Border Report: September 2012
In Manitoba, there were 191,770 people processed for entry into Canada travelling in 79,423 vehicles, as well as 22,600 commercial trucks importing 55,700 shipments. Officers finalized 133 permanent resident applications and issued 150 work permits and 55 study permits. Finally, 108 people were refused entry, mainly for previous criminal history.
At Emerson, the province’s largest border crossing, there were 97,295 people processed for entry into Canada travelling in 31,981 vehicles; there were also 15,237 commercial trucks importing 52,959 shipments.
Here are a few events from select border crossings in Manitoba last month:
On September 2, a Saskatchewan man arrived at the port of entry with a horse, declared at $2,000. Officers conducted further checks to verify the man’s declaration and found that similar colts currently sell for $10,000 to $13,000. When approached with this information, the man admitted he was trying to save taxes and had actually paid $11,000 for the horse. He was issued a $4,882 penalty. Had he truthfully declared, he would have paid $1,320 in GST and PST.
On September 3, CBSA officers seized suspected child pornography from a Pennsylvania resident. The man was refused entry into Canada pending a criminal investigation and was turned over to U.S. authorities.
On September 5, officers seized three undeclared wedding rings from a Winnipeg couple. The rings were valued at $1,806 and the pair was issued an $891 penalty. The man was also a FAST card holder and his card was subsequently revoked for contravening the Customs Act. Had the couple been truthful they would have paid $216 in GST and PST.
On September 22, CBSA officers were reviewing the manifest for a commercial shipment of 87 empty oak barrels destined to Edmonton. Upon opening the trailer, officers noted two pallets of black boxes bearing the logo of a popular brand of whiskey. Officers unloaded the two pallets from the trailer, and found in each pallet: 45 cases containing 6 x 750ml of alcohol, an empty oak barrel and promotional signage. An invoice was also uncovered in the second pallet which valued the entire shipment at $10,493. The alcohol was seized with no terms of release and the investigation continues.
On September 2, a Winnipeg couple was importing a vintage automobile valued at $6,000. Officers were suspicious as to the value. However when officers called the seller, he stated that he sold the vehicle for $16,000. The importer was issued a $5,424 penalty to reclaim the vehicle. Had he truthfully declared, he would have paid $1,920 in GST and PST.
On September 5 and 8, CBSA officers at the port of Winkler encountered travellers who failed to declare their goods. In the first case, a woman, who declared $500 in auto parts and admitted to having previous seizures against her, failed to declare an additional $922 in auto parts she was importing into Canada – she was issued a $368 penalty. The second case involved a man who was importing a heat pump for $120 and failed to declare an additional $945 worth of pump fittings – he was issued a $302 penalty. Had they been truthful they would have both paid just over $110 in GST and PST.
On September 9, a Moose Jaw, SK man arrived at the port of Boissevain with a 2012 snowmobile valued at $5,000. Officers questioned the man as to the actual value and the man admitted he paid $6,500 for the snowmobile. He was issued a penalty of $806. Had he been truthful he would have paid $75 in GST.
On September 16 at the port of Tolstoi, a Manitoba man was importing a boat and trailer and declared a value of $8,000. CBSA officers conducted further background checks and determined the boat and trailer were more likely valued at $14,000. When officers approached the man about their suspicions, the man admitted he paid $13,200 for the goods. He was issued a $3,062 penalty and admitted it wasn’t worth trying to save money on taxes after all. He would have paid $624 in GST and PST had he been truthful.
On September 25 and 28, CBSA officers at the port of Sprague also encountered travellers who failed to declare their goods. In the first case, a woman failed to declare more than $770 in various footwear and cosmetics – she was issued a $496 penalty; the second case involved a Winnipeg couple importing a boat, who failed to declare an additional $233 in clothing – they were given a $116 penalty. The first case would have paid $97 in taxes and the second would have paid $27 in taxes if truthful declarations had been made.
On September 30, CBSA officers seized an undervalued horse trailer. The travellers declared the value of the trailer to be $2,000. However, CBSA officers found a bill of sale concealed in the vehicle showing the actual sale price of $3,400. The importer was issued a $757 penalty. The travellers would have paid $168 in taxes had they been truthful.
The CBSA reminds all travellers that they are required to answer all questions truthfully and declare all goods they are bringing into Canada, including firearms and weapons in their possession. Failure to declare goods, including firearms, and other Customs Act contraventions may lead to prosecution in a court of law.
If you have information about suspicious cross-border activity, please contact the Border Watch Line at 1-888-502-9060. For information on CBSA, please call 1-800-461-9999.