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Border officers talk turkey

Canada Border Services Agency

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Canada Border Services Agency

Canadians who are doing some Christmas shopping in the United States should probably only bring back one turkey, according to the Canada Border Services Agency.

A single turkey per person can be brought back duty-free from the U.S., without any additional import requirements. However, additional turkeys are subject to very high duties that the CBSA says will more than double the cost of the turkey.

The CBSA also says that gifts coming back with travellers should be unwrapped — or border officers may have to unwrap them. They also remind travellers that alcohol and tobacco do not count as gifts, and duties and taxes will apply.

The holiday reminders came as the CBSA released November border-crossing numbers for southern Manitoba.

In total, Canadian border officers checked 143,500 travellers in more than 73,500 vehicles, although more than half of those were at the Emerson crossing, south of Winnipeg.

At Westman-area crossings, a few scofflaws were detected in November.

At the Coulter crossing, south of Melita, a couple who were returning to Canada on Nov. 14 declared $300 in personal goods. When the officer inquired about the trailer they were towing, they said that it had just been purchased in the U.S., but they didn’t think they had to declare it.

In total, the couple failed to declare a $9,000 trailer as well as $16,000 in agriculture related goods that were inside the trailer. The items were seized and a $6,800 penalty was paid for their return. Had they made a proper declaration, they would have only paid $1,250 in taxes.

At the Boissevain crossing on Nov. 29, a man was importing a snowmobile that he declared was worth $800. Officers investigated the man’s claim and found that he had actually paid $1,500. The machine was seized and returned once a $400 penalty was paid. Had he made an accurate declaration, he would have only paid $75 in GST.

At the Goodlans crossing, south of Deloraine, on Nov. 30, a man was returning from a day of shopping in the U.S. and declared $40 in miscellaneous goods. Officers sent him to secondary examination where they discovered almost $400 in undeclared clothing. The items were seized and returned once a $115 penalty had been paid.

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