What to Expect: Secondary Inspections and Services

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What to Expect: Secondary Inspections and Services

Secondary Inspections 

The CBSA (Canada Border Services Agency) is the first line of defense for anything and anyone entering the country. CBSA officers work tirelessly around the clock to ensure Canada’s safety & security by managing and monitoring access to persons and goods.

Whether arriving by land, sea or air, at any point during your interaction with a CBSA officer, you may be referred for secondary inspection. Not to worry though. Being sent for secondary inspection does not mean you are under suspicion – it is most likely a random procedure and a very normal part of the cross-border travel process.


Why you may be referred for a Secondary Inspection

you may be referred for secondary inspection for a variety of reasons including:

  • random inspection
  • verification of documents
  • paying duties or taxes
  • determining admissibility to Canada

Secondary inspections are not made on any discriminatory basis and all CBSA officers are subject to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms


What to Expect

If referred for secondary inspection, an officer may:

  • ask you to provided added details as to your planned stay in Canada
  • verify your declaration
  • confirm children travelling under your care
  • perform inspection of pets traveling with you
  • requests proof of purchases
  • inspect cash or equivalent on hand


Please note: While the majority of travelers to Canada are doing so peacefully, there are individuals who intend to break the law or avoid detection. For this reason, officers may not answer specific questioning.

secondary inspections - CBSA