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Crossing the Canadian Border

WinniWoman

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We have added a few days in Quebec City ahead of our timeshare week in Vermont for this June.

My questions is...we always take up a bunch of boxes of timeshare kitchen and toiletry supplies and so forth along with our clothes luggage. We have everything pre- packed in copy paper boxes which makes packing easy.But I am concerned about bringing this across the border and then also leaving it all in our parked car for the 3 days.

I also usually take food up (dry good) but I figured I wouldn't do that this time around as that could also be a problem.

Do you think this will be an issue going into Canada and the city and the hotel?

We will be staying at the Fairmont. It seems weird going to a hotel with boxes packed. Not sure what to do. Never been to Quebec City.

Last time we crossed the border they hassled us because my husband has a gun carry permit which shows up when they check his drivers license and they searched our entire car for weapons!
 
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John Cummings

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The worst that will happen is the Canadian customs may do a thorough search which they will probably do anyways because of the gun permit.

Leaving them in the car should not be any different than it would be in the US. The chances are it should be OK as long as you don't leave everything out in the open.
 

T-Dot-Traveller

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Canadian Border Services ( customs )

What you have are personal possessions and should not be a problem
( unless weapons)
They do want to know of any items being left in Canada - as gifts etc
If you make a list of the items and explain what is in the boxes and why , it might simplify your border crossing .

Remember the limit on cash / funds of $ 10,000 . it is OK to have more than that but it must be declared .

( I assume you do not drive around with 15 K in your wallet / but some people might not be aware of the need to declare it when crossing a border )
 
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WinniWoman

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What you have are personal possessions and should not be a problem
( unless weapons)
They do want to know of any items being left in Canada - as gifts etc
If you make a list of the items and explain what is in the boxes and why , it might simplify your border crossing .

Remember the limit on cash / funds of $ 10,000 . it is OK to have more than that but it must be declared .

( I assume you do not drive around with 15 K in your wallet / but some people might not be aware of the need to declare it when crossing a border )

LOL! No- not really! $15k Ha! Ha! In fact, we are credit card people- very little cash. And, certainly not weapons!

Actually, I have an inventory list with everything on it- it is a couple of pages long as it has every little thing listed that I could think of for our trips. I keep this in one of the boxes so if we are away and use up something I can make a note to restock.

We have one box of toiletries- big sizes as we take to our 3 weeks of timeshares. Another box of things like coffee, teas, hot chocolate, spices, etc.

Then we have another of paper products like napkins, toilet paper, paper towels, aluminum foil, plastic wrap,...blah, blah, blah...

Then yet another with things like flashlights, barbecue tools, nonstick skillet and my own teapot, flame disk for barbecue, matches, etc.

Of course, we then have our clothes luggage and some odds and ends.

Like I said I usually bring up nonperishable food, like tuna fish, soda, wine, canned soup, snacks, cereal, etc. but I might skip that this one time.
 

BevL

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Frankly, with the U.S. dollar compared to the Canadian, you might do better shopping north of the border for groceries.

We're not picking up near as much in the way of groceries in the U.S. as we routinely have in the past.
 

matbec

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Like I said I usually bring up nonperishable food, like tuna fish, soda, wine, canned soup, snacks, cereal, etc. but I might skip that this one time.

If you do decide to bring non-perishables, you should know that there's a limit to the number of bottles of wine you can bring into Canada duty-free. You can bring more in, but as with the cash in excess of $10K, the extra bottles have to be declared.
 

jacknsara

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. . . Do you think this will be an issue going into Canada and the city and the hotel? . . .
Perhaps you already have this link, but just in case: http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/travel-voyage/ivc-rnc-eng.html
The items you described should not be an issue at the border and I cannot think of a reason why the hotel should care. However, that does not mean you won't be pulled over for a more extensive review by Canadian Customs officials. If that happens, answer all questions truthfully. Do not answer questions that were not asked (in other words, don't talk much). If you do not know the answer to a question, just say so.
I'm retired now but I used to field these kind of questions at work (export/import compliance).
Jack
 

Luanne

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Frankly, with the U.S. dollar compared to the Canadian, you might do better shopping north of the border for groceries.

We're not picking up near as much in the way of groceries in the U.S. as we routinely have in the past.

I concur.

When we were in Vancouver in January I was buying things like mascara since it was cheaper there than at home.
 

BevL

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And frankly, if your husband has a carry permit, allow yourself some time. it is, frankly, more likely you'll will be pulled over.
 

WinniWoman

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Also, generally speaking, how much time should we a lot to cross the border from the NYS Northway traffic wise?
 

moonstone

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Also, generally speaking, how much time should we a lot to cross the border from the NYS Northway traffic wise?

It will depend on the day of the week (& if it is a holiday for either side) and the time of day. There is an 800 # to call but I dont have it with me. I have found it very accurate for the Ontario/NY borders, I'm not sure if there may be one for the Quebec borders. I also found this http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/bwt-taf/menu-eng.html website which you might be able to check when you get close.

Once you get to the actual customs booth, you are only there a minute or so if there are no problems.

~Diane
 

bizaro86

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It will depend on the day of the week (& if it is a holiday for either side) and the time of day. There is an 800 # to call but I dont have it with me. I have found it very accurate for the Ontario/NY borders, I'm not sure if there may be one for the Quebec borders. I also found this http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/bwt-taf/menu-eng.html website which you might be able to check when you get close.

Once you get to the actual customs booth, you are only there a minute or so if there are no problems.

~Diane

An American with a gun carry permit should expect it to take much more than a minute every time they enter Canada. CBSA takes weapons very, very seriously.
 

sfwilshire

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We got a lot of attention a few years ago when we crossed the border in our converted GMC Savana van. It was a last minute decision to cross over into Canada, so we had a slew of groceries we had just shopped for. Our luggage was back at our lodging (can't even recall where we were staying at the time). They invited us to sit inside the building while they did a lengthy and thorough search, but didn't find anything they objected to. Maybe they thought we'd have moonshine since we had Tennessee plates.

We always pack our staples in the paper copy boxes you describe. They work well on the luggage cart and pack well in the van.

Sheila
 
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jlp879

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As long as your timeshare goods don't include fresh fruit or meats, and you stay within your allowed limits for alcohol and tobacco products, I'd say your biggest time hurdle at the border crossing will be the gun permit issue.

Quebec City is amazing. You will love the views and history.
 

dwojo

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If you bring groceries produce could be an issue, but most other stuff is not much of an issue.
 

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We did this about 5 years ago. We drove from Texas to Montreal in our Honda minivan. We stayed with family and at several timeshares along the way. At the border crossing the Candian official asked us to open our back door. I jumped out and opened the very back door of the mini van so he could see all our bags. Actually, he just wanted us to open the sliding passenger door so he could see our kids sitting in their car seats. That was it.

Before giving us our IDs back he paused for a moment, and busted into big grin and said "Did you really drive all the way from Texas." He was very impressed and started laughing than waved us through.
 

Cdn Gal

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PLease leave your guns at home- even with a permit you probably won't be admitted. We have different laws and permits than you guys. NO guns- you really won't need them. We cross border shop all the time, as long as you are not bringing in over 25 pounds of poultry, you will be waived through. It's your border that won't allow us to bring in fruit and veggies- ours will, but to be honest, it's cheaper in Canada for whole foods like fruits and veggies. I can't believe what you guys pay! Anything that is processed is cheaper in the USA though, so bring it if you eat more processed foods. Dairy is more expensive in Canada, but we don't put hormones in our cows, ( more expensive as the cows don't produce as much milk) so the milk will taste different. We routinely bring over Canadian milk for our American friends when we cross over. Bring your own alcohol over, it's really expensive here! It's cheaper for us to go across, buy Canadian beer in the US, pay at customs and declare it than for us to buy it in the beer store. No kidding! Also if anyone in your party has had a dwi,or anything crazy from their youth, you won't be admitted into Canada at all. Also no plants, too many pests live in the soil, so that won't be admitted...you also need to declare if you have been on a farm in the past 48 hours. I hope you have a wonderful time :).
 
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dioxide45

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PLease leave your guns at home- even with a permit you probably won't be admitted. We have different laws and permits than you guys. NO guns- you really won't need them. We cross border shop all the time, as long as you are not bringing in over 25 pounds of poultry, you will be waived through. It's your border that won't allow us to bring in fruit and veggies- ours will, but to be honest, it's cheaper in Canada for whole foods like fruits and veggies. I can't believe what you guys pay! Anything that is processed is cheaper in the USA though, so bring it if your eat more processed foods. Dairy is more expensive in Canada, but we don't put hormones in our cows, ( more expensive as the cows don't produce as much milk) so the milk will taste different. We routinely bring over Canadian milk for our American friends when we cross over. Bring your own alcohol over, it's really expensive here! It's cheaper for us to go across, buy Canadian beer in the US, pay at customs and declare it than for us to buy it in the beer store. No kidding! I hope you have a wonderful time :).

My parents were visiting this past weekend from Canada and they were telling us of recent costs for broccoli and cauliflower in Canada. It was outrageous. I think a head of cauliflower was something like $6-$8 not that long ago.
 

easyrider

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I cross into Canada a couple of times each year and have never been questioned about my conceal carry permits. I have permits for 38 states. What I have been asked is "are you in possession of a firearm" or something like this and I say no. Anyway, no searches going into Canada.

I have been searched a couple of times throughout the years coming home. Apparently, having three ice chests full of salmon & cod will sometimes get the border guards attention. :D

Bill
 

WinniWoman

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PLease leave your guns at home- even with a permit you probably won't be admitted. We have different laws and permits than you guys. NO guns- you really won't need them. We cross border shop all the time, as long as you are not bringing in over 25 pounds of poultry, you will be waived through. It's your border that won't allow us to bring in fruit and veggies- ours will, but to be honest, it's cheaper in Canada for whole foods like fruits and veggies. I can't believe what you guys pay! Anything that is processed is cheaper in the USA though, so bring it if you eat more processed foods. Dairy is more expensive in Canada, but we don't put hormones in our cows, ( more expensive as the cows don't produce as much milk) so the milk will taste different. We routinely bring over Canadian milk for our American friends when we cross over. Bring your own alcohol over, it's really expensive here! It's cheaper for us to go across, buy Canadian beer in the US, pay at customs and declare it than for us to buy it in the beer store. No kidding! Also if anyone in your party has had a dwi,or anything crazy from their youth, you won't be admitted into Canada at all. Also no plants, too many pests live in the soil, so that won't be admitted...you also need to declare if you have been on a farm in the past 48 hours. I hope you have a wonderful time :).

OMG! We don't travel with guns! It's just when we go through the border the fact that my husband has a carry permit comes us in their check and then we have to go through a car search. WE will be bringing only some dry goods like tea and coffee across as those kinds of things are in our timeshare boxes. We can do without alcohol for the few days there, so I won't bring any if it will be a hassle. I will buy it in Vermont when we leave.

Thanks for the info.!
 

WinniWoman

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I cross into Canada a couple of times each year and have never been questioned about my conceal carry permits. I have permits for 38 states. What I have been asked is "are you in possession of a firearm" or something like this and I say no. Anyway, no searches going into Canada.

I have been searched a couple of times throughout the years coming home. Apparently, having three ice chests full of salmon & cod will sometimes get the border guards attention. :D

Bill

Not our experience last time. The border guard asked if my husband owned guns and he said yes. They asked if they were in the car- he said no. They asked if they were at home he said yes. They made us get out of the car anyway and went through the entire car.

Coming home- not even a mention of it. Drove right through.
 

T-Dot-Traveller

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Border Crossing

It is a lottery - crossing either way

- and somehow you always end up in the slow lane
because someone 5 cars up has quirky ID .

*****
The US Buffalo Niagara border had locals for a long time and everyone in the Falls had a sister in law who was Canadian .This was due to bar drinking age variations(which continues .to today - New York state was 18 when Ontario was 21 / now Ontario is !8 and NYS is 21 )

When you said you were going shopping - they never asked anything else .
-Then Homeland security moved people up from the southern border - and their learning curve for local traditions took a while .

One time my wife was going across at 8:30 pm on a Sat. night and said she was - going shopping . The border guy started asking - How ?? After she rhymed off half a dozen stores and their closing hours - including a Walmart -
that closed at midnight - he had no more questions .

As I said - It is a lottery .
so have every thing in order and relax . It is their job and turf .

.
 
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Cdn Gal

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My parents were visiting this past weekend from Canada and they were telling us of recent costs for broccoli and cauliflower in Canada. It was outrageous. I think a head of cauliflower was something like $6-$8 not that long ago.

lol yes we had a problem with cauliflower for awhile over the winter- it was $6-8 each which was CRAZY,:eek: but not now! I just bought 2 heads today for $2 each! We were cross border shopping today and brought back: coffee creamer (can't get sugar free flavoured) here, chicken breasts, ham, (you Americans have the BEST Virginia ham going), Hawaiian Coffee (I can only purchase in Toronto, or have it shipped in), and cheese, (gotta love Vermont cheese!). We got sent in of course because we also bought shoes & clothes. ;) All the rest of the veggies was about 30% cheaper in Canada than in the USA because of the exchange right now. By the way, Oranges are something else that we sometimes purchase and bring home because they are always so fresh and worth the price! :)
 

moonstone

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Cdn Gal I am surprised you were able to bring chicken back into Canada. I had heard from friends who had raw, but frozen, chicken confiscated at the Niagara Falls bridge when returning from a camping trip 2 weeks ago. They were told only cooked chicken allowed. We love American chicken for the taste and the price! I will be checking the official border websites before shopping on our return in 2 weeks.


~Diane
 
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