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Attn Cross Border Shoppers New Restrictions on Poultry Products

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Attn Cross Border Shoppers New Restrictions on Poultry Products

According to this Toronto Star article, there will be new restrictions on importing poultry products from the US due to avian flu concerns. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has banned the importation of any poultry products that aren't fully cooked. This includes fresh chicken, eggs and egg whites.

So if you are like me and stock up on chicken every time you cross the border, save yourself the trouble and don't buy any as you will be leaving it at the border. I suspect if you say you have groceries, they will ask. Please don't lie or smuggle chicken in, the ban is there for a reason.
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Ah...makes sense, there goes my eggs and other stuff. But I guess cooked stuff is OK from the article. Exchange rate sucks right now though
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Well at least McNuggets are still fair game :)
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springy wrote:
Jan 27th, 2015 12:47 pm
Ah...makes sense, there goes my eggs and other stuff. But I guess cooked stuff is OK from the article. Exchange rate sucks right now though
Even with the exchange rate $1.99 lb for boneless skinless chicken breasts are still cheaper than here. Eggs I haven't found that much cheaper recently even without including the exchange rate. Fortunately, I have quite a bit of chicken right now.
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Apr 27, 2009
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I must be missing something. The one and only time I tried cross-border shopping, they busted me at the border for trying to bring back a $25 car stereo. How is it that people can go to the US to buy groceries without getting searched and taxed when they return? I assume the duties are going to cancel out any savings. You have to stay there for 48 hours to bring anything back duty free, and 2 nights in a hotel obviously negates any savings as well.
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noahboady wrote:
Jan 27th, 2015 1:51 pm
I must be missing something. The one and only time I tried cross-border shopping, they busted me at the border for trying to bring back a $25 car stereo.
Did you not declare it?
How is it that people can go to the US to buy groceries without getting searched and taxed when they return?
Groceries don't have taxes on them.
Searches are another matter.

EDIT: Some groceries have taxes on them. But you're paying on 1/2 the original cost so you're still ahead of the game.
I assume the duties are going to cancel out any savings. You have to stay there for 48 hours to bring anything back duty free, and 2 nights in a hotel obviously negates any savings as well.
Even paying taxes (and rarely duty) and foreign exchange you can still come out MUCH further ahead.
Using chicken breast as an example. Fresh breasts here are like $5/lb. Even after FX, $2/lb = $2.50/lb which is 1/2 price.
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noahboady wrote:
Jan 27th, 2015 1:51 pm
I must be missing something. The one and only time I tried cross-border shopping, they busted me at the border for trying to bring back a $25 car stereo.
LOL at equating cross-border shopping to one experience with a used/cheap car stereo.

By busted what do you mean anyway? What happened? Did you have to pay taxes and or a fine? Was the merchandise confiscated? Did they interrogate you for hours? Beat you? LOL.
noahboady wrote:
Jan 27th, 2015 1:51 pm
How is it that people can go to the US to buy groceries without getting searched and taxed when they return?
Umm perhaps because they know and abide by the rules? Also the 24hr exemption has increased slightly, from a ridiculous $20 or whatever it used to be, to $200 now.
noahboady wrote:
Jan 27th, 2015 1:51 pm
I assume the duties are going to cancel out any savings. You have to stay there for 48 hours to bring anything back duty free, and 2 nights in a hotel obviously negates any savings as well.
You're missing quite a few things.

Not everything is dutiable. Some things are only taxable. Some things aren't even taxable. Basic groceries aren't taxable so usually they don't bother with those. They're not going to start to itemise your grocery list for taxable and non-taxable stuff. If it's mostly groceries they won't charge you tax on it. If you bought a PS4 along with your groceries at the same store...well that's another story.

Next... If you declare what you purchased/received and are bringing back, like you are legally supposed to, you don't always get charged. Unless you've spent like $1000+ in less than 24hrs they aren't necessarily going to make you go in and pay tax. Lots of times I've brought across $100-300 of stuff for less than 24hrs and they just tell me to go on my way. However again I tell them what I bought as legally required. If you go and say you bought nothing and they catch you with it upon inspection then yeah surely you're going to have to pay the tax on it, possibly having to pay a fine on top of the bargain. Granted sometimes they will bring you in to pay even on less than $100 but I'm pretty sure they base it on frequency of travel. Like if you've crossed the border 3-4 times in the last 6 months and haven't been brought in, they'll bring you in to pay the next time. Or so seems to be the case with me--when/why they have you come in on relative smaller dollar amounts on short visits seems to be based on how many times they've "let you go" without paying anything.
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Apr 27, 2009
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ES_Revenge wrote:
Jan 27th, 2015 2:24 pm
LOL at equating cross-border shopping to one experience with a used/cheap car stereo.

By busted what do you mean anyway? What happened? Did you have to pay taxes and or a fine? Was the merchandise confiscated? Did they interrogate you for hours? Beat you? LOL.
It was a long time ago. I was a kid borrowing the car. This was before internet so information was harder to come by. I don't remember, but I probably didn't declare the car stereo. When I would go to the US with my family when I was younger, we didn't declare little things like that, and they never searched us or made us pay duty on stuff we did declare. So I wasn't expecting any problems. But that time, they strip searched me and my friends who were with me, and interrogated us. They were sneering and rude like nazis. Then they fined and taxed us on every little thing down to the pop and cigarettes my friends had purchased. Go ahead and laugh, but it was not a fun experience. I have not considered cross border shopping since then because I did not want to deal with the CBSA again. My opinion of them was affected by that incident. I generally don't buy anything to bring back when I'm out of Canada, just so I won't have to deal with them. They can search my bags all they want and they won't find anything. They seize food (except for some products at land borders) and tax everything else you bring in up to Canadian prices anyway, so there's no point.

But thanks for the explanation and background information. It makes sense they would not tax US groceries at the border because they're tax exempt here. I just never thought about it or considered doing it.
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ES_Revenge wrote:
Jan 27th, 2015 2:24 pm
LOL at equating cross-border shopping to one experience with a used/cheap car stereo.

By busted what do you mean anyway? What happened? Did you have to pay taxes and or a fine? Was the merchandise confiscated? Did they interrogate you for hours? Beat you? LOL.


Umm perhaps because they know and abide by the rules? Also the 24hr exemption has increased slightly, from a ridiculous $20 or whatever it used to be, to $200 now.


You're missing quite a few things.

Not everything is dutiable. Some things are only taxable. Some things aren't even taxable. Basic groceries aren't taxable so usually they don't bother with those. They're not going to start to itemise your grocery list for taxable and non-taxable stuff. If it's mostly groceries they won't charge you tax on it. If you bought a PS4 along with your groceries at the same store...well that's another story.

Next... If you declare what you purchased/received and are bringing back, like you are legally supposed to, you don't always get charged. Unless you've spent like $1000+ in less than 24hrs they aren't necessarily going to make you go in and pay tax. Lots of times I've brought across $100-300 of stuff for less than 24hrs and they just tell me to go on my way. However again I tell them what I bought as legally required. If you go and say you bought nothing and they catch you with it upon inspection then yeah surely you're going to have to pay the tax on it, possibly having to pay a fine on top of the bargain. Granted sometimes they will bring you in to pay even on less than $100 but I'm pretty sure they base it on frequency of travel. Like if you've crossed the border 3-4 times in the last 6 months and haven't been brought in, they'll bring you in to pay the next time. Or so seems to be the case with me--when/why they have you come in on relative smaller dollar amounts on short visits seems to be based on how many times they've "let you go" without paying anything.
And probably lose your Nexus card too if you have one...be honest about it, and after a while they will get to know you if you are a regular.
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Are Cadbury Cream eggs exempt?

If they're exempt please fix the OP. Very misleading! :P
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noahboady wrote:
Jan 27th, 2015 3:03 pm
It was a long time ago. I was a kid borrowing the car. This was before internet so information was harder to come by. I don't remember, but I probably didn't declare the car stereo.
Here's most likely your problem.
I under declared when I was younger too. But nowadays I declare everything down to pop and cigarettes.
When I would go to the US with my family when I was younger, we didn't declare little things like that, and they never searched us or made us pay duty on stuff we did declare.
Your parents didn't set a good example either. If they didn't declare you'd pick up on it and also not declare.
So I wasn't expecting any problems. But that time, they strip searched me and my friends who were with me, and interrogated us. They were sneering and rude like nazis. Then they fined and taxed us on every little thing down to the pop and cigarettes my friends had purchased.
They're well in their rights to interrogate and search you, especially if you were caught smuggling.
And you do have to declare everything including pop. Anything acquired over the border has to be declared.

Go ahead and laugh, but it was not a fun experience. I have not considered cross border shopping since then because I did not want to deal with the CBSA again. My opinion of them was affected by that incident. I generally don't buy anything to bring back when I'm out of Canada, just so I won't have to deal with them.
It's not funny. I've been searched too. Spent 8 hours at a land checkpoint once while they tore through all my packages.
But has that stopped me? Nope. The savings are significant. Nowadays I declare everything including little things.
The way I see it is if I bought locally I would have paid double and the taxes on that amount. Since I'm paying 1/2 buying in the US, I'm also paying 1/2 the taxes.
They can search my bags all they want and they won't find anything.
If you're really concerned, make sure you fill out the outgoing declaration too. If you go on a holiday and come back with lets say a camera you bought in Canada, you could still pay taxes on it if they think you bought it out of the country.
The fix is to record everything on the way out and give a record to the CBSA. But don't think just because you didn't buy anything that they won't "find" anything.
They seize food (except for some products at land borders) and tax everything else you bring in up to Canadian prices anyway, so there's no point.
99% of food isn't seized. There's a few exceptions (and occasionally one time things like this thread).

But thanks for the explanation and background information. It makes sense they would not tax US groceries at the border because they're tax exempt here. I just never thought about it or considered doing it.
I would do it all day long. Even with FX, stuff is FAR cheaper there than here.
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Cheap Cat wrote:
Jan 27th, 2015 1:08 pm
Even with the exchange rate $1.99 lb for boneless skinless chicken breasts are still cheaper than here. Eggs I haven't found that much cheaper recently even without including the exchange rate. Fortunately, I have quite a bit of chicken right now.
I'm gonna call you out on that. 1.99/lb US = 2.58CAD (1.30CAD ~ 1US). There local grocery stores here in the city are around that price.
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noahboady wrote:
Jan 27th, 2015 3:03 pm
But that time, they strip searched me and my friends who were with me, and interrogated us. They were sneering and rude like nazis.
Hate to say it but if you're not honest, this is what tends to happen. These guys are trained for and have seen everyday of their employment...people lying. I'm not going to say they have magical lie detecting superpowers, but they have a pretty good idea of when people are not being honest. And, when you're not honest, they're going to get down to finding the truth one way or another.
noahboady wrote:
Jan 27th, 2015 3:03 pm
Then they fined and taxed us on every little thing down to the pop and cigarettes my friends had purchased.
Just a note but in the case of alcohol and tobacco they do NOT joke around. Always declare this stuff. If you are ever caught lying about alcohol/tobacco good luck crossing the border in the future without heavy scrutiny. To be clear, not declaring something at the border is the equivalent of lying. Also note that if you're bringing cigs/alcohol across without an exemption for stay of xx hours, then the taxation rate is very high on this stuff--sometimes the tax is just as much as you paid for it. The other thing is firearms. First off bringing firearms through the border is a very bad idea to begin with. Secondly since many types of firearms are illegal in Canada you will go to jail, not simply pay a fine or taxes lol.
noahboady wrote:
Jan 27th, 2015 3:03 pm
Go ahead and laugh, but it was not a fun experience.
Well that's kind of the idea. It's not a fun experience because it's a deterrent so you don't lie to them again. Also consider that it's not really a fun time for them either to waste time on you guys because you wanted to be dishonest when they could be focusing on other things. As much as I personally disagree with the focus on taxation and revenue collection at Canadian borders (and believe me I do), you still have to understand these guys (border officers) have a job to do. Being dishonest just causes them to suspect you and then spend a lot of time on you instead of perhaps spending that time on people that are doing more severe things like bringing in weapons, drugs, illegal persons, etc.

Again I really do think the focus on revenue/tax collection at our border is completely ridiculous, but to make it easier on everyone just tell them the truth and it's usually pretty seamless.
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EPcjay wrote:
Jan 27th, 2015 3:26 pm
I'm gonna call you out on that. 1.99/lb US = 2.58CAD (1.30CAD ~ 1US). There local grocery stores here in the city are around that price.
Where? Are they fresh not frozen? I have never seen that price or at least not in years. Fresh boneless, skinless chicken breasts go for $3.99 lb when on sale. I won't buy frozen chicken breasts after seeing one of the US news shows doing an undercover segment on Food Lion. They took the old chicken that was going bad, cleaned it with bleach, added seasoning and then froze them and sold them like that. Needless to say, I avoid all seasoned frozen meat, heck I avoid seasoned meat. I don't want to take any risks with my health to save a few bucks.
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I am pretty dubious that noahboady was strip searched unless there was also drug residue/paraphernalia in the car.

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