PIGEON RIVER – In July 2012, CBSA officers at the Pigeon River port of entry (POE) processed 66,973 travellers in 30,443 vehicles, as well as 671 commercial drivers, representing a 2.4 percent decrease in travellers and a 1.2 percent decrease in the number of vehicles processed during the same period last year.
IMMIGRATION: In July, CBSA officers at the Pigeon River POE issued 25 immigration documents (such as work permits, study permits, temporary resident permits to name but a few) while seven individuals were reported for their inadmissibility and 37 others were allowed to withdraw their applications to enter Canada for criminality or other admissibility issues.
On July 19, a U.S. resident was seeking information regarding his admissibility to Canada. He indicated that he wanted to visit the Calgary Stampede next year but was concerned about having two driving while impaired convictions on his record. Database checks revealed that the individual had also been convicted twice for aggravated forgery. He was reported for his inadmissibility and counselled on how to overcome his inadmissibility. He returned to the United States.
On July 29, a U.S. truck driver arrived at the POE hauling a commercial load destined for Thunder Bay. During a routine background examination, CBSA officers discovered that the driver had multiple convictions on his record including burglary, criminal harassment and aggravated battery of a police officer. He was reported for his serious criminality and was directed back to the United States.
CUSTOMS: During the month of July, CBSA officers conducted 2,558 secondary examinations for customs purposes or other government departments, initiated 16 seizure actions for various offences and issued an additional 17 written warnings for undeclared or undervalued goods.
On July 1, a U.S. resident arrived at the Pigeon River POE. The examining officer noted the traveller’s nervous behaviour and referred him for a secondary examination. During the examination, officers found a small bag of suspect marijuana. He was arrested for the offence of smuggling and was placed in custody until the completion of the examination. Officers completed the examination of the vehicle, finding the equivalent of 16 dosages of psilocybin, also known as magic mushrooms. The contraband was seized with no terms of release. Only the vehicle was released back to the individual upon payment of the terms of release amounting to $660. He returned to the United States.
On July 5, United States Customs and Border Protection (US CBP) called CBSA officers at the Pigeon River POE to inform them that a lone male traveller arrived in error at their port in possession of a loaded .22 calibre rifle and suspect marijuana. The male had stated that he was transporting the firearm to the nearest Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) detachment to surrender it for destruction. US CBP officers escorted the individual back to the Canadian side of the border to ensure compliance. Upon his arrival at the POE, the traveller initially failed to report that he was in possession of the firearm. He then admitted to having one, citing that he found it on the side of the road at a Thunder Bay rest stop. The individual was not the bearer of a valid firearms licence while in possession of the firearm; therefore, he was arrested for this offence and transferred to the custody of the OPP.
On July 7, a Canadian resident declared that he acquired a pool cue in the United States valued at US$75.09. He presented the officers with an invoice attesting to this amount. After he paid the appropriate taxes, officers verified the traveller’s declaration and determined that this was not the actual amount that he paid. When the officers presented their findings to the importer, he admitted that he actually paid US$451.09 and that he altered his invoice in an effort to save on duties and taxes. The pool cue was seized for undervaluation and was released upon payment of $210.92. Had he declared the cue at its proper amount, the traveller would only have paid $59.81.
In July, CBSA officers arrested three individuals for operating a motor vehicle while impaired. In all three cases, the individuals were transferred to the custody of the OPP for further investigation.
TRAVEL TIPS: After an absence of 24 hours, you may bring back $200 worth of goods duty- and tax-free; after 48 hours, your personal exemption will be $800. There are no exemptions for same-day travel. Alcohol and tobacco can be imported free of duty and taxes only if you have been away at least 48 hours. For amounts allowed and additional information, check www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca.
The CBSA reminds travellers to truthfully declare all purchases and goods received outside of Canada upon their return. Smuggling, undervaluation and other Customs Act offences may lead to seizure and/or prosecution in a court of law. The CBSA keeps a record of infractions in its computer system. If you have an infraction record, you may have to undergo a more detailed examination on future trips.
All firearms and weapons must be declared to a border services officer when you enter Canada. Failure to do so could result in them being seized, and you may face criminal charges. In addition, new regulations are now in place to facilitate the entry of certain foreign nationals who do not meet the requirements to overcome their criminal inadmissibility to be allowed to enter Canada with a one-time only fee-exempt temporary resident permit. For more information, please visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada Web site.