Going Through Customs To and From Canada…
View the Bridge Webcam at the Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge.
For detailed information on requirements and restrictions, contact the United States Customs Service at (906) 632-2631 or Canada Customs Service at (705) 941-3063.
Crossing the border is reasonably easy. As of June 1, 2009, however, you are required to present a passport, passport card, enhanced driver’s license, NEXUS, FAST, or SENTRI card, U.S. Merchant Mariner Documentation or U.S. Military Identification. For more information on travel documents, visit the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative. Please answer all questions truthfully and completely. Click here for the U.S. Border website. Please contact them with specific questions.
Everyone crossing the border is required to speak to a customs officer to answer a few questions that establish your citizenship and clarify the purpose for your trip. You are required to have photo identification for yourself and birth certificates for any children traveling with you. Proper identification includes a birth certificate, passport, citizenship card, a record of landing or a certificate of Indian status.
You must also declare all goods you will leave behind, including all gifts.
All firearms must be declared at the Canadian border.
Other Imported Goods:
Please check with the Canadian Border.
When returning home, you’ll be required to clear Customs Service and declare all articles you acquired abroad. If you are bringing large or expensive items for use during your trip that you’ll be taking back with you (such as snow machines, skis, cameras, etc.), it’s a good idea to register them with Customs before you leave the country – or have proof-of-purchase with you to ensure easy clearance on your return trip.
For detailed information on requirements and restrictions, contact the United States Customs Service at (906) 632-2631 or Canada Customs Service at (705) 941-3063. The International Bridge Authority phone number is (906) 635-5255. Also see the “Know Before You Go” brochure created by U.S. Customs.
Effective June 1, 2009, U.S. and Canadian citizens ages 16 and older should no longer expect that they will be able to prove identity and citizenship by relying on an oral declaration alone. Instead, travelers will be asked to present documents from the list below when entering the United States at land or sea ports of entry. Travelers who do not present one of the documents listed may be delayed as U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers attempt to verify their identity and citizenship.
U.S. and Canadian Citizens-Single Document Option:
U.S. or Canadian Passport, U.S. Passport Card (available Spring 2008), Trusted Traveler Cards (NEXUS, SENTRI, or FAST), State or Provincial Issued Enhanced Driver’s License, Enhanced Tribal Cards, U.S. Military I.D. w/ Military Travel Orders, U.S. Merchant Mariner Document, Native American Tribal Photo Identification Card, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) Card.
U.S. and Canadian Citizens-Two Document Option:
All U.S. and Canadian citizens who do not have one of the documents from the list above must present both an identification and citizenship document from the lists below:
Enhanced Driver’s License or I.D. card issued by federal, state, provincial, county, territory, or municipal authority.
U.S. or Canadian military identification card w/ Military Travel Orders. All documents must have a photo, name, and date of birth.
U.S. or Canadian birth certificate issued by a federal, state, provincial, county, territory or municipal authority, U.S. Consular report of birth abroad, U.S. Certificate of Naturalization, U.S. Certificate of Citizenship, U.S. Citizen Identification Card, Canadian Citizenship Card.
Procedures for Children:
Effective January 31, 2008, U.S. and Canadian citizen children ages 15 and under will be expected to present a birth certificate issued by a federal, state, provincial, county, or municipal authority
For more information:
Contact http://www.cbp.gov/, or call (906) 635-5255.
An alternative to driving yourself between the Twin Saults is the International Bridge Bus. Sit back and enjoy the view as you travel the 2.8 mile International Bridge. The bus picks up and drops off at specific locations on both sides of the border. Below, please find hours, rates, and locations. Proper paperwork (mentioned above) is required to cross the International Border.
HOURS OF OPERATION:
8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
No service on holidays, during traffic delays and inclement weather.
The Bridge Bus is subject to Border Crossing Delays. In case of delay over 20 minutes, the bus will resume on the next hourly scheduled run.
BRIDGE BUS RATES:
Seniors 60+ and/or Disabled: $1.00
General Public: $2.00
Children Under 6 w/ Adult: FREE
Canadian Currency is at par.
BUS STOP LOCATIONS:
On The Hour: Court Street Bus Shelter, 500 Block of Court St. (behind the Tribal Office Bldg.)
5 Minutes Past the Hour: LSSU Norris Center Bus Shelter
20 Minutes Past the Hour: Station Mall, near the front entrance at the bus stop
City Bus Terminal: Queen St. and Dennis St.
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 what is due 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. There is a public entrance to Customs off of West Portage Ave.
If you have other questions or concerns, please contact the following:
Canadian Customs & Revenue Agency 1 (800) 622-6232 or 1 (800) O-CANADA
24-Hour Customs information can be found at the Sault, Ontario entry, or at 1 (705) 941-3063
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: click here for current rates.
You will cross into Canada when your vehicle makes it half way over the St. Marys Rapids. Canadian Customs personnel will generally ask you the following questions:
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 a 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, click HERE. 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 childrens’ 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 at port of entry. All boats powered by motors 10 HP 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.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection wants your feedback. Please contact them at one of the methods listed below.
U.S. Phone: (877) 227-5511
International Phone: (202) 325-8000
Mail: U.S. Customs and Border Protection; OPA/CBP INFO Center; 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, MS: 1345; Washington, DC 20229; United States of America