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Old 07-17-2019, 09:51 AM
 
79 posts, read 75,902 times
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Simple question: when a border agent asks whether you are bringing any alcohol or tobacco into the country, do they really mean alcohol and tobacco over a certain limit that you must declare and pay duty on? Or do they mean every drop or scrap of either?

I ask because, if you're bringing in, say, 375ml of scotch and 15 cigars, well under the limit for either (currently 1.14l and 50 cigars into Canada), and you don't have to pay any duty on it, then what's the difference whether you even have any? It wouldn't matter anyway in terms of paying a duty, would it? And beyond duty, amounts of either below the limit wouldn't be a matter of public safety, right?

Follow-on question: if you do have this amount of either and say "no" to the question, then they pull you over and search you and find only these amounts, are you in any legal or criminal trouble? Because technically you do have both items even though you said "no", but you don't have enough to declare and pay duty on, so it shouldn't even matter, should it?
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Old 07-17-2019, 11:03 AM
 
Location: British Columbia ☀️ ♥ 🍁 ♥ ☀️
7,287 posts, read 6,607,347 times
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I don't know. Just guessing here, but even if it is below the limit perhaps it might matter if it's been tampered with, if it is not still in its original, intact packaging with no seals broken. Or it might matter if the product was a black market item acquired illegally (Native cigarettes sold illegally with no taxes paid on them comes to mind), or if it happens to be a product that is banned in the one country but not the other, or banned in both Canada and USA but not banned in other countries in the Americas which it might have been smuggled in from.
.
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Old 07-17-2019, 12:04 PM
 
Location: Hougary, Texberta
8,602 posts, read 11,098,771 times
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If they say any, they mean any. If they ask if you're over your exemption, you can say no.
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Old 07-17-2019, 12:56 PM
 
Location: Montreal -> CT -> MA -> Montreal -> Ottawa
16,701 posts, read 26,798,278 times
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Just answer the questions as they're literally asked. Don't jump ahead like you've been studying the rules.

Agent: Do you have any alcohol or tobacco that you're bringing into the country?
You:
- Right answer: Yes.
- Wrong answer: 375ml of scotch and 15 cigars, well under the limit for either (currently 1.14l and 50 cigars into Canada), so I don't have to pay any duty on it

Agent: How much alcohol?
You:
- Right answer: 375ml of scotch
- Wrong answer: 375ml of scotch, which is under the limit so I don't have to pay duty

Agent: How much tobacco?
- Right answer: 15 cigars
- Wrong answer: 15 cigars, which is under the limit so I don't have to pay duty

Agent: Have a nice stay in Canada.
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Old 07-17-2019, 02:02 PM
 
5,992 posts, read 2,303,138 times
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Dawn is correct, the agents only what your simple answer. They know the limits allowed and don't need to be reminded.
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Old 07-18-2019, 04:49 AM
 
34,445 posts, read 41,547,959 times
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Bottom line ? answer the questions asked by the border guard honestly,avoid giving a personal opinion and While this video is of a couple entering the US it could just as easily be an entry into Canada.=

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDYMw1p8s9M
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Old 07-18-2019, 05:14 AM
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston/Tricity
38,117 posts, read 55,898,625 times
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Why don't you just ask when they ask you? I would say, yes - I have x amount of alcohol and x amount of cigars. That way you let them know what you have and if you are under or at the limit, nothing will happen.
If you say you don't have any and they (making a random check) find it, they might take apart the whole car looking for other contraband you are quiet about.
Know the laws and act accordingly.

Dawn is right to a dot.
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Old 07-18-2019, 05:53 AM
 
6,407 posts, read 3,506,327 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DawnMTL View Post
Just answer the questions as they're literally asked. Don't jump ahead like you've been studying the rules.

Agent: Do you have any alcohol or tobacco that you're bringing into the country?
You:
- Right answer: Yes.
- Wrong answer: 375ml of scotch and 15 cigars, well under the limit for either (currently 1.14l and 50 cigars into Canada), so I don't have to pay any duty on it

Agent: How much alcohol?
You:
- Right answer: 375ml of scotch
- Wrong answer: 375ml of scotch, which is under the limit so I don't have to pay duty

Agent: How much tobacco?
- Right answer: 15 cigars
- Wrong answer: 15 cigars, which is under the limit so I don't have to pay duty

Agent: Have a nice stay in Canada.
I think you can combine the first two answers -

“Yes, I am bringing in a single 375ml bottle of Scotch”.

They might then ask “any other alcohol” to which you can say “no”.

I haven’t brought in booze for a long time but in the early 90’s I brought back a lot, much of it undeclared...
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Old 07-18-2019, 05:56 AM
 
6,407 posts, read 3,506,327 times
Reputation: 5816
Quote:
Originally Posted by elnina View Post
Why don't you just ask when they ask you? I would say, yes - I have x amount of alcohol and x amount of cigars. That way you let them know what you have and if you are under or at the limit, nothing will happen.
If you say you don't have any and they (making a random check) find it, they might take apart the whole car looking for other contraband you are quiet about.
Know the laws and act accordingly.

Dawn is right to a dot.
Agreed. I would also have it on the front passenger seat to point to. I donít know how strict they are nowadays but I found that even if you were slightly over they didnít bother to pull you over.

Also donít know if it varies by crossing. I can only speak from experience with the Niagara bridges.
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Old 07-18-2019, 06:00 AM
 
6,407 posts, read 3,506,327 times
Reputation: 5816
Quote:
Originally Posted by jambo101 View Post
Bottom line ? answer the questions asked by the border guard honestly,avoid giving a personal opinion and While this video is of a couple entering the US it could just as easily be an entry into Canada.=

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDYMw1p8s9M
The guy in this video is an idiot. I’ve crossed over maybe 100 times over the years and you keep the answers short and direct. He seems like the kind of guy that also makes wisecracks to airport security.

Nowadays I get similar questions entering Canada on my US passport so yes, it’s the same.

People need to remember - you are entering a different country with different laws and you are a VISITOR and therefore not entitled to squat.

You can get a cranky border guy, but then just make the answers simpler. All he had to do was to provide an example store - going to xxx and yyy at the Outlet Mall.

Rule #1 in this video...shut up

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFRA...ature=youtu.be
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