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Thread: So this can happen if you don't declare something at the border...

  1. #21
    Senior Member tng11's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by egatdagi View Post
    When I was working retail in a mall I became acquainted with a mall security guard. He wanted to become a cop but couldnít make it so he joined the CBSA.
    Years later I was talking to my regular barista and she wanted to be a cop. She didnít make it so she joined the CBSA.
    One of my sonís basketball coaches was an armoured car guard who wanted to be a cop but he didnít make it so he got a job with CBSA.
    I know itís a small sample size but if everyone who washes out of basic selection for the police joins the CBSA it could explain the unprofessional power trips. Can you imagine dreaming of being a cop and ending up being a glorified tax collector? No wonder theyíre never pleasant.
    One of my best friends in graduate school worked as a CBSA agent at YYZ for a few summers. He told me bluntly that they had lots of agents who wanted to be cops but didn't make the cut. He also said that younger agents were the worst with power trips.

  2. #22
    Senior Member Huttfuzz's Avatar
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    In recent years (about 10 years or so) CBSA is making a move towards enforcement, interdiction of drugs, weapons and criminals. This is a drastic shift from the tax collectors the officers were until the end of 2000s almost. Exemptions are predicted to be on the rise and most agent would be happy to not collect taxes under 2-3k spent in a week per person.

    As for rude and unprofessional agents, you should go on the CBSA website and make a complaint. This is an efficient process and you are sure to be called by a superior for a follow up.

    Cheers.

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  3. #23
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    I have had less than great experiences with some border agents. Such as one time where I got a slip to pay duty on a pair of socks. Literally, one pair of socks totaling maybe $5 USD. I didn't buy anything else on that shopping trip however really seemed like a power trip over that small of an amount.

    Other times for most purchases there are no issues for bringing things back across, even spending a few hundred I haven't gotten dinged.
    For bringing watches over, done that before, simply wore it back & that was it.

  4. #24
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    Yes, it is annoying sometimes. I missed the days in Hong Kong where it is tax free. One time, I went down to the States to buy a used saxophone. I also bought a GPS. However, the saxophone is in poor condition so I didn't buy it, and end up returning just with a GPS. The seller didn't include a receipt in the package, and I don't have a printer at home, so I took a picture of the receipt in the phone. At the border, I told CBSA I bought a GPS for $60. He asked me for the receipt, and I show him the phone. He said that I need to print out the receipt. Obviously, I just feel he feel I am suspicious going down alone to pick up only a $60 GPS. And after this, for the following year, I got tax every time even I only bought back $100 of stuff. I don't mind, but I feel it is rather stupid to waste time on me and tax me $12 and not focus on drugs and criminals. So, it can be a hassle if you come back not buying anything too.


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  5. #25
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    And even you are completely honest, as long as the agent feel suspicious, and even he can't prove anything, you will still be penalized by being black listed. This is the annoying part.


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  6. #26
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    Ironically when I opened the Globe and Mail.....

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  7. #27
    Senior Member floco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by armybuck041 View Post
    Ironically when I opened the Globe and Mail.....

    The article was published 40min after the OP.. this governement definitely monitors CWC lol !!

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by tng11 View Post
    I went through a search ordeal at the airport about 12 years ago. Questioned on almost every single item, including clothing in my luggage. I was a teenager then and scared, but I really had nothing to hide. Didn't stop the CBSA agents from going full power trip on me. Their 2 hour search yielded zippo.

    I applied for Nexus after that and have made more than 100 crossings since without any hassle or being searched. Anytime I'm over my limit, I make a full declaration. I once declared $3,000 at YVR, and the guy at the counter thanked me for my honesty and told me to move along without having to pay

    Still, I am in constant fear of travelling with any watch that does not have Canadian paperwork. I rather play it safe and take a piece I bought myself from a local AD than take any risk.
    Funny how that happens isn't it? If you aren't trying to put one by them and declare what you have there is nothing to worry about.

    The biggest complaints seem to come from people who got caught. Guess what? Catching them is one of the reasons CBSA is there in the first place.

    Then they drone on about how rude the officers are. Surprise! The CBSA is not the welcome wagon and as someone who crosses at least twice a week on average my observation is that you act like a dick they will repay the favour.

  9. #29
    Senior Member Hey_Joe's Avatar
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    So what is required to prove that my watch was bought in Canada if I get checked on my way back in? Is the warranty card with the AD's stamp good enough?
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  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badenoch View Post
    Funny how that happens isn't it? If you aren't trying to put one by them and declare what you have there is nothing to worry about.

    The biggest complaints seem to come from people who got caught. Guess what? Catching them is one of the reasons CBSA is there in the first place.

    Then they drone on about how rude the officers are. Surprise! The CBSA is not the welcome wagon and as someone who crosses at least twice a week on average my observation is that you act like a dick they will repay the favour.
    If you grasp the spirit of this thread, it is saying essentially that... Don't screw around with CBSA. I've gone as far as to show that even when well intentioned, honest, and not "acting like a dick" you should still be prepared for an occasional going over.

    But let's face it; there are assholes in every walk of life and vocation. The trouble with CBSA is that the burden of proof required for them to make things difficult and violate the privacy of the average Joe is practically non-existent. Throw an asshole in the mix, and you've got the potential for some particularly troubling situations; enough that Parliament has deemed fit to roll out some independent oversight. I agree with them.

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