THE Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) advises travellers to prepare for a busy Good Friday and Easter Monday long weekend at the border throughout the Pacific Highway District.
Last year during the Good Friday and Easter Monday long weekend, the CBSA processed over 80,616 vehicles and 166,542 travellers that entered Canada through the five Lower Mainland border crossings (United States counterparts are also listed):
- Abbotsford-Huntingdon (Sumas)
- Aldergrove (Lynden)
- Pacific Highway (Blaine)
- Douglas (Peace Arch, Blaine)
- Boundary Bay (Point Roberts)
At the Douglas port of entry (POE), there is ongoing construction and only six lanes are available (five general traffic lanes and one NEXUS lane) compared to the usual 10. As a result, travellers are strongly encouraged to use alternate POEs: Pacific Highway (exit 275 on Interstate 5), Aldergrove or Abbotsford-Huntingdon.
All persons, including Canadian citizens, seeking entry to Canada must present themselves to the CBSA and may be subject to a more in-depth exam. All persons must demonstrate they meet the requirements to enter and / or stay in Canada. To make your crossing a little smoother, here are some tips:
- Plan ahead: Cross the border in the morning, especially if you plan to cross on a Sunday or Monday. The Douglas POE is the busiest land border crossing in British Columbia, and longer wait times begin building in the afternoon and carry on throughout the evening. For border wait times, download the mobile CanBorder app or visit the CBSA website.
- Be prepared: Have your travel documents, proper identification for all persons in the vehicle, and receipts from purchases outside of Canada ready to present to the border services officer. Be ready to declare all goods purchased and/or received while outside the country.
- Declare all purchases, acquisitions, and /or gifts received when returning to Canada: refer to the I Declare brochure on the CBSA website for more information. If you are bringing gifts, it is recommended they not be wrapped as we may need to examine them more in-depth.
- Know your exemption limits: If you plan to make purchases or pick up online purchases across the border, be aware of your exemption limits. Be sure to check the CBSA duty and taxes estimator to calculate taxes on goods purchased in the United States and to help you make informed decisions when shopping abroad.
- Know the contents of your vehicle: Travellers can consult the CBSA’s website for information on firearms and other restricted and prohibited goods.
- Become a NEXUS member: NEXUS is designed to expedite the border clearance process for low-risk, pre-approved travellers into Canada and the United States, in the land, air, and marine modes. Apply to become a NEXUS member.
- Ask the CBSA officer: To enter into Canada as quickly as possible, the single best thing you can do is to simply be open and honest with the CBSA officer. If you are not sure about what to declare, don’t hesitate to ask. The officers are there to help you.
For more information, visit the travel tips section on the CBSA website or contact the Border Information Service.
|NEXUS Hours of Operation|
|Location (Canada)||Location (U.S.)||NEXUS Hours of service into Canada|
|Abbotsford-Huntingdon||Sumas||8 am to 8 pm (Mon to Fri)
8 am to 10 pm (Sat, Sun and Holiday Monday)
|Aldergrove||Lynden||10 am to 8 pm|
|Boundary Bay||Point Roberts||7 am to 7 pm|
|Pacific Highway (Surrey)||Blaine||7 am to midnight|
|Douglas (Surrey)||Peace Arch (Blaine)||7 am to midnight|