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Old 04-15-2018, 07:53 PM   #21
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You can bring in extra alcohol, declare it and pay the duty. You will want to clear through a maned check point or you might get stuck waiting hours for customs to show up. There is no duty free stores on the water. You can drive up and hit a duty free store.

Trying the open bottle trick will help you get an extra liter through. Canadian customers has seen it all before and they won’t let you get away with four open bottles each missing one drink.

When you cross on Nexus you make a call and get a clearance number. You never see the customs people. But some day some were you will get checked and if you are trying to pull a fast one they will make you pay.
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Old 04-15-2018, 10:51 PM   #22
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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 ďshipís storesĒ. 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 itís friendly telephone is a good idea. Just be prepared for an uptight greeting when you return through
US Customs.
Ok I have had first hand experience with the "Ship Stores" thing. First year we crossed into Canada, I gave them a listing of every drop of adult beverages and cigars.

Based on the advice from a very good Canadian I now do this and have not had any issues (Kind of).

I am a NEXUS card holder.

When I call in to Canadian customs I tell them what I have on board. Last year it was five 5ths of scotch, 5 gallon jugs of scotch, 3 bottles of Pendleton (so my buddy Crusty would have something to drink), 18 bottles of wine and 100 cigars.

Then I state this is ALL SHIP STORES AND FOR PRIVATE USE ONLY!!

Most of the time I pass through customs with no issues, unless you get a customs person from Ottawa. The don't know where the west coast of BC is let alone anything else.

Last summer, as I was crossing Dixon entrance heading south, I got a very young customs official. I think he was still on a sippy cup.

I told him the above and he started the "drill" with me. So here is how it went down:

CC: Sir, where was the wine made and the cost of each bottle?
Me: Most of the wine is from Oregon and Washington and cost on average about $12.
CC: Really $12? It wasn't more?
Me: OK, $20
CC: You have how much scotch?
Me: Enough to get through Canada. five-5ths and 5 gal jugs.
CC: Where was the scotch made?
Me: Huh, where was it made?
CC: Yes sir.
Me: (in my scotchish voice) It was made in Scotland lass. No one else knows how to make scotch!!
CC: Excuse me sir? You do know you will have to pay duty, right?

I then asked: You are aware this is ALL SHIP STORES AND FOR PRIVATE USE ONLY?

CC: Please hold

A few minutes later:

CC: I apologize sir, here is your customs number. Have a great day!!
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Old 04-15-2018, 11:48 PM   #23
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I had the BC customs go through the boat for about 2 hours one day at Bedwell. They counted every drop of booze, including an errant beer bottle up front in the pantry or in the frig door that my wife left behind. They did not have any leeway for ship stores, so before you take that advice, be prepared to stand for it at the docks. In the end I was not over significantly and they let me go. Very polite those Canadians, even when going through with a fine tooth comb. Single guy on a 48foot boat, not traveling exclusively with friends raised their suspicions.
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Old 04-16-2018, 12:00 AM   #24
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And just my luck, that one bottle of Pendleton should have put ASD over the threshold, LOL.
I’m not really aware of a duty free liquor store in BC when on the boat. They are very proud of the price they charge for all Liquor. And more so at locations that are not BC liquor, they have to buy it at the state price, then shipping and profit are thrown in. I recall a case of Bud was $55 Canadian, just about filled my shorts.
Take what you think you need, declare and be honest. Canadian customs is so much better than US Customs.
We have taken in many “Open” containers and several sealed ones, just declared as “ships store’s” and told the truth, no issues. I was more concerned with my cigars, never found them in Canada. We just accepted the higher cost as a means to support the local economy.
A side note. Liquor and tobacco products are taxed heavily in Canada, they call it the “Sin Tax” and is supposed to be for the “Provided Health Care program” . Or so we were told.
The BC boating is some of the best in the world, you wont regret it!
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Old 04-16-2018, 12:48 AM   #25
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Two trips through customs once passing through to Alaska and once last week. For my Alaska trip, I brought a bunch of liquor, bar stock, beer, rum, scotch. Much more than my 1.5 liters. No issues when passing at bell harbor. I detailed it out, he said Iím sure you are not drinking that all in Canada. I agreed and moved on. No issues no check.

Last trip, talked to someone in eastern Canada on phone (clearing in Victoria). I had the following (still have it written down in notes on phone) ďWhisky 3/4
Scotch full
Scotch 1/4
Scotch 1/2
Scotch 3/4
Whisky full
Whisky full
Vodka full
Vodka 1/2
Vodka full
Grand marnier full
Gin 1/2
Cognac full
Jagermeister 1/2
Rum 3/4Ē

All listed at 750ml (and fullness). I called it bar stock and he did not even want to list it all out.

I used to worry...now I donít bother with removing.
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Old 04-16-2018, 02:31 AM   #26
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When entering Canada they were concerned about guns and fruit. Had no guns but needed to surrender a couple of pieces of fruit. On the return, the only concern was fruit.
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Old 04-16-2018, 02:34 AM   #27
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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) . My 2 cents.

Thanks for your 2 cents and I agree we have found some very good wines reasonably priced including some great Malbecs for me and some whites from New Zealand Marlboro region
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Old 04-16-2018, 08:19 AM   #28
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Geez, after reading this thread my liver is getting sore.
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Old 04-16-2018, 08:31 AM   #29
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Liquor in BC

As live-aboards we have let them know we have some open liquor and it has not been a big deal. We have not taken advantage of this, and it does seem to be based on the customs person you get - without any clear rule.

If you have particular taste we would recommend declaring it and paying the duty. Here is a link to more information about the limits that apply. Note that if you want to declare and pay it will be the duty and local tax and you need to arrange this before crossing the border.

Travellers - Alcohol and Tobacco Limits

If you do what we do, and it just accept these limits and support the local economies, you can go to Ganges in the Gulf Islands. There is a large grocery store and liquor store within 200 feet of the dinghy dock. You can stock up and roll a grocery cart right to the dinghy.

Enjoy,

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Old 04-16-2018, 08:47 AM   #30
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Greetings,
Re: Post #29. Evidently, sometime this summer you will also be able to get ganga in Ganges....Just sayin'
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Old 04-16-2018, 09:09 AM   #31
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Greetings,
Re: Post #29. Evidently, sometime this summer you will also be able to get ganga in Ganges....Just sayin'
Saltspring Is where Ganges is located has an interesting history regarding MJ, hippies from long ago and local growers. But as you point out RT, what was happening will now be "legal".

Keith, any history to share?
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Old 04-16-2018, 01:24 PM   #32
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Just to be clear, while BC may allow recreational use of Cannabis starting this July, last I knew they will not tolerate the importation of marijuana for personal use. So I would still be respectful of CA laws and leave the cannabis at home. If you need to use it, then you should be able to purchase it BC sometime this summer.
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Old 04-16-2018, 01:43 PM   #33
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When I was young we called it "BC Bud"...
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Old 04-16-2018, 06:31 PM   #34
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My experience is similar to others when crossing in to Canada. When asked how much booze we have on board I ask them if they want all of it or just the unopend ones and mention that it is ship's stores (I have a detailed list with me). So far they have always moved on to the next item. Be nice and they they generally get you through as quickly as possible. Be an idiot and they can make your day miserable.

Marty..........................
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Old 04-16-2018, 08:58 PM   #35
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Saltspring Is where Ganges is located has an interesting history regarding MJ, hippies from long ago and local growers. But as you point out RT, what was happening will now be "legal".

Keith, any history to share?
We do have some residents who came here long ago as "hippies" and stayed for good. I doubt their habits have altered re the use of mj.

I have noted the distinctive odor of mj in public places from time to time, but no more than in more urban communities.

As for alcohol and border crossing, on returning from the BVI with a case of Pussers Rum, the duty and taxes brought the net cost up to exactly what I could have bought it for in the BC Liquor store. Buy it here and save the hassle.
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Old 04-17-2018, 10:17 AM   #36
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As for alcohol and border crossing, on returning from the BVI with a case of Pussers Rum, the duty and taxes brought the net cost up to exactly what I could have bought it for in the BC Liquor store. Buy it here and save the hassle.
The trouble people will go to though. When Coors wasn't available in NC, I know every time anyone went to Texas by company plane, people wanted cases of it brought back to them. Sorry, I am not going to lug cases of beer around.

However, on your rum story. We had facilities in Puerto Rico and everyone who flew there felt they had to bring back pineapples and rum. Once I was on the company plane and another passenger had 36 pineapples with her. Now, flying commercial, people were carrying bottles of rum home in their suitcases. Anyone see chances of disaster? One fellow employee did have a bottle break. After your suitcase and all clothes are saturated in rum for 6 hours or so, not good. Just the one suede sport coat he lost, he'd paid $500 for. I think he estimated his total loss at around $1500 but he saved on the rum...well, except he lost it too.
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Old 04-17-2018, 11:18 AM   #37
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The cost of booze in Canada is an irritation but the premium over US prices is a cost of cruising in their waters, like the higher cost of fuel.. The best policy is to just be honest with them. We as Americans are fortunate to have a beautiful place like BC nearby to run our boats.
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Old 04-17-2018, 11:27 AM   #38
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I don't think anyone here is advocating lying to Canadian Customs. But there are some processes that can help you or hurt you.

Liquor is expensive in Canada. Fuel, not bad depending where you buy it. We fuel up at Port McNeil. So long as the exchange rate is reasonable for Americans we will keep coming. Even if it isn't we will still come we just won't buy as much.
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Old 04-17-2018, 03:30 PM   #39
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The cost of booze in Canada is an irritation but the premium over US prices is a cost of cruising in their waters, like the higher cost of fuel.. The best policy is to just be honest with them. We as Americans are fortunate to have a beautiful place like BC nearby to run our boats.
Wifey B: A bit like people in FL complaining about the Bahamas costs. How lucky we are to be able to just run across and enjoy.
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Old 04-17-2018, 10:39 PM   #40
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I have found good craft beer hard to find, this year ill probably focus my exemption on Alaska Amber.
Try the private liquor stores. They tend to have better selection than the government stores, and there's certainly a lot of good beer being made around BC.

And some great ciders as well...
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