Whenever you travel internationally—even between the three North American countries—you have to pass through customs.  It is an import part of international trade regulation as it helps to ensure that businesses remain fair and that citizens do not bring dangerous objects or substances from one country to another.  It also ensures that native plants and animals are properly handled because some diseases, for example, are localized to an island or a region and introducing an exotic species to native flora and fauna can, in fact, be devastating.

Fortunately for North Americans, the relationship between the United States and Canada is a pretty simple one.  Of course, both countries want to ensure the security and safety of their respective peoples, and since the laws in the United States and Canada are similar—as are lifestyles, to a degree—the border crossing is pretty seamless. You might have to fill out some paperwork and have a brief car inspection, but, for the most part, it is all mostly innocuous.

If, however, you are planning to remain in Canada for a significant amount of time, the border crossing process could be a little more complex. While this is not necessarily all that difficult, it might be wise to utilize Clearit customs consulting to ensure you get it right.


The Canada Border Services Agency can provide you with the customs forms you need. Simply visit their website to get the forms and then upload your related shipping documents and even inform them that you have power of attorney (which gives you even more control over the customs process).


Once you have filled out the paperwork you will need to pay for goods clearance.  Make sure that you pay this invoice in full to get the most efficient processing and transport of your stuff, over the border.


It sounds simple—and it is—but once you fill out the paperwork and make your payment, you have to simply wait.  It can take several days or even weeks before your request is processed. It depends on the types of things you are sending, how much you send, and the method of shipment. For example:

  • Shipping by boat can take up to 2 days for clearance
  • Shipping by plane can take a little longer (depending on how long the evaluation takes once the plane has landed)
  • Shipping by truck can take anywhere from 1 day to a week or more depending on the length of the drive and the length of the inspection