By Ilona Kauremszky

Q: What’s it like at the Niagara border for cross border shopping?

A: For the latest news on border wait times you can reach the Canada Border Services Agency online ( and view their border delay times. This agency also provides a table detailing what Canadian travelers can bring back into the country based on length of absence from the country.

If you are a Canadian travelling to the United States just for the day (less than 24 hours), no exemption applies to the goods you bring back to Canada. You will have to pay the regular duty and taxes on those goods. Now if you plan on being away for 24 hours then you can bring back $50CDN worth of goods duty-free and tax-free but no tobacco or alcohol. For full details visit and plug in “cross border shopping” in the search engine. Also be sure you have all your documents in order before departing.

As of January 31, 2008 Canadians travelling into the United States by car or by boat will need the following: a government-issued photo ID such as a driver’s licence plus a birth certificate or a citizenship card. If you don’t wish to use these documents then use a valid passport.


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