Canadian Duty Free
Tax & Duty Free Shopping is a special privilege – allowed by government – whenever you cross the border. Purchase allowances establish who qualifies for a duty free purchase exemption, and how much you may purchase without having to pay any of the taxes and duties normally charged at non-duty-free stores.
Purchase Allowances for
know your limit
Purchase allowances differ based on your country of residence (Canada or the United States), the direction of your travel (USA to Canada versus Canada to USA), and how long you have been travelling outside your home country (e.g. less than 24 hours, from 24 to 48 hours, or over 48 hours).
All travelers qualify for an “Anytime Personal Exemption” when travelling to the USA, even on trips less than 24 hours. You can also purchase in excess of your duty free allowance limits (Excess Purchases), but excess purchases may be subject to taxes charged by border Customs Authorities as you enter the USA or Canada.. However, in many instances American’s and Canadian’s can make excess purchases of alcohol before entering the USA, and still save a lot of money even if charged tax for the amount in excess of your duty free purchase allowance limit.
This page will outline your purchase allowance limits in detail.
DUTY FREE PURCHASE ALLOWANCES
FOR CANADIAN RESIDENTS
Canadian’s Travelling to the U.S.A.
Anytime Personal Exemption: Trips Less than 24 Hours Outside Canada – You may purchase up 1 Liter of Liquor, Wine, Beer or Ale, plus 1 Carton of 200 cigarettes plus 50 cigars plus 200g of Fine Cut Tobacco plus. You may purchase gifts of up to $100 USD per person in other merchandise.
Canadian’s Returning Home to Canada
Returning Home After Less than 24 Hours Outside Canada: All purchases may be subject to Canadian taxes and duties when declared to Canada Customs upon your return to Canada.
Returning Home After 24 but less than 48 Hours Outside Canada: You may purchase general merchandise of up to $200CAD per person, excluding tobacco and liquor. Tobacco and Alcohol purchases are subject to Canadian duty and taxes.
Returning Home After 48 Hours or More Outside Canada: You may purchase up to $800 in merchandise including: 1.14 Liters of liquor or 1.5 Liters of wine or 24x344ml of beer; 1 Carton (200 Cigarettes) plus 50 Cigars plus 200 grams of Tobacco plus 200 Tobacco Sticks, plus other items of general merchandise.
FOR U.S. RESIDENTS
American’s Returning Home to the U.S.A.
Anytime Personal Exemption: Less than 48 Hours Outside USA: You may purchase up to $200 USD per person in merchandise, which may include 150ml of alcohol. You may purchase alcohol in excess of your allowance and potentially realize significant savings even if you pay taxes and duties to U.S. Customs. See below and ask our staff for details during your visit.
Returning Home After 48 Hours or More Outside USA: You may purchase up to $800 in merchandise which may include: 1 Liter of liquor or 24x344ml of beer, plus 1 Carton (200 Cigarettes) plus 100 Cigars. You may purchase alcohol in excess of your allowance and potentially realized significant savings even if you pay taxes and duties to U.S. Customs. See below and ask our staff for details during your visit.
SAVINGS ON EXCESS DUTY FREE PURCHASES
OVER PURCHASE ALLOWANCE LIMIT
WHEN TRAVELLING TO THE USA
When travelling to the USA, you may purchase more than is allowed by purchase exemption limits and still save a lot of money, even if you pay U.S. import taxes when you cross the border. When visiting our store, ask our staff to find out which products offer the greatest savings. By way of example, consider the following:
Crown Royal 1 Liter Bottle (All prices and savings in CAD$)
Sarnia Duty Free Price = $29.50
LCBO Price = $39.43
Michigan LLBO Price = $36.99 USD/$47.28CAD$
Sarnia Duty Free Savings vs. LCBO = $9.93
Sarnia Duty Free Savings vs Michigan = $17.78
Approximate Per Bottle Savings Even if US Import Tax is Paid = $16.33 CAD$
Absolut Vodka 1 Liter Bottle (All prices and savings in CAD$)
Sarnia Duty Free Price = $20.00
LCBO Price = $38.15
Michigan LLBO Price = $27.99USD$/35.78CAD$
Savings vs. LCBO = $18.15
Savings vs Michigan = $15.78
Approximate Per Bottle Savings Even if US Import Tax is Paid = $12.78 CAD$
Based on prices and exchange rate, March 2022.
Prices and Exchange Rate Subject to Change.
DO BETTER AT THE BORDER