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Customs & Duties

Arriving in the United States

Non-U.S. residents ages 21 and older may import into the United States 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 2 kilograms of tobacco, 1 litre of alcohol, and gifts worth $100. Meat products, seeds, plants, and fruits are prohibited.

For additional information, contact the U.S. Customs Service. inquiries:, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC, 20229. 202/927-6724. complaints: Office of Regulations and Rulings, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, 20229. registration of equipment: Resource Management, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, 20229. 202/927-0540.

Arriving in Canada

American and British visitors may bring in the following items duty-free: 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars, and 7 ounces of tobacco; 1 bottle (1.1 liters or 40 imperial ounces) of liquor or wine, or 24 355-ml (12-ounce) bottles or cans of beer for personal consumption. Any alcohol and tobacco products in excess of these amounts is subject to duty, provincial fees, and taxes. You can also bring in gifts up to the value of $60 (Canadian) per gift. A deposit is sometimes required for trailers (refunded upon return). Cats and dogs must have a certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian that clearly identifies the animal and certifies that it has been vaccinated against rabies during the preceding 36 months. Seeing-eye dogs are allowed into Canada without restriction. Plant material must be declared and inspected. There may be restrictions on some live plants, bulbs, and seeds. With certain restrictions or prohibitions on some fruits and vegetables, visitors may bring food with them for their own use, providing the quantity is consistent with the duration of the visit.

Canada's firearms laws are significantly stricter than laws in the United States. All handguns and semiautomatic and fully automatic weapons are prohibited and cannot be brought into the country. Sporting rifles and shotguns may be imported provided they are to be used for sporting, hunting, or competition while in Canada. All firearms must be declared to Canada Customs at the first point of entry. Failure to do so will result in their seizure, and criminal charges may be made. From January 1, 2001, regulations require visitors to have a confirmed "Firearms Declaration" to bring any guns into Canada. A fee of $50 will apply and will be good for a one-year period. For more information, contact the Canadian Firearms Centre. 800/731-4000.

For more information on customs regulations, contact Revenue Canada. 2265 St. Laurent Blvd. S, Ottawa, ON, K1G 4K3. 613/993-0534; 800/461-9999 in Canada.