Travel tips for the busy summer season throughout the Pacific Highway District

WITH the summer season well underway, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) would like to remind travellers to plan ahead before crossing the border.

Last year between January 1 and December 31, 2016, the CBSA processed over 11,803,688 travellers and 6,548,252 vehicles that entered Canada through the five Lower Mainland border crossings in the Pacific Highway District. The Pacific Highway District includes the following ports of entry (POE) with United States counterpart listed:

  • Abbotsford-Huntingdon (Sumas)
  • Aldergrove (Lynden)
  • Pacific Highway (Blaine)
  • Douglas (Peace Arch, Blaine)
  • Boundary Bay (Point Roberts)

The busiest POEs were Douglas, which processed over 4,387,273 travellers and 2,305,305 vehicles last year alone; and Pacific Highway, which processed over 3,157,040 travellers and 1,513,437 vehicles. As a result, the CBSA recommends travellers to consider re-routing to the Aldergrove and Abbotsford-Huntingdon POEs to make your cross-border trip a little quicker. Other tips include:

  • Plan ahead: Cross the border outside the busiest days and times, especially be prepared if you plan to cross on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday. During these days, longer wait times begin building early in the day and carry on throughout the afternoon. For information on border wait times, download the mobile CanBorder app or check the Current Border Wait Times table.  
  • 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 (BSO). Be prepared to declare all goods purchased and/or received while outside the country. If you are a bus passenger, have your E311 Declaration Card completed and signed before arriving at the POE.
  • Be aware: Visitors to Canada cannot, under any circumstances, import prohibited firearms, prohibited devices or prohibited weapons. When travellers arrive at the Primary Inspection Line booth at a POE, they should take this first opportunity to declare any firearms in their possession to the BSO to eliminate any risk of penalty or prosecution. Learn more about Import and Export a Firearm or Weapon into Canada.
  • 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.
  • Ask the CBSA officer: To enter into Canada as quickly as possible, the best thing you can do is to be open and honest with the BSO. If you are not sure about what to declare, don’t hesitate to ask. The officers are there to help you.

For future travel, apply to become a NEXUS member to expedite the border clearance process. For more cross-border information, visit the CBSA website or call the Border Information Service line at 1-800-461-9999 within Canada or 1-204-983-3500 outside Canada.


NEXUS Hours of Operation into Canada

July to September 2017

Location (Canada) Location (U.S.) NEXUS
Abbotsford-Huntingdon Sumas 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Monday to Friday)

8 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Saturday, Sunday and Statutory Holiday Mondays)

Aldergrove Lynden 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Boundary Bay Point Roberts 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Pacific Highway (Surrey) Blaine 7 a.m. to midnight
Douglas (Surrey) Peace Arch (Blaine) 7 a.m. to midnight