THUNDER BAY – Crimebeat – The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) facilitates the entry of legitimate travellers and goods, while protecting the safety and security of Canadians and ensuring that Canada’s borders are not used for illegal activity. This work is carried out by CBSA border services officers (BSO) who ensure that the people, goods and conveyances entering Canada meet all requirements and are compliant with Canadian law.
In November 2011, CBSA officers at Pigeon River processed 38,679 travellers in 18,998 vehicles, as well as 659 commercial drivers. CBSA officers at the Fort Frances port of entry (POE) processed more than 48,000 travellers in 31,000 vehicles, and 792 commercial trucks. Twenty-four charter buses and 713 pedestrians were processed during the month. The CBSA also conducted over 1,300 secondary examinations for customs purposes.
Immigration; In November, CBSA officers at the Pigeon River point of entry conducted 109 immigration examinations. As a result of the examinations, 20 individuals were issued immigration documents while two individuals were refused entry for criminality and other admissibility issues. Two individuals were landed as permanent residents.
Officers at the Fort Frances POE conducted more than 1,300 immigration interviews resulting in the issuance of seven work permits, 10 visitor records and five Remote Area Border Crossing permits. The CBSA determined that twenty-one people had various admissibility issues, of which 12 were refused entry to Canada. The other nine were allowed entry on a temporary visitor permit.
On November 5, a U.S. resident was denied entry to Canada after officers discovered that he had multiple criminal convictions in the United States including sexual assault and battery.
Also on November 5, a U.S. resident arrived at the Fort Frances POE to go hunting in Canada. After background checks were completed as part of the firearms registration process, the CBSA discovered that he had previous convictions in the U.S. for burglary, larceny, driving while impaired and public drunkenness. The individual was found to be inadmissible for serious criminality and was denied entry to Canada.
On November 9, a U.S. resident sought entry to Canada but background checks showed a lengthy criminal history spanning over a period of 31 years and including multiple convictions for burglary, theft, driving while impaired, fraud, as well as assault and domestic assault convictions. The traveller was denied entry to Canada.
Customs; During the month of November, CBSA officers conducted 521 secondary examinations for customs purposes, initiating 10 seizure actions for various offences, and issued an additional 25 written warnings for undeclared or improperly reported goods.
On November 2, officers referred two Canadian residents for further examination to verify the travellers’ declarations. The travellers declared that they had been absent from Canada for one day and had made $10 in purchases. During the subsequent search, officers found that the travellers were in possession of an undeclared antique flintlock rifle, valued at $1,102.26. The travellers also failed to declare an additional $287.86 worth of goods. The antique rifle and other goods were released back to the travellers upon payment of the penalty of $361.93. Had they declared the goods properly, they would have paid $180.72 instead.
On November 4, a vehicle entering Canada attempted to run the border without reporting to officers. The vehicle was stopped and referred for further examination. The four Quebec residents stated that they were destined for Whistler, B.C., but had lost their way. During the examination officers found two of the travellers in possession of 13.6 grams of marijuana. Both the drugs and the vehicle were seized for the offence and the vehicle was returned to the travellers upon payment of the penalty of $220.
On November 15, two returning Canadian residents declared a 48-hour absence from Canada and $515 US in purchases. The travellers were referred for secondary examination to verify their declarations. Officers determined that the occupants failed to declare a set of new tires for their vehicle. The travellers had ordered and installed the new tires and disposed of the old tires. The travellers were also found in possession of undeclared alcohol and a small amount of marijuana which were seized. They were penalized $170.62 for failing to declare the tires. Factoring one individual’s personal exemption, the owner would have only paid $52.87 had he declared the tires properly.
During the month of November, CBSA officers at the Fort Frances POE conducted over 1,300 secondary examinations for customs purposes, initiated 10 seizure actions and issued an additional six written warnings for non-declared or undervalued goods.
On November 7, a returning commercial truck driver from Canada declared $2,000 worth of purchases after a 48-hour absence. A systems query showed the driver had entered the United States the previous day and was therefore not eligible to claim a $400 exemption. The goods were seized, as the importer provided inaccurate information regarding his exemption entitlement, and were returned to him upon payment of a $494 penalty. If the goods had been properly declared, the duties and taxes would have been $208.
On November 19, a returning Canadian resident declared skis valued at $750. The traveller produced an invoice with no value, and the goods were held at the POE until a proper invoice was provided. When the invoice was received, it revealed that the actual value of the skis was approximately $1,300. The skis were seized for undervaluation and returned to the importer upon payment of a $195 penalty. If the goods had been properly declared, the duties and taxes would have been $71.
Travel Tip: The CBSA reminds travellers to plan their border crossing to avoid delays for the upcoming holiday season. If you are travelling with gifts, do not wrap them prior to crossing the border in the event that a border services officer needs to inspect the package. Declare all your purchases regardless of whether exemptions may apply as there may be enforcement actions taken for undervaluing or not declaring purchases. You may be required to pay applicable duties and taxes on purchases over your personal exemptions or where no personal exemptions apply.
Please refer to the I Declare brochure on the CBSA Web site for more information.