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User And Abuser
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I knew of a family friends car that was stripped bolt for bolt at the border because a passenger in the car joked about having drugs in the car...the border cop didn't have a sense of humor. They have a lot of power at the border.
 
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It's not worth it at all, I'm flagged in the system and it adds about an hour to every border crossing. (all to save less than 20.00)

A tip to those that are flagged:
Always give a drivers license instead of your passport, the customs official will have to cross the lic number to get your info; so there's a better chance of avoiding a search.
 

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what would happen if they jsut give you a written warning? are you in the comuter?would you get questioned/searched everytime you go across?
 

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Ghost SV Rider
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1,469 Posts
BIG_PERM said:
Are duties payed on everything or just stuff NOT made in the US? I plan to ride my bike over this summer and get new tires put on, but I'm crazy like that.:evilgrin
No charges for buying tires and such. Regular maintenance on the bike is considered "necessary". Riding all over the states and getting new tires, that's a necessity. Buying a new exhaust system... unless there is a big hole in the silencer... :evilgrin

Theoretically, you are supposed to claim every modification to your vehicle while in the states. You "could" be charged taxes on an oil change, but it's very unlikely.
 

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Former Hooligan
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204 Posts
Every time I have declared motorcycle tires the CC guys have said that motorcycle parts are exempt from duty regardless of country of origin and are subject only to GST/PST. Tires are way cheaper in the US so go for it but be honest and declare them, even after sales tax you will save a bundle.
 
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last i tried the tire thing, i was told tires of any origin are taxed and dutied up the wazoo.

duty was something like 17%
 

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Dru said:
No charges for buying tires and such. Regular maintenance on the bike is considered "necessary".
Bzzzt. You'll have to be able to PROVE you needed the tires.

"If you intend to have repairs or modifications made to your vehicle outside Canada, check with the CBSA before you leave. Under customs legislation, the CBSA can no longer consider your vehicle, vessel, or aircraft to be Canadian-made if you increase its value, improve its condition, or have it modified outside of Canada. As a result, you may have to pay duty and Goods and Services Tax (GST) or Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) on its entire value when you bring it back."

I'd be pretty damn quiet about mentioning I picked up new tires in the US. You get the wrong Customs guy on the wrong day, and it'll get real expensive for you.

Best advice I can give you is take the cash you save down there, grab yourself a good hotel room, and go party in Seattle for a night or two. Then you qualify for $200 a person exemption after 48 hours, which means you might be able to bump it to $400 in actual goods, if they don't check too closely, and you ....lose... some receipts.
 

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Ghost SV Rider
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1,469 Posts
Commuter Boy said:
Bzzzt. You'll have to be able to PROVE you needed the tires.

"If you intend to have repairs or modifications made to your vehicle outside Canada, check with the CBSA before you leave. Under customs legislation, the CBSA can no longer consider your vehicle, vessel, or aircraft to be Canadian-made if you increase its value, improve its condition, or have it modified outside of Canada. As a result, you may have to pay duty and Goods and Services Tax (GST) or Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) on its entire value when you bring it back."
Oops. Guess I'm partially wrong. Duties are waived if it's a "necessity". Part of normal repairs. I'm guessing a note from the shop would be okay? Dunno.

http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/E/pub/cp/rc4044/rc4044-e.html#P92_7478
 

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Gear Driven Cams
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4,411 Posts
The entire section from the "I Declare" brochure may be useful to read, not just snippets of it:

Repairs or modifications to your vehicle

If you intend to have repairs or modifications made to your vehicle outside Canada, check with the CBSA before you leave. Under customs legislation, the CBSA can no longer consider your vehicle, vessel, or aircraft to be Canadian-made if you increase its value, improve its condition, or have it modified outside of Canada. As a result, you may have to pay duty and Goods and Services Tax (GST) or Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) on its entire value when you bring it back.

Repairs or alterations made to your vehicle/vessel/aircraft in the United States, Mexico, Chile, or Israel will be free of duty when it is re-imported into Canada. GST/HST will apply to the value of the repairs or alterations.

Incidental minor repairs can be made to your vehicle/vessel/aircraft, or parts replaced while you are travelling outside of Canada to maintain your vehicle/vessel/aircraft in proper operating condition. Although these minor repairs do not make the whole vehicle subject to assessment, you may still have to pay duty and GST/HST on the repair parts and labour.

If you must make repairs or get replacement parts due to an accident, repairs are allowed to ensure the safe return of your vehicle to Canada. CBSA officers may be able to apply a special provision in the regulations that waives any duty and GST/HST that may be payable. To be eligible for this special provision, however, be sure to declare the value of all repairs and replacement parts when you return to Canada with the vehicle.

Transport Canada also has requirements for vehicles that are extensively modified. For more information, contact them at 1-888-848-8240.
 

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Ride Solo
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doug said:
last i tried the tire thing, i was told tires of any origin are taxed and dutied up the wazoo.

duty was something like 17%
There is not duty on *motorcycle* tires. But the agent may have looked up the wrong kind of tire--some tires do have duty.

If you call the Customs 1-800 # beforehand, they can tell you the duties on various things from various origins. They can also supply you with a code/number referring to a specific good that can be helpful if they want to charge you duty/higher duty when you get to the border. I'd advise silence if they decide to charge less. :evilgrin
 
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GSP said:
There is not duty on *motorcycle* tires. But the agent may have looked up the wrong kind of tire--some tires do have duty.

If you call the Customs 1-800 # beforehand, they can tell you the duties on various things from various origins. They can also supply you with a code/number referring to a specific good that can be helpful if they want to charge you duty/higher duty when you get to the border. I'd advise silence if they decide to charge less. :evilgrin
oh, so you mean the 10 digit tariff code? like section 40.11, covering pneumatic tires? 4011.00.10, tires for motor cars, 7% most favoured nation tariff. yes, bike tires are exempt. if they are new. all used tires are 6.5% duty.

http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/general/publications/tariff2005/t2005-2/ch40ne.pdf

page 14, page 19. pdf pages, not document pages.
 

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I was born to ride!
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178 Posts
For tires, you would have to say something like that you were riding and you wrecked both tires, causing you to have new ones.

When my dad was driving in the states with his SUV, his transmission blew and he had to get a new one which cost $$$. When he came back across the border they asked him a whole bunch of questions in which he had to prove that he did not drive down there to get a new tranny, rather it was an emergency situation and the vehicle could not be driven without a replacement.
 

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Gear Driven Cams
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doug said:
yes, bike tires are exempt. if they are new. all used tires are 6.5% duty.
Hmm... If you drive down in your car, and drive back with new motorcycle tires in the trunk, they can clearly be shown to be "new". If you ride down, and have the tires changed and then ride back, by the time you get to the border they're probably quite definitely used. Do they take into account the tire condition when you bought them, or when they were imported? :)
 
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Spike said:
Hmm... If you drive down in your car, and drive back with new motorcycle tires in the trunk, they can clearly be shown to be "new". If you ride down, and have the tires changed and then ride back, by the time you get to the border they're probably quite definitely used. Do they take into account the tire condition when you bought them, or when they were imported? :)

i was thinking that myself. you get some guy on a bad day and he'd definately say they are used.

i made the mistake of going to pt roberts to pick up a package with a new tire and my rear rim in the hatch. took a bit of talk to convince them i was going to north shore suzuki from coquitlam to get it mounted, and i was doing a round trip. was told next time to make several trips to get my business done. i politely, after being cleared, told the guy it was kinda silly to waste my day driving 2X more than i have to to appease customs.
 

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The horror stories of your car getting ripped apart is misleading. YES its true if the border guys suspect something is hidden they can tear it apart to find it. If there is nothing there and there is damage they will have to pay for it, they cant just say oh sorry, you think the lawyers would allow that! If they do find something then its your problem. There was a show about the mexican border and they X rayed a van and found something in the wheel wells. They took it all part and found it was nothing but in the process they cut some of the inner metal wall. I remember they had to call in a supervisor and issue a appology and some paper work for the repair. But in the same show someone tried smuggling drugs in the dash board and engine bay.... they ripped it apart, the driver was jailed and the car was seized for evidence.
 

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Wannabe
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one of my old cars got the interior torn apart because they suspected something.

they put it back together, thanked me for being so cooperative, and let me go along my way, not that there was any point anymore, since being held up for two and a half hours at the border made me miss the wedding I was heading down for anyway.

a few weeks later though I noticed my seat was rocking, I went to tighten the bolts and found two of them broken off, and then found that the carpet had been sliced at the rocker panels.

I contacted several people at US customs, but the problem is, I had no proof that my interior had been taken apart by them. Thats a problem.
 

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Gear Driven Cams
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Deej said:
I contacted several people at US customs, but the problem is, I had no proof that my interior had been taken apart by them. Thats a problem.
This is why I never drive to the US without my camera. I've had a car I was in searched *once* while heading to the US. Two guys driving down in a red sports car, on a summer afternoon midweek. I guess we looked fishy. Anyway, as soon as I started taking pictures of them while they were searching, they got a lot more careful with the vehicle.
 

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My friend got us search cuz we had a camera. It wasn't even on he was half asleep and it was in his lap cuz he was taking pics as we were driving. The guy asked him do you have that camera on? Hes like no I was just taking some driving footage.... pull over into the garage. DAMN!
 

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Funbuster
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oldgixxer said:
...Remember, customs agents have more power than RCMP officers in many situations...
Actually, RCMP officers have all the same powers that customs agents have. It's just that RCMP officers normally will not use these powers during their normal course of duties. For example, if an RCMP officer wants to search without a warrant (like customs officers) he can do so under the Customs Act, as long as he is looking for contraban suspected to have come across the border illegally.
A word of warning:
There is no time limit or safe zone. The RCMP can bust you months down the road in the middle of the province, far from any border.:evilgrin
RCMP also have all the powers afforded to DFO officers, and Conservation officers. Basically, the RCMP enforce every Canadian law including all Criminal Code offences, Provincial statutes, and Municipal bylaws.:canadian
 

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contradiction incarnate
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justice said:
Actually, RCMP officers have all the same powers that customs agents have. It's just that RCMP officers normally will not use these powers during their normal course of duties...
RCMP also have all the powers afforded to DFO officers, and Conservation officers. Basically, the RCMP enforce every Canadian law including all Criminal Code offences, Provincial statutes, and Municipal bylaws.:canadian
no kidding?

thanks for the info.:thumbup
 
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