Arriving passengers - International

Customs and immigration – primary inspection

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is responsible for providing integrated border services in Canada, including customs, immigration and luggage inspection services. In major airports, CBSA agents are assisted by dog handlers and dogs that have been specially trained to detect restricted or prohibited items, such as fruit, meat and cheese, by sniffing travellers’ luggage.

When you arrive in the Canada Customs area, you should have your travel documents on hand, as well as your completed Customs Declaration Card (E311), which you were given on the plane. The primary inspection line has 26 customs points as well as three self-service kiosks for people registered in the CANPASS Air/NEXUS program.

New!  Moreover, Canadian citizens and Canadian permanent residents can now use the new automated border control or ABC kiosks (click here for details).

You will be asked to answer a few questions, particularly with respect to the duration of your stay outside the country and the goods you are bringing back into Canada.

  • The personal exemptions to which you are entitled vary based on the duration of your stay.  In general, the merchandise that you may include in your personal exemption must be intended for your personal or domestic usage.
  • Certain conditions apply to tobacco products and alcoholic beverages.
  • There are restrictions on firearms, food products, animals and vegetables, endangered species and cultural goods.

Luggage pickup

Consult the illuminated display panels to find the luggage carousel number assigned to your flight. All fragile luggage, oversized bags and pets are delivered on a specially designed conveyor belt, located on the periphery of the carousel area.

Luggage delivery is the responsibility of your air carrier. If one of your suitcases is missing or damaged, or for any other similar problem, please go to your airline’s luggage service counter. Before leaving the terminal, you should also double-check that the suitcases you have picked up are indeed yours.

Please note that luggage trolleys are available free of charge on the arrivals and departures levels at Montréal-Trudeau. You may also request assistance from a porter by contacting your airline—a representative will call a porter for you.

Secondary inspection

Before going into the public hall, you must give your customs declaration card to a representative of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), who will tell you whether you need to go to the secondary inspection area. This inspection consists of a manual inspection of your luggage and, in some cases, a search.

If you are travelling with a pet, you must present the animal’s health report and pay the entry fees. You will also be expected to pay any fees owed in relation to your declared purchases at the payment counter.

There is also a foreign exchange office/counter in this area.


In the public arrivals hall, you will find a variety of useful services: an information counter and terminal, foreign exchange office, ATM machine, hotel reservation and tourism information terminal, a payment terminal, as well as a café-bar, mini-market and flower shop. The tourism information counter is located in the international arrivals area, near Carousel #6.

The luggage pickup service counter (for delayed or withheld items) is located at the end of the corridor. Use one of the telephones provided to speak with an attendant.

As you leave the terminal, all the transportation services are immediately available (747 Express bus, taxis and limousines, etc.). If you require assistance, simply contact someone at the Aéroports de Montréal counter. Car rental services are all located in the same kiosk located outside the terminal on the ground floor of the multi-level parking area.

For more information, watch this video describing the arrival process.