FORT FRANCES – Crimebeat — In February 2012, CBSA officers at the Fort Frances port of entry (POE) processed 51,262 travellers in 28,793 vehicles, which represent an increase of 10.8 percent in travellers and 11.2 percent in vehicles compared to February 2011. CBSA officers also processed 26 charter buses carrying 601 passengers, 763 commercial trucks, and 587 pedestrians during the month.
IMMIGRATION: Officers at the Fort Frances POE conducted more than 440 immigration interviews resulting in the issuance of four work permits, one visitor record and 68 Remote Area Border Crossing (RABC) permits. Eight people were found to have various admissibility issues, of which six were given the option of voluntarily withdrawing their application to enter Canada and were required to leave. The other two were allowed entry on a temporary visitor permit.
On February 10, a U.S. resident arrived at the Fort Frances POE seeking entry to Canada. The individual had no destination in Canada, had no funds to support himself while in Canada, and was non-cooperative with examining officers. It was discovered that, at the Ambassador Bridge POE in Windsor earlier in the month, he had been given the option of voluntarily withdrawing his application to enter Canada and was required to leave. He was once again given the option of voluntarily withdrawing his application to enter Canada and was required to leave.
On February 17, a U.S. resident was found to be inadmissible to Canada due to past criminal convictions. Background checks showed convictions for driving while impaired and auto theft. The traveller had previously been given the option of voluntarily withdrawing his application to enter Canada at the Fort Frances POE, and was once again allowed to voluntarily withdraw his application to enter Canada.
CUSTOMS: During the month of February, CBSA officers conducted over 600 secondary examinations for customs purposes, initiated five seizure actions and issued an additional four written warnings for non-declared or undervalued goods.
On February 4, two returning Canadian residents imported a car with a declared value of US$20,000. BSOs suspected that the car was undervalued and eventually determined that the importers had actually paid US$28,000 for the vehicle. The car was seized for undervaluation and was released back to the importers upon payment of $4,375.80 in penalties. Had the car been declared at its proper value, the importers would have paid approximately $1,500 in taxes.
On February 6, a U.S. resident arrived at the Fort Frances POE. Upon examination, officers discovered that the individual was the subject of an outstanding arrest warrant for Fraud under $5,000. BSOs arrested the individual and handed him over to the Ontario Provincial Police.
On February 7, a returning Canadian resident was referred for a secondary examination. During the exam, officers discovered a receipt for tire mounting and balancing. When questioned about the receipt, the individual admitted to purchasing new tires in the United States and having them installed on his truck. The tires were seized for non-report and were released upon payment of $428.33 in penalties. Had the tires been properly declared, he would have paid approximately $222 in taxes.
TRAVEL TIPS: After an absence from Canada of 24 hours, you may bring back $50 worth of goods duty- and tax-free; after 48 hours, your personal exemption is $400; and after an absence of seven days, you are entitled to $750 worth of duty- and tax-free goods. There are no personal exemptions for same-day purchases.
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. A record of infractions is kept in the CBSA computer system. If you have an infraction record, you may have to undergo a more detailed examination on future trips.
New regulations are in place related to 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.