Bringing Alcohol Into Canada - Returning Canadian Residents

Customs Regulations for Canadian Residents Bringing Alcohol Into Canada

500 Bottles Of Whiskey To Be Auctioned
Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images News/Getty Images


Returning Canadian Residents Duty-Free Allowance for Alcohol

If you are a Canadian resident or a temporary resident of Canada returning from a trip outside Canada, or a former Canadian resident returning to live in Canada, you are allowed to bring a small quantity of alcohol (wine, liquor, beer or coolers) into the country without having to pay duty or taxes as long as:

  • the alcohol accompanies you


  • you meet the minimum legal drinking age for the province or territory in which you enter Canada


  • you have been outside Canada for more than 48 hours.

You may bring in one of

  • 1.5 litres (50.7 US ounces) of wine, including wine coolers over 0.5 percent alcohol, or


  • 1.14 litres (38.5 US ounces) of liquor, or


  • a total of 1.14 litres (38.5 US ounces) of wine and liquor, or


  • 24 x 355 millilitre (12 ounce) cans or bottles of beer or ale, including beer coolers over 0.5 percent alcohol (a maximum of 8.5 litres or 287.4 US ounces).

Bringing More Than the Duty-Free Allowance of Alcohol Into Canada

Except in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, returning Canadian residents may bring in more than the personal allowances of liquor listed above as long as you pay customs and province / territory assessments. The amounts you are allowed to bring into Canada are also limited by the province or territory in which you enter Canada.

For details on specific amounts and rates, contact the liquor control authority for the appropriate province or territory before you come to Canada.


Shipping Alcohol When You Move Back to Canada

If you are a former Canadian resident moving back to Canada and you want to ship alcohol to Canada (the contents of your wine cellar for example), contact the liquor control authority for the appropriate province or territory to pay the provincial or territorial fees and assessments in advance.

To have your shipment released when you arrive in Canada, you will need to show the receipt for the provincial or territory fees and assessments and you will also need to pay the applicable federal customs assessments.


Customs Contact Information

If you have questions or require more information on bringing alcohol into Canada, please contact the Canada Borders Services Agency.


See Also: