Crimebeat – April was interesting at Pigeon River Point of Entry


Canada_Border_Services_AgencyTHUNDER BAY – Crimebeat – The Pigeon River Border Crossing saw 42,804 travellers in 23, 387 vehicles, as well as 564 commercial drivers crossing in the month of April. This represents a 0.1 percent increase in travelers but a 15 percent increase in vehicles from the same period last year. The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) facilitates the entry of legitimate travelers 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.

Here are a few of the instances that CBSA officers encountered at the Pigeon River Crossing in April:

IMMIGRATION: In April 2012, CBSA officers at the Pigeon River POE conducted 303 immigration examinations. As a result of the examinations, 27 individuals were issued immigration documents (such as work permits, study permits, temporary resident permits to name but a few) and 15 were given the option of voluntarily withdrawing their application to enter Canada and were allowed to leave due to criminality or other inadmissibility issues.

On April 13, a U.S. resident arrived at the POE seeking temporary entry to Canada. Records showed that he had been reported for his criminal inadmissibility and was given the option of voluntarily withdrawing his application to enter Canada exactly one year prior, also at the Pigeon River POE. The individual had been convicted in the U.S. for recklessly endangering safety and for intending to commit sexual abuse. He was again given the option of voluntarily withdrawing his application to enter Canada and he returned to the U.S. immediately.

On April 27, a U.S. resident arrived at the Pigeon River POE seeking the issuance of a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) in an attempt to overcome his criminal inadmissibility to Canada. The individual had several convictions in the U.S. which included, but were not limited to, possession of narcotics, felony assault with a deadly weapon, and domestic assault. He had been previously given the option of voluntarily withdrawing his application to enter Canada at the Pigeon River POE and had his rehabilitation application denied by the Canadian Consulate General in Detroit, Michigan. The individual was counseled by CBSA officers once again regarding his inadmissibility and had his TRP application denied. He returned to the U.S. immediately thereafter.

CUSTOMS: During the month of April, BSOs conducted 1,897 secondary examinations for customs purposes or other government departments, initiated 11 seizure actions for various offences, and issued an additional 21 written warnings for undeclared or undervalued goods.

On April 7, a U.S. resident declared US$1,000 worth of goods that he intended to leave at his cottage in Canada. The BSO noted the individual’s nervous behaviour while making his declaration and referred him for further examination. The BSO performing the secondary examination found five undeclared mattresses and bed frames, power tools, an industrial vacuum and a gun safe. The value of these unreported goods totaled $4,680.24. The goods were seized for the infraction of non-reporting and were released back to the traveler upon payment of a penalty amounting to $1,170.06. Had he declared these goods properly, he would only have paid $234.01.

OFFICER POWERS: On April 12, an Ontario resident was referred into the office to pay taxes on goods he was importing. The BSO that was assisting the individual detected the odour of an alcoholic beverage on his breath. The individual, who was also the driver of the vehicle, admitted to having consumed alcohol earlier in the day. The BSO demanded that the driver provide a sample of his breath for analysis. The test resulted in a warning, meaning that the traveler could have had his driver’s licence suspended under provincial legislation. In this case, the individual left his car at the POE and had a friend drive him home.

TRAVEL TIPS: After an absence 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. Please refer to the I Declare brochure on the CBSA Web site for more information.

The CBSA reminds travelers 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.

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.

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