Bringing Jewellery to Canada


This post might be exclusively for the Indians out there. There is a reason why India is the world’s largest net importer of gold. We, folks, like to flaunt the yellow metal. So it is not surprising that many of the ladies who are aspiring to land in Canada ask me this obvious question- How to bring all my gold to Canada?

First, you need to ask yourself, whether you need to bring ALL your gold to Canada. It is a different country after all. If you’re adamant, read on.

If you arrive at selected international airports, you can make an on-screen declaration using a Primary Inspection Kiosk. You just need to scan your travel document, take your photo and answer a few questions to complete your declaration. And if you use the Canadian Border Service Agency’s eDeclaration mobile app, apparently, as claimed by the agency, you can reduce your processing time at the kiosk by 50%.

If you arrive at an airport without the kiosks, you will receive a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) Declaration Card to complete before you land.

The Declaration Card tells the CBSA what they need to know about you, your travels and what you’re bringing into Canada. Instructions on how to complete the card are attached for your assistance.

Please note that everyone arriving in Canada must complete a Declaration Card. You can list up to four people living at the same residence on one card.

Once the Declaration Card is completed, detach and discard the instructions. Please do not fold the card, as this allows for a quicker process.

Be sure to keep the Declaration Card handy along with your identification and other travel documents. You will be asked to show this card several times once you get off the plane.

If you have any questions about your declaration, be a dude and just ask the border services officer when you arrive. Further, officers may ask you questions about your jewellery or precious ornaments during your customs interview.

Here, what you have to be aware of is making sure you describe these items on your list of goods.

To avoid delays at customs when you enter Canada:

  • use the wording from your insurance policy if you have one, or jeweller’s appraisal on your list of jewellery;
  • If none of this is available, do your own valuation of the jewellery. Measure the grams, multiply with the gold rate per ounce at London market add 15% as making charges. Please note that this may not cover the antique value of the ornaments if any. So some of the newly arrived PR holders choose to carry the valuation certificates from a professional like a Chartered Accountant or an authorized jeweller.
  • include photographs of the jewellery or ornaments. Just take good quality photographs and colour print them in A4 paper (each of them);
  • know how much you paid for the items or have a receipt showing how much you paid (the officers will ask that);
  • you don’t need to pay duty or tax on family heirlooms

What if I do not declare the valuables?

If you do not declare, or falsely declare goods, the CBSA can seize them. This means that you may lose the goods permanently or that you may have to pay a penalty to get them back. Depending on the type of goods and the circumstances involved, the CBSA may impose a penalty that ranges from 25% to 80% of the value of the seized goods.

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