Honesty is the best policy when crossing the border!


Canada_Border_Services_AgencyPIGEON RIVER – 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 (BSOs) who ensure that the people, goods and conveyances entering Canada meet all requirements and are compliant with Canadian law.

In February 2012, CBSA officers at the Pigeon River port of entry (POE) processed 36,596 travellers in 15,836 vehicles, which represents a 2.3 percent decrease in travellers but a 5 percent increase in vehicles compared to February 2011. CBSA officers also processed 454 commercial drivers.

IMMIGRATION: In February, CBSA officers at the Pigeon River POE conducted 209 immigration examinations. As a result of the examinations, CBSA officers issued immigration documents to 26 individuals, while four individuals were given the option of voluntarily withdrawing their application to enter Canada and were required to leave due to criminality or other inadmissibility issues. Additionally, two foreign nationals became permanent residents of Canada.

On February 15, a lone U.S. resident arrived at the Pigeon River POE seeking entry to visit his girlfriend. The traveller was referred for an immigration examination. During the exam, officers determined that the traveller had been convicted of numerous criminal offences. Furthermore, the traveller was still actively on probation and had not informed his parole officer about his journey out of the U.S. The BSO reported the subject for his criminal inadmissibility and allowed the traveller to withdraw his application to enter Canada.

CUSTOMS: During the month of February, BSOs at the Pigeon River POE conducted 1,604 secondary examinations for customs purposes and other government departments, initiated four seizure actions for various offences and issued an additional10 written warnings for undeclared or undervalued goods.

On February 12, a Canadian resident and his family members were referred for further processing after he declared $1,600 in purchases after an absence of 48 hours, including a snowmobile trailer that required further processing. The importer specifically valued the trailer at US$400. During the processing of the trailer, the officer became suspicious of its reported low value.

Throughout the subsequent examination and interview, officers noted numerous discrepancies between the individual’s statements and the documentary evidence discovered. Ultimately, the importer admitted to having actually paid US$800 for the trailer and having falsified his invoice. The trailer was seized and later returned to the importer upon payment of a $220.35 penalty. Had he declared the trailer at its proper value and factoring in the $400 personal exemption for which he qualified, he would have paid only $20.06 in taxes for the snowmobile trailer.

Honesty is the best policy when crossing the border!

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.

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