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Spring road trip to Canada and Customs from Hell

You were lucky . The current fine for showing up at the U.S. border with a commercial load and not having filed a ACE manifest the appropriate number of hours befor arival is $10000.

Curious that even in their assholity they never even mentioned a fine at all, much less a fine of that sort of insane amount. Worse case senario was making me go back to Canada. If they had mentioned a fine of that amount I probably would have had a bit more trouble keeping my cool ! :eek::willy_nilly:
A bit off topic

Hi to all from up here. Yes things have drastically changed. I brought up a used pop machine with a Coke logo on it in mid 90's. At Bellingham, you would have thought I smuggling it. It was bolted to the back of my motor home on the bumper in plain view and was about 3' by 3' by 6'. They wanted customs on new! Regardless of the manufacturers date on the machine. Took about 35 minutes to convince 2 guys and a dog that I was legit. I think that if it's not the "regular stuff being brought home, they got something interesting to talk about. Wayne.

Just a thought what would happen if I went on holiday to the states, say Texas, found my next toy, a 1967 Corvette, bought it legit. Had all receipts etc. How much hassle would one have bringing it back? Wayne.
There is Canadian customs site that explains bringing in a auto in to Canada and what models are barred or have to be modified before or after entry.
Believe it or not, the Can govt authorized service centers that will give you a certificate as to conformity, i.e. Day time running lights, Km & miles speedo, is CANADIAN TIRE :D
Re: Old 'Vette:

Into Canada for vehicles is a 15-year cutoff. If it's older than 15 years it's gradnfathered in and there's no hassle (per friends who've done it with some truly bizarre Land-Rovers).

US has the same thing but it's 25 years - done that one myself with little hassle. One form and the shipping paperwork and you're done. Customs broker does it as a one-stop job, but I did the paperwork runaround myself and it took an hour or two (at the port of Baltimore).

Hey! I like the paint job on that Clark!

I do recall back in the old days when I lived in MI that the Canada guards almost welcomed US citizens with open arms, guess they liked us spending our USD there.

However, going the other way you always got into the Bad Cop. Seemed like the psychology was to "push" you a little bit (a lot?) out of your comfort zone to see what was going to happen.
Just a thought what would happen if I went on holiday to the states, say Texas, found my next toy, a 1967 Corvette, bought it legit. Had all receipts etc. How much hassle would one have bringing it back? Wayne.
One important issue with importing a vehical into Canada from the U.S. that is often over looked is that THE VEHICAL MUST CLEAR U.S. CUSTOMS FIRST. The original title and a original bill of sale as well as 3 copies of each must be in the hands of U.S. customs at the border crossing that will be used for 72 hours not including weekends befor the vehical can be cleared to leave the U.S. for importation into Canada. Typicaly after obtaining ownership of the vehical the documents are sent to the border station with a trackable shipment method. once the tracking shows the delivery made the 72 hours begin although it is a good idea to make a phone call to cofirm delivery. When you arive at U.S. customs they will come out to cofirm the serial number is the same as the title and return your documents. If 72 hours have not elapsed they will make you wait.
Typicaly the first question Canadian customs will ask when you arive at there post and declare a vehical for import is wether you have cleared U.S. customs. There are a few other things to be careful of but they for the most part apply to vehicals under 15 years old and would not apply to an older vehical. Importing a vehical is atualy very easy providing you have researched the rules and follow them. I have imported vehicals into Canada both older and newer then 15 years and it has never taken more then 20 minutes at the border for the paper work
Some friends of mine took a vacation into BC about six years ago. Since they were towing a travel trailer and were going to be staying in some rather remote camp grounds, they decided to take a shotgun along for protection, which they thought was OK. That was the first mistake. Border guards told them it had to be confiscated and shipped back to the states, where they could pick it up from a gun dealer when they got home.

Second mistake was the cursory search found a box of pistol cartridges they had forgotten to remove. They were there for eight hours while everything was searched repeatedly looking for the non existent pistol. Mind you, these are two people in their late forties traveling with two children, one of whom is developmentally handicapped. But, they were treated like criminals and interrogated about where the pistol was hidden on several occasions, while everything was removed from vehicle and trailer.

Finally allowed to continue on vacation and all went well on the way back to the US. The icing on the cake was they had to go through the ten day waiting period in Kalif to pick up the shotgun that they already owned for years.
being a long haired young dude (23), that rockclimbs, i've gotten the rubber glove treatment at the US boarder crossing afew times

comin back through the CDN crossing, as long as i didn't have any fruits or veggies, the canadian cops didn't care aboot the open case of beer in the back of the truck i told them was there....

i always loved how i had to explain why i was coming into the US for a vacation, and i should be grateful to be in the boarder lineup

nothing but miserable pricks take board cop jobs, a bunch of losers...who said back in elementry school, "I WANNA BE A BOARDER COP WHEN I GROW UP..."

nice lookin machines you picked up btw...
Some friends of mine took a vacation into BC about six years ago. they decided to take a shotgun along for protection, which they thought was OK........... they were treated like criminals .
The fact of the matter is that under Canadian law they were criminals and were lucky not to have been charged. By the way to enter the U.S. with a fire arm without the appropriate permits would result in being arrested as well. It is not uncommon for people entering Canada with undeclared firearms to be charged, fined and have the firearm permantly confiscated. When entering a foreign a country one has to be careful to understand the laws of the land and not assume the laws from home will apply. It is possible that these people might have been allowed to enter the country with there shotgun if they had apllied in advance for a permit. But to just show up at the border of a foreign country with a firearm is sheer stupididy.
Yeah if I were one of those border guards I'd be right touchy about firearms too.

Seems like they're such huge autocratic jerks, somebody would get fed up and
ventilate one of them.

Imagine what would happen if ol' homeland security put checkpoints like that between
states in the US? Perfect way to 'inspect' all the citizenery, and also to justify
their existence.

Yeah, Jim, you're onto something. Shift the bastards out of airports, and get them doing something useful like inspecting shipping containers. I hate having some armed teenager poke through my stuff.
All that BS crossing the border on the east coast and there was a news article on TV of the crossing in Mn.. due to lack of funds, was on the honor system where it was optional that you could use the phone in the shack to let another crossing site know that you were crossing, or you could just cross. A great site for terrorists, if they would be aware of it?
I usta travel the border a fair amount. I definitely agree general mood has a lot to do with it.
Never had a problem going into Canada, as mentioned before quite a few coming out.

I'm fairly certain the "assholity" is intentional. It's to measure response. Any police officer members want to chime in?
I find it annoying as #$@% but once you know the trick it's not so bad.

My most memorable crossing was when I was coming home in a beat up old Chevy, license plate in the back window, shaved head ( yes I was dumb, and still getting over it ) with a back seat and trunk full of my friends, and my hockey gear. The guard went through it all, and it stunk, we stunk. He asked us close to 20 times if we played hockey. I think he woulda asked more, but on the 20th time, instead of Yea, yea It's loads of fun, those Canadians sure whooped our butt I looked him straight in the eyes and said No dumbass, I just drive around with a car full of hockey gear! . ... ... ... I am currently in Michigan, but as you may have guessed it took a while to get home. =)


Doug S.
I'm one of those truckers that Milacron speaks about.
To be honest, I've been crossing the borders for over 25 yrs. I know all the hoops and can cross easily either way with mostly just a nod and that's what they pay me for. It can seem a nightmare for the novice and I understand this. It's called bureaucracy.

Now that Homeland Security has tightened matters you should expect more scrutiny. Since 9/11 things have gotten much tighter and don't expect them to have any compassion either just because your a citizen of your own country. In fact, it's very common for US citizens to be treated more harshly than Canadians crossing into the USA. I also noticed that Canadian Border guards are now carrying sidearms and might get an attitude also.

Keep the sunny side up. ;)
Jason has 3 10EE's? He is a lucky man, most people dream of owning one.
Re read more carefully... his neighbor Carl has them, not Jason. Not every day you run into two guys out in the middle of nowhere who are right next to each other, both with high end industrial machine tools !
My car has been searched coming back from Quebec into Vermont several times. Everytime a college kid comes back from Montreal they think the kid has drugs. Its really annoying and time consuming. Theres nothing like waiting 3 hours at the I87 crossing on a Sunday afternoon trying to get back to Massachusetts. The US officers are some of the nastiest law enforcement officials I have met. The Canadians are the easiest. Talk for 1 minute and you are on your way.