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Gas across the border with jerry cans

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  • Feb 11th, 2019 2:01 pm
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[OP]
Deal Addict
Sep 23, 2008
1478 posts
442 upvotes

Gas across the border with jerry cans

Recently, everytime I head down to bellingham, I've been noticing that there are more and more cars lining up to purchase gas. However, the recent trend has been people filling up multiple jerry cans full of gas. The last time, I saw some guy fill about 4 or 5 of them, and they were pretty big cans, probably 40-50L each.

Anyways, I was wondering what your experiences with doing this is. I head down there quite a bit, and if there's money to be saved, I'm in!
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50 replies
Member
Sep 23, 2010
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This is just my gut-feel, no real knowledge behind it, but I believe things like gasoline are illegal to transport in external canisters across bridges and tunnels. You can probably look up the answer on CBP though.
Deal Addict
Nov 12, 2006
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My understanding is that it's allowed if transported in approved containers (like the jerry cans).
Most important thing is that you declare them at the border upon your return.
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Dec 26, 2009
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QuestForKnowledge wrote:
Apr 30th, 2012 6:13 pm
This is just my gut-feel, no real knowledge behind it, but I believe things like gasoline are illegal to transport in external canisters across bridges and tunnels. You can probably look up the answer on CBP though.

No issues as long as they are in appoved containers.
doberman_baby wrote:
Apr 30th, 2012 7:08 pm
My understanding is that it's allowed if transported in approved containers (like the jerry cans).
Most important thing is that you declare them at the border upon your return.

And normally they won't care. Unless you have lots of cans. I once saw a guy filling up cans in Detroit.... he had the whole bed of his truck full of cans - probably 15 in total. Almost as if he was filling up for the whole neighbourhood!
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Oct 16, 2008
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I'm all for supporting the local economy and usually it would take a price gap of upwards of 40-50% before I start buying stuff from the States, but gas is one thing I absolutely try to boycott (especially in the Lower Mainland in BC). Prices are criminal and they are only bound to go up in the summer.
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Feb 9, 2003
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Langley
Perfectly legal. You don't need to declare the gas in your tank but you do need to declare it if it's in Jerry Cans. Price today at Burlington costco was $3.87/gallon. Price in Langley, $1.40/l. CAD is $0.99/USD, plus a 1c spread for MC and a 2.5% conversion fee from the bank, and it costs 1.025c/USD.

3.87c/gal * 1.025cad/usd / 3.785 l/gal = 1.05c/l, saving 35c/l. Gas cans (which are rarely proper Jerry Cans) are usually 20l (or more), so each one is saving it's owner $7.

I saw a guy at Costco today that had 5 in the back of his van, so he's saving $35 plus whatever he saves by filling his tank, plus whatever he saves by shopping at a US Costco.

My mom, wife, sister, and I spent $825 in the US today, plus a full tank of gas.
[OP]
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Sep 23, 2008
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i6s1 wrote:
May 1st, 2012 1:33 am
Perfectly legal. You don't need to declare the gas in your tank but you do need to declare it if it's in Jerry Cans. Price today at Burlington costco was $3.87/gallon. Price in Langley, $1.40/l. CAD is $0.99/USD, plus a 1c spread for MC and a 2.5% conversion fee from the bank, and it costs 1.025c/USD.

3.87c/gal * 1.025cad/usd / 3.785 l/gal = 1.05c/l, saving 35c/l. Gas cans (which are rarely proper Jerry Cans) are usually 20l (or more), so each one is saving it's owner $7.

I saw a guy at Costco today that had 5 in the back of his van, so he's saving $35 plus whatever he saves by filling his tank, plus whatever he saves by shopping at a US Costco.

My mom, wife, sister, and I spent $825 in the US today, plus a full tank of gas.

Ya, i'll try with 2 jerry cans next time and work my way up =). I wonder if costco sells jerry cans...

Did you get taxed at $825??
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Feb 24, 2007
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Beamsville
The only thing I've been told officially is to declare the dollar amount of gas your bringing back in cans with your purchases. Several times I have been asked if I was carrying and jerry cans and if the amount I declared included the cost of the gas in the jerry cans.

Unofficially, from the guy one pump over filling up his cans a few weeks ago..
1 can is fine
2 cans is iffy
3 cans is too much

In all honesty ask next time you cross. We cross with two 20L cans every weekend and haven't had any issues yet.

Also be aware of local by-laws, In Niagara falls it's a local by law that you can't carry more than one jerry can of gas in your vehicle. Of course that hasn't stopped anyone from filling up and carrying multiple jerry cans lol.
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Jan 11, 2004
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This is why the carbon tax pisses me off so much. No one in Vancouver pays it because you all buy gas in the US every damn weekend but everywhere else in BC we get screwed.
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Feb 9, 2003
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bobu wrote:
May 1st, 2012 4:31 am
Ya, i'll try with 2 jerry cans next time and work my way up =). I wonder if costco sells jerry cans...

Did you get taxed at $825??

Nope. I've brought $400+ across by myself and haven't been charged.
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Jul 17, 2008
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Going to revive this.

Vancouver petrol: 101.9/L. Bellingham petrol: 1.79/GAL (average price) which is roughly 48.5/L USD. Convert at 1.26 rate (which is on the high end), 61.1/L CAD. Savings of 40c per Litre. Get 4 20L gas canisters + a average 50L tank, you save over 50$ CAD. Not bad at all. And the govn't can keep their 47c/L in taxes which never received from me in the first place.
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Messerschmitt wrote:
Jan 24th, 2015 1:37 pm
Going to revive this.

Vancouver petrol: 101.9/L. Bellingham petrol: 1.79/GAL (average price) which is roughly 48.5/L USD. Convert at 1.26 rate (which is on the high end), 61.1/L CAD. Savings of 40c per Litre. Get 4 20L gas canisters + a average 50L tank, you save over 50$ CAD. Not bad at all. And the govn't can keep their 47c/L in taxes which never received from me in the first place.
about 40 cents per litre has always been the norm for price gap between Vancouver and Bellingham. Keep in mind you have to declare any gas in jerry cans as part of your total value of goods when coming back to Canada, and if you store gas in jerry cans in your home you may be violating tenancy agreement or home insurance policies.
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It actually used to be ~30c in difference, and that was with the CAD at close to par >0.95. Now it's close to 40c with canadian at 1.25 buying rate (not even official rate). So the difference increased significantly.

And at the border I always include in my declaration that I bought petrol. I just don't necessarily distinguish that part of the petrol is in jerry cans. If he specifically asks if any are in the jerry cans, then ofc I won't lie and tell him.
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Oct 7, 2007
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Isn't it a bit risky to carry excess fuel in your car like this? Sure, you might save a few bucks but isn't it a little bit scary (e.g. what if you get in some kind of accident).
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bobu wrote:
Apr 30th, 2012 4:57 pm
Anyways, I was wondering what your experiences with doing this is. I head down there quite a bit, and if there's money to be saved, I'm in!
I don't think there is a limit, but you gotta declare the purchase! People have been stopped in the past by anal border agents for their tank of gas (and less!).
choclover wrote:
Jan 24th, 2015 11:22 pm
Isn't it a bit risky to carry excess fuel in your car like this? Sure, you might save a few bucks but isn't it a little bit scary (e.g. what if you get in some kind of accident).
No, that's why you have to transport in jerry cans.

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