Canada Border Services Agency
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Prosecutions and Seizures

Northern Ontario Region

Pigeon River port of entry monthly enforcement highlights

Pigeon River, Ontario, March 5, 2012 — The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) facilitates the entry of legitimate travellers and goods, while protecting the safety and security of Canadians and ensuring that Canada's borders are not used for illegal activity. This work is carried out by CBSA border services officers (BSOs) who ensure that the people, goods and conveyances entering Canada meet all requirements and are compliant with Canadian law.

In January 2012, CBSA officers at the Pigeon River port of entry (POE) processed 33,363 travellers in 15,836 vehicles, which represent a 2.8 percent increase in travellers and an 8.2 percent increase in vehicles compared to January 2011. CBSA officers also processed 498 commercial drivers.

Immigration

In January, CBSA officers at the Pigeon River POE conducted 233 immigration examinations. As a result of the examinations, CBSA officers issued immigration documents to 30 individuals while three individuals were given the option of voluntarily withdrawing their application to enter Canada and were allowed to leave due to criminality or other inadmissibility issues.

On January 6, a U.S. commercial truck driver arrived at the Pigeon River POE seeking entry to deliver a shipment to Kapuskasing, Ontario. He was referred to secondary for further examination where the officer determined that the driver had been previously convicted of battery. He was given the option of voluntarily withdrawing his application to enter Canada and was allowed to leave based on his criminal inadmissibility.

On January 28, two U.S. residents arrived at the Pigeon River POE seeking entry to Canada for the day. The travellers did not possess documentation confirming their residency. After being referred to secondary for further examination, one of the travellers was found to have a previous conviction of driving while impaired. He was given the option of voluntarily withdrawing his application to enter Canada and was allowed to leave due to his criminal inadmissibility. The other traveller chose to return to the United States.

Customs

During the month of January, CBSA officers conducted 1,225 secondary examinations for customs purposes or other government departments, initiated three seizure actions for various offences and issued an additional nine written warnings for undeclared or undervalued goods.

On January 14, a Canadian resident was referred for further examination after the officer noted the traveller's nervousness and evasiveness when answering questions. The traveller declared that he purchased a 23-foot boat in the United States and paid US$3,500. Furthermore, the traveller presented documentation purporting that US$3,500 was the amount paid. Following the officer's examination and interview, the importer ultimately admitted that he paid US$5,500 for the boat and that he had falsified invoices prepared by the seller. The boat was seized and subsequently returned to the importer upon payment of a penalty amounting to $1,126.95. Had he declared the boat at its proper value, he would have only paid $266.37 in taxes.

On January 31, officers referred two Canadian residents for payment of duties and taxes because the passenger was importing a vintage car that was purchased online. The importer declared the purchase price of the car was US$8,000. During the ensuing examination, officers noted numerous discrepancies in the importer's answers. The importer finally admitted that he paid US$12,000 for the vintage car and that he had undervalued the vehicle. Officers seized the vehicle for undervaluation and released it back to the importer upon payment of a $2,207.04 penalty. Had he declared the vehicle at its proper value, he would have only paid $200.64 in taxes.

Travel Tips

After an absence of 24 hours, you may bring back $50 worth of goods duty- and tax-free; after 48 hours, your personal exemption is $400; and after an absence of seven days, you are entitled to $750 worth of duty-and tax-free goods. There are no personal exemptions for same-day purchases. Please refer to the I Declare brochure on the CBSA Web site for more information.

The CBSA reminds travellers to truthfully declare all purchases and goods received outside of Canada upon their return. Smuggling, undervaluation and other Customs Act offenses may lead to seizure and/or prosecution in a court of law. A record of infractions is kept in the CBSA computer system. If you have an infraction record, you may have to undergo a more detailed examination on future trips. 

In addition, new regulations are now in place to facilitate certain foreign nationals who do not meet the requirements to overcome their criminal inadmissibility to be allowed to enter Canada with a one-time only fee-exempt temporary resident permit (TRP). For more information, please visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada Web site.

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For media information
Caroline Desjarlais
Communications
Canada Border Services Agency
613-991-1591