Travel

USA/CAN boarder exemptions limit question

  • Last Updated:
  • Aug 4th, 2019 10:29 pm
[OP]
Deal Addict
Mar 20, 2005
1846 posts
476 upvotes
Maple

USA/CAN boarder exemptions limit question

Hello

It seems the max one can declare is 800 after 48 hours.

If I am going with my 6 year old son and my father for 2 weeks can I combine the total if I buy a big ticket item ?

Let's say I buy one item at 2500 usd. It's over MY personal limit but would they take account of the other 2 travelers with me, effectively giving 3x800 limit total ?

Thanks
7 replies
Jr. Member
Aug 3, 2017
162 posts
88 upvotes
corcoran_chris wrote:
Aug 4th, 2019 8:40 am
Hello

It seems the max one can declare is 800 after 48 hours.

If I am going with my 6 year old son and my father for 2 weeks can I combine the total if I buy a big ticket item ?

Let's say I buy one item at 2500 usd. It's over MY personal limit but would they take account of the other 2 travelers with me, effectively giving 3x800 limit total ?

Thanks
You would be allowed $2,400 Canadian for the three of you combined. You cannot bring alcohol or tabacco for the minor out of his amounts. Otherwise I've never had a problem or needed to 'assign the purchases' to each person.
Deal Expert
User avatar
May 10, 2005
33669 posts
7651 upvotes
Ottawa
No
"You cannot combine your personal exemptions with another person's or transfer them to someone else. You cannot combine your personal exemptions. ... Goods you bring in for commercial use or for another person do not qualify for the exemption and are subject to applicable duties and taxes"

https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/travel-voya ... e-eng.html
The Government cannot give to anybody anything that the Government does not first take from somebody else.
Member
Sep 23, 2011
228 posts
54 upvotes
Toronto
corcoran_chris wrote:
Aug 4th, 2019 8:40 am
Hello

It seems the max one can declare is 800 after 48 hours.

If I am going with my 6 year old son and my father for 2 weeks can I combine the total if I buy a big ticket item ?

Let's say I buy one item at 2500 usd. It's over MY personal limit but would they take account of the other 2 travelers with me, effectively giving 3x800 limit total ?

Thanks
It depends. My experience is - sometimes they let you go without any questions asked. But sometimes they ask something like "What is your most expensive purchase?". Technically, those purchases can NOT be combined AFAIK.
Member
Jan 9, 2011
326 posts
145 upvotes
Montreal, QC
No, personal exemptions cannot be combined for one item.
Deal Expert
Feb 29, 2008
23155 posts
2775 upvotes
Montreal
ls17031 wrote:
Aug 4th, 2019 12:59 pm
No, personal exemptions cannot be combined for one item.
That's the rule. Usually the CBP guys are flexible and if your total purchase can be broken down into multiple items and distributed across individuals, they will do it. Even then, it has to be reasonable purchase for the individual. On a single item that exceeds 800$ they are not obliged and can add duties.

Note that I have brought stuff over that's several hundred over the 800$ limit and sometimes they just give waive you through. Once the guy calculated all the duties on my wife's trinkets and jewelry, and gave up half way through and said it was not worth it.
Moderator
User avatar
Jul 5, 2004
23842 posts
3402 upvotes
It's a YMMV situation. I've done it, but it's at their discretion.
Deal Guru
Feb 7, 2017
10152 posts
7452 upvotes
Eastern Ontario
I used to work for Customs...
You need to read the CSBA Document “I Declare”
https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/travel-voya ... e-eng.html

The rules as written are, that personal exemptions cannot be combined
They are per person
https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/travel-voya ... g.html#_s8
What conditions apply?

You cannot combine your personal exemptions with another person's or transfer them to someone else.
You cannot combine your personal exemptions. For example, if you are absent from Canada for 9 days total, you cannot combine your 48-hour exemption (CAN$800) with your 7-day exemption (CAN$800) for a total exemption of CAN$1,600.
In general, the goods you include in your personal exemption must be for your personal or household use. Such goods include souvenirs that you purchased, gifts that you received from friends or relatives living outside Canada or prizes that you won.
Goods you bring in for commercial use or for another person do not qualify for the exemption and are subject to applicable duties and taxes. In all cases, goods you include in your 24-hour exemption (CAN$200) or 48-hour exemption (CAN$800) must be with you upon your arrival in Canada.
Except for tobacco products and alcoholic beverages, goods you claim in your 7-day exemption (CAN$800) may be shipped to your home by mail, courier or other means of transportation.
You must always report the value of the goods you are importing in Canadian funds. Foreign currency amounts including any foreign taxes must be converted to Canadian dollars at the applicable exchange rate recognized by the CBSA.
So if you bring back something after 48 Hours valued above the allowable $ 800 Cdn * Personal Exemption limit
Then ... you could be subject to paying the Duty & Cdn Taxes applicable on the overage
(As others have said... its up to the discretion of the CBSA Officer ... which is why you need to be 100% honest in your declaration. Honesty is the best policy )

* CALCULATION ... it’s the cost of the item in foreign currency including taxes
Then converted to Cdn Dollars on the day of your return to Canada

Top