How Much Money Can You Bring into Canada?
If you are planning to travel to Canada or are a Canadian citizen going back home, you may have questions regarding bringing cash into Canada.
You may be wondering: how much cash can I bring to Canada? For starters, there is no limit as to how much money you can bring across the border into Canada.
However, bringing CA$10,000 or more (or any other foreign currency equivalent to that) should be declared/reported to customs officials at the border. Also, the same applies to what the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) calls “monetary instruments,” including but not limited to stocks, bonds, bank drafts, cheques, and traveller’s cheques.
The requirement is mandatory for all visitors despite their country of origin.
Keep reading to learn more about the following:
- How to declare cash and monetary instruments that are more than CA$10,000
- What will happen if you fail to report bringing more than CA$10,000
- Importance of declaring your cash to the customs officials
- How much cash you can take out of Canada
- What else you should declare at the border
- Why it is not advisable to carry a lot of cash when travelling to Canada
Let’s get started.
How to Declare Cash and Monetary Instruments That are More Than CA$10,000
As stated earlier, there is no limit to the amount of cash you can bring to Canada. You can bring as much money as you wish. However, if you have CA$10,000 or more in cash; domestic and/or foreign banknotes; or securities such as travellers’ checks, stocks, or bonds, you need to declare it with the customs officials at the border.
To do so, you should fill a Cross-Border Currency or Monetary Instruments Report (Individual Form E677) if the money belongs to you. If the money belongs to someone else, you should fill a Form E667 Cross-Border Currency or Monetary Instruments Report, General. The forms should be duly signed and given to the customs officials for review.
In most cases, you are provided with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) Form E311 to fill out. Here, you declare how long you plan to stay in Canada and the value of goods possessed.
The completed forms are handed to the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) for extensive assessment and analysis.
What Will Happen If You Fail to Report Bringing More Than CA$10,000?
Bringing money into Canada in any amount is not illegal. However, failing to report cash that is CA$10,000 or more is an offence. So, if you fail to report the value of money and monetary instruments possessed, the CBSA has the authority to seize all your cash and possessions.
You may get your money back after paying a penalty of between CA$250 and CA$5,000. However, if CBSA suspects the cash is from the proceeds of crime or for funding terrorist activities, they will hold it. So, to get your money back, you will have to file for a review to prompt an investigation.
Importance of Declaring Your Cash to the Customs Officials
The mandate of the Canada border service agency is to protect Canadians from any cross-border crimes.
So, the CBSA will be on the look for any suspicious money movement resulting from crimes. Below are some of the reasons why you should declare your cash to the customs officials:
- To detect and deter money laundering and terrorist financing activities
- To facilitate the investigation and prosecution of related offences
- For response purposes to threats posed by organized crime
- To fulfil international commitments to combat transnational crime
How Much Cash Can You Take Out of Canada?
The CBSA does not restrict any amount of money you can take out of Canada. However, you should declare to the customs officials if you possess cash or monetary instruments worth CA$10,000 or more, or foreign currency of the equivalent.
Also, research the cash limit to bring into the country you wish to travel to since different countries have diverse rules and regulations. It will help if you conduct your research prior to travelling to avoid any inconveniences at the airport.
What Else Needs to Be Declared at the Border?
Alongside declaring your monetary possessions, you should also declare other goods you wish to bring to Canada. The rule also applies to Canadian citizens who are travelling back home. They must declare all the goods purchased or acquired outside the country. The goods will include gifts, presents, awards, prizes or any other purchased goods.
So, if you are unsure of whether the goods you possess need declaration, ask around or declare them altogether. You may be carrying something legal and permitted in your country; however, you still may be required to clear it at the Canadian border. Ensure you report items like firearms or guns to avoid penalties or criminal charges.
So, to be on the safer side, you should declare all the goods you possess and clear them with the customs officials at the border. This will protect you from penalties or charges if the airport officials discover them later.
Why it is Not Advisable to Carry A lot of Cash When Travelling to Canada
Although there is no limit to the amount of money you can bring to Canada, you need to reconsider carrying your money in the form of cash. However, the traveller’s cheques, bonds, stocks or bank drafts are safer than cash.
So, avoid carrying a considerable amount of cash while travelling to Canada due to the following reasons:
- If the cash is CA$10,000 or more, you will have to report it to the customs officials at the border. The clearance process might be time-consuming and quite a hassle.
- Carrying large chunks of money can be risky. The cash can be stolen or lost in the travelling process.
- If you carry a foreign currency to Canada, you will probably get a bad exchange rate at the airport.
You can use other safer methods like a credit card, debit card, or prepaid card to avoid carrying your money in the form of cash.
You can also open a Canadian bank account and ask your bank to transfer a specified amount to the account. However, you need to contact your bank and enquire about any restrictions imposed on such a move.
If you have been wondering, “how much cash can I bring to Canada,” you now have the answer.
If you are travelling to Canada, you can bring any amount of cash since there are no limitations. However, be ready to declare your money if it is CA$10,000 or more (including all monetary instruments) or any foreign currency of the equivalent.
For safety and convenience purposes, you can travel with little cash and use a credit card, debit card, or traveller’s cheques. Having several options acts as security if one option fails. Also, keep your cards, cash and cheques safe during your travelling endeavours.