Travel

Returning to Canada after 7 day trip - how does customs work?

  • Last Updated:
  • Nov 10th, 2017 5:16 pm
[OP]
Sr. Member
User avatar
Nov 23, 2010
624 posts
75 upvotes
Toronto

Returning to Canada after 7 day trip - how does customs work?

My wife and I are in Paris, and splurged a little bit on some items totalling about $900 CDN between the two of us.

For this purchase, we just put it all on one credit card.

My original thought was that we each are under the $800 duty free exemption (our trip is more then 7 days).

But since we made the purchase on ONE credit card with a single reciept, will CBSA count this as a single purchase, and there fore we are over our personal limit?

Or is it ok to just declare individually as is, and hope they don't ask for receipt?
21 replies
Jr. Member
Feb 17, 2017
194 posts
91 upvotes
Calgary
Your fine as its multiple items, just declare the amount split between you. It would only be an issue if it was one item over the limit. How it was paid for is irrelevant.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Jul 29, 2005
6082 posts
902 upvotes
Mississauga
You are fine. Just split the costs between you both.
My food blog - Reggie The Food Critic.
Deal Fanatic
Sep 21, 2004
7878 posts
565 upvotes
Purchases are assigned to the person who it is associated with and not how it's paid for or who pays.

E.g. When I travel with my family and we buy clothes for the kids, obviously I pay for it on my credit card as my kids can't pay for anything. Each of us gets our own allowance and the items are attributed accordingly. My stuff goes against me and my kids against theirs.

Obviously there are Grey areas. E.g. You buy a set of tires for the car, who are they really for?

In your case, don't even worry about it.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Apr 26, 2004
10145 posts
701 upvotes
Mississauga
You're allowed $1600 between the two of you, so you're fine. CBSA does not care how it was purchased or who they are for in your family.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jan 31, 2006
3402 posts
241 upvotes
Toronto
it's ok just to split it up. Even when you go over, if it is a nice officer he will split it up for you so you pay less tax. first hand experience here.
My Heatware no posting contact info in your sig
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Sep 6, 2002
7104 posts
430 upvotes
Toronto
If it's one item that's $900 then you'll need to declare it as over your allotment. Chances are if it's $100 over they'll appreciate your honesty and not tax you but that's YMMV
Did I post something that interests you? Feel free to PM further questions.
Member
Sep 12, 2012
324 posts
66 upvotes
Toronto/Markham
Talamasca wrote:
Oct 12th, 2017 9:47 am
You're allowed $1600 between the two of you, so you're fine. CBSA does not care how it was purchased or who they are for in your family.
This is false. Each person is entitled to an $800 exemption and CBSA does care who they are for in the family.

If the total purchase of $900 was for one person (ie. a woman's handbag) CBSA technically can charge tax on the $100 overage even though there are two individuals travelling together. But 9 out of 10 times, CBSA will not tax you on the $100 overage.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Sep 25, 2005
4687 posts
1113 upvotes
North York
Each time I go over by car, I usually just tell customs we bought a total of $x amongst the y number of people in the car. Never had to provide separate amounts.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Sep 6, 2002
7104 posts
430 upvotes
Toronto
That's by car and the cbsa person doesn't further question you. However if you bought a $900 woman's hand bag then you should declare it as over personal allotment. Not doing so if pulled into secondary would mean a false declaration. There's probably some Lenience in a car but by air the cbsa form will ask if you exceeded your allotment. If it was a single item the answer would be yes.

If it's just $100 the op likely wouldn't be further taxed however being caught lying with cbsa can slow you down in the future returning to Canada
WhatADeal! wrote: Each time I go over by car, I usually just tell customs we bought a total of $x amongst the y number of people in the car. Never had to provide separate amounts.
Did I post something that interests you? Feel free to PM further questions.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Apr 26, 2004
10145 posts
701 upvotes
Mississauga
hamandcheese wrote:
Oct 12th, 2017 11:57 am
This is false. Each person is entitled to an $800 exemption and CBSA does care who they are for in the family.

If the total purchase of $900 was for one person (ie. a woman's handbag) CBSA technically can charge tax on the $100 overage even though there are two individuals travelling together. But 9 out of 10 times, CBSA will not tax you on the $100 overage.
I see. What if you bought a sculpture or something like that? How do they determine who it's for?
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jan 31, 2006
3402 posts
241 upvotes
Toronto
the people travelling have to determine which item belongs to whom on the plane. they don't care if a man have a $900 handbag purchase as long as you declare it.
My Heatware no posting contact info in your sig
Member
Sep 12, 2012
324 posts
66 upvotes
Toronto/Markham
Talamasca wrote:
Oct 12th, 2017 1:42 pm
I see. What if you bought a sculpture or something like that? How do they determine who it's for?
Miscellaneous stuff can be declared by anyone. My point is that if you bought one item for $900 and there are two people travelling together, you do not get an exemption of $1600 combined between the two of you. One person has to declare the $900 item and they receive an $800 exemption while the other person declares nothing.
Member
Sep 12, 2012
324 posts
66 upvotes
Toronto/Markham
marktang wrote:
Oct 12th, 2017 1:50 pm
the people travelling have to determine which item belongs to whom on the plane. they don't care if a man have a $900 handbag purchase as long as you declare it.
If two handbags are bought for $450 each and there are two people travelling together, each person can declare a handbag and be below the $800 exemption limit.
Last edited by hamandcheese on Oct 12th, 2017 3:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Member
Sep 12, 2012
324 posts
66 upvotes
Toronto/Markham
WhatADeal! wrote:
Oct 12th, 2017 12:29 pm
Each time I go over by car, I usually just tell customs we bought a total of $x amongst the y number of people in the car. Never had to provide separate amounts.
Usually that is the case, but there are times where the customs officer asks each person how much they spent individually so make sure you are prepared with that kind of information when crossing the border by car. It's happened to me before.

Top