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Old 03-16-2016, 09:33 PM   #1
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Bringing food from US into Canada and from Canada into US

Reference links:

This post only relates to bringing food for personal use such as in an RV or vehicle, and for temporary importation and consumption while traveling. It does not include live plants or animals, including pets (which, by the way, are not food items....).

From US into Canada:

What Can I Bring Into Canada in Terms Of Food, Plant, Animal and Related Products? - Food - Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Special restrictions on live birds and bird/poultry products and by-products:

Restriction on imports of live birds, bird products and by-products from US states affected by Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza - Animals - Canadian Food Inspection Agency


From Canada into US:

(You may need some receipts for food originally purchased in US or purchased in Canada if questioned.)

https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/det...r-personal-use

Bringing Food into the U.S. | U.S. Customs and Border Protection
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Old 03-16-2016, 09:41 PM   #2
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The only problem bringing anything into the US from Canada that I have experienced was a couple of years ago we bought a box of tomatoes from Costco in BC. Declared them as we crossed in to WA and had to surrender them as they are prohibited (when whole). If we'd have chopped them up ready for salads or sandwiches we could have kept them. They also won't let in citrus fruit when travelling from Canada.
Travelling from the US back home we've never been stopped for any food items. Even brought back a couple of fresh turkey from Costco a couple of years ago - they were much cheaper than we could buy in AB and it was just on the run up to the US Thanksgiving. Alway bring lots of Tillamock cheese when we come home.
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Old 03-16-2016, 09:42 PM   #3
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It's just not worth the hassle, Found that over the years going into the US they chop and change the rules like most people change underwear, recently Canada has started to restrict chicken and eggs, never tried bringing in live stuff, common sense says don't.
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Old 03-17-2016, 07:24 AM   #4
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An answer to any one question can get you diverted over into the longer deep inspection queue.


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Old 03-17-2016, 07:41 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DDC View Post
It's just not worth the hassle, Found that over the years going into the US they chop and change the rules like most people change underwear, recently Canada has started to restrict chicken and eggs, never tried bringing in live stuff, common sense says don't.

I've found the same thing. Used to just avoid the meats/fruits/vegs. But we've also ran into issues with things we didn't expect (I.e. did you know minute rice is banned?)

So know we bring minimal with us (a few condiments, etc) and just hit a grocery store for our supplies when we get over there.

Coming home we haven't had an issue. Just let them know we're bringing back the remaining groceries and they're usually ok.


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Old 03-17-2016, 09:15 AM   #6
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When we went to Alaska 2013 via Canada, we have a small 12V/110 engle freezer packed with meat and some other premade meals, They never asked us about Food, But we had talked to a border patrol agent about this and he said if the food frozen or boxed was in the original unopened packaging they would not bother you about it, even pet food , if you have an open bag they may take it. yes they do frown on fresh fruit and vegetables. We passed in and out of Canada 5 times on our trip. Biggest thing they asked was about guns, tobacco, and liquor/beer.
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Old 03-17-2016, 11:32 AM   #7
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When the "mad cow disease" was running rampant no meat products were allowed fr Can to the US!!!! Even a can of beef soup!!!! Fr US to Can....No plant material with soil or wood with bark is allowed
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Old 03-17-2016, 11:46 AM   #8
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From Canada to the US we only bring condiments and canned or boxed food in the pantry. The fridge is always almost empty. We have been questioned about dog food not in an original bag, we had it in a plastic container. Now we leave it in the bag
We purchase our groceries in the US

Returning into Canada we have not had issues with food, only questions about alcohol and smokes
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Old 03-17-2016, 11:47 AM   #9
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We traveled in/out of Canada years ago when we had a pop-up. Never got asked about the food we were carrying...
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Old 03-17-2016, 11:57 AM   #10
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Talked to a lot of Americans and they told me they are not asked what meat or food they have on board at us border. Only check Canadians for food at us border is that right?
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Old 03-17-2016, 12:50 PM   #11
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yes.. Canada to US is very strict. Detroit is most strict, Buffalo, Niagara Falls is normal strict.

US to Canada coming home, only concerned about alcohol etc. we travel about 4 to 5 times per year and it is very consistant
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Old 03-17-2016, 01:10 PM   #12
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I'm sure the US custom guards know that any one who lives in the US will not pay the prices we pay for food stuff. I'd bet they don't fill their gas tanks either.
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Old 03-17-2016, 01:39 PM   #13
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I was in Niagara Falls NY at the outlet mall just before x-mas, and talked to a store owner. He said that sales we down 60%, becasue canadians were not coming across due to the dollar and the US people were going across to the new outlet mall near Niagara on the lake where they could get a better price for their dollar.. gas is still cheaper in the US
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Old 03-17-2016, 02:07 PM   #14
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I was a returning American from Victoria to Port Angeles, stupidly admitted to having a couple of tomatoes, got pulled over and inspected.
Found out that they also won't allow open dog food bag, even though it's the same stuff one can buy in the US.
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Old 03-17-2016, 05:26 PM   #15
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We have been asked how much dog food we have with us but nothing more than a question. It was kind of obvious having a lab in the truck with us. Last year we had eggs taken from us as we entered the US. This was right after the avian flu outbreaks in both countries and both countries are not allowing in cooked poultry products.

The funny part is that we bought the eggs at home in Canada. We crossed into Michigan at Port Huron. Spent one night and We then crossed back into Canada at Sault Ste Marie. We spent some time in northern Ontario and on the return trip back into Michigan and they asked if the trailer was open. He came out with the eggs. We told him we did not know and he gave us a fact sheet on the new rules and stated that both countries are doing this. Next inspection lane over was another trailer and the same scenario was playing out.
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Old 03-17-2016, 06:31 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffrapp View Post
I was a returning American from Victoria to Port Angeles, stupidly admitted to having a couple of tomatoes, got pulled over and inspected.
Found out that they also won't allow open dog food bag, even though it's the same stuff one can buy in the US.
I understand completely the sentiment behind saying it was stupid to admit, but if you had said no and then they decided for whatever reason to inspect and found them life could be much worse than losing a few tomatoes. You did right.
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Old 03-17-2016, 06:44 PM   #17
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Canada -> USA

Dog Food:
Original Packaging and nothing with Lamb. Be prepared to show package to officer.

Fruits & Vegs:
brought ears of corn last season and was told it was ok if you take the husk off.

Meat:
Nothing with Lamb. I make homemade patties with beef, pork and bacon.

In general I don't take any fruits or vegs and buy from local markets or farms.
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Old 03-17-2016, 08:13 PM   #18
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Going into Canada, we had to give up all dog dry food and eggs. We had 3 dogs on special diets but it didn't matter. We had been warned to peel potatoes but no one asked.
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Old 03-17-2016, 08:46 PM   #19
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The rules vary from province to province in Canada and from State to State on the US side. For example citrus fruit can't be brought from Washington into BC in order to protect the BC fruit growers, yet there is no problem bringing citrus fruit from ND or MN into Manitoba. However the US will not allow citrus fruit from Canada into US. The poultry/chicken restrictions were also different through different areas of the country.
All I am saying is that the rules are not the same through all border crossings.
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Old 03-17-2016, 09:29 PM   #20
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coming back from Can they took my fruit and going in they stole my chicken!
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