Cross Border – Moving from the US to Canada

Moving from the US to CanadaA long distance move is a move outside provincial limits, within Canada or cross-border to the United States. (Or from the U.S. to Canada) Most often, more than one Allied agency is involved in a long distance move. The Allied system is a well coordinated network of agencies that partner together in the moving process for long distance moves.

TO CANADA (from the United States or another Country)

When moving to Canada, whether from the United States or another country of origin, you will need to be aware of some specific requirements and procedures set by Canada Customs. If you are not a returning Canadian citizen, you will need to obtain an employment authorization, issued by an immigration officer, after the CEC (Canada Employment Center) states that you are eligible to work in Canada. You will need to fill out an Employment Authorization Form (see Online Forms section) along with your employer. (There are sections of the form that you will both need to complete) You will also need to provide proof of citizenship, such as a passport or birth certificate, in order to clear Customs and enter Canada. At your port of entry, you will need to declare that you are moving to the country.

Canadian Consulate General
Immigration Section
Suite 3000
One Marine Midland Center
Buffalo, NY 14203-2884
Phone: 1-716-858-9590
Fax: 1-716-858-9591

You (or your employer, if your employer is looking after these arrangements) will receive a no-cost, no-obligation consultation and estimate of cost for your move to Canada. You may choose to do your own packing of items into boxes. (See our Packing Info section) or you may have our professional packers do either a partial or full pack of your items into boxes. The Allied agent responsible for making the arrangements for your move (booking agent / origin agent) can provide packing materials (boxes, paper, tape) if you do not have these yourself and you are planning on doing your own packing. A moving consultant will visit you personally at your home to do a visual survey of the items you have to move in order give you an accurate estimate of cost, which you will receive in written form.

When moving day arrives, your driver (Van Foreman) and his helper(s) will arrive at your home. The Van Foreman will proceed to do a detailed inventory of your household items to be moved and will provide you with copies of all official paperwork. Copies of the detailed inventory will accompany your official Bill of Lading at all times but you will need to meet your driver (Van Foreman) at the Canadian Customs office nearest to your new home to gain delivery of your goods when they have arrived in Canada. It is always a good idea for you to prepare your own detailed inventory of all household and personal items to be moved and their approximate valuation. This list should include make, model, serial numbers and approximate valuation of all electronic items. High value items such as expensive jewelry, coins, and collections should be transported by you personally or be sent by courier.

There are also special restrictions on certain items coming into Canada.

Items for Commercial Use

BighamItems for commercial use (motor vehicles, farm equipment or other capital equipment used for construction, contracting or manufacturing) are subject for duties.


There are certain firearms that cannot be imported into Canada and you will need to check with the chief provincial or territorial firearms officer nearest to you to determine if your firearm(s) can be imported and what permit(s) are required. Shotguns and rifles can be imported without permits but they are the only firearms for which such liberty applies. When you have received the proper permit(s) for your firearm(s) then they can be transported, unloaded, by Allied Van Lines. Detailed proof of your ownership will be required at the Canadian border, so you may wish to transport your firearms yourself to simplify the process. If you choose to have Allied Van Lines transport your firearms, you must be sure to give the Van Foreman copies of all permits, registrations and receipts. (See Online Forms section)
NOTE: Allied Van Lines will not transport ammunition for safety reasons.


It is not recommended that you import plants, plant products, fruits and vegetables into Canada. If you do, you must be prepared to declare so to a Customs Officer for inspection. You must contact the CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) for information on certificates or permits required before importation. Common and recognizable indoor household plants from the continental United States are allowed to be imported. All other plants to be imported from the U.S. must have proper certificates from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and have an import permit from the CFIA in advance.
NOTE: Allied Van Lines will not transport plants.

Food, Food Products

Food and food products can be imported into Canada but there are restrictions and limits that apply, especially to meat, eggs, and dairy products.
You will need to contact a Customs office before you make a decision to import food or food products.
Customs will provide you with up-to-date information on quantity limits for certain food products that can be brought into Canada tax and duty-free.
If you exceed these limits, high rates of duty will be applicable.
NOTE: Allied Van Lines will not transport perishable foods. Canned goods are acceptable.

Animals (Endangered Species)

Canada is a member of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora).

CITES protects wild animals and plants from overexploitation in international trade and also controls any product, derivative or by-product of the endangered species.

Any plant or animal with an endangered classification requires a permit from CITES.
Here is list of items that cannot be imported into Canada:
-any items made from or containing elephant ivory, such as figurines, jewelry, piano keys, bagpipe fittings.
-articles made from snake and crocodile skins, such as boots, purses, shoes, watch straps.
-articles made from corals, such as jewelry.
-articles made from cactus plants, such a rain sticks.
-some medicines containing endangered species parts.

Animals (Pets)

Pet dogs or cats (most common pets) that are more than 3 months old must have a dated certificate, signed by a veterinarian, showing that the animal has been vaccinated against rabies within the last three years. The certificate must identify the animal by breed, age, sex, coloring and any distinguishing marks.

Pet dogs or cats under 3 months old, or seeing-eye dogs, do not require a certificate but the animal must be in good health when they arrive.
NOTE: Allied Van Lines does not transport pets.

Motor Vehicles

Motor vehicles to be imported into Canada are regulated by the Registrar of Imported Vehicles.
Motor vehicles that are less than 15 years old must meet or exceed Canadian safety emissions standards and must have the compliance label clearly placed on the vehicle, along with the year of the vehicle’s manufacture. Vehicles that are manufactured to meet U.S. safety emissions standards will usually pass Canadian safety emissions standards but the importer is responsible for ensuring that their vehicle meets or exceeds Canadian standards or that it can be modified to meet said standards. The best way to ensure that your vehicle meets Canadian standards is to contact the Registrar for Imported Vehicles and fill out a Certificate of Safety Compliance Report. A few will apply, the cost will depend the make, model and year of your vehicle.

Registrar contact info:
1-800-511-7755 (Toll free in the United States and Canada)
1-416-967-9955 (Local calls in the Toronto Area)

In order for vehicles to receive a Canadian license, they must fully comply with all standards and have received approval from the Registrar of Imported Vehicles.
They must be free from foreign soil and should be cleaned thoroughly before they are shipped, removing any and all personal belongings.
Vehicles that are leased may not be allowed into Canada even if they are accompanied by a letter of authorization from the leasing company.

Alcohol and Tobacco

Certain amounts of alcoholic beverages and tobacco products can be imported into Canada tax and duty-free, if you meet the age requirements of the province or territory where you enter Canada. They must be in your possession when you enter the country.

Up to 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars, 200 grams of tobacco, and 200 tobacco sticks can be imported for personal use, without federal, provincial, or territorial assessment.

Greater quantities can be imported but full duties must be paid for the extra amounts.
The Canadian government will allow you to import up to 1.14 liters (40 ounces) of wine or liquor, or 24 x 355 milliliter (12 ounce) cans or bottles of beer or ale, without federal, provincial, or territorial assessment. (The Northwest Territories has a higher allowance) If limits are exceeded, customs assessment, provincial or territorial levies and taxes can be applied.

Allied Van Lines will transport alcoholic beverages but it is done solely at the risk of the shipper.
Allied Van Lines will not be responsible for any loss or damage to cartons / containers containing alcoholic beverages or cartons / containers / items damaged by alcoholic beverages.