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Old 05-15-2016, 04:49 PM   #1
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Bringing excess alcohol and tobacco into Canada

I have been perusing the Canadian government websites as to what amount one can bring in. I understand the duty free limits.

But I am confused by the available info as to what happens if I bring in amounts that exceed the duty free limits.

If one has excess, does Customs confiscate the excess or all?

Or can one declare the excess, pay duty on it and keep it?

If one can declare, pay and keep, how can one know in advance what the duty might be?

The duty free limits are just not going to last this boy for the time we will be in Canada. Yes, I understand that one can buy what's needed in Canada, and will probably do that, but I still want to know the answers.
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Old 05-15-2016, 05:06 PM   #2
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You declare, or they find, and pay your duty.
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Old 05-15-2016, 05:22 PM   #3
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Okay, thanks, we declare, they don't confiscate. Good to know that. But how do we calculate in advance what the duty may be?
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Old 05-15-2016, 05:42 PM   #4
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I can't speak to Canada but going into most countries there is no duty on ships stores.
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Old 05-15-2016, 05:44 PM   #5
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You should declare everything. If they find alcohol that hasn't been declared, even if you under the personnel limit, they will take it. I went through this going into BC.
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Old 05-15-2016, 05:55 PM   #6
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Declare it. If the agent thinks it is a reasonable amount for personal use on a cruising boat the agent will likely ignore the limit. What they are looking for is someone bringing supplies into Canada to share with Canadians.

We have always been over and have never paid duty. Be sure to mention that almost all the spirits bottles are opened.
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Old 05-15-2016, 06:40 PM   #7
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Declare it. If the agent thinks it is a reasonable amount for personal use on a cruising boat the agent will likely ignore the limit. What they are looking for is someone bringing supplies into Canada to share with Canadians.

We have always been over and have never paid duty. Be sure to mention that almost all the spirits bottles are opened.
"Likely" but not always..I have been nickel and dimed, and I have been simply told "have a great visit and don't use that stuff up while you are underway".
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Old 05-15-2016, 06:41 PM   #8
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Declare it. If the agent thinks it is a reasonable amount for personal use on a cruising boat the agent will likely ignore the limit. What they are looking for is someone bringing supplies into Canada to share with Canadians.

We have always been over and have never paid duty. Be sure to mention that almost all the spirits bottles are opened.
Hmmm. Will have to sample each bottle and each carton of cancer sticks before we get there then.
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Old 05-15-2016, 07:06 PM   #9
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Don't know ab out those northerners, but if you go to the Bahamas - stock that puppy up!
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Old 05-15-2016, 07:22 PM   #10
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Declare it. If the agent thinks it is a reasonable amount for personal use on a cruising boat the agent will likely ignore the limit. What they are looking for is someone bringing supplies into Canada to share with Canadians.

We have always been over and have never paid duty. Be sure to mention that almost all the spirits bottles are opened.
I have heard others w boats & motorhomes state they declared they carry a "stocked bar" (open bottles) that are for their use and will not be given to others or left in Canada... and were not charged duty. Tobacco is different animal.
Not much benefit in taking extra and paying duty IMHO...don't have exact #$ but duty isn't nominal it's significant.
Definately not worth taking wine in as it reasonably priced vs US + duty...been there done that - once.
no idea why the inconsistency.
We were boarded & checked once but it was obvious they were interested in other priorities (guns drugs...?) as they didn't count very closely and we were over!
No problem...have a nice visit!
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Old 05-15-2016, 07:47 PM   #11
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Every border official is different and they all have their good days and bad days, so no telling what they might do if you bring in more than you're allowed. The best policy is always tell the truth because if they think you are being deceptive in any way they will confiscate any excess liquor they find. If they do decide to charge for bringing in excess liquor or tobacco they will estimate the value and charge 5% of the total (our GST). If you still have excess when you return home you may get charged again for bringing it into the US.
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Old 05-15-2016, 08:37 PM   #12
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. If they do decide to charge for bringing in excess liquor or tobacco they will estimate the value and charge 5% of the total (our GST). .
Okay. Thanks. That gives me a figure. Can live with that.
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Old 05-15-2016, 08:58 PM   #13
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Last time we entered Canada they took away our eggs and chicken (avian flu related confiscation). We were told that if we checked the CA website we would have known which items we could not bring in.
As far as fruits/veggies, we cut them up and place in tupperware? and then the fridge. Never a problem.
At Point Roberts they took away our garlic imported from China???????
Its hit and miss. I just wish US customs would be as courteous and cordial as the Canadians
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Old 05-15-2016, 09:28 PM   #14
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Every border official is different and they all have their good days and bad days, so no telling what they might do if you bring in more than you're allowed. The best policy is always tell the truth because if they think you are being deceptive in any way they will confiscate any excess liquor they find. If they do decide to charge for bringing in excess liquor or tobacco they will estimate the value and charge 5% of the total (our GST). If you still have excess when you return home you may get charged again for bringing it into the US.
This is not correct, there is an excise tax on top of GST and it's different for wines, beer and liquor. I brought a $17.00 bottle of rum in from NY a few weeks ago. The duty was $35.00.

PS. Neither Canadian nor US customs recognize "ships stores" as duty free in pleasure craft as stores cannot be sealed and bonded.
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Old 05-15-2016, 09:55 PM   #15
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OK, to be honest I've never brought alcohol or tobacco into Canada, everything other than that I've only been charged GST. I stand corrected.
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Old 05-15-2016, 11:54 PM   #16
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Every border official is different and they all have their good days and bad days, so no telling what they might do if you bring in more than you're allowed. The best policy is always tell the truth
This part of the post is correct.
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Old 05-16-2016, 12:19 AM   #17
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David, what is excess alcohol???
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Old 05-16-2016, 01:21 AM   #18
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David:

I learned the hard way that the excise tax and other taxes on "excess" liquor raises the price of otherwise cheaper beverages brought into Canada to approximately the same level as charged in our liquor stores. Instead of giving them a reason to thoroughly inspect your boat, bring a charge card and otherwise limit your liquor to the duty free limits.
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Old 05-16-2016, 01:52 AM   #19
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I spent 50 minutes being inspected today at Bedwell Harbour. No violations found, and I had alcohol well in excess of the duty-free maximum. I declared it, they didn't find any more than I declared (I declared everything), and they let me through...no duty charged.

The excess was partial bottles of liquor, most at least half empty.

The agents that inspected the boat were friendly. They said they don't care much about "reasonable" excess liquor, as long as it's declared. When they catch you lying, they crack down.

As long as you declare what you have, the worst thing they do is charge duty or confiscate. If you lie, they can deny entry, add you to the "bad" list, and levy fines.

My 24 beers and 8 partial bottles of liquor were considered reasonable.

Also declare any weapons, including mace (not allowed) and bear spray (allowed, as long as it's clearly labeled for bear use).

They asked a bunch of questions about various types of marijuana. I guess as a 26-year-old coming from a state with legal weed, I fit the profile...
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Old 05-16-2016, 02:29 AM   #20
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The agents that inspected the boat were friendly. They said they don't care much about "reasonable" excess liquor, as long as it's declared. When they catch you lying, they crack down.
And declare accurately. The biggest hold ups I've seen of US boaters going to the Bahamas has been over incorrect counts of ammunition. The wrong agent and that can lead to hours and dollars. Even as friendly as Canadian agents are, it you give them a reason to mistrust you, then they'll quickly become far less so.

I would also warn those traveling, especially from weed legal states, make sure you have none on you or your boat and make sure none of your guests or mates do. Even more sure for the USCG. Much like policemen, they never believe the one clearly visible is the only one and they don't care.

But then traveling to some countries of Europe the penalties are far worse and nothing the US can really do to help you out of the trouble.
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