Canada Border Services Agency
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Prosecutions and Seizures

Northern Ontario Region

Fort Frances port of entry monthly enforcement highlights

Fort Frances, Ontario, May 29, 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 border is 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 April 2012, CBSA officers at the Fort Frances port of entry (POE) processed 55,454 travellers in 31,889 vehicles, which represents a 1.6 percent increase in travellers and a 2.1 percent increase in vehicles compared to April 2011. Ten charter buses carrying 153 passengers, 912 commercial trucks, and 834 pedestrians were also processed during the month.

Immigration

BSOs at the Fort Frances POE conducted more than 600 immigration interviews resulting in the issuance of 53 work permits, five visitor records and 97 Remote Area Border Crossing  permits. Thirteen people were found to have various admissibility issues, of which eight were given the option of voluntarily withdrawing their application to enter Canada and were allowed to leave. The other five were allowed entry on a temporary visitor permit.

On April 2, a U.S. resident arrived at the Fort Frances POE seeking entry to Canada. Officers discovered that the individual had previously been given the option of voluntarily withdrawing his application to enter Canada in 2011 and was referred to Immigration for further processing. Background checks showed that the individual had been convicted in the U.S. of driving under the influence and probation violation in 2011, as well as careless driving in 2010. He was also under conditions to abstain from consuming alcohol, but when questioned by BSOs, he admitted that he had been drinking earlier in the day. He was once again given the option of voluntarily withdrawing his application to enter Canada and returned to the U.S.

On April 12, a U.S. resident arrived at the Fort Frances POE seeking entry to visit a friend in Kenora, Ontario. During an examination of the individual's vehicle, BSOs discovered blueprints for a 3,000 sq. ft. cottage, multiple quotes for lumber, windows and other construction materials, a building permit issued by the City of Kenora, and a cost estimate and project management schedule. Based on this information, the individual was given the option of voluntarily withdrawing his application to enter Canada because he was untruthful about the purpose of his trip as his intention was to work in Canada without authorization.

Customs

During the month of April, CBSA officers conducted over 880 secondary examinations for customs purposes, initiated nine seizure actions and issued an additional 15 written warnings for non-declared or undervalued goods.

On April 11, a Canadian resident returning from a same-day shopping trip to the U.S. declared approximately US$140 worth of purchases. After paying the applicable duties and taxes on the declared goods, an examination of her conveyance was conducted and resulted in the seizure of unreported goods valued at US$740. The unreported goods included clothing, lamps, fabric, and auto parts. The goods were released back to the traveller upon payment of a penalty of $199.37. Had the goods been properly declared, she would have paid approximately $96 in taxes.

On April 12, a U.S. resident arrived at the Fort Frances POE and declared US$572.55 worth of goods to leave in Canada. After paying the applicable duties and taxes on the declared goods, an examination of his conveyance was completed. BSOs discovered a variety of undeclared items throughout his vehicle and trailer. The undeclared goods included miscellaneous building supplies, clothing, lights and household items valued at approximately $990. The goods and vehicle were seized and released upon payment of $606.25 in penalties. Had the goods been properly declared, it would have cost him just $49 in taxes.

On April 14, a Canadian resident declared a boat, motor and trailer package valued at US$1,800. While verifying the importer's declaration, BSOs discovered that the purchase price had actually been US$5,500. The boat, motor, and trailer were seized for undervaluation and returned to the importer upon payment of a penalty of $923.06. By undervaluing the package, the importer was attempting to save approximately $400 in taxes at the border.

Officer Powers

On April 1, a returning Canadian resident was found to be the subject of an outstanding arrest warrant in Kenora, Ontario, for theft under $5,000. BSOs at the Fort Frances POE arrested the subject and subsequently turned her over to the Ontario Provincial Police for further investigation.

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 offences may lead to seizure and/or prosecution in a court of law. The CBSA keeps a record of infractions in its 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 the entry of 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. 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