. Some crossings have little to no delay at off-peak travel times, and others, like Buffalo, New York, can log wait times around 40 minutes.

If you want to set appropriate expectations for how long it takes to cross the U.S.-Canada border, check the Government of Canada website , which is updated hourly.

» Learn more: Need a passport for a trip? Give yourself a big time cushion

If you're fully vaccinated and traveling to Canada, whether by car, plane or boat, you still have to follow certain protocols. To meet entry requirements, you must:

Have no symptoms of COVID-19.

Have received all doses of a COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 full days before you enter Canada.

Upload your proof of vaccination in ArriveCAN , an app that provides border crossing info and stores important documentation.

Have your required entry documents.

NOTE: As of April 1, 2022, fully vaccinated travelers no longer need to provide a negative test for entry.

» Learn more: 4 differences between a passport book and card

If you don’t meet all the requirements of a fully vaccinated traveler, you’ll have to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. You may also be selected for a random arrival test at some airports and land crossings. These may take place at the airport or a designated testing site, or you may be provided with a do-it-yourself kit that you can send in once you arrive at your final destination.

If you live in Alaska, you may sometimes have to drive through Canada to get to certain regions of the state. Unvaccinated Alaska residents who must pass through Canada for necessary purposes (i.e. not for leisure or recreation) may do so without pre-entry and arrival COVID tests, but they must remain in their vehicle while driving through Canada. They'll also likely be given a specimen collection kit when they cross a land border into Canada.

If you're leaving Alaska to travel to the lower forty-eight, or if you're returning to Alaska after being in another state, you may also be granted special permission to pass through Canada. However, if you’re not fully vaccinated you will need a negative COVID molecular test result to enter. You'll also need proof that you live in Alaska if you’re driving north, or proof of residence or employment in the lower forty-eight if driving south.

The key to a successful U.S.-Canadian border crossing is preparation. Make sure you know what documentation and information you need well in advance of your arrival at the border or the airport. Ensure everything is in order and uploaded to the ArriveCAN app, and be patient. Above all, travel safely.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are some of the best travel credit cards of 2024 :

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60,000 Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card

1.5%-5% Enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.

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Crossing the border this summer:  The CBSA provides tips this Victoria Day long weekend to help ensure a smoother trip for all travellers

From: Canada Border Services Agency

News release

Crossing the border this summer: The CBSA provides tips this Victoria Day long weekend to help ensure a smoother trip for all travellers

May 18, 2022 Ottawa, Ontario 

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) reminds all travellers crossing the border this upcoming Victoria Day long weekend of what to expect at the border during the busy summer months, whether returning home to Canada or visiting.

This summer, travellers are returning to a border that is managed differently, with evolving COVID-19 requirements, which can mean delays during peak periods. The CBSA is working to mitigate long border wait times, but there are also things that travellers can do to make the process easier for themselves and other travellers.

Travellers can help reduce wait times at the border by coming prepared and by completing their mandatory  ArriveCAN  submission within 72 hours before arriving at the border.

The CBSA invests significant effort annually to plan and prepare for peak periods, such as the summer months. The Agency works with bridge and tunnel operators, airport authorities and travel industry groups to plan and review service requirements, enhancement opportunities, and required resources, so that we can deliver together the best service to all travellers.

The CBSA has also established modern processes to improve the traveller experience and manage volumes, like the International-to-Domestic and the International-to-International programs that significantly decrease connection times, as well as the  Primary Inspection Kiosks , and the advanced CBSA declaration option .

Key tips for all travellers:

  • Ensure you are eligible to enter Canada  Foreign nationals must meet the entry requirements under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and provide appropriate travel and immigration documentation . The final determination on entry is made by a border services officer at the port of entry.
  • Understand the rules around COVID-19. There are still border measures in place for COVID-19. They vary depending on who is travelling--foreign nationals, returning residents or Canadian citizens. Answer a few questions to find out which requirements apply to you and if you can enter Canada.
  • Travellers must ensure they have the most up-to-date version of the ArriveCAN app (consult the Google Play Store or the App Store for iPhone.)
  • Travellers should print or take a screenshot of their ArriveCAN receipt and bring it with them when they travel.
  • Travellers without a smartphone or without mobile data can submit their information by signing in online through a computing device. If travellers are unable to enter their information themselves, they can have a friend or family member enter the information for them.
  • Have all your documents ready . Travellers should have the following ready to present to the border services officer: their ArriveCAN receipt; passport or travel documents , proof of vaccination; and identification for all persons in the vehicle.
  • Plan ahead and check  border wait times . Travellers crossing the border by land are encouraged to plan to cross during non-peak hours such as early morning. The Monday of holiday long weekends tend to be the busiest, with longer border wait times.
  • Entering Canada by water. Unless exempt, all travellers entering Canada by water, must report their arrival to the CBSA without delay. All travellers, including those with a right of entry (Canadian citizens, permanent residents and persons registered under the Indian Act ), must submit their mandatory information in ArriveCAN before, or when, entering Canada at a marine port of entry.
  • Be prepared to declare.  Travellers returning to Canada should be ready to declare all goods purchased and/or received while outside the country. It is recommended that gifts not be wrapped as we may need to examine them more in-depth. Have your receipts readily available from purchases made outside of Canada.
  • Residents can bring back tax and duty free goods valued at CAN$200 after being away for 24 hours, and goods valued at CAN$800 after 48 hours. There are no  personal exemptions  for same-day cross-border shopping trips, so be prepared to pay tax on those purchases and possibly duty.
  • Declare any  foods, plants, or animals   such as raw poultry products and by-products that are not fully cooked, to the border services officer. There are currently restrictions on imports of live birds, bird products and by-products from states affected by Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in the United States. Also declare all wood and wood products (including. firewood and wooden souvenirs). Be sure to check the
  • Automated Import Reference System  to help determine all specific import requirements.
  • Declare all money or currency of CAN$10,000 or more. It is not illegal to bring such amounts into Canada, but it must be declared on arrival.
  • Cannabis. Don’t bring it in. Don’t take it out. Transporting cannabis across the border in any form, including any oils containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or cannabidiol (CBD), without a permit or exemption  authorized by Health Canada  remains a serious criminal offence subject to arrest and prosecution, despite the legalization of cannabis in Canada.
  • Advance Declaration. Air travellers landing in Toronto (YYZ) or Vancouver (YVR) may use ArriveCAN (Web version) to complete their customs and immigrations declaration in advance of their arrival in Canada. This feature will be expanded to other airports in the future.
  • Know the contents of your vehicle. Travellers can consult the CBSA’s website for information on firearms and other restricted and prohibited goods.
  • Use the latest technology. Upon arrival at selected major airports in Canada, travellers can use a primary inspection kiosk to verify their travel documents, confirm their identity and complete an on-screen declaration.
  • Children. When travelling with children , it is recommended that the accompanying adult have a consent letter authorizing them to travel with the child. Border services officers are always watching for  missing children , and in the absence of the letter, officers may ask additional questions, to help them identify the relationship between the child and the accompanying adult.  

For more information, visit the CBSA website or call us at 1-800-461-9999.

Associated links

  • The Canada Border Services Agency reminds boaters of entry and reporting requirements -
  • Before You Travel: For fully vaccinated foreign nationals
  • Before You Return: For Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and persons registered under the Indian Act
  • Border reminder checklist
  • COVID-19: Travel, testing and borders
  • COVID-19: Vaccinated travellers entering Canada
  • Our Missing Children program

For more information or to schedule an interview with a CBSA representative, please contact: Media Relations Canada Border Services Agency [email protected] 1-877-761-5945

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6 Cross-Border Shopping Tips You Should Know If You're Heading From Canada To The US

You can get certain items much cheaper on a specific side! 🇨🇦

The Peace Arch Monument at the Canada-U.S. border. Right: Fallsview mall in Niagara.​

The Peace Arch Monument at the Canada-U.S. border. Right: Fallsview mall in Niagara.

For those who love to nab a bargain, cross-border shopping between Canada and the United States is a no brainer, whether that be at malls, designer outlets or even gas stations.

While there are loads of ways to save money, there are some rules for cross-border shopping that every buyer should be aware of.

For example, failing to declare goods or pay duties could land you in some pretty hot water.

Or, if you're after something in particular, you could save a lot of money by purchasing items on one side, as opposed to the other.

Here are six things every cross-border shopper should know before they consider crossing the Canada-U.S. border (or vice versa) to buy stuff:

Check where specific items are cheaper

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If you're making the effort to cross the border to go shopping, it's likely you're either looking for a particularly unique item or hoping to save some money.

When it comes to the latter, there are some items that are almost always cheaper on one specific side of the border.

According to research from HelloSafe , products like hiking gear, medicine, cheese and even new cars are often cheaper on the Canadian side.

Over in the States, shoppers can apparently grab the best prices on items like jeans, towels, luxury brands and toys, as well as small-scale electronics like video games and wearable tech.

Gas is almost always cheaper, too.

So, before you get going, it's worth double-checking if the goods you're looking for are actually cheaper on the other side!

Find out more

Check when sales are on

It might seem like an obvious tip for serious savers, but timing your shopping trip to coincide with sales periods can be a great way to get loads of bang for your buck.

Canadians in particular can maximize on their savings during sales periods, as reductions in the United States can be much bigger than those on this side of the border.

Significant dates to keep on any shopper's radar include Black Friday, Boxing Day, New Year's Day, Labour Day and July 4, among others.

Additionally, you can get extra savings by looking out for coupons for hotels and dining. Some websites even allow you to search specifically for cross-border shopping-related discounts.

Be mindful of exchange fees

If you're buying something in a currency that's different from the money in your wallet, you're going to incur fees at some point.

You can lower your cross-border shopping costs by cutting down on your foreign exchange fees, by using cash and converting your money before you travel.

According to , using Canadian dollar credit cards is a convenient option, but you could get charged significant fees.

Instead, it recommends considering Canadian dollar credit cards with no foreign transaction fees.

Alternatively, online currency exchange services can often swap your money for less than traditional banks and in-person currency exchange kiosks.

Consider a longer stay

Canadians who are crossing the border to shop could actually save money by staying in the U.S. for longer, as duty free limits increase if you stay there for 24 hours or more.

For example, Canuck shoppers who go to the States for less than 24 hours are not entitled to a personal duty free allowance.

However, those who remain in the U.S. for longer than 24 hours get a duty free allowance of $200 per person. This jumps to $800 per person if your stay lasts longer than 48 hours.

This means it could actually save you money in duty and taxes to stay in a nearby hotel for a night or two, depending on how much you've spent and what you are bringing back to Canada.

Some hotels even offer discounts and deals to those who are entering the States simply to shop.

Shop online & ship to the border

If a product you want to order online has expensive shipping fees to Canada, why not order it to a U.S. border address?

There are loads of companies that enable Canadian shoppers to get items delivered to their U.S. shipping address locations for pickup, allowing you to make the most of cheaper shipping to the States.

All you have to do is order your goods to a company with a border address near you, then drive across to collect at a time that's convenient for you.

It may not always be the cheapest option, but you could save a lot of money if you're purchasing multiple items or buying something heavy or awkward to ship.

Don't forget to declare

Once all of your shopping is done and you're heading home, it can be easy to forget to declare your items.

However, it's really important to remember that you are required by law to declare certain things.

For example, in Canada you must declare all food, plant and animal products you bring with you into the country.

According to the CBSA, travellers often fail to declare items like homemade food, handmade crafts like wooden items, plants, fruit and vegetables and more.

Failure to declare these types of items could result in your goods being taken off you, a fine of up to $1,300 or even prosecution. Yikes!

Happy shopping, Canada!

Before you get going, check out our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

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shopping trip to usa from canada

shopping trip to usa from canada

An official website of the United States government

Here’s how you know

shopping trip to usa from canada

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Secure .gov websites use HTTPS A lock ( Lock A locked padlock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

CBP Seal, U.S. Customs and Border Protection:  U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Links to homepage

This page was published more than five years ago. Information on the page may be out of date.

  • For U.S. Citizens/Lawful Permanent Residents
  • Know Before You Go
  • When You Return

What to Expect When You Return

Complete the cbp declaration form 6059b.

You have several entry options once you return from your trip. All travelers must complete a CBP Declaration Form 6059B itemizing all purchased merchandise and agricultural products.

Here are your options:

  • Complete a paper form that may be obtained at the port of entry or on the flight or cruise.
  • Complete the online form at a Global Entry kiosk. (Only preapproved Global Entry members are allowed to use these kiosks.)
  • Complete the online form at an Automated Passport Control kiosk.

Keeping all your purchase receipts handy in an envelope in your carry-on bag will ease this process. If warranted, the CBP officer will calculate the duties to pay on your newly acquired goods.

Paying Duties

Personal exemptions that do not require the traveler to pay duty will be $200, $800 or $1600 depending on the countries you visited.

The duty-free exemptions ($200, $800, or $1600) apply if:

  • The items are for your personal or household use or intended to be given as gifts.
  • Merchandise is in your possession, that is, it accompanies you when you return to the United States. Items to be sent later may not be included in your duty-free exemption. (Exceptions apply for goods sent from Guam or the U.S. Virgin Islands.)
  • Merchandise is declared to CBP. If you do not declare something that should have been declared, you risk forfeiting the item. If in doubt, declare it.
  • You are returning from an overseas stay of at least 48 hours. This time limit does not apply if you are returning from Mexico or from the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  • You have not used all of your exemption allowance, or used any part of it, in the past 30 days. For example, if you go to England and bring back $150 worth of items, you must wait another 30 days before you are allowed another exemption.
  • The items are not prohibited or restricted as discussed in the section on Prohibited and Restricted Items. Before departing on your trip, check the latest information for the full list of prohibited and restricted items on the U.S. Department of the Treasury Cuba Sanctions website, as well as other related government resources.

Duty free exemption limits depend on the country or countries you visit and the length of stay. Learn which rates apply to the goods your purchase on your trip - call the CBP attaché at the country's U.S. embassy.

Your CBP Interview

To keep our borders secure and our nation safe, CBP must inspect everyone who arrives at a U.S. port of entry. The CBP officers are authorized to ask you questions about your trip and your personal background, including:

  • Your citizenship
  • The nature of your trip
  • Anything you are bringing back to the United States that you did not have when you left.

Officers have legal authority to search you, your baggage or your vehicle. If asked to, place your opened baggage on the exam station. After the exam, you will be asked to repack and close your baggage.

CBP pledges to treat you courteously and professionally. If at any point you are unhappy with your treatment, ask to speak to a CBP supervisor. You may also call the CBP INFO Center at 877-227-5511. If calling within the United States, call 202-325-8000 or go to and click on Questions/Comments.

shopping trip to usa from canada

'Make a day out of it': How to save money on cross-border shopping

Canadian dollar coins are displayed on a map along the border of Canada and the United States of America, in Montreal in a January 9, 2014. (Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press)

For Richard Khairov, a shopping trip to the U.S. is a short drive — two hours or less — from his home in Richmond Hill, Ont., just north of Toronto.

  • Top business headlines, all in one place

It’s worth the time: Khairov says he can buy many products he can’t find in Canada, and in some cases, he is able to save money even with the loonie worth about three-quarters of a U.S. dollar these days.

He’s an organized shopper, planning his trips to Trader Joe’s and Target ahead of time by checking prices and promotions online.

And while outlet fashion stores don’t usually have price information online, Khairov makes sure to pull out his smartphone to check the current exchange rate when he spots a deal.

“Even with the currency exchange rate, it’ll still end up being cheaper,” he said.

Khairov has a Scotiabank Passport Visa with no fees on foreign exchange, which helps him save as well. He also fills up on gas south of the border, where it's usually cheaper.

He recommends planning your shopping trip ahead of time and making a budget in order to get the most out of a cross-border trip.

However, he also says it’s important to have fun — ideally, making the trip with friends or family and treating yourself to things you can’t get in Canada.

“You kind of make a day out of it.”

In 2023, about 9.5 million people took a same-day trip to the U.S., according to Statistics Canada, for leisure, visiting family and friends, work or shopping.

The loonie’s value compared with the U.S. dollar fluctuates over time and typically trades at a discount, though there were times in the past when it’s been near the same in value. Over the past month, the average exchange rate has been 1.37, according to the Bank of Canada, meaning one Canadian dollar is worth about 73 cents U.S.

Often, cross-border shopping is more about finding products or items that aren’t available in Canada, especially since the current exchange rate makes it harder to get a bargain, said financial planner Janet Gray.

Many Canadians cross the border to shop at places like Trader Joe's and Target, stores that Canada doesn't have.

But there are also discounts to be found on some items despite the exchange rate, said Gray, and some of them are unexpected -- winter tires and even veterinary care can be cheaper in the U.S., she said.

“There's so much more stuff (in the U.S.) that you cannot possibly imagine that you would have here,” Gray said.

“It’s a little bit of a treasure hunt.”

If you shop over the border often, it can pay off to have a U.S. credit card or a card with no exchange-rate fees like Khairov has, Gray said — and if you go with the former, you can try timing your credit card payments with the exchange rate to save a little more.

If you’re shopping in the U.S., you need to always factor in the exchange rate, any duties or taxes you may have to pay, and any credit card fees for paying in a foreign currency, she said.

The Canada Border Services Agency says shoppers who have been in the U.S. for fewer than 24 hours don’t have any exemptions on duties or taxes. If you’ve been away for more than 24 hours, there is an exemption for goods worth up to $200, excluding tobacco and alcohol. After 48 hours, the exemption rises to $800.

However, there are no duties on goods imported for personal use, as long as they are labelled as being made in Canada, the U.S. or Mexico, or have no labelling indicating they were made somewhere else, said CBSA spokeswoman Karine Martel in an email, confirming that this could include groceries or clothing. But most goods imported for personal use will still be subject to certain taxes, she added.

Researching deals ahead of time and setting a budget that includes potential costs at the border can help you not spend too much, noted Gray. You can even take out cash to help yourself stick to that budget.

As you plan your trip, look for stores that cater to Canadians, she added, with discounts — for signing up to a newsletter or loyalty program — that often offsets the exchange rate.

“Sometimes you can show up in person and show them your driver's licence or something and then you get a discount that's worth your while.”

Some people get things shipped to a P.O. box or a friend in the U.S. and then pick it up to save on costs or to get items that don’t ship to Canada, added Gray.

Deb Chantson is one of those people. She lives in Metro Vancouver, just a 40-minute drive from the border, and has a P.O. box in the U.S.

She often orders specific items she can’t get in Canada, items that would cost too much to ship to Canada, or items that are significantly cheaper in the U.S. When there are several packages ready to be picked up, “we make it a big day,” she said.

The P.O. box itself is relatively affordable, said Chantson. Per year, it’s just US$15, plus another three or four dollars per package.

Some things are actually cheaper in the U.S., while others aren’t, said Chantson — it’s all about doing comparisons using the exchange rate, the P.O. box cost and potential shipping costs.

One cost that many might not think of is the cost of mobile roaming, said Gray. Phone companies will charge a certain amount per day to use your cellphone in the U.S. But you could pay less by buying an E-SIM for the trip, she said.

You should also plan for any tolls on your route there and back, said Gray.

She also recommends having travel insurance even for short trips, because one accident or illness can rack up a huge bill.

“It’s not as expensive as people think,” she said. Top Stories

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A driverless ride-hailing car in China hit a pedestrian, and people on social media are taking the carmaker's side, because the person was reportedly crossing against the light.

Local Spotlight

shopping trip to usa from canada

Ontario dad highlights Calgary Flames' act of kindness

Seven-year-old goalie Hudson Hardill is an unlikely Calgary Flames fan, being that he lives in Peterborough, Ont., and his dad Chris is a Toronto Maple Leafs fan.

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After more than 50 years, Toronto's iconic 'Leslieville dollhouse' will soon have a new owner.

Little free Blockbuster set up in Winnipeg

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Look at this photograph: Ottawa city councillor meets his rock star idols Nickelback

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Growing number of unpaid medical bills at Metro Vancouver hospitals

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Free festivals and sweet sounds: Things to do in Metro Vancouver this weekend

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One person in hospital after falling from swing ride at Canada's Wonderland

One person has been hospitalized after falling from a swing ride at Canada's Wonderland.

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shopping trip to usa from canada

Violent Calgary assault leaves victim unconscious, suspects sought

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F1 terrasse fiasco: Montreal fire inspectors reinstated

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shopping trip to usa from canada

Community evacuated in northern Alberta as wildfire creeps closer to highway

A northern Alberta community declared a local state of emergency Thursday after wildfires close to it forced the evacuation of almost 1,000 residents.

Pickled poutine, donut grilled cheese and eel omurice waiting to be eaten at K-Days

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shopping trip to usa from canada

Emergency Management Office launches coordination centre amid flooding in N.S. counties

Drivers are being warned to avoid certain roads in Kings County, N.S., due to flooding Thursday evening.

New designated encampment sites for Halifax homeless 'completely nuts,' premier says

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'We want justice for our daughter': Family of Jordyn Reimer disappointed by province not ordering independent review

The family of a Winnipeg woman killed by a drunk driver is frustrated after they tried to have another person charged for giving the truck keys back to the driver.

Flin Flon on evacuation standby

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shopping trip to usa from canada

Big questions, tiny particles: Sask. researcher receives Vanier scholarship for work in physics

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Thousands of country music fans who are making their way to Craven for Country Thunder may have encountered some delays due to an RCMP initiative.

Three people charged in connection to Regina's 3rd homicide of 2024

Three people, including the subject of a Canada-wide-warrant, have been arrested in connection to Regina's third homicide of the year.

shopping trip to usa from canada

Ontario woman found safe five days after being reported missing

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Wilmot farmers say Region of Waterloo denied their freedom of information requests on farmland expropriation

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Erin, Ont. man competes with best friend on the Amazing Race Canada

John Ferguson is back in his hometown of Erin, Ont. after competing in season 10 of the Amazing Race Canada on CTV.

shopping trip to usa from canada

Saskatchewan under province-wide fire ban as uncontained wildfires spread in the north

The province’s firefighting agency is issuing a province-wide fire ban in the wake of a week-long heat wave, as the hot and dry conditions have contributed to a high fire risk.

Crop report shows good progress across most of Saskatchewan

After a cool, wet June, Saskatchewan farmers are watching their fields closely now as pockets that were drowning have started to dry out.

'Valuable information for cyber criminals': Expert weighs in on recent cyberattacks

A cybersecurity expert is weighing in on recent cyber attacks on Federated Co-op Ltd. (FCL), among others.

Northern Ontario

shopping trip to usa from canada

His brother was found dead, his mother was arrested before this baby was found crawling by a highway

A Louisiana sheriff says a one-year-old 'miracle baby' survived two days of sometimes stormy weather before a truck driver spotted him crawling along a roadside the day after his four-year-old brother was found dead and his mother was arrested in Mississippi.

Anger with drug use, homelessness draws crowd to Timmins event

The advocacy group Voices of Timmins staged a rally at Hollinger Park on Wednesday evening to call for action on crime, homelessness and public drug use.

Cage ‘unavailable’ at Vale mine Wednesday, workers not brought to surface until Thursday

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shopping trip to usa from canada

VIDEO | Woman rescued from the Thames River

London Fire Department crews made a water rescue Thursday evening.

Millions announced to close transportation gap for Londoners travelling through SOHO

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How is the LCBO strike affecting small-town convenience outlets?

There are numerous LCBO convenience outlets across the province attached to existing retailers, and they're seeing the impacts of the strike.

shopping trip to usa from canada

$12M road project faces backlash over planned removal of dozens of trees

Collingwood residents opposed to a water main reconstruction project that would remove three dozen trees have rallied and signed an online petition in hopes of stopping it from moving forward.

Barrie receives most rainfall in Ontario in 24 hours from Beryl's remnants

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Head-on collision in Owen Sound under investigation

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shopping trip to usa from canada

Windsor driver sentenced to house arrest for 2019 crash that killed her brother

A Windsor driver has been sentenced to house arrest for a fatal collision that killed her brother in 2019.

Sixth suspect charged related to murder of missing Windsor man

Windsor police have charged a sixth suspect related to the murder investigation of a missing Windsor man.

'They've been doing everything they can': Tecumseh manufacturing facility closing next month

Cottam Diecasting LTD. in Tecumseh is shutting down in August, impacting 58 workers, according to their union.

Vancouver Island

shopping trip to usa from canada

Cowichan Valley wineries off to promising start for grape growing

Wineries in the Cowichan Valley say they’re off to a strong summer start for grape production – and are keen to grow their visitor base during an annual festival through the month of August.

B.C. waters now home to Canada's largest marine protected area

First Nations along British Columbia's coast have announced with the Canadian government the designation of the country's largest marine protected area.

shopping trip to usa from canada

Kamloops shooting linked to ongoing drug conflict, RCMP say

Mounties in Kamloops have released photos of two suspects and a vehicle believed to have been involved in a shooting last week linked to an "ongoing conflict" between drug traffickers.

Staff sick days causing B.C. ER closures during heat wave: health minister

B.C.'s health minister said multiple emergency room closures in the Interior this past weekend were unavoidable due to an above-average number of health-care workers calling in sick.

shopping trip to usa from canada

Southern Alberta, East Kootenay fire risk grows to extreme as hot temperatures continue

As southern Alberta and the East Kootenay of British Columbia continue to see temperatures in the low-to-mid-30s, the risk of wildfires is continuing to grow.

Lethbridge health centre struggles to keep the elevators working

An elevator that has been broken since June 14 is leaving some long-term care residents stranded at St. Michael’s Health Centre.

Sault Ste. Marie

shopping trip to usa from canada

Feds provide money for Sault housing projects

Three housing projects in the Sault Ste. Marie area received funding from the federal government Thursday.

Foundation revealed as buyer of Sault YMCA building

The mystery buyer of the Sault Ste. Marie YMCA has been revealed. The Dr. Lou and Mae Lukenda Foundation was behind the $2 million purchase, confirmed by Tim Lukenda.

Residential school warriors journey across the Manitoulin Swing Bridge

Traffic stopped for a short time on the iconic Manitoulin Island swing bridge Thursday morning for an event honouring residential school warriors.

shopping trip to usa from canada

Newfoundland and Labrador aims to bring standards, oversight to for-profit shelters

An Ontario-based consulting form has developed a set of standards for public and private emergency homeless shelters in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Fisher protest interrupts environment ministers' press conference

About a dozen fishers interrupted a news conference with the country's environment ministers in St. John's on Wednesday to demand the federal government reinstate a 32-year moratorium on commercial cod fishing in the province.

After delay, new ferry Ala'suinu begins carrying passengers between N.S. and N.L.

After delays due to repairs, a new Marine Atlantic ferry sailing between Newfoundland and Nova Scotia is expected to make its inaugural passenger trip this evening.

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Shopping across the border—How much you can bring back to Canada

With the inflation of prices in Canada, many Canadians are going across the border for events, concerts, groceries, and general cross-border shopping trips for better deals.  

But how much are you actually allowed to bring back into Canada? What’s the duty-free limit these days? Are there things that you aren’t allowed to bring back to Canada? Luck for you, we’ve broken down everything you need to know about how much you’re able to bring back to Canada from a shopping trip across the border.    

Back to Canada: What you can bring  

Depending on your home province, what you’re allowed to bring back and how much you can bring back varies. That’s why we’ve put together this helpful infographic so you can shop across the border with ease!  

shopping trip to usa from canada

Declaration, documents and duties

Always declare everything! According to Canada Border Services Agency , m any travellers fail to declare:  

  • Processed or canned foods
  • Homemade food
  • Cooked or cured meats
  • Handmade crafts, including wooden items
  • Soil or plants used for homeopathic or medicinal purposes
  • Bait for recreational fishing

Want to reduce time going through the border? Make sure you have all the required documents on hand; here’s a list from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency .   

Don’t be surprised by duties. Instead, get an early estimate by visiting the Canada Border Services Agency’s duty and taxes estimator in advance.  

Happy cross-border travels, Suki

Sources : Government of Canada – Travellers: what you can bring into Canada and Bringing Consumer Products into Canada  

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2021 and has been updated for freshness and/or accuracy.

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We have 1 partners in the yukon, 48 thoughts on “ shopping across the border—how much you can bring back to canada ”.

If I am in the US for 48 hours can I bring four new tires mount on rims on my car?

Hi Kevin, Thanks for your query. While tires are not specifically in the prohibited list, you may have to pay applicable duty or taxes, depending on your place of residence in Canada ( ). To confirm if you’re allowed to bring tires mounted on rims, please call the Border Information Service at 1800-461-9999 within Canada or 204-983-3500 from outside Canada. Hope this helps you find the information you’re looking for. Happy travels, Shweta

Crossed over for a beach vacay and had a peice of wood from a bundle in the box of our truck from a beach fire. It was a big NO NO! Got pulled aside and questioned about our little peice of firewood. Not like we cared about bringing it back to Canada, it was just forgotten about. We had to walk it back to the states and “get rid of it”

Hi Jode, Thank you so much for sharing your cross-border experience with us. While travellers are allowed to bring in finished wood products or wooden souvenirs back to Canada, they’re required to be free of bark, insects and evidence of insect activity ( ). Chances are, your piece of firewood contained harmful insects or evidence of insects, and therefore was not allowed across the border. I’m glad you were able to get rid of the wood, and I’m sure that this will be helpful information for all our readers! Happy cross-border travels, Shweta

The ban on raw poultry products was only from certain states, not all of the US. The biggest issue was, lots of times poultry in the meat dept., they couldn’t tell you what state it came from, as they would get it from their meat distribution center. However….the ban has been lifted as of about a month or so ago, at least according to the CBSA officers I talked to. I cross about once a month to gather items for my business and was informed that poultry was good to go now.

Hi Scott, Thank you so much for the information; you’re absolutely right about the ban of poultry products from certain states. According to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the ban is only related to poultry products originating from states like Indiana. While the rules at the border may be relaxed, the information related to these prohibited items and avian flu is still up on Government of Canada’s website ( ), so we’ve included it in this article to help Canadian travellers make informed decisions when crossing the border. We’ll keep a close eye on related alerts and will regularly update this page for accuracy. Meanwhile, thanks again for sharing your experience. I’m sure this information will be helpful for travellers who visit the US frequently!. Happy cross-border travels, Shweta

Well for one, the link provided is broken, and there is nothing under the Travel banner that says anything about no poultry or Avian flu. Zika virus….but otherwise, natta

Hi Scott, Sorry about that. Here’s the correct link and we’ve edited the broken link in our last comment too! Thanks, Shweta

Hi, I am going to USA for 5 days for an official trip and carrying my office laptop with me. While returning back to CANADA along with this office laptop I am also bringing an another personal laptop(which is new one bought by my sister in USA) which is worth of CAD 470 dollar. is there any charges for this ? where I can check the information related to this ? do I need to mention this to Border Services agency? could you please help..

Hi Pradeep, As per the duty-free limits for Canadians, since you’ll be returning after 48 hours, you’re permitted to bring in a maximum of $800 (CAD) worth of goods without paying regular duty and taxes. This limit also includes alcohol, cigarettes and tobacco. If you plan to purchase or bring anything else across the border besides the laptop, you’ll only need to pay additional duties or taxes if the total value of goods purchased exceeds $800(CAD). Head to CBSA’s duty and taxes estimator ( ) and select your province along with the product category to get an estimate of the additional duties you may need to pay. It’s important to note that the duty-free limits only apply to new purchases, so they shouldn’t impact the items you already own that you’re carrying into the US. However, the Government of Canada advises that even if items are allowed into Canada, they should still be declared on your declaration card. Hope this answers your question! Happy cross-border travels, Shweta

Hi, I am traveling to US for 5 days and carrying my office laptop with me. while coming back to my country of residence CANADA I also bringing a new laptop with me and its cost is CAD 470 is there a additional fee/charges I need to pay at the Canadian border agency ? could you explain as I have 2 laptops what I need to do here ? do I also need to inform while going to US or coming back about these laptops in the declarations forms ?

Will be in arizona for 2 weeks, bringing back pecans from the Green Valley orchard, is there a limit on how much pecans one can bring home.

Hi Robert, Since you will be returning to Canada after 48 hours, you can bring in $800 (CAD) worth of goods without paying any duties and taxes. This limit also includes alcohol, tobacco and cigarettes. If you’re planning to bring back pecans, they fall under the category of nuts, and may require additional documentation such as valid permits or a certificate from country of origin. Check out this guide by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency for more details . Bon Voyage, Shweta

I was told the I could go to Platsburg for the day and purchase my groceries duty free. Is this true?

Hi Christine, If you’re a Canadian resident travelling to the US and returning in less than 24 hours, you may be charged with applicable duty and taxes. For more accurate information, head to the duty and taxes estimator on Canada Border Services Agency website ( ) and select your place of residence and relevant category and product. Happy cross border shopping, Shweta

Hi there, That’s a great question! The deductible usually depends on the type of policy purchased. If you chose a specific deductible at the time of purchase, that amount would be applied when you make a claim. As mentioned in the example above, we would also apply a $15,000 deductible in the event that an honest mistake was made when submitting a medical health questionnaire. If you’ve purchased your policy recently and are unclear about your deductible or other policy details, feel free to connect with our Customer Service team. You can call us toll-free on 1855-929-8846 or email us at [email protected] . Happy travels, Shweta

Hi Marie-France, You’re right. We should have highlighted it as ‘Best destinations to see cherry blossoms on the west coast’. Since the author was based in Vancouver, we decided to focus on events based in and around the city and also included some international events for people interested in travelling abroad for hanami or blossom viewing. Thank you for the addition of Sakura in High Park ( )! Happy cherry blossom travels, Shweta

I’m crossing the border at Windsor into states. Shopping in Sault Michigan and crossing into Soo Canada .Staying a week then returning to Windsor via Detroit border with the goods I’ve purchased at beginning of trip. Can I do that.

Hi, How many dollars of candies (without taxes..) can i bring back in Canada after less than 24h ?

Hi Amélie, There are no personal exemptions for cross-border shoppers returning after less than 24 hours, so you might be charged with applicable duty and taxes for all goods purchased in the US (including alcohol). To get an idea of how much you might have to pay based on your place of residence, head to the Canada Border Service Agency’s Duty and Taxed Estimator Happy cross border shopping, Shweta

If you purchase clothing at a Thrift Store or Second Hand Store, are these items duty-free or are they also taxable at the border coming back into Canada?

Hi Tanis, Since the Government of Canada has not specified any specific rules regarding used clothing, the same duty-free limits may be applicable. If the used clothing has been purchased from a thrift store, second hand store or flea market, remember to save the receipt to show value. Ultimately, a border services officer will determine what or how much you can bring back, including applicable duty and taxes. Happy cross border travels, Shweta

bonjour j’habite au Quebec et j’aimerais acheter un campeur porté usagé fabriqué au Canada mais qui est en vente présentement chez un concessionnaire dans l’état de New York. est ce que j’aurai une taxe de douane à payer ?

Bonjour Dominique, Selon le gouvernement du Canada, lorsque vous importez des biens ou un véhicule à des fins d’usage personnel au Canada (même temporairement), vous devez répondre à tous les critères d’importation et payer les taxes et les frais de douane appropriés. Pour obtenir plus d’information au sujet de l’achat et l’importation d’un véhicule depuis les États-Unis, je vous invite à consulter Bonne route, Marie

if i pick up a package from across the border and bring it back over, will i have to pay the duties on it everytime i go over and pick another one up?

Hi Kyle, Based on your absence from the country and personal exemption, you might have to pay duty and taxes every time you cross the border. Ultimately, a border services officer will determine if and how much you have to pay on every visit. Hope this answers your query. For more information, feel free to contact Border Information Service at 1-800-461-9999 within Canada. Happy travels, Shweta

i am traveling to usa with my wife for 10 days can i combine the max allowed ex 800+800 = 1600

Hi Pascal, That is a great question! According to Government of Canada, you cannot combine your personal exemptions with those of another person or transfer them to someone else. It also specifies that you cannot combine your 48-hour exemption (CAN$800) with your seven-day exemption (CAN$800) for a total exemption of CAN$1,600. However, there are some exceptions for parents travelling with children or infants. For more information, check the Conditions on your personal exemptions section here . Happy cross border shopping, Shweta

Salut. Je voulais savoir si les achats pour entreprises doivent aussi être sujets à ces règles. Je dois acheter une machine pour mon commerce de détail qui se fabrique et vend seulement aux usa. Est ce que je dois payer des frais de douanes ? Merci.

Bonjour Carlo, Les règles pour les achats commerciaux sont différentes des règles pour les achats à des fins personnels mais en gros, oui ces achats sont sujets au droit de douane. Je vous invite à consulter le site de l’Agence des services frontaliers du Canada à cet effet. Vous y trouverez un guide étape par étape pour tout ce qui concerne l’importation de marchandises commerciales au Canada.

Durant la périodes des fêtes j’aimerais faire un aller retour au USA et j’aimerais avoir une idée des frais que j’aurai a payer en declarant mes achats. Par exemple quelques items d’épicerie et aussi des biens (tissus, ruban, vetement etc) taxes et autre frais ?? pouvez vous m’aider merci je suis du quebec

Bonjour France, En ce qui concerne les taxes et frais de douanes à payer, tout dépend de ce que vous achetez et le prix payé pour chacun des articles. Je vous invite donc à utiliser l’outil Estimateur des droits et des taxes du gouvernement du Canada (lien ci-dessous). Vous n’avez qu’à inscrire votre province de résidence, le type de produit et la valeur approximative de celui-ci, et vous obtiendrez le montant approximatif à payer. Merci et bon magasinage 🙂

Hi there, For same day shoppers, all goods brought in from the US (including alcohol) can be charged with applicable duty and taxes. Head to the duty and taxes estimator to get an idea about the amount of duty and taxes you might have to pay based on your place of residence and the items you’re planning to bring into Canada. Happy cross border shopping, Shweta

I have been to the States since November and I am returning to Ontario in December for 6 weeks. I will come back to the States in February 2018. I made a purchase of $1,800 US in December but will bring only $900 worth of products with me. Do I need to declare the whole purchase.

Hi Lise, Good question! According to the Government of Canada: “You must declare all goods you acquired while outside Canada, including purchases, gifts, prizes and awards that you have with you or are being shipped to you.” So in your case, you should only have to declare your $900 purchase. Check out I Declare: A Guide for residents returning to Canada, for more details ( ). Have a great trip, Sarah

Hi – great site here. Here’s my question: if I bring back something (one thing) worth more than my exemption, do I pay duty on the entire amount is worth? Or only the difference between what it is worth, and my exemption ?

Hi Alfred, Glad you enjoyed our site. The duty-free limits show you the permissible limits based on your return date. If you’re bringing in anything beyond these limits, the duty and taxes estimator will help you get an idea of how much you might need to pay. will Hope this solves your query, Happy cross border shopping! Shweta

Hi Brittany, Great question! According to Government of Canada, even young children and infants are entitled to a personal exemption. As a parent, you can make a declaration on behalf of your children as long as the goods you are declaring are for their use. Hence the limit you mentioned will apply to them as well as long as your purchase is for them. Hope this answers your question. Have fun shopping in US! Shweta

Doit-on dire que nous n’avons rien à déclarer si nous n’excedons pas ce qui est permis?

Bonjour Estelle, Je vous invite à consulter le site Web de l’Agence des services frontaliers du Canada pour trouver la réponse à votre question. pour avoir la réponse exacte à votre question. En gros, toute marchandise importée au Canada doit être déclarée.

Bonjour, si je vais au USA pour une durée de 24-48 heures, puis-je ramener de l’alcool dès lors que je paie les taxes à la frontière? Si oui quelle est la quantité maximale que je peux ramener?

Bonjour Jean-Michel, Pour toute questions relatives aux douanes et à l’import d’alcool au Canada, je vous invite à contacter directement l’Agence de services frontaliers du Canada qui saura vous donner une réponse précise selon votre situation. Merci et bonne fin de journée!

So I purchase some hiking shoes online and plan to pick it up over the border and go for a hike while I’m over the border. Essentially it’ll be used once I return back (less than 24 hours). Do I need to declare this?

Hi there, Yes, according to the CBSA website, “you must declare all goods you acquired while outside Canada, including purchases, gifts, prizes and awards that you have with you or are being shipped to you,” so declaring your shoes would be your best bet. Happy hiking! Linnea

Hi, I live in US and I’m planning to go to Canada to meet my brother who just arrived in Ontario on student visa. Can I gift him my 2 year old/used microwave?? Unfortunately, I do not have any receipt saved for it as it was not my plan. Any help is much appreciated! Thanks!

Hi there, Are you driving up to Canada? The short answer is yes, you can absolutely gift him your used microwave. According to the Government of Canada, “You’ll have to pay duty on any item you bring that hasn’t been used. You do not have to pay duty on: …. appliances, such as a stove or refrigerator” Hopefully this helps! Cheers, Linnea

Hi. My adult daughter wants a bottle of bourbon not available in Ontario. Can I drive across the border, buy one and return in an hour or two, of course declaring it and paying associated fees?

Hi Robin, Thanks for your comment! According to the Government of Canada’s website ( ), you can bring back any amount of goods, as long as you’re willing to pay the duty, taxes and any provincial or territorial assessments that apply. This rule applies even if you don’t qualify for a personal exemption (in this case, bringing alcohol across the border after less than 48 hours). You should have all purchases made abroad and your receipts readily available. Be prepared to make a full and accurate declaration, including the amount of goods you are bringing with you, in Canadian dollars. If you want to find out exactly how much you’d have to pay, I’d recommend calling the CBSA toll-free at 1-800-461-9999. Hope that helps! Linnea

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shopping trip to usa from canada

21 essential packing items for the USA & Canada


Recently updated on December 1st, 2023 at 05:36 pm

Travelling throughout the  USA and Canada  is unlike any experience in the world. From the desire to hike through the best National Parks the USA has to offer to exploring the cosmopolitan streets of bustling downtown Toronto, it can be tricky to determine the exact essentials needed to cover every bucket list experience. Read on to discover the top 21 items you need to include on your packing list for the USA and Canada. 

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1. US and Canadian dollars

When travelling throughout the USA and Canada, carrying the local currency in small denominations is a good idea. Throughout the USA you’ll find US dollars and in Canada it’s Canadian dollars. Tipping is customary (taxi drivers, servers, bartenders, etc.) in both countries so having a few bills on hand will be super beneficial for your travels. 

2. Universal travel adapter

A universal travel adapter is another essential item needed to eliminate any electrical confusion when on your travels. 

3. Copies of travel documents

Carrying extra copies of your passport, travel insurance and visa is a top travellers tip. Accidents happen and sometimes along the way items can be lost. Having a few copies of important travel documents with you will put your mind at ease in case you need a backup plan. 

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4. Travel pillow and blanket

When travelling from destination to destination, having a pillow and blanket means ultimate comfort. Before your travels, be sure to purchase a travel specific pillow and blanket that are lightweight, compactable and of course, cozy. 

RELATED CONTENT: 21 bucket list experiences you can only have in the USA

5. Headphones 

In order to pass the time during long travel hauls, a comfortable pair of headphones are essentials to keep you entertained while watching movies or listening to music. Bonus points if they are noise cancelling.

6. Portable charger

Portable chargers are the latest and greatest invention to keep electronics charged and at your fingertips. If you’re on the hunt for a new power bank, be sure to look for one that is lightweight, small and has a long battery life. 

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7. First aid kit

Safety first. To help plan and prepare in case of any emergency situation, a small first aid kit is always a good idea. 

RELATED CONTENT: What to pack in your travel hygiene kit

8. Toiletries

Having your toiletries packed up and easy to access in a lightweight case will make your travels a breeze. Be sure to include all your necessities and go-tos such as soap, shampoo and conditioner, toothbrush and toothpaste, razors, medication, etc. 

9. Sunscreen 

From chilling on white sand beaches in Hawaii, to breathing in the fresh ocean air during a stroll to Peggy’s Cove, summer throughout parts of the USA and Canada can be very hot and humid and often require extra protection. To help keep you safe from the sun’s harmful UV rays, a bottle of sunscreen should be on your packing list. A wide brimmed hat and sunglasses are also key. 

GET INSPIRED BY:  Best of Hawaii

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10. Variety of clothing 

Weather in North America is extremely varied depending on the season you’ll be travelling. Always check a reliable weather forecast to determine the proper clothing items you will need to pack in your suitcase to experience the destination to the fullest. 

Some insider tips include wearing warm clothing and layers (extra socks, sweaters, long pants, etc.) during the winter months and breezy and fast drying clothing (shorts and t-shirts, etc.) for the summer months. 

RELATED CONTENT: What to pack for Canada in summer vs winter

11. Backpack 

To keep all your essential travel items safe and dry, a waterproof backpack is another needed item on your packing list for the USA and Canada. 

12. Reusable water bottle

In order to stay hydrated along your adventures and not break the bank purchasing single-use water bottles, a collapsible and reusable water bottle is a travelling essential. Be sure to keep an eye out for water filling stations throughout your journey and give yourself a pat on the back knowing you’re helping protect the planet by eliminating your plastic use and consumption. 

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13. Umbrella

Weather conditions throughout the USA and Canada can vary tremendously depending on the region you plan to explore and time of year. Packing a compactable travel umbrella is an excellent way to stay dry. 

14. Rain jacket

Another option is to keep a compactable rain jacket or windbreaker close by. Your dedicated Trafalgar Travel Director, also known as your personal USA trip planner, will be sure to flag if any inclement weather is on the horizon. But just to be safe and to keep you warm and dry, a handy waterproof jacket should be on your packing list.  

15. Comfortable shoes 

A comfortable pair of shoes is an essential when preparing for your great adventure to the USA and Canada. From enjoying an expert lead walking tour of vibrant New York City to exploring the natural wonders of The Rockies during a hike, a sturdy pair of shoes is a must.

GET INSPIRED BY: New York Explorer

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16. Bathing suit

To help beat the heat during your adventures to North America during the summer months, a dip in a lake, ocean, pool, etc. is a staple. Be sure to include a bathing suit on your packing list for the USA and Canada. Flip flops, a travel towel and cover-up are also important items to consider. 

Thanks to today’s technology, we can have access to local maps with the tap of a few buttons on our mobile phones. Depending on the type of traveller you are, you may want to do some research beforehand and pick up some handheld maps to navigate through your new destination of choice. Or, be sure to save your map searches on your phone for when you’re on the go. Your dedicated Trafalgar Travel Director and Coach Driver will also be able to assist with any direction help you may need along the way. 

RELATED CONTENT:   12 crazy-but-true facts about the USA and Canada you won’t believe are real

18. Binoculars

Binoculars are another item to add to your packing list for the USA and Canada. With so many incredible sights to see and animals to be on the lookout for, binoculars are the perfect tool to make sure you don’t miss out on seeing any of the attractions (both near and far) along the journey.   

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To help document your adventures and share your fabulous experiences with your family back home, a camera is an essential item to capture the breathtaking sights throughout North America. 

20. Lightweight suitcase  

In order to carry all the mentioned above essentials, a lightweight suitcase will be your best friend. Not only will it be easier on your hands, shoulders, back and arms, rumour has it you can fit more belongings compared to heavier and bulkier luggage (win win)!

RELATED CONTENT: Folding vs Rolling: Which packing technique comes out on top?

21. Your appetite

And we mean it! The culinary scenes throughout the USA and Canada are incredible. From indulging in freshly made bagels in New York City or savouring the flavours of the Canadian staple, a classic poutine in Montreal, the foods and flavours of North America will not disappoint. 

GET INSPIRED BY:  East Coast USA and Canada

What other essentials would you include on your packing list for the USA and Canada? Share your tips for other readers in the comments below…


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American citizens, including American-Canadian citizens, must carry proper identification and meet the basic requirements to enter Canada . You do not need a Canadian passport, a Canadian visa or an eTA to enter Canada if you are travelling with a valid U.S. passport.

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Costco to pay $2M in class action settlement over flushable wipes: Here's what to know

Those who bought the wipes in new york between july 1, 2011 and may 31, 2017 may be eligible for money..

shopping trip to usa from canada

Customers who bought Costco's Kirkland Signature Moist Flushable Wipes between 2011 and 2017 may be eligible for money in a class action lawsuit settlement. The lawsuit claims Costco falsely advertised their wipes as flushable, leading to damaged pipes, septic systems and other plumbing issues amongst customers.

According to Top Class Actions , a legal news website, Costco admitted no wrongdoing. They will pay out $2 million to resolve the false advertising. The website said, "Consumers argue they would not have purchased the wipes  if they knew they were not truly flushable as advertised."

Those who bought the wipes in New York between July 1, 2011, and May 31, 2017, are eligible to be class members and have until August 9 to submit their claim. Class members are eligible to receive $1.30 per purchased product, with a maximum payment of $55.90 per household - the equivalent of 43 products.

Recall: Costco issues recall for some Tillamook cheese slices that could contain 'plastic pieces'

Am I eligible to file a claim in the Costco class action lawsuit?

According to the plaintiff, the wipes caused clogged plumbing and damaged sewage lines, pumps, and septic systems after being flushed. Although Costco says the wipes work as advertised, you may be eligible for cash in the lawsuit settlement.

Customers are only eligible in the class action lawsuit if they purchased the wipes in New York between 2011 and 2017. Those who purchased the wipes in any other state will have an invalid claim.

Consumers must visit this website to submit a valid claim. You do not need proof of purchase to receive the payment, according to Top Class Actions.

The minimum claim awarded to customers is $7.50 per household, with a maximum claim of $55.90.

Costco faces another class action lawsuit

Top Class Actions reported that Costco is facing another lawsuit related to baby wipes that has yet to be settled.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit say Costco’s Kirkland Signature fragrance-free baby wipes have dangerous amounts of PFAS, yet they have been advertised as being safe for kids. The product is marketed as made with naturally derived ingredients despite allegedly containing PFAS," according to the legal news website.

shopping trip to usa from canada

Cross Border Shopping

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U.S. Grocery Shopping for Canadians

If you’re a Canadian living close to the U.S. border, you can save a lot of money by cross border grocery shopping at U.S. grocery stores . Many times, American supermarkets will have better pricing and selection than their Canadian counterparts on common items such as meat, fish, diary, bread, fruits vegetables, cereal, snacks and everything in between. In addition, U.S. grocery coupons usually offer better deals and discounts than the grocery coupons you will find in Canada.

If you are planning on going grocery shopping in the U.S., it’s important to be aware that there are certain limits and restrictions on bringing food to Canada .   You may also have to pay duties on some groceries. To complicate things further, there are restrictions on the importation of food from certain states, and some Canadian provinces have restrictions on certain foods that are not applicable in other provinces. If you plan to bring food into Canada, make sure you do your homework first to avoid an unpleasant and costly surprise when returning to Canada. Nobody wants to make the effort to go cross border grocery shopping only to find that their groceries are inadmissible to Canada or they have gone over their limit (in which case some or all of your groceries may be confiscated), or that their groceries have high duty rates that make U.S. grocery shopping more expensive than grocery shopping in Canada.

If you’re looking for U.S. grocery coupons, you may want to try looking in the local newspaper of the city you are planning on shopping in, as many American supermarkets distribute coupon flyers this way. Below is a list of popular U.S. grocery shopping destinations, and the local newspapers you may want to check out for U.S. grocery coupons:

  • Grocery Shopping in Buffalo & Niagara Falls, NY – The Buffalo News and Niagara Gazette
  • Grocery Shopping in Bellingham, WA – The Bellingham Herald
  • Grocery Shopping in Detroit, MI – Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News
  • Grocery Shopping in Burlington, VT – Burlington Free Press
  • Grocery Shopping in Grand Forks, ND – Grand Forks Herald
  • Grocery Shopping in Plattsbugh, VT – Press Republican
  • Grocery Shopping in Port Huron, MI – The Tines Herald  

U.S. Grocery Import Limits & Restrictions

For a comprehensive list of food and grocery import limits and restrictions on bringing food into Canada, you can search the Automated Import Reference System (AIRS) available at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency website for food products you want to bring into Canada.

U.S. Grocery Import Duties & Tariffs

For a comprehensive list of import duties when cross border grocery shopping , you can search the customs tariffs database , available at the Canada Border Services Agency website. vs.

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Restrictions on travelling with dogs to the usa as from 1 august 2024.

New U.S. regulatory requirements will affect the import of dogs starting from August 1, 2024. 

U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is implementing new rules regarding the import of dogs to the United States due to the risk of rabies. The new rules are forcing Finnair to restrict the transportation of dogs in the cabin and in the hold to the United States as of 1 August 2024. There will be no changes to travelling with service dogs to the United States.

Unfortunately, we cannot confirm new bookings for dogs travelling to the USA, either in the cabin or in the hold, until further notice. The restriction concerns only dogs, and there are no changes to the transportation of other pets. It is still possible to transport dogs as cargo, read more on Finnair Cargo webpage .

If you have booked a direct Finnair flight to the USA with a dog

We, unfortunately, have to cancel all reservations for dogs that have been confirmed for our flights from Helsinki to the USA starting from 1 August 2024. If you have an existing booking confirming transportation of a dog on a direct Finnair flight to the USA, please contact our customer service . If you booked your ticket through a travel agency or a tour operator, please contact them to make changes to your reservation or to apply for a refund.

We will also contact you personally via email as soon as possible for instructions. Please go to  Manage booking  and check that we have your current contact information.

We are very sorry for the inconvenience and the worry this situation may cause you.

You can see your passenger rights here .

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Kris Jenner Says She'll 'Maybe' Get Married to Corey Gamble 'When I'm 70' — and Already Has 2 Bridesmaids Selected!

Kris, who turns 69 in November, has been dating Corey since 2014

shopping trip to usa from canada

Mireya Acierto/Getty for amfAR

Kris Jenner  might not be rushing to the altar with  Corey Gamble , but she also isn't ruling out marriage entirely!

During the July 11 episode of The Kardashians , Kris met up with her friends Faye Resnick and Kathy Hilton for a shopping trip in Beverly Hills, where she filled them in on her upcoming hysterectomy surgery .

After Kris, 68, explained the situation and grew emotional about losing her ovaries, Kathy admitted that she was not expecting to hear this particular news from her friend. "I thought you were gonna tell me you're getting married!" she told Kris, who has been dating Corey since 2014 .

Kris let out a laugh and clarified, "I mean, not right this very second!"

Kathy then joked, "I thought you were gonna say six in the morning [tomorrow]. I'm like, 'That's a little early for me to be...'"

"Dressed and ready to go as a bridesmaid," Kris finished her sentence. "I mean, you guys can totally be bridesmaids when I get married. So maybe when I'm 70!"

Kris and Corey, 43,  first connected  in August 2014 while they were both in Ibiza to attend mutual friend and fashion designer Riccardo Tisci's 40th birthday party. They began dating shortly after, and have been together ever since.

The two tend to keep their romance private, though they often attend  red carpet events  together, occasionally  rave about each other on social media  and even  put out a holiday card together  in 2022. Corey also appeared on episodes of  Keeping Up with the Kardashians  and now on  The Kardashians.

In early 2021, Kris spoke  about Corey  in an interview with  WSJ. Magazine , telling the outlet that he was an incredible "support system" who was adored by her family. "He's the greatest guy, and he's just an amazing support system for me, and he really gives me a lot of strength and insight. He's a great sounding board. And he loves my kids and my mom, and they love him," she said.

She shared similar sentiments in July 2022, telling PEOPLE while celebrating the  launch of her new personal branding MasterClass  that Corey has  helped her majorly in her career journey .

"I think Corey is super. He's an amazing guy," she said. "He's really supportive and he's really dialed into a lot of the different things. He's very knowledgeable about a lot of the things that I work on, and he really helps me in trying to think through some of the decisions I make. He's such a great person to bounce things off of. I really love his point of view on things."

She also noted that Corey is "a people person" who thrives "helping me navigate such a huge team and all the things that are happening."

"Everybody needs somebody to sort of run something by and help make decisions about the littlest things. It could be a travel, or it could be what you're doing that evening, or it could be what's going on at the office today. But it's really great to have him," she added.

Christopher Polk/Variety via Getty

Corey has also been by Kris' side this season as she prepares for her hysterectomy surgery in next week's episode. To help ease her nerves and take her mind off the procedure, he put a smile on her face by buying her a new fur coat in last week's episode.

"I don't want you to be sad," he told Kris. "Babe, you're gonna cry at least 15 more times so I just want you to have a gift."

Never miss a story — sign up for  PEOPLE's free daily newsletter  to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer​​, from celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

New episodes of The Kardashians  drop Thursdays at 12 a.m. ET on Hulu.

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    U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is implementing new rules regarding the import of dogs to the United States due to the risk of rabies. The new rules are forcing Finnair to restrict the transportation of dogs in the cabin and in the hold to the United States as of 1 August 2024.

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    To fully understand and compare the two, you need to go back. Way back. US Congress established Independence Day as a holiday in 1870 to mark the passage of the Declaration of Independence on July ...