I am a Canadian resident. I recently crossed into the U.S. as part of my vacation and will be re-entering Canada after 4 days in the U.S.

When I entered the U.S, I already had alcohol in my RV (which I did declare since the border crossing guard asked when I entered the U.S) This alcohol was purchased in Canada. When I re-enter Canada, I will be bringing back the same alcohol that I initially purchased in Canada. I did not purchase any alcohol in the U.S. My question is: Will the alcohol that I purchased in Canada and brought into the U.S. need to be declared as part of my exemption amount being "imported" into Canada when I return to Canada? I didn't think it would since it was already purchased in Canada.

  • 2
    Do you have proof that it was purchased in Canada?
    – Karlson
    Commented Aug 5, 2015 at 20:43
  • Hello. Unfortunately I do not have the proof. One may be able to tell by the un-opened packaging (beer/wine), which is bi-lingual and states that the product was imported to Canada.
    – user32569
    Commented Aug 5, 2015 at 20:59
  • 1
    Thanks for the input! I agree, I'll call the CSBA and it probably would ultimately depend on who you get at the border. Thanks, I'll post what I find out! Cheers
    – user32569
    Commented Aug 6, 2015 at 3:58
  • 1
    @user32569 any update?
    – Mark Mayo
    Commented Aug 19, 2015 at 8:32

1 Answer 1


Unfortunately, the onus is on you to prove you purchased it in Canada before departure. CBSA has a section on their site called 'protecting your valuables' that covers this:

If your laptop computer was made in Japan—for instance—you might have to pay duty and taxes on it each time you bring it back into Canada, unless you can prove that you owned it before you left on your trip. Documents that fully describe the item—such as sales receipts, insurance policies, or jeweller's appraisals—are acceptable forms of proof.

To make things easier, we provide a free identification service that lists items that have serial numbers or other unique markings, making them identifiable for customs purposes as goods you possessed before leaving Canada. All items listed will be allowed duty-free entry upon your return.

Please note that this service does not apply to jewellery; because jewellery often has significant value, we recommend you travel with as little as possible. We also recommend you carry valuable items with you.

It would appear that if you've not done this, and don't have receipts, then they'll have to assume you purchased them outside of Canada.

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