Cross-border shoppers get boost

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OTTAWA – Canada’s cross-border shoppers are getting a boost in this federal budget.

Starting June 1, 2012, shoppers hopping south of the border for quick trips will be able to bring back more duty-free and tax-free goods.

Traveller exemption limits will be raised from $50 to $200 for trips over 24 hours, from $400 to $800 for trips longer than 48 hours, and finally, there’ll be a more modest jump from $750 to $800 for week-long jaunts.

The new figures line up with U.S. standards and are expected to cost the federal purse up to $17 million a year in lost revenue.

Still, the federal government expects the changes will help cut wait times at the border for shoppers.

The new rules don’t just apply to Canadians hunting for cheaper U.S. goods but to all international travellers who pick up souvenirs overseas.

Canadians take an estimated 30 million trips abroad each year.