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OT: Bringing machines into America from Canada ; Customs question?

Spud

Diamond
Joined
Jan 12, 2006
Location
Brookfield, Wisconsin
So freightquote told me I need to employ the services of a Customs Broker.

I am just reading the Canadian customs websites on exports and it says I need to get a " Business Number "
Step-by-Step Guide to Exporting Commercial Goods from Canada

--

Now many of you have no doubt brought machinery into America from Canada So anytips etc? I will be driving across the Canada-US border with my machine (assuming I get it) . So what do I need to do?

Thanks
 
A quick glance at the site you linked makes me think the most reliable info could be had by calling the 1-800 number listed on the page.
I would imagine they will be happy to answer your questions. The Govt. folks I have had dealings with in Canada, when I was truckin',
were always very helpful.

When you get to the USofA , on the other hand, you had better have ALL of your ducks in a row!!
The US customs people are real surly and rude!



Rex
 
Is this a machine you can throw in the back of a pickup or in a trailer? If so and if this is a one-time deal--that is, you're not setting up to do this on a regular basis--then I would consider importing it as a personal machine. For this you shouldn't need a business number--I'd check with a broker to get their take on the situation...
 
Is this a machine you can throw in the back of a pickup or in a trailer? If so and if this is a one-time deal--that is, you're not setting up to do this on a regular basis--then I would consider importing it as a personal machine. For this you shouldn't need a business number--I'd check with a broker to get their take on the situation...

Yeah, it will be small enough to stick into a station wagon. It's just a 1 time thing, never done this before.
Wouldn't a Customs broker advise me to use their services so I will contract with them?

Are all the issues going to be with the American Border Patrol, cause I will be bringing from Canada into America?
 
I brought a line boring machine in from Canada and it was an absolute nightmare. I did it properly, had a broker, paid the $250, had all my paperwork, I thought! Get a call from the idiot as I'm loading the machine so I had to track the a-hole down in a blizzard in a 2 wheel drive truck with summer tires hauling a trailer to get him to supply me with all the papers. Get to the border, the border a-hole looks at my license plate and tells me I have the wrong vehicle, pull into the X-ray bldg and wait. An hour later the Nazi in the X-ray bldg finishes grilling me, but let's me go so I can re-tarp the damn thing, in a blizzard. Now it's on the bldg #2 for more waiting. Another hour passes, I finally get to see a-hole #3 who looks at my paperwork, looks out the window at my truck, then asks me what the hell is supposed to be wrong. I tell him what a-hole #1 said, he picks up the phone and proceeds to ream the guy out. There never was an issue, apparently he just wanted to put me through hell. So it all ended with this last guy tossing my paperwork back to me and saying "get the hell out of here". I was tempted to say "What, no apology??" but decided against it. So let us all know how you make out!!
 
I thought it great that you posted the information. Then I started to read it. Like much U.S. government information the easy is impossible. What a mess….

Does any have experience with bringing a machine across the border they would like to share? I heard to bring a made in U.S. machine to the U.S. is easier… is that true?
 
Nothing a simple cheap name plate of the bay could resolve if thats the case :-) ^
 
OT: importing people...
A few years back a Harsons Island fellow was importing China nationals to the U.S.. Walpole island Indians would boat them across the river and he would put them the trunk of his big Lincoln town car and take them to the buss depot. One time he stopped in a bar parking lot to let them out of the trunk and got spotted. The police in New Baltimore set up a car to stop him and that was the end of such import.... or not?
 
Is this a machine you can throw in the back of a pickup or in a trailer? If so and if this is a one-time deal--that is, you're not setting up to do this on a regular basis--then I would consider importing it as a personal machine. For this you shouldn't need a business number--I'd check with a broker to get their take on the situation...

What he said. Avoid calling it a commercial shipment. For a commercial shipment, I believe no matter which way you cross the border, the customs guys want 72 hours advance notice sent to the portal at which you are crossing. That is just the beginning of the pain. The vehicle used for a commercial shipment may also have to be licenced with a permit that allows it to bring stuff across. It could literally be cheaper to use an existing freight handler who already has the required papers to cross with. All you need provide is the correct documentation for the machine, and best look up its number on the Harmonized schedule of tariffs. This would be its NAFTA classification, that is basically what a broker will do, and he may be clueless about exactly where your machine should fit in, so you best research the schedule yourself to be sure.

However, if you act all meek and humble, the customs people are generally willing to help you look the number up at the border if you call the item 'personal' or 'hobby'. But, they are busy people too, and get a bit pissed when someone has not first attempted to help themselves by researching online well before showing up.
 
Here's the US customs page.
It says I need to declare anything I bring into the US from Canada that I did not have with me when I went to Canada.

Returning From Canada | Embassy of the United States Ottawa, Canada

" What You Must Declare "


" You must declare the types of items described below, as well as the price you paid for them. The CBP recommends that you keep your receipts and that you try to pack these items separately or where they are all readily accessible.



  • " Items you purchased and are carrying with you upon your return to the United States. "
 
If you pick it up should not need a broker. If you ship it it will have to be brokered but you do not need a Canadian number, the broker will have one. I can tell stories about getting machines into the US, most times easy but sometimes a real PITA, unfortunately all depends on the mood of the US agent.
 
Surly American border guards might be related to location. Here in the eastern boonies of NB (next to the state of Maine) it used to be like this, but lately I have to admit, they have been really good. In fact, on one occasion I was on my way to look at a little benchmaster mill in Maine, from Canada, and the border guards face lit up when I told him what I was up to. We ended up talking about 15 minutes with a huge line behind me, everyone figured I was getting the 3rd degree. Turns out the border guard used to be a tool and die maker and was really keen to talk tools - haha.

I honestly think that the white hair on my head has something to do with it too. They used to search the car and ask a lot more questions when I was in my 20s. Now in my 50s I sometimes enter the US with only one or two questions and a "have a nice day"....
 
Is this a machine you can throw in the back of a pickup or in a trailer? If so and if this is a one-time deal--that is, you're not setting up to do this on a regular basis--then I would consider importing it as a personal machine. For this you shouldn't need a business number--I'd check with a broker to get their take on the situation...
Consider my tale of woe at link below. Which involved two machines "thrown in the back of a pickup truck"

http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb/general/spring-road-trip-canada-customs-hell-156911/
 
Even to Americans??


Yes, your citizenship is irrelevant to them. As one particularly charming agent loudly told me, as they x-rayed my empty truck for the third time, "I am the first line of defense against ground based terror incursions, and I take my job very seriously!".


Rex
 
You need to use a broker. Customs agents can smell a bullshitter at 5000 yds.

I've brought in two items from out of the US. There was a watchmakers bench from France Customs and brokerage fees on a $5000.00 item were $452.00

The other one was a Hauser P325 jig borer from Canada same value, fees were about $300.00

Spud you need to talk to a broker. Your just wasting your time on a hobby board with people that have never used a broker. The machine I brought in from Canada I used Deringer http://www.anderinger.com/ They have offices and brokers on most US border crossings. You can get a quote on line. You will most likely be crossing over at either Detroit MI or Port Huron MI Deringer has offices at both crossings. Also if you have a problem re-entering the US you give your broker a call and they will send somebody down to help straighten thing out.
 
Then once you finally get it here you realize the motor/s and electrics are 575V and will cost armand leg to convert. 😜
 








 
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