Border services officers protect Canadian society, the environment, and industry. They prevent illegal items (such as drugs, firearms, obscene material, and other prohibited goods) from entering the country. They also guard against diseases (human, animal, and plant) that could threaten Canada’s well-being.
Border services officers enforce about 90 laws and regulations. They inspect goods imported for personal or commercial use. They deal with the public at airports, seaports, railway stations, and highway crossings. As the first official contact for newcomers, they serve as goodwill ambassadors.
In general, border services officers:
- examine documents and interview travellers and importers
- detain people who may pose a threat to Canada
- deny entry to people who are not allowed in Canada (such as those involved in terrorism, organized crime, war crimes, or crimes against humanity)
- examine personal and commercial shipments
- monitor the movement of goods
- stop illegal goods from entering or leaving the country
- assess taxable value on imported goods
- apply duty and sales taxes and collect fees
- stop banned or hazardous products from entering Canada
- investigate problems and enforce regulations
- educate members of the public
- use computer databases to extract or input sensitive information
- arrest anyone who is breaking laws (under the authority of the Criminal Code, Customs Act, and Immigration Refugee Protection Act).