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Old 05-13-2012, 05:09 PM   #1
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Declaring items at the border

Flying from Bellingham tomorrow and will obviously need to cross the border to get there. Since I will be bringing electronics with me, just wondering if any of you have any experience with how to declare your personal items when you cross so that you won't get taxed on them when you're coming back into Canada.

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Old 05-13-2012, 05:15 PM   #2
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Personal items that you already owned when you started the trip, or personal items that you bought during your trip?
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Old 05-13-2012, 05:22 PM   #3
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i think op is asking when he comes back from trip, into canada, will he get taxed on his electronics he already owned before going on the trip?

if that is what youre asking, why are you declaring it? you already had it before you started the flight, and you didnt buy it outside of canada. so dont declare it ?
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Old 05-13-2012, 05:32 PM   #4
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Don't declare it. Simple as that. Just be honest with what you've actually bought.
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Old 05-13-2012, 05:34 PM   #5
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What I do? I don't even worry about it because they don't care. They can tell if it's used stuff. I've crossed the border like 5-6 times with my laptop and it never even crossed my mind that they would try to tax me on it. Never was asked about it either.
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Old 05-13-2012, 06:01 PM   #6
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I'm aware that it's an unlikely scenario but thought I might need to take preventative measures, just in case lol. Never know when they might be having a bad day..
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Old 05-13-2012, 06:22 PM   #7
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if they want to be ass holes and say you bought it there just log in and maybe open some old documents that date back awhile or something if your worried about it?
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Old 05-13-2012, 07:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jing View Post
Flying from Bellingham tomorrow and will obviously need to cross the border to get there. Since I will be bringing electronics with me, just wondering if any of you have any experience with how to declare your personal items when you cross so that you won't get taxed on them when you're coming back into Canada.

TIA
Go into the customs office on the Canadian side before you cross the border. They will ask you to show them all of items you are declaring. If the items you have don't have serial numbers they will affix a sticker with one.

All the item descriptions and serial numbers will be written down by the officer on a GREEN card. You don't have to declare the electronics every time you cross, just this one time as long as you keep the card.
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Old 05-13-2012, 09:01 PM   #9
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On a related note, I was wondering if anyone might be able to properly interpret this. Increased Duty Free Allowance Means Easier Shopping and More Savings for Border Shoppers | Duty Free Canada – Official Site

Beginning on June 1st, Canadians returning to Canada after being gone >48 hours will be able to declare up to $800 duty-free instead of $400 as before. My scenario is unique in that I will be gone for a week prior to that and will be returning ON June 1st itself. Wonder if that means I get the new $800 limit or am stuck with the old $400 limit.
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Old 05-13-2012, 10:33 PM   #10
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On a related note, I was wondering if anyone might be able to properly interpret this. Increased Duty Free Allowance Means Easier Shopping and More Savings for Border Shoppers | Duty Free Canada Official Site

Beginning on June 1st, Canadians returning to Canada after being gone >48 hours will be able to declare up to $800 duty-free instead of $400 as before. My scenario is unique in that I will be gone for a week prior to that and will be returning ON June 1st itself. Wonder if that means I get the new $800 limit or am stuck with the old $400 limit.
After reading that, I believe you will not be allowed your new $800 personal exemption because the new policy states that it "begins" on June 1st, so that means you will have to actually leave Canada starting that date. The procedure that you count the number of days you were gone for, is that you do not include the day that you left Canada, BUT include the day that you return.

How long will you be gone for? You said a week, meaning 7 days? If it's > 7 days, you get $750 exemption.
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Old 05-13-2012, 10:41 PM   #11
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Old 05-13-2012, 11:01 PM   #12
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Go into the customs office on the Canadian side before you cross the border. They will ask you to show them all of items you are declaring. If the items you have don't have serial numbers they will affix a sticker with one.

All the item descriptions and serial numbers will be written down by the officer on a GREEN card. You don't have to declare the electronics every time you cross, just this one time as long as you keep the card.
^^ this but I only did this when I had a truck full of PA/mixer/Drums in the back of my van for a retreat. Even then it was so lax when I declared ~1-2k I think they were expecting 10gs+ or something.
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Old 05-13-2012, 11:21 PM   #13
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With the exception of mickz, none of these guys know what theyre talking about and they certainly should not be giving out advice on the topic. The green card mickz mentioned is called a Y38. Take any items that your cancerned about and theyll document it on the Y38 along with applicable information (ie. Make, model, serial#). Use the Y38 whenever you travel with your item. It shows the BSO that the item originated in Canada.

Not declaring something will get you in shit and you risk having your goods seized.
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Old 05-13-2012, 11:26 PM   #14
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I made a rookie mistake by having a new ecu + management system worth $650 and new header worth $700 that I brought into the US for a day and on the way back up into Canada, I was searched and had to pay 13% tax on the two items.

I did not think to bring any receipts as they were all purchased online but they gave me refund forms which I was able to get the tax back on after providing proof that it was bought in Canada. So don't worry, it is a hassle if you do have to pay the tax buy you'll get that money back if anything.
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Old 05-13-2012, 11:40 PM   #15
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^ more advice that you should stay away from. Refunds are not processed overnight. In the case they are accepted, they take upwards of 10 weeks to process.

^ dahonga, the BSO also had an option to charge you upwards of 23% duties and taxes. Its not a rookie mistake, its pure stupidity. Keep your wisdom to yourself.

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Old 05-13-2012, 11:44 PM   #16
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^Hi, I don't live in BC, thanks. But yea it's a PITA to process the refund forms, so if you did have electronics that look like they've never been used then I would definitely declare it when you cross the US border. Better to do that and have peace of mind on the way back in.

Last edited by dahonga; 05-14-2012 at 12:02 AM.
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Old 05-13-2012, 11:54 PM   #17
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So many people in here are either not reading or misinterpreting the OP's question...
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Old 05-14-2012, 06:21 AM   #18
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If you have receipts that show the purchase was made in Canada, you can just show them that on your way back if you get searched.

I bought a GPS on my way to the US and on my way back I got searched and even though I didnt declare it, i just showed them the receipt and they let me go.
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Old 05-14-2012, 07:01 AM   #19
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its a good read for me.. as i will be going to seattle soon...
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