Customs Clearance in Canada

Customs Clearance in Canada

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If you have ever traveled internationally, then you are aware of the way that customs works. Even if you have simply flown through an international airport, you might be a bit familiar with customs.  This is a process that attempts to ensure people are not illegally transporting dangerous goods from country to country. It is also a way to ensure that people are not smuggling goods to sell in other countries and avoiding the appropriate taxes (etc.).

But when you cross the border from the United States into Canada you will also deal with the customs process.  This is not at all complicated; most of the time, as the border agent will ask why are coming to Canada and, maybe, inspect your vehicle.  Typically, when you are only visiting for a few hours or day, there is no problem and you can go on your merry way.

However, if you plan to stay much longer—like, for instance, you are moving from the United States to Canada—it may involve a little more paperwork. You may also have to pay some fees (or “duties”) depending on what you are bringing with you across the border from America, through Clearit customs brokerage, to Canada.


 While customs in many countries can be complicated and difficult, the United States and Canada have been sharing a border for centuries and the two countries have a phenomenal relationship.  This makes it easier for citizens of both countries to travel back and forth. And it also makes it a bit easier to move or relocate should someone see fit.  However, if you are going to move, you need to fill out the appropriate customs clearance forms.


Once you have filled out your paperwork then you can have it processed. Once it is processed you can pay the fee to have your goods brought over and inspected for clearance and admittance into Canada.


The customs clearance process can take some time. How long you have to wait depends on the transport method you choose.

  • If you elect to transport by boat it could take 2 days from when the boat is docked in Canada (so you need to also consider time on the ocean)
  • if you elect to transport by plane the goods must be flown and then shipped to a warehouse after the plan lands; the goods are then inspected before released to you
  • If you elect to transport by truck you must be prepared to have your goods inspected between 6 and 12 hours before you plan to cross the border; then the goods will be inspected again once you do cross the border