Learn the border dos and don'ts
Nobody wants to get caught coming across the border with something they should have declared or didn't know they owed duty or taxes on. CTV consumer reporter Lynda Steele talks to Canadian border officials to find out what you can and cannot bring back into Canada.
Almost 14,000 B.C. residents drive cross the U.S. border every day. Many are going to the U.S. for shopping, but with so many border rules and exemptions CTV went to the expert for some answers.
"There are items that are prohibited, restricted or controlled…and there's a huge amount of [those] items," said Angela Chin with Canada Border Services Agency.
From firearms to fruits and vegetables, there's a long list of no-go items at the border. You must declare meat and dairy products, plants, trees, flowers, feathers, pets, nuts and baby formula. And if you're looking to save a few bucks on liquor, you may want to consider possible taxes.
"The provincial markup is quite high for alcohol and it could range from 55 to 85 per cent depending on what type of alcohol you're bringing back," said Chin.
Shoes and clothing items made outside North America have duty rates as high as 18 per cent. If you're after duty-free items, look for goods made in countries that have free trade agreements with Canada, like the U.S., Mexico, Chile and Costa Rica.
When it comes to bringing a new vehicle across the border you should know that some manufacturers nullify the warranty when the vehicle is exported. For instance, a warranty from Chrysler U.S. will not be transferred to Chrysler Canada.
The import rules are complicated and if you don't meet the requirements you may be forced to destroy your newly purchased vehicle under the supervision of border guards.
And finally, if you're tempted to lie to the border guard to save a few bucks, you may want to think twice.
"In the worst case scenario, the goods may be seized and you may have to pay a penalty -- or you may lose them permanently," said Chin.
You could even have your vehicle seized. And when it comes to border affairs, ignorance is not a defense.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Lynda Steele