PIGEON RIVER – Crimebeat – In June 2012, CBSA officers at the Pigeon River port of entry (POE) processed 57,107 travellers in 26,543 vehicles, as well as 699 commercial drivers, representing a 2.69% decrease in travellers but a 1.55% increase in the number of vehicles processed during the same period last year. The job of the Canadian Border Security Agency is to keep Canada safer.
Immigration: In June, CBSA officers at the Pigeon River POE conducted 1,284 immigration examinations. As a result of the examinations, 75 individuals were issued immigration documents (such as work permits, study permits, temporary resident permits to name but a few) while three individuals were reported for being inadmissible, and 27 others were allowed to withdraw their applications to enter Canada for criminality or other admissibility issues.
On June 1, a U.S. resident arrived at the Pigeon River POE. The U.S. resident was referred to immigration for a background check. During the subsequent interview, officers determined that he was convicted for multiple offences in the United States. The individual was reported for his serious criminality and was allowed to withdraw his application to enter Canada and he returned to the United States.
On June 29, a lone U.S. resident arrived at the Pigeon River POE seeking temporary entry to Canada. The traveller was referred to immigration for a routine background check. During the examination, officers learned that the individual had been convicted for criminal sexual abuse. He was allowed to withdraw his application to enter Canada after having been counselled on how to overcome his inadmissibility. He returned to the United States.
Customs: During the month of June, CBSA officers conducted 3,201 secondary examinations for customs purposes or other government departments, initiated 11 seizure actions for various offences and issued an additional 14 written warnings for undeclared or undervalued goods.
On June 8, three U.S. residents arrived at the Pigeon River POE seeking temporary entry for a fishing trip in Canada. The individuals declared alcohol totalling one case of beer and two 1.75 litre bottles of alcohol. The travellers were referred for a customs secondary examination to verify their declarations. During the ensuing examination, and with the assistance of an X-ray scan trailer, officers found that the individuals were in possession of seven cases of beer, five 1.75 litre bottles and two 0.75 litre bottles of spirits, and two 0.75 litre bottles of wine. The undeclared alcohol was seized for the failure to report with no terms of release and the travellers were allowed to enter Canada.
On June 10, a Canadian resident declared that he was importing a 1972 truck from the United States. He declared the value of the car at US$500 and presented an invoice attesting to this amount. During the subsequent secondary examination, officers found documentary evidence suggesting that the car was undervalued. They called the seller and he admitted that he had sold the car to the Canadian resident for US$3,700. The vehicle was seized for undervaluation and was returned to the importer upon payment of the terms of release amounting to $1,818.43. Had the importer declared the car at its proper amount, he would only have paid $191.14.
On June 20, two Canadian residents arrived at the Pigeon River POE after a day trip to the United States. The travellers were referred for a secondary examination after declaring that they had acquired a puppy at no cost from an owner in the United States. The importer stated that she was going to show and breed the puppy in Canada before returning it to its owner in the Unites States. During the ensuing interview, the importer changed her story numerous times. She first indicated that there was no charge for the puppy, then stated that she would pay for the first litter, and finally stated that she had made a US$500 down payment for the puppy. Officers called the seller who admitted that he had sold the puppy to the Canadian resident for US$2,300. The dog was returned to the importer upon payment of the terms of release equalling $1,287.51 as it had been undervalued. Had she reported the value of the dog properly, she would have only paid $304.32.
Food and Plant Inspection: On June 7, a Canadian resident travelled to the United States to pick up a parcel for his friend. The traveller was uncertain of the contents of the parcel, and was referred for further customs processing. Officers determined that the parcel contained various food products including but not limited to palm oils, creams and dried tilapia, a form of fish, originating from Ghana, Africa. The food products were all detained for inspection by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). After conducting its inspection, the CFIA ruled that the goods needed to be disposed of in a CFIA-approved manner because the food was infested with bugs.
All food, plants, animals, and related products must be declared. Food can carry disease, such as E. coli. Plants and plant products can carry invasive alien species, such as the Asian Long-Horned Beetle. Animals and animal products can carry diseases, such as avian influenza and foot-and-mouth.
Because pest and disease situations are constantly changing, the requirements for food, plant and animal products may be adjusted at any time. Please check www.inspection.gc.ca or www.beaware.gc.ca for more information on the most up-to-date restrictions and regulations.
Travel Tips: 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.
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.
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.gc.ca/traveltips.
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.