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Old 07-14-2010, 08:18 PM   #1
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Canadian Border crossing, Food question

Headed toward Michigan, The UP, and then on into Canada to make our way West. Have done much research on the net as to what is allowed. I know these things. Leave the gun at home. Can have 1.5 ltrs. of wine. Get rid of the pepper spray we keep by the door, and a few other things. The thing I can't seem to find is information about food. What are we allowed to take across. Do I have to clean out my freezer of steak, chicken, chops, etc.? Does everything have to be in store packaging? What if I stopped at Sam's, purchased a whole ribeye, cut it up myself into individual steaks, and packaged it in ziploc bags? It seems fresh fruit and vegatables are no-no's also. Hopefully, you get the picture. Looking for any and all information you think would be applicable.
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Old 07-14-2010, 08:56 PM   #2
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We came across the border in June and there were no meat restictions. The agent did ask if we had large amounts of meat, more then personal use, so as long as you have what your fridge/freezer can hold you'll be ok. Actually, in 40 years of crossing the border yearly, that is only the 2nd time we were asked about food. Fresh fruits/veggies are restricted. For some reason, here on PEI, chicken is very high in price so that is what we bring up in the freezer. Enjoy your trip.
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Old 07-14-2010, 10:03 PM   #3
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Have a look at this link. If it isn't in there, we don't know.

"Welcome to Canada!"
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Old 07-14-2010, 11:09 PM   #4
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We just returned from a unit caravan to the Canadian rockies and the only advice I could give you is carry a minimum of food and bring plenty of money to fill the refrigerator in Canada. We found food prices to be quite high in Alberta, whether because of touristy towns or otherwise I couldn't say. For just one example, eggs were $2.39 a dozen in Jasper, Alberta. The first store we stopped on return to the US (Hibbing, Minnesota) eggs were on sale for 69 cents a dozen.

We have been to Canada and back several times and it's always something different, both coming and going. Once it was potatoes, once it was any beef products (canned soup containing beef confiscated on return to the US--even though it had been brought from the US!), etc.

This trip we didn't have any trouble at all going into Canada, but on return to the US, three Customs and Border Protection agents searched the trailer and confiscated a half a dozen green onions (that's a new one on me) and an orange that had come from the US. No charges were filed, however.

My impression is that since any foodstuff may be confiscated on any given day, take a minimum across the border, keep your sense of humor, and grin and bear it. And if you are not comfortable with law enforcement officers rummaging through your possessions, don't plan on taking your trailer across the border.
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Old 07-15-2010, 12:13 AM   #5
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I cross back and forth a couple times a year to visit family in BC and Idaho then back to Alaska.

They are right. Very different depending on which way you're going. Getting INTO Canada is a breeze, fer sure, eh? Got any firearms? (don't!)

However, going BACK to USA at AK/Yukon, BC/Idaho etc seems more strict.
No fresh fruit or vegetables. And for some reason USA border guards HATE Canadian cat food! Really, no CND labeled pet food.

Also was once asked "Do you have any small children in the trailer?" What?

Blaine Washington seems worst for rifling through old Airstreams.

Enjoy, AlCan is open and beautiful this time of year.
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Old 07-15-2010, 12:55 AM   #6
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We have been in and out of Canada 3x since May of this year on our way to AK. Leaving Skagway, AK and going to Tagish Lake tomorrow, this will make 4x. Keep the liquor amounts low as previously mentioned. Fruits need the little label on them. US border on Alaska Highway USDA agent wanted to know if we had any lamb. We did not.

I have a rifle with me and did not have any problem. Check the RCMP site under firearms to make certain that the firearm you want to take up is not on the restricted list. Fill out the RCMP form CAFC 909, parts A and B ONLY! Do not sign until told to before you pay.

Prior to crossing into Canada, stop at the US Border stop and get their form 'Certificate Of Registration For Personal Effects Taken Abroad' CBP Form 4457. They will instruct you what to do concerning showing them your firearm. You can also list you diamond studded gold Rolex on the same form.

You may want to take an extra spare tire. The road from Destruction Bay to the US border is terrible. Go slow and lighten the tension on your stabilization bars. You'd be doing a lot of porpoising on all the frost heaves.
Have a safe trip.

Mark
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Old 07-16-2010, 03:40 PM   #7
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Thanks all. I thought the problem might be leaving the country. It seems the biggest one will be coming back home.
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Old 07-16-2010, 03:49 PM   #8
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We returned from Waterton Lakes in mid-September last year. US Customs was interested in fresh produce. We replied by saying that the grocery in Waterton Townsite was almost shut down by that time -- smiling, he cheerfully understood and waved us through. The U.S. still is tight on bringing in cured meats and cheeses.

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I have a rifle with me and did not have any problem. Check the RCMP site under firearms to make certain that the firearm you want to take up is not on the restricted list. Fill out the RCMP form CAFC 909, parts A and B ONLY! Do not sign until told to before you pay.
Past reading has suggested that the only pistols allowed are for sharpshooting competitions and one must step through the hoops properly. As halimer suggests -- prepare.
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Old 07-16-2010, 04:31 PM   #9
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We have travelled back and forth with a trailer for many years now - funny thing - we have noticed that there are grocery stores on both sides of the border .....

So .....

Our practicing "rule of thumb" has become - plan your meals so you do not cross with perishables - then shop on the other side.

In truth - crossing from south to north has never been a problem - it is crossing from north to south that brings out the food police and threatens your fruit and meat products. Going south we are always questioned about food, often scanned, and occasionally searched - sometimes even subject to a more detailed interview and educational lecture - but our "no perishables" rule is now standing the test of time - what you haven't got they can't take ....



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Old 07-16-2010, 07:00 PM   #10
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We just crossed into Canada at Niagara Falls on Monday. Didn't have any problems at all. We were just asked where we were going (Niagara Falls) and for how long. Coming back to the U.S. today, we inadvertently drove through the "Truck" lane which required the custom agent to descend from his "perch". He put on a good show telling us that this was the "Truck" lane and that it is clearly marked, ascended to his perch with our passports, descended again and looked in the AS and let us go. Only asked if we purchased anything in Canada.

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Old 07-16-2010, 09:34 PM   #11
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do you need any special auto/trailer insurance papers?
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Old 07-16-2010, 09:59 PM   #12
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Judy, I haven't had them check this. But my state requires that I carry the "cab card" paper to validate my annual auto registration. And I carry my up-to-date validation of insurance. Same info I'd have to produce if stopped or had an accident within the U.S.
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Old 07-16-2010, 10:03 PM   #13
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do you need any special auto/trailer insurance papers?
Your insurance company will issue you a Canadian Insurance card if you ask. I believe that the Canadian requirements are slightly different than the US regulations and your insurance company will add those requirements when they issue the Canadian card.

Bill
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Old 07-16-2010, 11:13 PM   #14
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do you need any special auto/trailer insurance papers?
Just ask your insurance agent for a Canadian insurance certificate and they will issue one at no cost. (Ours does, anyway.)

This certificate is titled "Canada Non-Resident Inter-Province Motor Vehicle Liability Insurance Card" and certifies that the party and vehicle described has sufficient liability insurance to meet the requirements of all Canadian provinces, and provides the insurance company's Canadian address.

In both English and French, naturellement.
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