I will be flying to Toronto in a few weeks time to complete my landing procedures and returning back to the US after staying only for a few days, do I need to bring with me a Goods To Follow list? I have read some conflicting information on this in other forums ranging from absolutely required to don’t even bother because the immigration officers won’t ask. I couldn’t find any official information on this either. I appreciate any advice regarding this. Thanks.
Yes, you will have to carry a goods to follow list. The customs (not immigration) officer will have to be provided the list. If your list is an informal printout with the items to follow and their prices then the officer should help you consolidate it on the official form. For cars you will need VIN and other details. Keep in mind the officer will forgot to ask you for the list so remember to bring it up.
On an unrelated note the confirmation of landing document that you will receive from immigration once you are through with the landing process is a very important document. Take very good care of it even after you receive your PR cards.
Thanks Vikram! Didn’t know about the conformation of landing document; thanks for letting me know!
Sorry you might have misunderstood (I worded it badly) the document I am talking about is the Confirmation of Permanent Residency (CoPR) it was sent to you by post when you got your PR. This is the same document you will be carrying with you when you land in Canada. I’m not referring to any new document.
Once you land the officer will sign this document and get you to sign it to at the end of all the formalities this is now your “confirmation of landing” and is a very important document that you must take care of.
Oh yes CoPR, got it, thanks for clarifying.
Yes it is important to take goods to follow list. Your first landing is the only chance to declare items which you will bring later. So these items will not be taxed once you bring them. Also if you have jewelry, you take pictures of the jewelry with u for stamping by CBSA.
I have also read conflicting information about the Goods to Follow list (B4 forms). I did make two lists (items I am carrying, and items to follow list) and got is signed by customs. However, after I came back to US I read it was unnecessary and the goods to follow can also be done when you’re actually moving. Is this true?
Seems like GTF may not be required for a short visit and must be provided when moving permanently to settle l. I emailed CBSA and this was their response:
A settler describes all who enter Canada with the intention of establishing a residence for the first time and for a period of not less than 12 months. Persons entering Canada to become Permanent Residents without the intention of residing immediately in Canada are not considered Settlers to Canada since they do not have any intention of remaining in Canada at that time, and will live outside Canada for an undetermined period of time. Therefore, under customs legislation, these persons are considered visitors to Canada, even if they are Permanent Residents for immigration purposes.
Before you settle in Canada, you must prepare two copies of a list, preferably typed, detailing all household and personal goods you are bringing into the country. Your list should describe the goods, giving such details as the value, make, model, and serial number of each item, particularly high-value items. Please note that we require the current value of goods, not the replacement value. The list should be divided into two parts, showing which items are accompanying the owner at the time of arrival and which items are to arrive at a later date as “goods to follow.”
For general household items such as books or clothing, a group listing and overall value is sufficient (e.g., kitchen utensils – $000). Since jewellery is difficult to describe accurately, it is best to use the wording from your insurance policy or jeweller’s appraisal and to include photographs that have been dated and signed by the jeweller or a gemologist. This information makes it easier to identify the jewellery when you first enter Canada, and later if you return from a trip abroad with this jewellery.
When you arrive in Canada you will have to give your list of goods to the border services officer, even if you do not have the goods with you at the time. Based on the list of goods you submit the officer will complete Form B4 or BSF186, Personal Effects Accounting Document, for you, assign a file number to your B4 or BSF186 form, and give you a copy of the completed form as a receipt. You will need to present your copy of the form to claim free importation of your unaccompanied goods when they arrive.
Memorandum D2-2-1, Settlers’ Effects - Tariff Item No. 9807.00.00, provides information about the B4 or BSF186 forms for people settling in Canada. It can be found at:
My experience while going through customs with the lists (I did those upon landing itself):
- They WILL go through the list, especially the goods to follow; usually you won’t have that many items, except your electronics, if you’re returning in a few days. They canceled out a few items from my list that I had added, and they were asking questions about it and I just said “never mind, cancel it”:
- mattress (because of bugs and stuff)
- NO food items allowed; even non perishable ones
- I had added “Documents” as a category with the estimated amount to get them back if I lost it, because I wasn’t sure: they canceled because they felt it was weird I added “Documents”…well…
- They will also tell you to go to another window and make you get a receipt of $0.00 assuming nothing is dutiable.
Honestly I can’t think of any physical goods I own that should be considered valuables other than a couple of electronics like Anshul mentioned.
Could someone offer insight as to the purpose or background of the GTF? And just for the sake of argument, what would happen if someone later brought any valuable with him or her which had not been claimed in the GTF?
Also, any restrictions in terms of transferring funds from a US bank to a Canadian bank?
I didn’t have a list. I just fedexd my stuff to Canada in a few boxes paid maybe 40 CAD in taxes
When I went to claim my car from the customs landing office they checked my CoPR document for landing date and just added it then. No duty.
No restrictions on moving your own money but don’t fly in with it.
It’s not just about valuables (jewelry etc.). If you’re planning to sell everything you own (other than clothes, documents, electronics etc), technically it’s still goods to be brought in. It’s OK to broadly categorize them under “Clothes”, “Books”, “Electronics”, “Miscellaneous” etc and put an estimated value. But as Vikram mentioned he didn’t have to do it and paid very little so it’s your call.
If it’s not too much hassle, I’d just make a list of EVERYTHING I own and get it stamped during landing…doesn’t matter if you don’t bring any of it! If you bring more than what’s listed, you might have to pay some duty.
The only thing to note is that if you already have a lot of stuff, like TV, Home theatre, all your kitchen appliances, and all that…it’s gonna cost slightly more in Canada, so make that cost-calculation (for moving a container with all your stuff is gonna cost your between $1500-2000 ballpark).
You can transfer as much from US to Canadian bank as you want, depending on daily transfer limits of your bank (my bank has a $35 wire transfer fee to my Canadian bank). If you’re bringing in more than $10,000 CAD, you need to declare it else they can confiscate it; there’s not limit on how much cash you can bring on your person. (Correct me if I’m wrong @vik but I heard there’s no limit on how much you can fly in with on your person with your money, or equivalent?)
Just to clarify, when you say “If you’re bringing in more than $10,000 CAD, you need to declare it else they can confiscate it”, do you refer to cash not bank transfer? Honestly, I wouldn’t know how much money I would want to transfer from US to Canada – it probably would be on a as-needed basis, since I would like to keep some funds in the US.
Yes I mean only if you’re bringing cash or cash equivalent on your person (cash, travelers checks, or other monetary instruments that’s equivalent to cash); it’s given on the cic website. You can transfer how much ever you want from bank to bank.
I don’t know if there is an upper limit but yes you can bring in cash and equivalent of amounts higher than even 10K CAD. What is of utmost important is that you report it when you land. Failure to report amounts larger than 10K CAD (per family) means you are in big trouble.
Just wanted to provide an update regarding GTF and landing. So I landed, I did not take the GTF list with me, I showed the friendly immigration officer the email CBSA sent me - he said “well this makes sense” but he mentioned that not everyone is aware of this. And, of course, I walked out of the airport without any issues - Canada is indeed a very friendly place But I am not sure if I will have a hard time next time when I am taking the GTF with me because I will have to explain this to the customs officer. So my suggestion to anyone who has sometime to spare, go ahead and make that list, you have to do it at some point anyways. If anyone here has got the GTF stamped while traveling back second time, it would helpful to know how it went. thanks.