Humanities › Issues Canada Customs Exemptions for Returning Canadian Residents Personal Customs Exemptions Increased in 2012 for Canadian Residents Share Flipboard Email Print Gary Hershorn / Getty Images Issues Canadian Government The U. S. Government U.S. Foreign Policy U.S. Liberal Politics U.S. Conservative Politics Women's Issues Civil Liberties The Middle East Terrorism Race Relations Immigration Crime & Punishment Animal Rights View More By Susan Munroe Canadian Culture Expert B.A., Political Science, Carleton University Susan Munroe is a public affairs and communications professional based in Canada. our editorial process Susan Munroe Updated March 21, 2018 If you are a Canadian resident or temporary resident of Canada returning to Canada from a trip outside the country, or a former Canadian resident returning to live in Canada, you may qualify for a personal exemption to bring a certain value of goods into Canada without having to pay the regular duties. You will still have to pay duties, taxes and any provincial/territory assessments on the value of goods above your personal exemption. Children, even babies, are entitled to a personal exemption. A parent or guardian can make a declaration on the child's behalf as long as the goods being declared are for the child's use. The amount you claim for your personal exemption must be reported in Canadian dollars. Use a foreign exchange converter to change foreign currencies into Canadian dollars. The personal exemption for returning Canadian residents depends on the length of time you have been outside of Canada. The personal exemptions for Canadian residents have been increased effective June 1, 2012. The new exemption limits go up to CAN$200 from CAN$50 for absences of 24 hours or longer, and up to CAN$800 if you're out of the country longer than 48 hours. After a 7-day absence, you are allowed to include goods that will follow you by mail or another delivery method. Outside Canada for Less Than 24 Hours No exemption. Outside Canada for 24 Hours or More If you are outside Canada for 24 hours or more, you may claim a personal exemption of up to CAN$200 worth of goodsthe goods must accompany youtobacco or alcohol may not be claimed in this exemption Note: If you bring in goods worth more than CAN$200 in total, you cannot claim this exemption. Instead, you have to pay full duties on all the goods you bring in. Outside Canada for 48 Hours or More If you are outside Canada for 48 hours or more, you may claim a personal exemption of up to CAN$800 worth of goodsthe goods must accompany youyou can include some tobacco products and alcohol, but only a partial exemption may apply to cigarettes, tobacco products or manufactured tobacco. Outside Canada for 7 Days or More To calculate the number of days you have been outside Canada for the purposes of this personal exemption, do not include the day you left Canada but do include the day you returned. If you are outside Canada for 7 days or more, you may claim a personal exemption of up to CAN$800 worth of goodsyou can include some tobacco products and alcohol, but only a partial exemption may apply to cigarettes, tobacco products or manufactured tobacco.alcohol and tobacco products must accompany youother goods do not need to accompany you when you cross the border.