What you can bring with you — personal and household items.

Couple unpacking household items

What you can bring with you — personal and household items

As a landed immigrant, you are entitled to bring with you, free of duty and taxes, any personal and household items that you owned before your arrival in Canada.

These may include any of the following. But think about whether it is cheaper to ship or to buy new items once in Canada.


1. Furniture

2. Housewares

3. Silverware

4. Linens

5. Books

6. Clothing

7. Jewellery

8. Musical instruments

9. Family heirlooms

10. Antiques

11. Stamp and coin collections

12. Paintings

13. Cars, boats, aircraft

14. Power tools

15. Pets

Don’t forget receipts!

Wherever possible, you should retain the receipts for these goods to prove that they are your personal items and for your personal use.

Furnishings vs. electronics

While furnishings are a good choice to ship, electronics may not be worth the effort, as they may not work in Canada. The electrical current used by small appliances like lamps, radios, televisions is 110 volts, 60 cycles in Canada. If your appliances don’t conform to this voltage, leave them behind. Converters burn out too quickly to use them for any length of time. Also, DVDs may not work in Canadian DVD players; check their compatibility before packing them.

Cars and pets

If you wish to bring a vehicle into Canada, you must check to see that it meets the safety and pollution standards of Canada. See Transport Canada’s website at www.tc.gc.ca.

If you wish to bring pets into Canada, check the guidelines set by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (see www.inspection.gc.ca/english/anima/imp/petani/petanie.shtml). There are specific guidelines for bringing in pets and, if not met, they can be refused entry. While pet cats and dogs do not need to be quarantined, you do have to provide proof of their age and rabies status.

Immediate essentials

Make sure you have some clothing that will be appropriate for the weather when you land in Canada. Pack of a box of other essentials that you’ll need for your first few days in Canada.