Canada, Vancouver Airport, how long for customs?

davinski

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My son and I will be travelling from Denver to Whitehorse, YT through Vancouver in September. I've never travelled outside the U.S. with my firearms. It sounds like we'll be going through customs after landing in Vancouver in order to get the flight to Whitehorse. Has anyone done that same thing recently and/or have a ballpark estimate for how much time to allow for that whole process? Thanks.
 

cedahm

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not an exact experience, but we just crossed into BC last Saturday (By land). Be sure to download the ArriveCAN app and add traveler information. Then update your ‘Trip’ in the app within 72h (so, 1-3 days ahead) of arrival. It was pretty seamless.


On past trips, I’ve never had arrivals (immigration and customs) take long at YVR but it has been a few years and I never had a firearm, so cant help there.

have a great trip!
 

Rainer

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Oh man, take as much time as you have. The airports now are a clusterf***. That being said I done it where it took 30 minutes and once it took 4 hours. If that helps at all
 

Letthemgrow

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My son and I will be travelling from Denver to Whitehorse, YT through Vancouver in September. I've never travelled outside the U.S. with my firearms. It sounds like we'll be going through customs after landing in Vancouver in order to get the flight to Whitehorse. Has anyone done that same thing recently and/or have a ballpark estimate for how much time to allow for that whole process? Thanks.
. . . Anndddddd why are you traveling to the YT in September with a firearm? C'mon man, you can't do that.
 

davinski

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Thanks, all. Flight options were limited so I think I'll be cutting it close. Might have to step up my cardio game.

Oh, just a little jaunt...to hunt moose and grizzly on the back of the Rocky Mountain Bighorn Society winning raffle ticket! Yukon Stone Outfitters will be running the show. It'll be darn hard to say focused over the next month and a half.

My son and I were already planning on an AK moose hunt so I had to switch things up a bit. YSO was able to add him as another hunter on my dime. First world problems, I know, but we're both pretty jazzed about the whole thing.
 

OntarioHunter

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. . . Anndddddd why are you traveling to the YT in September with a firearm? C'mon man, you can't do that.
Of course he can. Form 6 to get the guns back in US, temporary possession permit into Canada filled out at crossing only requires letter from outfitter confirming the trip. Can't bring ARs or handguns.
 

OntarioHunter

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The airports are a mess and unclear if things will be better by September. 57% of flights at Pearson in Toronto were delayed during June and July. If you had two hours to change planes that might suffice in best of times. Give yourself a heap of time. Right now I suggest four hours. I have seven hours in Toronto on my way to Africa in a couple of weeks and praying that will be enough time for my gun to get on the same plane to Stutgart. Layover there is eleven hours so gun should make it on board flight to Africa. I check it in here at local airport and don't see it again till I get to Joberg, SA. Couple of days in the twilight zone.
 
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Letthemgrow

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Of course he can. Form 6 to get the guns back in US, temporary possession permit into Canada filled out at crossing only requires letter from outfitter confirming the trip. Can't bring ARs or handguns.
Well, you obviously didn't get it, but he did and kindly responded, so I will leave it at that.
 

Sytes

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Once school / college is rolling, the family air international vacations / visits slow down and the norm returns to flying, especially U.S. / Canada. That's mid-late August.

September, it *should ease up on time frame to/from Canada. Right now, it's a bit overloaded...

*COVID easing, has popped international airports to their seams with airlines overbooking, canceling transit international locations, etc.

Personal impression: Always give myself as much time as possible when dealing with international airports. Push layovers at **least 2 hrs for transit flights, international.

Grats! Looking forward to your HT recap of the adventure. What an awesome raffle win for a great cause! Tack in your son joining - great stuff.

Also, temp international firearms transport of USC's who reside in the U.S., it's CBP form 4457.
If not already completed, include any high priced scope description and serial # along w/ rifle model, caliber, and serial #. Have it stamped by CBP and keep it as long as you own the firearm.(laminate and stick it behind the foam of the gun case.
 

belshawelk

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I do this all the time for business. It all depends. I have a fast pass but those who don't, it can range from 30min to 2 hrs. IF you get there before the 747's from Asia come in your fine. Show up close proximity to arrival and you are screwed. Could 2 hrs. Vancouver has a huge incoming of Chinese, middle eaterns and others. They have no clue what they are doing and don't speak the language.

Unless you are flying to another place after that i highly recommend flying to Bellingham WA and driving across. Plus NO covid test to come back when you drive.
 

OntarioHunter

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I do this all the time for business. It all depends. I have a fast pass but those who don't, it can range from 30min to 2 hrs. IF you get there before the 747's from Asia come in your fine. Show up close proximity to arrival and you are screwed. Could 2 hrs. Vancouver has a huge incoming of Chinese, middle eaterns and others. They have no clue what they are doing and don't speak the language.

Unless you are flying to another place after that i highly recommend flying to Bellingham WA and driving across. Plus NO covid test to come back when you drive.
Don't forget, he has guns. The airlines usually advise checking those in an EXTRA hour earlier. If not Canadian citizen or resident, the guns will slow you down at customs AND then again when you check them with airline. Two hours would be cutting it thin I think.
 

reallyoldman

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Oct 6, 2021
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Suggest you talk with your outfitter. I have had to stay overnight because of BC customs just dragging their feet ) 6 hours). Just happen to get anti-hunters at customs. It can govern smooth but it can also be a horrific pain in the a$$. I have done this trip probably 10-11 times.
 

davinski

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Jan 30, 2011
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Western Colorado
Thanks, all. I was able to re-schedule our Denver-Vancouver leg earlier so we should have plenty of time to wrangle customs without a time crunch. My options were 90 minutes or 11 hours. If I can't wrangle customs in 11 hours, there's probably something wrong. Might be asking for half-day sightseeing tips later!

Something weird, at least to me, on this flight purchase and I fly a lot. Air Canada was expensive, United was crazy expensive, but Expedia was reasonable for the same round trip. I never ever use Expedia or 3rd party site to buy flights, only to check them. Then I usually buy them through the airline site. If anything goes wrong and you bought your tickets 3rd party, the airlines are virtually no help. But this time the price difference was remarkable and just too much, so I bit.

As I endured the Expedia chat window odyssey today changing flights, I checked out all the individual legs in another browser as one-way flights. The grand total of all those would have been cheaper yet! I don't know that I would pull the trigger on something like that, but in hindsight I would have been better off just doing round-trip flights that each converged at Vancouver, and just booked each trip through Air Canada and United, respectively. Learned something new, I guess.
 
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