Additional Information on crossing the International Bridge
INTERNATIONAL BRIDGE CROSSINGS / CUSTOMS
The following information is provided as a courtesy of the Sault Convention and Visitors Bureau to orient visitors. Customs policies are subject to change without notice.
Crossing to Canada:
The Canada/US border is reputed to be the friendliest border in the world.
The International Bridge is the start of Interstate 75. Crossing the bridge to Canada will entail paying a toll. As of April 1st 2010 the rate will increase to $3.00 American or $3.20 Canadian. Three or more axles are charged a slightly higher amount
You’ll cross into Canada when your vehicle makes it half way over the
Where do you live and what is your citizenship?
You will need a form of ID such as an enhanced driver’s license, passport, Nexus card, Tribal or a state ID for adults. If children are too young and do not have a picture ID, a Birth Certificate will be required for them to cross into Canada. Children not accompanied by parents or legal guardian need to have a note from parent or legal guardian stating that they have permission to cross into Canada, signed with a contact telephone number in the event customs officials have any questions.
Do you have any firearms with you?
Sporting rifles and shotguns are permitted as long as they are registered with Canadian Customs. There is a fee for registration that can cover more than one firearm. For more information on the application process, visit www.cfc-ccaf.gc.ca. At this web site, one may download a copy of the registration form for firearms. (Do not sign the registration form until you are in the presence of, and requested to do so by a Canadian Customs official.)
Pistols and other handguns are strictly prohibited.
ADDITIONAL BORDER CROSSING INFORMATION
Do you have any alcohol?
A specific amount of alcohol that could be considered for personal use is permitted: no more than one case of beer, single liter of alcohol, or 40 ounces of wine are allowed per person.
Do you have any tobacco?
Up to one carton of cigarettes or one roll of snuff is allowed--an amount that could be considered to be for personal use only.
What is the purpose of your visit?
Inform the official how long you intend to visit. State that you are visiting as a tourist (if that is the case).
In an effort to curtail illegal entry of children, they may ask for the children’s birth certificates.
If you have ever received a ticket for DUI or OUIL, Canadian Customs can—and often do—refuse entry. In some cases you are allowed to post a personal bond, non-returnable, and travel in Canada.
The above questions are what is generally asked or looked for. Remember, this is a foreign country, and they can and do thoroughly search both the contents of your vehicle and your person.
Dogs and cats accompanying their owners from the U.S. MUST have current (with in 36 months) rabies vaccinations certificates. Owners from other countries who wish to bring their pets should contact the nearest Canadian consulate or embassy.
Pleasure crafts may enter Canada by trailer or under their own power and stay for a period of up to 12 months. The required entry permit is obtainable from customs as port of entry. All boats powered by motors 10HP or over must be licensed and the license number clearly indicated on the bow of the vessel. Boat licenses from outside Ontario are acceptable. For remote check in: 1-888-CAN-PASS or 1-800-226-7277
Individuals with criminal records wishing to enter Canada can apply for a waiver. This should be done 6-8 weeks in advance of the intended visit. It should be noted that driving under the influence convictions are considered a criminal offense in Canada. Individuals with criminal records without waivers can be refused entry.
RETURNING TO THE UNITED STATES
When you return from Canada you will be stopped by the United States Customs officials and will pay a $2.50 American or $3.00 Canadian toll fee as of April 1st 2009.
Customs officials will ask where you live and your citizenship as well as how long you have been in Canada, and if you have made any purchases or are bringing anything back with you. If you are bringing items back that you purchased, be sure to tell them and show your receipts. If you have been in Canada for less than 48 hours, even if it was just for an hour or two, you are entitled to bring back $200 (U.S.) worth of goods, duty free. If your goods total more than the $200 maximum you will pay duty on everything, not just on the overage amount. Keep your receipts. If you have been away for more than 48 hours, you are allowed to bring back $400 worth of goods duty free. Items such as alcohol and tobacco must be in an amount that can be considered either for personal use or as a gift. They cannot be against the law in the state to which you are returning. Be advised that customs officials have every right to search your vehicle and your person. This could include removing door panels, etc. If it is found that you have knowingly or unwittingly exceeded the duty free amount based on your length of stay; you will be required to pay it on the spot. Cash, checks drawn on U.S. banks, and money orders or traveler’s checks are accepted. Money orders and traveler’s checks must be in denominations that do not exceed $50 over the duty owed.
For more specific information on crossing the border, it may be wise to pay the customs office a visit before crossing into Canada. You’ll find the office on the bridge entrance just after you cross through the tollbooths.
If you have other questions or concerns please contact the following:
Canadian Customs& Revue Agency 1-800-622-6232 or 1-800-O- CANADA
24 hour Customs info at the Soo, Ontario entry 1-705-941-3063