Canada Canada Guide Things To Do Essentials Where to Stay Itineraries All Canada Duty-Free Shopping at the Canadian Border Written by Jane McLean Jane McLean is an Ontario-based travel writer who has covered Canada for more than 10 years. Tripsavvy's Editorial Guidelines Jane McLean Updated 08/03/20 Fact-Checked by Reviewed on 08/03/20 Jillian Dara Jillian Dara is a freelance travel writer and fact checker. Her work has appeared in Travel + Leisure, USA Today 10Best, Michelin Guide, Hemispheres, DuJour, and Jetsetter. About TripSavvy Fact-Checking Jillian Dara Share Pin Email Mark Spowart / Getty Images "Duty-free" refers to items that can be purchased at designated stores when crossing national borders, either at land and sea crossings or at airports. The items sold at duty-free stores are free of taxes and duties and thus generally much cheaper than at regular stores. Duty-free items are for "export only" and must be taken out of the country where purchased. What Visitors Can Buy Duty-free shops offer deals on items that usually carry heavy duties and taxes. For example, visitors may save up to 50 percent on liquor and tobacco. Other popular items include perfume, watches, jewelry, accessories, candy, travel-related items, and gifts. Many duty-free shops also have food courts, travel centers, business services, including faxes, telephones, photocopiers and telecommunication ports for laptop computers. Duty-free savings are generally not as good at airport duty-free shops, especially at some of the bigger airports where rental fees are high, so fewer savings are passed on to the consumer. The best deals are at the land crossings. Americans Traveling to Canada U.S. citizens crossing the border into Canada to visit are allowed to bring the following into Canada: 1.5 liters of wine, or 1.14 liters (40 ounces) of liquor, or 24 x 355 milliliters (12 ounces) cans or bottles (8.5 liters) of beer or ale. 1 carton (200 cigarettes) and 50 cigars Americans may bring up to $60 in gifts per recipient, excluding alcohol and tobacco. Returning to the U.S. After Less Than 48 Hours After a stay of fewer than 48 hours in Canada, a U.S. citizen or resident may return to the U.S. with: $200 worth of goods per person, tax and duty-free Any purchases in excess of the $200 allowance may be subject to duties and taxes. U.S. citizens may buy these amounts daily. After a stay of 48 hours or more in Canada, a U.S. citizen or resident may return to the U.S. with: $800 worth of goods per person, tax and duty-free Purchases may include 1.14 liters of alcohol, 200 cigarettes (1 carton), and 50 cigars. Any purchases in excess of the $800 allowance may be subject to duties and taxes. U.S. citizens may buy these amounts once a month. Duties and Taxes If you exceed your duty-free allowances and exemptions entering the U.S. the following approximate US duty and tax rates may apply. U.S. $2 - $3 per bottle of liquor* U.S. $1.90 per case of beer* U.S. $10 per carton of cigarettes**U.S. duty rates on purchases exceeding 1 liter of alcohol are assessed according to alcohol content. Best Buys Liquor, including spirits, wine, and beer, in Canada, is significantly more expensive than in the United States, so Americans going to Canada for a visit may want to stop at duty-free for liquor that they will consume while in Canada. Spirits, like vodka, gin, and whiskey see to offer the best bargains. Wine, not so much. Was this page helpful? Thanks for letting us know! Share Pin Email Tell us why! Submit Duty Free Shopping Rules for the Caribbean What Not to Bring Back From the Netherlands Do You Have to Pay Customs Duty on Liquor You Buy in Duty Free Shops? What to Know About French Customs Regulations Before Traveling Bringing Alcohol Into Canada Without Paying Duties What Can You Bring Into Ireland? Everything You Need to Know About French Customs Regulations UK Customs Regulations - What Can You Bring Into the UK? Travel Guide to Niagara Falls, Canada America's Newest Budget Airline Just Launched With Fares Under $20 Crossing the Canadian Border: Permitted and Prohibited Items Best Caribbean Islands for Duty-Free Shopping Visiting Vancouver? What You Can & Can't Bring Into Canada The 7 Best Places for Shopping in Tijuana How Liquids Are Measured in Canada Is Singapore a City, Island, or Country?