Tips from the CBSA for facilitating your border crossing into Canada

Know your purchases and keep travel documents handy – Canadian residents should know their personal exemptions and restrictions and make sure that each passenger has the correct travel document. Have your travel documents and receipts in hand when you arrive at the border. It is recommended you travel with a passport as it is the only universally recognized travel document.

Declare all purchases, acquisitions, and/or gifts received when returning to Canada – refer to the I Declare brochure on the CBSA website for more information. If you are bringing gifts, it is recommended they not be wrapped as they may need to examined.

Plan your border crossing – Check border wait times using the CanBorder App and cross at the least busy port of entry in the area. Historically, holidays result in higher than normal volumes; plan your entry during non-peak hours such as early morning. The Monday of holiday long weekends tends to be busiest, plan around it.

Know the contents of your vehicle – Travellers can consult the CBSA’s website for information on firearms and other restricted and prohibited goods. Declare all your goods.

Become a NEXUS member – NEXUS is designed to expedite the border clearance process for low-risk, pre-approved travellers into Canada and the United States. NEXUS members receive expedited border clearance in the land, air, and marine modes, and a NEXUS membership is valid for five years.  Additionally, you may take advantage of NEXUS expedited benefits when going through Canadian Air Transport Security Authority at key airports across Canada.

Use a Primary Inspection Kiosk – If you arrive at one of Canada’s busiest international airports, you can now verify your identity and make an on screen declaration using a primary inspection kiosk. Most travellers arriving in Canada by air, including returning residents and foreign nationals may use the kiosk. Download our eDeclaration mobile app to save even more time when you arrive by air in Canada.

Do not travel with cannabis (marijuana) – Cannabis is not yet legal in Canada. And even when it is, it will remain illegal to take it across the border.

Not sure? Ask the CBSA officer – The single best thing you can do to save time returning to Canada is to simply be open and honest with the CBSA officer. If you are not sure about what to declare, don’t hesitate to ask. The officers are there to help you.

For more information, visit the CBSA website or contact the Border Information Service.

Here’s a tip to help you get your lost phone back when you travel

If you want to increase the likelihood of getting your lost smartphone back, the best solution is to include contact information on your lock screen so the good Samaritan that finds it can get in touch with you.

Asurion, a global tech solutions company, conducted an experiment in three major American cities by purposefully “losing” smartphones to see if they would be returned. They found that locked phones featuring a contact number on the device’s lock screen were three times more likely to be returned to their owners than those without contact information.

According to a recent Asurion survey, 71 per cent of Americans lock their smartphones with a passcode, fingerprint or facial recognition protection, but only 1 in 4 have contact information on their lockscreens.

During the summer months, Asurion says there’s a 50% jump in smartphone loss and theft so they left smartphones at key summertime hotspots in Los Angeles, New York City and Atlanta, including the beach, popular parks, and on public transit to emulate common real-life summer scenarios for tourists and locals. Half of the phones were left with the screen locked with a contact number displayed right on the screen for easy return, while the other half were left unlocked with a contact phone number listed within the phone’s contact list.

Asurion tech experts offered these two tips to keep your phone safe this summer:

Add your contact info to the lock screen:
Add your contact number or email address to any photo and use it as your lockscreen wallpaper. The easiest way is to take an Instagram Story with your photo and add the contact info. Download the image to your phone. From there, go to Settings – Wall Paper and Themes. Select your downloaded image, then press Set as Wallpaper – Lock Screen.

Enable Find My Phone or similar service:
Many people assume this is automatically activated with every phone, but it needs to be manually turned on in their phone settings.

For iPhone, go to Settings, tap on your name at the top of the Settings list, then tap iCloud, and look for Find My iPhone to confirm it’s on. Set “Send Last Location” to ON. This will automatically send the phone’s location to iCloud any time that the iPhone’s battery is critically low.

For Android, download an app from the Play store, such as the Google app Find My Device. Then just follow the set up directions once downloaded.

Don’t assume the worst:
Many people don’t call the establishment where they accidentally lost or left their phones, thinking there’s little chance of getting them back. During Asurion’s experiment, it heard from many organizations that had drawers full of lost phones waiting for owners to reclaim them.