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Bringing a gold bracelet into Canada - advice on custom declaration?

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  • Apr 12th, 2019 4:19 pm
[OP]
Sr. Member
Jun 15, 2008
574 posts
70 upvotes

Bringing a gold bracelet into Canada - advice on custom declaration?

I checked cbsa website about jewelleries. Mostly it says about jewelleries being taken out from Canada and returning with it. There's a part that says jewelleries bought overseas are subjected to personal exceptions of C$800 (for the long duration outside of Canada).
My cousin wants to give me her mom's gold bracelet when I return to my hometown. So if the gold bracelet is valued over C$800 I have to pay tax on it?

If I do decide to accept the gift, do I take the bracelet for appraising in my hometown and get a certificate to show customs if they ask about it?

Thanks. I've never brought jewelleries back to Canada before. Don't really want all the hassle for bringing one gold bracelet home.
Last edited by yogilo on Apr 4th, 2019 12:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
17 replies
Deal Addict
Jan 28, 2009
1957 posts
478 upvotes
Calgary
if it is an old bracelet, then I'd just wear it back. No one will notice if it doesn't look brand new.
Deal Addict
Jun 15, 2015
2582 posts
1765 upvotes
Mississauga, ON
canehdianman wrote: if it is an old bracelet, then I'd just wear it back. No one will notice if it doesn't look brand new.
Exactly.
Deal Addict
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Sep 19, 2013
2441 posts
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Winnipeg
The information you provided is insufficient to give an advice. Whats the approx value of the bracelet? What other valuable items are you bringing back? How much of it is bought overseas v/s your own? Gold/silver?

If thats the only jewelry and the value is only little above $800, then I'd just wear it. But if you have other valuable items and this bracelet is well over $800, then it looks suspicious. CBSA agents are humans after all, and even though they have guidelines, a lot of what they do is based on their judgement.
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Deal Expert
User avatar
May 10, 2005
36156 posts
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Ottawa
Bottom line is you get to bring $800 worth of goods back into Canada, regardless if they were bought or gifted.
If you don't want to declare it, that is up to you. People take a chance every day. Some get caught, pay the duty and taxes (and maybe a fine) and get put into the system, probably for life and others do not. Your choice.
The Government cannot give to anybody anything that the Government does not first take from somebody else.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Dec 20, 2003
11281 posts
660 upvotes
Ottawa
Pete_Coach wrote: Bottom line is you get to bring $800 worth of goods back into Canada, regardless if they were bought or gifted.
If you don't want to declare it, that is up to you. People take a chance every day. Some get caught, pay the duty and taxes (and maybe a fine) and get put into the system, probably for life and others do not. Your choice.
Excellent advice - I love the Border Security show, in which you can see people get taken to secondary security and claim they were given a gift, only to have the agents confiscate or fine them for not declaring it.
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.
For the appraisal... I suggest you reach out to CBSA. Agents may do their own research (again, on Border Security agents occasionally don't believe external appraisals and appraise items at a higher value). As long as you're gone more than 48 hours, you'll only pay tax on it's value over $800 - so if it's $1100 CAD, you'll only pay tax on a $300 value. If you're gone less than 48 hours, exemptions don't apply if it's worth more than the $200 permitted, and you'll pay on the full price.

As Pete_Coach said, it's your choice.
- Absolute
Deal Addict
Jan 11, 2004
4940 posts
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Victoria
How much is your clean record worth to you? I wouldn't risk not declaring it.
Not a political sig
Sr. Member
Jan 30, 2013
843 posts
171 upvotes
RICHMOND HILL
.Dont know whether Vietnam has 999 proof gold as standard for gold jewellery.999 gold should be easier to verify.Just weight+workmanship.
Even old gold is worth it weight in gold!(without the workmanship)
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Sep 6, 2002
8694 posts
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Vancouver
The obvious answer is be dishonest about it. Not something an upstanding nexus user would do.

Why follow the rules and taxes of our country? Really surprised by the replies here from brunnettegirl who I think usual posts good advice.


You’re bringing in a valuable into Canada if you got it for free pay the minuscule tax and then sell it.

A nice bso might let it slide worst case pay a bit of tax. You got a free gold chain afterall
Autocorrect sucks
Deal Expert
Feb 7, 2017
15940 posts
13189 upvotes
Eastern Ontario
Pete_Coach wrote: Bottom line is you get to bring $800 worth of goods back into Canada, regardless if they were bought or gifted.
If you don't want to declare it, that is up to you. People take a chance every day. Some get caught, pay the duty and taxes (and maybe a fine) and get put into the system, probably for life and others do not. Your choice.
This

Or worse case scenario...
ON TOP of the fines (short term grief)
And getting entered into the data base (long term ONGOING grief)
There’s the fact that the item could be confiscated as well... (pretty much FOREVER grief)
Have seen this often in my days at Customs
Jewellery is often confiscated .. as undeclared smuggled goods

Chances then of getting it back ... SLIM TO NONE
And you’ll probably need a lawyer (very expensive) vs the measly taxes you would have incurred

Just not worth the hassle

The baseline when dealing with Customs ... especially Cdn Customs / CBSA
Is just tell the dang truth
The down side effect is low (Cdn taxes owed)
Don’t tell the truth, and now you are in a database as an untrustworthy Cdn
A headache here
A potential NIGHTMARE when this info is shared with other Countries
(such as the US CBP Customs & Immigration folks)

DO THE RIGHT THING
DECLARE IT
Deal Expert
Feb 7, 2017
15940 posts
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Eastern Ontario
canehdianman wrote: if it is an old bracelet, then I'd just wear it back. No one will notice if it doesn't look brand new.
BrunetteGirl wrote: Exactly.
I too was dumb founded by this comment

You typically have good answers / advice

But it does explain exactly WHY you had that recent encounter with CBSA going thru your suitcase questioning what items were potentially undeclared ... they clearly are reading a vibe off you that you are not above being dishonest and NOT DECLARING

Maybe time to change your attitude
Deal Fanatic
Nov 1, 2006
8225 posts
1958 upvotes
Toronto
What many travellers don't seem to understand is the fact that CBSA agents have incredible powers - not just at the border but anywhere in Canada. Their search and seizure powers are second to none. The same is true throughout the world. Given that, you would be better off being upfront with them and declaring some value than trying to smuggle it in.

Remember, even if you bring an expensive item out of the country, you can be challenged to prove prior ownership on your return. And the item can be seized and held until you do so to their satisfaction.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Jun 15, 2008
574 posts
70 upvotes
In my post, I did say that IF I do decide to accept the gift, how I go about declaring it to Customs?
So I was asking how I should declare the value. Get it appraised at my hometown, then declare that value and show the certificate to Customs. That is all I was asking.
The better replies were: do that and see how Customs will view that appraisal; sell it if it's not worth much. Thank you.
FYI: I tweeted my question to CBSA and I haven't gotten any reply yet.
Deal Addict
Jun 15, 2015
2582 posts
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Mississauga, ON
PointsHubby wrote: I too was dumb founded by this comment

You typically have good answers / advice

But it does explain exactly WHY you had that recent encounter with CBSA going thru your suitcase questioning what items were potentially undeclared ... they clearly are reading a vibe off you that you are not above being dishonest and NOT DECLARING

Maybe time to change your attitude
Pointshubby please take a seat and go read the post I believe you are referring to from 2 years ago. Please don’t judge my character when I freely let them search me (& my undergarments) without any hesitation.

Unlike you, I am actually a frequent flier who travels internationally at least twice a month on business (and on average 6x a year for leisure). I am happy to report despite my “attitude” I hold and value my Nexus card. I have re-entered Canada on at least 60+ occasions since that post. I was taken into secondary screening ONCE in the last 3 years where they questioned why I had returned from Africa and travelled to Jamaica for just 48 hours within a span of 5 days. As soon as I provided them with my airline employee ID card I was free to go.

As per my answer- the OP did not provide any information on the bracelet. Given I interpreted it as the bracelet was likely not worth $800 CAD.

So please don’t try to judge my integrity. Thanks.
Sr. Member
Sep 6, 2016
756 posts
294 upvotes
BrunetteGirl wrote: Pointshubby please take a seat and go read the post I believe you are referring to from 2 years ago. Please don’t judge my character when I freely let them search me (& my undergarments) without any hesitation.

Unlike you, I am actually a frequent flier who travels internationally at least twice a month on business (and on average 6x a year for leisure). I am happy to report despite my “attitude” I hold and value my Nexus card. I have re-entered Canada on at least 60+ occasions since that post. I was taken into secondary screening ONCE in the last 3 years where they questioned why I had returned from Africa and travelled to Jamaica for just 48 hours within a span of 5 days. As soon as I provided them with my airline employee ID card I was free to go.

As per my answer- the OP did not provide any information on the bracelet. Given I interpreted it as the bracelet was likely not worth $800 CAD.

So please don’t try to judge my integrity. Thanks.
Your personal situation is not a proof and evidence.

It is only your lucky.

The law is Law and has proof even if someone does not like it
Public Mobile $35 / 4GB LTE a month forever!
Deal Addict
Jan 30, 2012
1549 posts
903 upvotes
TORONTO
goldenball wrote: .Dont know whether Vietnam has 999 proof gold as standard for gold jewellery.999 gold should be easier to verify.Just weight+workmanship.
Gold jewelry isn't normally 999 proof (99.9% pure gold), because pure gold is too soft and it bends easily.
Deal Addict
Jun 15, 2015
2582 posts
1765 upvotes
Mississauga, ON
MasterPro wrote: Your personal situation is not a proof and evidence.

It is only your lucky.

The law is Law and has proof even if someone does not like it
Please enlighten me on what “law” you are referring to?

...and what is my “personal situation”?
Sr. Member
Jan 30, 2013
843 posts
171 upvotes
RICHMOND HILL
M8Rxmjsik wrote: Gold jewelry isn't normally 999 proof (99.9% pure gold), because pure gold is too soft and it bends easily.
depends on country.
note the gold buy and sell price if your gold has a reputable hallmark .Gold value by weight. Note sell and redemption price very " thin"spread unlike those clowns on tv
https://www.ctfeshop.com.hk/special/gp.aspx

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