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Old 08-02-2014, 11:44 AM   #1
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Rules To Enter Canada

Hi All,

We are set to enter Canada near Montreal on Monday. My question is during the entry inspection of your RV, what is the normal procedure? What will they not allow you to cross the border with? Specifically, in your Frig and Cupboard?

Any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks

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Old 08-02-2014, 01:16 PM   #2
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Can't answer with certainty as I have never checked the regs, but my suspicion is that there may not be any restrictions of food.

I only say this because as Canadians, we have never been asked anything about food we might have on our return trips home and so just bring whatever is left in the way of food in the trailer, be it meat, veggies, fruit, whatever. Maybe someone else will correct me if i am wrong - just our experience.

As I expect you know, firearms are much more closely regulated in Canada - especially handguns - so I'd be inclined to leave those at home.

Even pepper sprays and such are restricted. Personally however we have crossed coming back home with pepper spray and never been asked about it! My philosophy in that regard is that I'd rather be had up for a relatively minor infraction than be totally defenseless when traveling!

I imagine there must be some restriction for the amount of alcohol that you might bring in - but I don't know what it is.

Even going into the US for us, we are often asked and I always declare what we have if asked and have never had an issue - probably the same for you coming our way I would expect.

Coming back to Canada I often bring home two 1.75L bottles of gin - your prices are so much better than ours! I think that is probably a bit more than our legitimate allowance for two people, but I usually just declare two bottles of gin without mentioning the size!

Going south, I generally take maybe a dozen bottles of home brewed beer and/or a couple of bottles of home made wine!

Enjoy your trip!

Brian.


PS - we have never had the Canadian border folk look in our trailer or truck on our way home.

We have had the US people look now and then on the way in, but the inspection is very cursory - think they are just looking for undeclared people entering the US - or maybe are curious to look inside an Airstream!

I flew of the handle the first time that happened to me - we had just bought the trailer and were heading south for the first time in winter. The US Officer entered the trailer and although he had no reason to do so, left the centre area with sheet flooring and walked all over the carpet with size 11 winter boots covered in snow and salty water!

As soon as I started giving him hell, I realized I should watch my tongue, but in fact he was very apologetic and said that he just didn't think!
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Old 08-02-2014, 02:03 PM   #3
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You'll find details on what you can bring in here: What Can I Bring Into Canada in Terms Of Food, Plant, Animal and Related Products? and more general information here Visitors to Canada and other Temporary Residents. As Wingeezer mentioned, there are not many restrictions on food, and in most cases the amounts are high enough that you wouldn't likely exceed them anyway. You're not bringing more than 20 kg of animal fat per person, are you? (-:
We cross the border frequently and have rarely been stopped, but no matter how innocent you appear you could get pulled over for a random inspection. We once missed a wedding in Michigan because we were pulled over for a random check on a day when they were particularly busy. Now we all have Nexus cards which makes the crossing quicker and puts you into an express line if you do get pulled over. Definitely worth it for anyone crossing regularly!
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Old 08-02-2014, 02:07 PM   #4
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+1 on Nexus cards for frequent travellers between US and Canada.
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Old 08-03-2014, 12:45 PM   #5
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Thanks all for your input. The link DavidsonOverlander provided answered all the questions that I could imagine. I don't think we have to worry about anything. So, hopefully we are not the ones selected for a random search.

Thanks again.
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Old 08-03-2014, 01:52 PM   #6
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We've done the cross border thing quite a few times with the Airstream and never been inspected when re-entering Canada. We were asked about ownership of our Ontario licensed trailer once, probably to check that we weren't importing it, but other than that it's been a simple process. Traveling on US passports you might get asked about guns and Wingeezer's advice is good. Overlander's links are all you need, really.

We have been inspected going into the US and that was always so they could check for contraband food items. As we always travel "food-free" when going into the US, we've never had a problem.
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Old 08-03-2014, 01:52 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wingeezer View Post
Coming back to Canada I often bring home two 1.75L bottles of gin - your prices are so much better than ours! I think that is probably a bit more than our legitimate allowance for two people, but I usually just declare two bottles of gin without mentioning the size!

Going south, I generally take maybe a dozen bottles of home brewed beer and/or a couple of bottles of home made wine!


Brian.
Tsk, tsk, Brian. Naughty man!
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Old 08-03-2014, 01:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrUKToad View Post
Tsk, tsk, Brian. Naughty man!
Hehehe! One of these days no doubt they will ask - and I will tell and see what happens! Probably nothing - things seem quite lax these days!

Actually since I got into home-brewing my own UK style ales these days, I don't tend to bother that much with bringing gin home anyway, even though it is certainly a bargain compared to LCBO prices!

Brian.
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Old 08-03-2014, 02:41 PM   #9
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There's a recent thread on this topic here:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f484...da-122647.html
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Old 08-03-2014, 03:16 PM   #10
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That other thread indicated (I think correctly) that there are probably more hassles getting into the US from Canada than vice versa. Besides food some other items to consider:

(Assume you bring current passports....)

Pets should have an up-to-date rabies certificate. The officers seldom ask but can if they want to. Also pet food counts the same as people food in terms of what's in it.

Limits on tobacco, alcohol, and firearms-- the website posted above should explain.

Never take campfire wood in either direction. (Bark beetle infestations are a problem in both countries so wood is not allowed.)

For food items that might be a bit questionable just keep them in the original container giving the country of origin.

On returning to the US, if you happened to have had any work done on your vehicle or AS in Canada that required parts, you have to declare their value when you're asked what you acquired in the US, so keep your receipts handy.
This shouldn't be an issue, but break downs will happen occasionally.

The Canadian border agents have never asked to look inside the Bambi, but the Americans have done so several times. Basically they just ask you to pull through past the customs station window and park in a designated area. Then one or more agents will walk through, looking for verboten food, hidden illegal immigrants, or who knows what. For us this meant only a slight delay, then they sent us on our way.

Have a wonderful visit to Canada!
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