Temporary website updates are in progress to fix technical issues. For assistance, visit our Contact Us page.

Bringing food into Canada for personal use

If you bring food into Canada for personal use, be aware of federal import requirements. They apply whether you are a traveller or are buying food online. So be sure to pack and shop wisely.

Before bringing food into Canada

Find out if the item is allowed and under what conditions

There may be restrictions on the items you bring into Canada for your own personal use. These restrictions vary depending on the item, the country it originates from and the Canadian province you're bringing it to.

Restrictions and requirements

To determine if the product is admissible to Canada, the restrictions that apply to the product and if you need to obtain documents prior to bringing the product into Canada, refer to:

If your food is not listed in these tables, refer to the Automated Import Reference System (AIRS).

If you need a document, such as a permit, the item won't be allowed into Canada without it. Use AIRS to find out what documents you need or contact the National Centre of Permissions.

Travellers coming into Canada can carry food with them for their own personal use, provided the food is imported within the specified personal exemption limits of the Safe Food for Canadian Regulations and there are no restrictions in place under other federal legislation, such as the Health of Animals Act or the Plant Protection Act.

When bringing food into Canada, whether as a traveller or through an online purchase, you are eligible for the personal use exemption if:

  • the food is solely for personal use, not for commercial use, and
  • the quantity of food you are bringing into Canada does not exceed the limits set out in the document Maximum Quantity Limits for Personal Use Exemption prepared by Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), and listed in table 1 and table 2

Other duties and taxes may apply to imported foods. Find out more about the laws around bringing personal goods into Canada.

Items from the United States

Didn't find what you're looking for? Check out the Automated Import Reference System (AIRS)

Table 1. Food products allowed into Canada originating from the United States Table Note 1
Product Restrictions and requirements New maximum quantity limits for personal use exemption
(per person)
Animal fat or suet Permitted only if accompanied into Canada by you (cannot be brought in by mail or courier)

20 kg (if measured by weight)

20 L (if measured by volume)

Baked goods such as bread, pastries, cakes, fruit pies, biscuits Cannot contain meat. 20 kg
Condiments, dressings None

20 kg (if measured by weight)

20 L (if measured by volume)

Confectionary, sweeteners, snack foods Cannot contain meat.

20 kg (if measured by weight)

20 L (if measured by volume)

Dairy products None

20 kg (if measured by weight)

20 L (if measured by volume)

Dried foods (except those included in food commodities) Please see AIRS. 20 kg
Eggs and processed egg products
  • During outbreaks of avian disease (Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza and Newcastle Disease), eggs must be retail packaged, for human consumption, and clearly labelled as a "Product of the USA"
  • Eggs from a farm or backyard flock are not permitted for import at any time

5 dozen eggs

Processed egg products:

  • 20 kg (if measured by weight) of processed eggs
  • 20 L (if measured by volume) of processed eggs
Fish and seafood

Pufferfish and Chinese mitten crab (Eriocheir sinensis) are not permitted.

Shark fins or parts of shark fins that are not attached to a shark carcass are prohibited under the Fisheries Act.

You require a permit if:

Certain fish species, such as sturgeons, and their products are protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and may be prohibited or require a CITES permit.

  • Find out if your fish is on the CITES list and what applies to their import by using the species search tool
  • Sturgeon caviar of a quantity greater than 250 g requires a CITES permit
  • If you need a CITES permit, consult Permits for trade in protected species

40 kg (except for dried fish and fish roe)

10 kg of dried fish

1 kg of fish roe

Fresh fruits or vegetables

Refer to AIRS

Potatoes must be commercially packaged and graded US No.1

Fruits: 20 kg

Vegetables: 20 kg

Fruits and vegetables:

Processed fruit or vegetable (including herbs) such as dried, frozen, canned

None

Processed fruits:

  • 20 kg (if measured by weight)
  • 20 L (if measured by volume)

Processed vegetables:

  • 20 kg (if measured by weight)
  • 20 L (if measured by volume)
Game animal carcasses

You require a hunter's permit or a licence.

Permitted only if accompanied into Canada by you (cannot be brought in by mail or courier).

Provincial restrictions may apply. For example, on deer, there may be restrictions due to chronic wasting disease.

Note: there is no maximum quantity for the purpose of importing such a carcass or part of a carcass for personal use. However, this quantity may be subject to limits imposed by a hunter's permit or another form of permission from a competent authority.

N/A
Grain-derived foods None

20 kg (if measured by weight)

20 L (if measured by volume)

Honey None 20 kg

Infant formula

  • Dry milk-based
  • Liquid milk-based
  • Non-milk-based, (dry/liquid) formula
None

20 kg (if measured by weight)

20 L (if measured by volume)

Maple syrup and products None

20 L maple syrup

4 kg maple products

Meat products (meat and poultry): fresh, frozen and chilled
  • Permitted only if accompanied into Canada by you (cannot be brought in by mail or courier)
  • Packages must have identifying marks, indicating what the product is
  • Proof of country of origin is required (label showing "Product of USA" is acceptable)
  • During outbreaks of avian disease (Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza and Newcastle Disease), poultry must be retail packaged, for human consumption, and clearly labelled as a "Product of the USA"
  • Eggs from a farm or backyard flock are not permitted for import at any time
  • Get additional information on restrictions on poultry and birds from the United States
20 kg
Multi-ingredient foods None

20 kg (if measured by weight)

20 L (if measured by volume)

Non-alcoholic beverages None 50 L
Nuts, grains, seeds Refer to AIRS 20 kg
Oils (food grade) N/A 50 L
Spices, tea, coffee None 20 kg

Items from outside the United States

Didn't find what you're looking for? Check out the Automated Import Reference System (AIRS)

Table 2. Food products allowed into Canada originating from a foreign country other than United StatesTable Note 1
Product Restrictions and requirements Maximum quantity limits for personal use exemption
(per person)
Animal fat or suet

Permitted only if accompanied into Canada by you (cannot be brought in by mail or courier)

  • products cooked and shelf-stable (safe at room temperature) and
  • purchased in a sealed container (such as a glass jar, can, retort pouch, semi-rigid disposable serving dishes for ready-to-eat meals)

20 kg (if measured by weight)

20 L (if measured by volume)

Bread, pastries, cakes, fruit pies, biscuits and baked goods Cannot contain meat. 20 kg
Condiments, dressings None

20 kg (if measured by weight)

20 L (if measured by volume)

Confectionary, sweeteners, snack foods Cannot contain meat.

20 kg (if measured by weight)

20 L (if measured by volume)

Dairy products Only cheese, ice cream, yogurt, and kashk are permitted

20 kg (if measured by weight)

20 L (if measured by volume)

Dried Foods (except those included in food commodities) Refer to AIRS 20 kg
Eggs and processed egg products Not permitted N/A
Fish and seafood

Pufferfish and Chinese mitten crab (Eriocheir sinensis) are not permitted.

Shark fins or parts of shark fins that are not attached to a shark carcass are prohibited under the Fisheries Act.

You require a permit if:

Certain fish species, such as sturgeons, and their products are protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and may be prohibited or require a CITES permit.

  • Find out if your fish is on the CITES list and what applies to their import by using the species search tool
  • Sturgeon caviar of a quantity greater than 250 g requires a CITES permit
  • If you need a CITES permit, consult Permits for trade in protected species

40 kg (except for dried fish and fish roe)

10 kg of dried fish

1 kg of fish roe

Fresh fruits or vegetables Refer to AIRS. Products may be restricted or prohibited from entry into Canada depending on the country of origin.

If permitted:

  1. Fruits: 20 kg
  2. Vegetables: 20 kg
Processed fruit or vegetables (including herbs) such as dried, frozen, canned None

Processed fruits:

  • 20 kg (if measured by weight)
  • 20 L (if measured by volume)

Processed vegetables:

  • 20 kg (if measured by weight)
  • 20 L (if measured by volume)
Game animal carcasses Not permitted N/A
Grain-derived foods None

20 kg (if measured by weight)

20 L (if measured by volume)

Honey None 20 kg

Infant formula

  • Dry milk-based
  • Liquid milk-based
  • Non-milk based, (dry/liquid) formula

Only infant formula that's commercially packaged, sealed and shelf-stable (at room temperature) is permitted into Canada.

Cannot be labelled "Keep refrigerated" or "Keep frozen" before opening.

20 kg (if measured by weight)

20 L (if measured by volume)

Maple syrup and products None

20 L maple syrup

4 kg maple products

Meat products

Fresh, dried, and cured meats (such as hams and sausages) are not permitted.

Only the following commercially prepared meat products are permitted and only if accompanied by you into Canada (they cannot be brought in by mail or courier):

  • products cooked and shelf-stable (safe at room temperature) and
  • purchased in a sealed container (such as a glass jar, can, retort pouch, semi-rigid disposable serving dishes for ready-to-eat meals)

If the permitted product contains beef, it can only be imported from countries of negligible risk for Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE or mad cow disease).

The packages must have identifying marks indicating what the product is and which country it originates from.

Proof of country of origin may be required.

20 kg
Multi-ingredient foods None

20 kg (if measured by weight)

20 L (if measured by volume)

Non-alcoholic beverages None 50 L
Nuts, grains, seeds Refer to AIRS. Products may be restricted or prohibited from entry into Canada depending on the country of origin. 20 kg
Oils (food grade) None 50 L
Spices, tea, coffee None 20 kg

Be aware of the product risks

Food can be contaminated with hazards that present a risk to human health, plants can carry invasive species that harm the environment and animal products can carry diseases that affect animals and humans.

When bringing food into Canada under the personal use exemptions, you may be bringing products that don't comply with the Canadian requirements. These requirements help safeguard the well-being of Canadians and the health of our environment and economy.

If you are buying food items online, visit the CFIA e-commerce page for more information on making safe purchases.

Declare the product

When travelling, you must declare all food products you bring with you into Canada.