Good BadTravelers often arrive with a suitcase of personal effects, including food and plants.  Canada does not permit anything and everything to be imported into Canada.  Before traveling to Canada (or buying foreign foods outside Canada while on vacation and bringing the yummy foods back to Canada), it is wise to consult with the Canada Border Services Agency and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.  The Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s publication “What Can I Bring Into Canada in Terms Of Food, Plant, Animal and Related Products?” is useful (albeit not a searchable list of acceptable and prohibited importations).

Even if the food you are bringing into Canada is listed as permissible, you must report the goods on your E311 Form “Customs Declaration Card” that you are asked to complete on the airplane.  The CBSA may decide to inspect the bags to determine if any food is not permitted.  If you do not indicate that you have food, you may be subject to a fine up to $1,300 and may be subject to prosecution if you fail to declare significant amounts of prohibited foods. In addition, the CBSA may seize a  traveler’s NEXUS pass.