THUNDER BAY – In October 2012, CBSA officers at the Pigeon River port of entry (POE) processed 42,948 travellers in 21,354 vehicles, as well as 658 commercial drivers, representing a 6.7 percent decrease in travellers and a 4.7 percent decrease in the number of vehicles processed during the same period last year.
Immigration highlights: In October, CBSA officers at the Pigeon River POE issued 10 immigration documents (such as work permits, study permits and temporary resident permits) while 17 individuals were allowed to withdraw their applications to enter Canada due to criminality or other admissibility issues.
On October 20, a U.S. resident arrived at the POE seeking entry to travel to Winnipeg. During a secondary immigration examination, officers discovered that the individual had convictions for robbery, burglary and theft in the United States. The traveller was counselled on the rehabilitation process required to enter Canada by those who are criminally inadmissible and then returned to the United States.
On October 22, a U.S. resident arrived at the POE in a commercial truck seeking entry to transfer his loads to a driver in Canada. Background checks revealed that the individual had been refused entry into Canada in 2004 for having a lengthy criminal record, including convictions for possession of methamphetamines, petty theft, possession of drugs/alcohol in prison and burglary. He was allowed to withdraw his application to enter Canada and was also counselled to transfer his loads on the U.S. side of the border in the future.
Customs highlights: During the month of October, CBSA officers conducted 1,605 secondary examinations for customs purposes or on behalf of other government departments, initiated nine seizure actions for various offences and issued an additional 12 written warnings for undeclared or undervalued goods.
On October 2, a U.S. couple driving a recreational vehicle was referred for a secondary examination. The travellers made a nil declaration when asked about firearms and weapons in their possession. However, officers found an undeclared 12-gauge pump shotgun in their possession. The driver of the motorhome claimed ownership of the shotgun and was arrested for the offence of smuggling. Following the arrest, officers continued their examination of the motorhome and found drug paraphernalia in a cocoa container and 26.6g of suspect marijuana in the motorhome’s freezer. The driver was rearrested upon discovery of the prohibited substance and the passenger was also arrested for this offence. In addition, officers found over 17.6 L of alcohol, which the travellers had not declared. The terms of release were paid on the shotgun, as it was a non-restricted firearm. The marijuana and alcohol were seized with no terms of release. Both travellers were allowed to withdraw their applications to enter Canada for committing an offence upon entry and they returned to the United States.
On October 4, two U.S. residents seeking temporary entry to Canada for one hour were referred for further examination. During the subsequent customs examination, officers found a bottle of pepper spray in the driver’s vehicle door pocket. The driver stated that he had bought the pepper spray, a prohibited weapon in Canada, for protection against bears and had forgotten about it when initially asked. Officers seized the pepper spray with no terms of release due to its prohibited status. Following the seizure, the two travellers left Canada on their own accord and returned to the United States.
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.
After an absence of 24 hours, you may bring back $200 worth of goods duty- and tax-free. However, please note that if the amount being imported exceeds $200, the duty and taxes are applicable on the entire amount of the imported goods. After an absence of 48 hours, your personal exemption is $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 http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/travel-voyage/menu-eng.html.
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.
All firearms and weapons must be declared to a border services officer when you enter Canada. Failure to do so could result in them being seized, and you may face criminal charges. For more information, visit http://cbsa.gc.ca/media/facts-faits/107-eng.html.
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 at: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/resources/manuals/bulletins/2012/ob389.asp.