Cross Border Shopping/Day Trips

 

Cross border shopping isn’t just for holidays anymore. U.S. retailers and outlet stores south of the border can create a powerful draw. Plus, who can resist a road trip?

Day Trips

Some Duty Free exemptions only apply if you’ve been away for more than 24 or 48 hours. If you’re just crossing the border for a day trip you won’t be able to save duty and taxes on spirits or tobacco, but you can still enjoy products such as fragrances, jewellery and watches. You just have to declare them along with anything else you buy from regular retail shops in the U.S.

Duty Free Allowances

View Here or Click Here to download the Duty Free Regulations & Allowances sheet. 

Scenarios

 

John and Judy are heading to Buffalo for the night to shop and have dinner. Can they shop at the Duty Free before entering the U.S.?

Yes they can. Any purchases may be subject to tax & duty upon returning to Canada just like any purchase at a U.S. retail store. They should only purchase alcohol and tobacco they plan to consume in the U.S. (or gift to someone in the U.S.) to avoid paying high tax & duty upon returning to Canada.

Sally, Natasha and Jules are headed to New York for a week to meet up with friends. They want to pick up gifts for their friends and liquor for the party. Can they purchase gifts and liquor at the Duty Free before entering the U.S.?

They can purchase both. They can buy 1L of alcohol each tax & duty free and can purchase more if they’re ok with the possibility of being asked by U.S. Customs to pay a very small amount of tax & duty on any excess purchases – see above. They can return to the U.S. with up to $200 each tax & duty free.

Bonnie and Sherry went to see a play in Toronto for the day and are on their way home to Rochester. Can they stop and shop?

They can return to the U.S. with up to $200 each tax & duty free. If they want to purchase alcohol and/or tobacco they can but may have to pay a very small amount of tax & duty if U.S. Customs asks them to – see above.

Amy, Mark and Tim are heading back to Niagara Falls, NY after having spent a few days in Toronto watching a concert and sightseeing. Can they buy Duty Free on their way home?

Each person can return to the U.S. with up to $800 tax & duty free including alcohol and tobacco. They may also purchase in excess of their allowance which U.S. Customs may ask them to pay a small amount of tax & duty on. Many people do because even with the small amount of tax & duty there is a considerable savings.

FAQs

View a list of our Frequently Asked Questions.

Currency Exchange

Customers can exchange their Canadian Funds for U.S. Funds and U.S. to Canadian. Maximum limit is $1,000 per person per 24 hour period. 

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