Armchair shopping is no less onerous, as online suppliers and catalogues are bound by the same import rules as the average traveller. Ultimately, it’s simpler—and better—to buy local. Canada’s regulations are strict for good reason: hitchhiking pests and diseases pose a serious risk to our environment. And the risk to you? If you don’t declare a restricted item, you may face a $400 fine, or even be prosecuted. Your favourite plant may be disposed of—at your expense. And then there’s the squirm factor. If you do find yourself at the border and you think you’re breaking the law, don’t risk it. Just drop the plant into the stainless-steel amnesty bin before you reach customs—then walk on by.
Before you travel:
- Canada Border Services Agency information hotline 800-461-9999 (English); 800-959-2036 (French)
- CFIA Import Service Centre inspection
- CFIA Application for Permit to Import inspection