On the CBSA Declaration card that you fill in during the arrival process in Canada, it asks you declare "Currency and/or monetary instruments totaling CAN$10,000 or more."

If someone is bringing in family jewelry, that's passed down from grandparents, and is unsure of the value, what is the best course of action?

It is unlikely that the value will exceed $10,000 but I am not completely sure. Does the jewelry need to be formally appraised?

  • 5
    I wouldn’t think jewelry qualified for “currency or monetary instruments” (unless maybe the value of the raw metal indeed exceeds $10K). See cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/publications/forms-formulaires/e677-eng.html However if you are importing it it should be declared as goods and merchandise as the value probably exceeds your duty free allowance (the amount of which depends a lot on circumstances). There’s probably a different box for that on the form.
    – jcaron
    Oct 25, 2022 at 16:40
  • What’s your situation? Are you a returning Canadian resident, a visitor, or are you moving to Canada?
    – jcaron
    Oct 25, 2022 at 18:19
  • 1
    As a general principle, it's better to declare things whenever not sure. The customs officer will ask for more information about what you're declaring, and if you didn't need to declare it after all, they should just let you through without fuss. Disclaimer: this might only apply in "friendly" countries.
    – user253751
    Oct 26, 2022 at 1:24
  • I'm not a resident and I'm bringing the items for family who is getting married (they are residents of Canada). It's only two items, which is why I don't think it will exceed the $10,000 limit.
    – LCee
    Oct 26, 2022 at 14:13
  • The answer is at the bottom of the page Weather Vane linked (and I've submitted an edit to state that). You'll have to have them valued, declare them as gifts, and pay the relevant duty and taxes as if you were importing them for sale.
    – llama
    Oct 26, 2022 at 19:15

2 Answers 2


It is unclear whether your are visitor or immigrant. About the latter, the website of the Goverment of Canada states:

Bringing goods to Canada
When you move to Canada from another country, you may bring your personal and household goods with you without paying duty. You’ll have to pay duty on any item you bring that hasn’t been used.

You don’t have to pay duty on . . . jewellery

and further on

Jewellery or precious ornaments
Officers may ask you questions about your jewellery or precious ornaments during your customs interview. Make sure you describe these items on your list of goods. To avoid delays at customs when you enter Canada:

  • use the wording from your insurance policy or jeweler’s appraisal on your list of goods
  • include photographs of the items
  • know how much you paid for the items or have a receipt showing how much you paid
  • you don’t need to pay duty or tax on family heirlooms

About your question, it does seem advisable to have your jewellery valued. If you have travel insurance it might be needed for that too.

Readers have pointed out that the above information is directed to immigrants, and OP now clarifies they are a visitor. So I explored a bit and found the Government of Canada web page Visit Canada has a list of topics. The most relevant of those is Border information for international travel

On this page there are two relevant links:
a) Estimate duty and taxes but this is a form related to things you have bought, not family heirlooms.
b) Bring Goods Across the Border but this begins with "When you return to Canada ..." so it is for residents.

None of those links answers your question, so I suggest you use the Contact border information services link provided.

  • 1
    In a comment the OP clarifies that they are bringing the jewelry to give to a family member, and are not themself immigrating. Which makes the situation much hairier, and not covered by this guidance.
    – Sneftel
    Oct 26, 2022 at 14:27
  • @Sheftel perhaps this wedding gift is covered by you don’t need to pay duty or tax on family heirlooms above. It is not 'new' and the couple become the keepers of the 'family silver' Oct 26, 2022 at 14:42
  • Possibly, but that page is an informal interpretation of customs laws, and is targeted to people who are immigrating. It's not something I'd want to rely on.
    – Sneftel
    Oct 26, 2022 at 14:55
  • It seems like the safe thing to do would be to get the jewelry valued to see if it's less than $10, 000. If it is less than $10,000 then I won't have to worry about declaring it at the border.
    – LCee
    Oct 27, 2022 at 20:13
  • If there is any doubt you should declare it at the border, and have a valuation and photographs. That would be no worry. Not declaring something that should be declared: that's might turn into more than a worry. Oct 27, 2022 at 20:25

Jewelry is not currency or a monetary instrument.

You are allowed to bring jewelry over $10,000 into Canada. The rule you are quoting doesn't cover jewelry. If you are visiting Canada and the jewelry will leave with you when you go, then you do not need to declare it. If you are coming for the first time to live in Canada and you intend to keep the jewelry, then it counts as "personal effects" and you should not need to pay taxes: you declare it along with any of your other personal effects. If you already live in Canada and acquired the jewelry outside of Canada and are bringing it back with you then you will need to declare it.

If you are not a visitor to Canada then it may be a good idea to get the jewelry valued before you bring it in. This is probably a good idea anyway for many reasons.

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