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Old 04-15-2018, 10:11 AM   #1
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For Folks In The PNW

What do the Folks that plan to spend the summer exploring the waters of British Columbia do about taking liquor with them to last the length of the trip? I know liquor is expensive so can you buy liquor at duty-free stores or pay duty tax when you check in at the border? Or hope you don't get caught.?

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Old 04-15-2018, 11:18 AM   #2
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What do the Folks that plan to spend the summer exploring the waters of British Columbia do about taking liquor with them to last the length of the trip? I know liquor is expensive so can you buy liquor at duty-free stores or pay duty tax when you check in at the border? Or hope you don't get caught.?

Thanks JD
You can legally take in a limited amount of liquor, beer or wine. But why not buy in BC? No shortage of booze outlets there.
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Old 04-15-2018, 11:32 AM   #3
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Take your legal limit, approximately 1/5 per person, then buy your beer and wine in B.C.

Alcohol and hand guns are just about the only things Canadian Customs seem to care about. You can load up in the US, try clearing through Bedwell Harbor, hope that there are no custom agents on duty so you can clear by phone. If the agents are there you can declare the alcohol pay the tax(of course you will already have paid us tax so now you paid more than if you bought it in BC)but if you mess things up you are now a smuggler, your contraband is confiscated, you get a big fine and entry to Canada could be refused. Tax savings is probably not worth all the risks.
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Old 04-15-2018, 11:33 AM   #4
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What do the Folks that plan to spend the summer exploring the waters of British Columbia do about taking liquor with them to last the length of the trip? I know liquor is expensive so can you buy liquor at duty-free stores or pay duty tax when you check in at the border? Or hope you don't get caught.?

Thanks JD


Here is one reference. https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/travel-v...l-lat-eng.html

The limits are per-person. So you can bring 1 of the following per person:
1 bottle of liquor
2 bottles of wine
24 bottles/cans of beer.

So depending on how much you plan to drink and how long you are there, I would suggest just purchasing it in Canada.

There is no way I would hope to not get caught. Chances are you won’t be inspected on entry, but it can happen. I would not want to risk being barred from Canada because I intentionally flouted their laws.

Also, Canadians are nice folks. BC is a nice place to visit. I don’t mind buying fuel, beer, wine, liquor, food, etc... from BC establishments. It may cost me a bit more at times, but it supports the economy that is supporting my boating endeavors.
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Old 04-15-2018, 11:44 AM   #5
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<<...chances are you won't get caught>>

Several years ago I noticed two guys with very long faces standing at the customs pier alongside their condo-yacht. Nearby was a couple uniformed guys with clipboards and handtrucks piled high with cartons of what I assumed was untaxed booze.

Support the Canadian economy, buy as you go.

I have found good craft beer hard to find, this year ill probably focus my exemption on Alaska Amber.
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Old 04-15-2018, 11:58 AM   #6
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Booze and ANY guns are a problem, not just hand guns. ANY gun. Years ago when working on tugs that transited the IP without stopping, we had all manner of guns on the boat, knowing we weren't stopping till we got to AK. But one time one of the boats had to slide into Rupert for some reason, the boys in blue came down, found a .22 pistol, and promptly put the boat and crew under arrest for it. They were all let go soon enough but the pistol remained.
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Old 04-15-2018, 12:12 PM   #7
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Good advice Dave and you have my thanks for supporting BC business.
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Old 04-15-2018, 01:12 PM   #8
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I personally know of one case where the folks did not declare the correct amount of alcohol . Needless to say they were caught and the alcohol was taken. Now every time they cross the border they are searched .

I drove to Alaska in 2015 and took a 12 gauge with me. It's really not that big of deal as long as you declare it at the border. You can get the form off the internet, fill it out ahead of time, and present it at the border. There is also a fee. Hand guns are another story. Also remember to declare your bear spray. The canister must say bear spray on it otherwise is not legal to take.

You may think you made it through customs only to find yourself checked by the RCMP a few days later. One year I was checked 3 times. Twice while at marinas and once while anchored out.

The customs folks are experts at telling if someone is lying. It's not worth it.
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Old 04-15-2018, 01:35 PM   #9
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Hand Guns and Assualt rifles are a no go. Hunting rifles and Shot guns are no big deal if you declare then.
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Old 04-15-2018, 01:41 PM   #10
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Right. But you don't just show up at the border without paperwork for them and say, I'm off to AK. I know a guy who did that recently with a shotgun without paperwork in hand, they denied him entry with it so he surrendered it and was allowed in.
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Old 04-15-2018, 01:51 PM   #11
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The problem is that the wine sold in BC is terrible! I don't mean the wine MADE in BC, the Okanagan has many great wines, but the wine sold in the government stores on the Gulf Islands is a joke. Weird Argentine Malbec blends and insipid Australian reds with funny names predominate along with the blandest of California megawineries. We looked on Salt Spring, in Nanaimo, and a couple of other towns with similar results, or lack thereof.....

The next year we broke down and imported a couple of cases from home and just paid the duty. At least then we could have a bottle at dinner worthy of the views out the salon windows and that did justice to the fresh seafood.
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Old 04-15-2018, 03:27 PM   #12
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Let me rephrase the post, Has anyone brought in more liquor than the allowed amount but declared it at the border check and paid the tax, or has anyone waited to purchase liquor at a duty-free liquor store in BC?
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Old 04-15-2018, 03:32 PM   #13
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One OK way of stretching your supply beyond the stated limits is to open several bottles of booze, drink a little from each before you leave US and declare them as “ship’s stores”. Never causes a problem according to reputable people who regularly cruise PNW Canadian waters and also lead cruise groups up there. Of course, they are not talking about cases of opened bottles. Be straight forward, honest and enjoy the fabulous scenery. Canadian customs officials are much friendlier than their US counterparts. Bedwell Harbor and it’s friendly telephone is a good idea. Just be prepared for an uptight greeting when you return through
US Customs.
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Old 04-15-2018, 04:05 PM   #14
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What do the Folks that plan to spend the summer exploring the waters of British Columbia do about taking liquor with them to last the length of the trip?
Wifey B: Can carry all the liquor we need in a thimble. We do carry some champagne on board. Anything else we'd consume would be in a restaurant.
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Old 04-15-2018, 04:16 PM   #15
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Wifey B: Can carry all the liquor we need in a thimble. We do carry some champagne on board. Anything else we'd consume would be in a restaurant.
Heck, I am thinking about making my own. Where I am going restaurants are few and far between, and so are many other things. I am Irish get my drift. I like hanging on the edge.
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Old 04-15-2018, 04:25 PM   #16
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Heck, I am thinking about making my own. Where I am going restaurants are few and far between, and so are many other things. I am Irish get my drift. I like hanging on the edge.
Wifey B: Get your drift. Booze just isn't important to us.
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Old 04-15-2018, 04:50 PM   #17
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Not to hijack this thread, but thought I would add my take on wine. As a former Production Supervisor of a Sonoma County winery (Kenwood Winery) I would like to comment on California wines - wine is a product of "Mother Nature" - it is not like making Coca Cola or Budweiser - you are given what the Harvest gives you. As Mike Lee the original owner of Kenwood said "Mark - you can make bad wine out of good grapes, but you cannot make good wine out of bad grapes. Every year will be different. Had people ask "do you have any sweet red wine" ? I answered " I hope not" !! I'm a red wine fan and my wife is a white wine fan - cannot go wrong with Kenwood Sauvignon Blanc (Mike's specialty), and a great price point. I bottled 140,000 cases of it one year. Now I am on a Malbec kick, and a great one is Red Schooner 3rd Voyage (4th Voyage is also out). Grapes come from Argentina and the wine is made by Caymus in Napa. Believe me, you do not have to pay big bucks for good wine. Wine in a box is a great deal (Australia/New Zealand) - no oxygen intrusion to spoil the wine - no "corked" wine and a lot of volume in a small space. My 2 cents.
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Old 04-15-2018, 04:57 PM   #18
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One OK way of stretching your supply beyond the stated limits is to open several bottles of booze, drink a little from each before you leave US and declare them as “ship’s stores”. Never causes a problem according to reputable people who regularly cruise PNW Canadian waters and also lead cruise groups up there. Of course, they are not talking about cases of opened bottles. Be straight forward, honest and enjoy the fabulous scenery. Canadian customs officials are much friendlier than their US counterparts. Bedwell Harbor and it’s friendly telephone is a good idea. Just be prepared for an uptight greeting when you return through
US Customs.
It also helps when declaring multiple opened bottles of liquor as "ship's stores" when you happen to be a liveaboard.

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Old 04-15-2018, 04:59 PM   #19
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One OK way of stretching your supply beyond the stated limits is to open several bottles of booze, drink a little from each before you leave US and declare them as “ship’s stores”. Never causes a problem according to reputable people who regularly cruise PNW Canadian waters and also lead cruise groups up there. Of course, they are not talking about cases of opened bottles. Be straight forward, honest and enjoy the fabulous scenery. Canadian customs officials are much friendlier than their US counterparts. Bedwell Harbor and it’s friendly telephone is a good idea. Just be prepared for an uptight greeting when you return through
US Customs.
True. I get a much warmer reception going into Canada than I do returning home to the US. I don't mind enforcement of the laws and regulations, but it wouldn't hurt them to at least pretend to be friendly.
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Old 04-15-2018, 07:18 PM   #20
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Let me rephrase the post, Has anyone brought in more liquor than the allowed amount but declared it at the border check and paid the tax, or has anyone waited to purchase liquor at a duty-free liquor store in BC?
Has anyone ever used one of these Canadian forms?
https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/publicat...s/e311-eng.pdf
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