Shopping Discussion

Attn Cross Border Shoppers New Restrictions on Poultry Products

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  • May 6th, 2015 5:31 pm
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[OP]
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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. 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.
You shouldn't need the internet to know that you don't lie to customs agents. They have a lot of power and can lock you up and strip search you for no reason. As a kid, I was always fearful of them. A young guy in a borrowed car with a bunch of friends is just asking for trouble. I have been crossing on my own or with friends since I was 20. But as a female, I never seemed to have issues like males I know including my brother and his friend who had their car torn apart. They weren't hiding or lying about anything.
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Aug 22, 2006
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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.
I was going to call out the 30% FX rate but we're not getting that far off... I booked at 21% a bunch of days ago and it looks like the rate dropped from there.

There local grocery stores here in the city are around that price.
For fresh? I've never seen it this low ever.
I'm not entirely sure I could hit this price point even at wholesale.
Jr. Member
Apr 27, 2009
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Maritimes
ES_Revenge wrote:
Jan 27th, 2015 3:33 pm
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.


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.


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.
I get it now. Like I said, this incident happened when I was a kid, and kids usually don't have all the facts or think too far ahead.

As for the groceries, I kept seeing people talk about all the groceries they were buying in the US. I assumed they were not declaring them and were nuts to run the risk of smuggling groceries. Or else I thought they must have been declaring and paying taxes on them, wiping out the savings. I never looked into it because it didn't interest me. Even if they aren't getting caught, I didn't see how they could be saving much after driving down there, paying currency exchange fees, and driving back. 3 hours there and back total, to maybe save $20, or nothing, it looked like a waste of time to me. And the food is sitting there in the car for a significant amount of time, thawing out or whatever. But if they're not paying taxes, on it, legally, and not smuggling, and CBSA isn't seizing half the food because "it could spread diseases", then maybe it's worth it to some people.
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death_hawk wrote:
Jan 27th, 2015 3:54 pm
I was going to call out the 30% FX rate but we're not getting that far off...
Interestingly the time in my life when I did the most cross-border shopping was when it was about $1.60 for $1.00 US. The exchange rate shouldn't make a decision for you, the actual cost of the items should. I saved thousands back when it was 60% exchange rate; I found when the dollar was closer to unitary in recent years there were actually less savings to be seen. I'm sure it depends on what kind of stuff you are buying but for me that was certainly the case. Of the larger purchases, I remember buying wheels/tyres for about $2k US when here it would have cost me over $4k at the time, easy. Remember buying an A/V receiver for less than $500 US when the same model would have cost me $2k before tax here. In recent times, with the dollar pretty close, I have never seen price differentials like that.

Granted, I was living in a border city when the rate was that "bad" (and the Canadian border ppl where I was living did not care what you brought over provided you were from the city--never paid a cent in tax/duty while living there, lol) so it was a lot easier to shop then, but still. The exchange rate shouldn't be the determining factor, buying power should be.
Jr. Member
Apr 27, 2009
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Maritimes
rommelrommel wrote:
Jan 27th, 2015 3:41 pm
I am pretty dubious that noahboady was strip searched unless there was also drug residue/paraphernalia in the car.
That's because you weren't there.
Just because something has never happened to you, yet, doesn't mean it doesn't happen to others.
Newbie
Oct 10, 2014
33 posts
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Orleans, ON
I went shopping in Watertown, NY a week ago, when the restriction on eggs and uncooked poultry products was limited to Washington and Oregon. If purchasing such items stateside, you can use the following look-up tool from the USDA website to determine the origin:

http://apps.ams.usda.gov/plantbook/quer ... _query.asp

Use the field for the plant number. What you are looking for is a P-12345 type number (it's either near the USDA "inspected for wholesomeness" seal, on the price label affixed by the store, or the side of the egg carton). For example, fresh chicken had "P-667" printed on the price label, so in the field, you would enter 667 only (do not write it as 00667). From that, I was able to determine my chicken was processed at a plant in Delaware. Some Tyson frozen chicken wings I had traced back to a plant in Missouri, and eggs from a plant in Pennsylvania. All items were not part of the list of states with banned products, and therefore okay to cross the border (the customs officer didn't even ask about the origin of my poultry or eggs, in any case, but it was good to know this in case their origin was questioned).

For anyone who wishes to shop for these items, it might be worthwhile to bookmark that link in your smartphone and look it up before buying.
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Aug 4, 2014
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Cheap Cat wrote:
Jan 27th, 2015 3:38 pm
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.
I don't buy the frozen ones anymore either. I buy fresh. Even if I freeze some of the fresh stuff, it is much better tasting than that frozen rubbery chicken they sell in boxes.

The only concern I would have with buying meat across the border would be inspection standards.
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Dec 4, 2010
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ES_Revenge wrote:
Jan 27th, 2015 1:02 pm
Well at least McNuggets are still fair game :)
There's no ban on pink slime.
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Mar 23, 2004
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Supercooled wrote:
Jan 27th, 2015 5:30 pm
There's no ban on pink slime.
Which McNuggets haven't been made from in over a decade.
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Aug 22, 2006
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ES_Revenge wrote:
Jan 27th, 2015 4:10 pm
The exchange rate shouldn't make a decision for you, the actual cost of the items should.
I don't get this either. Everyone's complaining that FX is 20%.
Boo hoo. I'll pay 20% all day long if I can save 80%.

I've saved tens of thousands of dollars buying in the US even with crap FX.
At the end of the day when I'm paying $100+20% vs $300 here, I'll take the $120 any day of the week.
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Feb 26, 2003
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Tahsis
noahboady wrote:
Jan 27th, 2015 4:15 pm
That's because you weren't there.
Just because something has never happened to you, yet, doesn't mean it doesn't happen to others.
And no one BS's on the Internet either.
Moderator
May 28, 2012
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Saskatoon
I remember buying the Foster's Farms boneless and skinless chicken breasts from Costco in Hawaii...couldn't believe the price, something like $2/lb. The taste and texture was weird, so I don't think I'd be tempted to bring it across the border anyway...I like the Lilydale brand from my local Costco much better. I never buy the frozen chicken breasts that have been brined...too rubbery and salty for my liking.
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Jan 11, 2009
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HearMe wrote:
Jan 27th, 2015 4:41 pm
I went shopping in Watertown, NY a week ago, when the restriction on eggs and uncooked poultry products was limited to Washington and Oregon. If purchasing such items stateside, you can use the following look-up tool from the USDA website to determine the origin:

http://apps.ams.usda.gov/plantbook/quer ... _query.asp

Use the field for the plant number. What you are looking for is a P-12345 type number (it's either near the USDA "inspected for wholesomeness" seal, on the price label affixed by the store, or the side of the egg carton). For example, fresh chicken had "P-667" printed on the price label, so in the field, you would enter 667 only (do not write it as 00667). From that, I was able to determine my chicken was processed at a plant in Delaware. Some Tyson frozen chicken wings I had traced back to a plant in Missouri, and eggs from a plant in Pennsylvania. All items were not part of the list of states with banned products, and therefore okay to cross the border (the customs officer didn't even ask about the origin of my poultry or eggs, in any case, but it was good to know this in case their origin was questioned).

For anyone who wishes to shop for these items, it might be worthwhile to bookmark that link in your smartphone and look it up before buying.
That is informative, thanks!
[OP]
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noahboady wrote:
Jan 27th, 2015 4:05 pm
As for the groceries, I kept seeing people talk about all the groceries they were buying in the US. I assumed they were not declaring them and were nuts to run the risk of smuggling groceries. Or else I thought they must have been declaring and paying taxes on them, wiping out the savings. I never looked into it because it didn't interest me. Even if they aren't getting caught, I didn't see how they could be saving much after driving down there, paying currency exchange fees, and driving back. 3 hours there and back total, to maybe save $20, or nothing, it looked like a waste of time to me. And the food is sitting there in the car for a significant amount of time, thawing out or whatever. But if they're not paying taxes, on it, legally, and not smuggling, and CBSA isn't seizing half the food because "it could spread diseases", then maybe it's worth it to some people.
There are no taxes on groceries so there is no reason not to declare them. If you don't pay taxes on it in Canada, you don't pay taxes on it when you bring it across the border. Although last time, I wasn't charged tax on over the counter items that are taxable here but not there and I did declare them as part of my taxable purchases.

Chicken and milk for example are half the price in the US. Plus there are numerous items that you find down there that you won't find here. Canada can't compete on the selection. I used to buy alot down there to accommodate a food allergy when it was really bad. They also had better labeling laws then too which made it easier for me to know what I was consuming. I go there for other things that I can't find in but I always stock on groceries before coming home. In fact, it doesn't matter what the exchange rate is because I use an antacid every night that is no longer available in Canada so I have no choice but to get there and buy it. I go three or four times a year now and stock up on antacid so while I'm there, I pick up other things. I make a day of it and I enjoy looking at the different products available.
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Dec 17, 2001
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Ajax
We were buying boatloads of chicken from Wegmans, however the texture was completely different from a Canadian chicken. Also, the Wegman's chicken breasts were seriously plumped up with water. when I pulled the trays out of the freezer, I would always be amazed at how much water was in the tray liner.

I'm not saying the chicken was super awful or anything, but I found that the extra moisture in the chicken messed up my Gordon Ramsey-like cooking.

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