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Saturday, December 10, 2022

CBSA wants Albertans to make traveling across the border a smoother this summer

The Victoria Day long weekend is near and the Canada Border Services Agency says all travelers should use a mobile app, which gives agents returning to Canada access to all their travel and health information.

For more than two years, travel at land crossings has decreased across Canada and the same story at Alberta’s busiest land crossing in Coutts, Alta.

However, after many restrictions are lifted, officials say they expect a lot more travelers to cross this summer.

“We’re gearing up for a busy summer season,” Scott Keenlen, CBSA’s corporate chief of Southern Saskatchewan and Southern Alberta District, told CTV News in an interview Thursday.

“When we are looking at pre-COVID or 2019 levels, our current traffic volumes are on average about 25 to 30 percent lower.”

He says commercial traffic remains pretty strong; Between seven and 10 percent on pre-pandemic figures.

Still, anyone entering the US should be aware that there are different requirements when they return.

“This year travelers will see that the range is managed a little differently this year,” Kenlen said.

One of those differences will be the Arivacan app, a program created during the pandemic to help Canadians collect all their documentation in one place, including travel information and vaccination proof.

The CBSA says that travelers, regardless of their vaccination status, should use the app to return to Canada. Keinlen adds anyone who has the app loaded and ready will have an easier time getting home.

“It will reduce your wait time when you are arriving,” he said. “This is a free mobile app that you can access on their website. Information can be submitted up to 72 hours prior to your return to Canada.”

Anyone without a smartphone is able to use ArrivCan, but they must print out a copy of their receipt after submitting all of their information.

While having all the personal details at the ready is most important, Kenlen says it’s also important to understand that you’ll need to document anything you buy south of the border and intend to bring home.

“It’s a good thing to know your exemptions to be prepared and not be surprised,” he said. “Residents can bring back $200 worth of goods, duty and tax free, after being absent for 24 hours. After 48 hours the dollar amount actually increases to $800.”

There are some things travelers shouldn’t bring home, Kenlen said, and some of them are because of regulations to restrict the spread of avian flu.

“Currently, travelers are not able to bring back raw poultry products from states that are infected with avian flu and this includes the state of Montana, so I would shy away from buying or bringing back those products as they would not be allowed in Canada. enter.”

While it is legal in Canada, Kenlen says travelers should not cross the border with any cannabis products unless they have the appropriate permit from Health Canada.

“Don’t bring it in and don’t take it out,” he said. “Transporting cannabis across the border in any form, including oil or genuine products, is a serious criminal offence.”

Further tips and details about what you can and cannot bring into Canada can be found on the CBSA website.

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