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Q: My friends tell me that shopping is good in the States these days. How much stuff can I bring back into Canada?

Michele says...
It depends on how long you stayed in the United States (or any other country). You can claim $50 in goods if you stayed more than 24 hours. Less than that, you can’t legally bring anything back. That said, I’ve gone shopping for the day to the States many times and haven’t had to pay duty. Honesty is the best policy and don’t go overboard—it’s at the discretion of the customs officer whether you get waved through or not. The current exemption for stays of more than 48 hours is $400, and for a week or more, you’re allowed up to $750. But there are specific limitations for booze and tobacco. For complete guidelines, go to cbsa-asfc.gc.ca.

A travel writer extraordinaire, Michele Sponagle has visited more than 40 countries around the world. Click here to send her your questions.