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Canada Crossing the border with american beers

Discussion in 'Canada' started by psyman, Jul 14, 2013.

  1. I'm from Montreal and I'll spend a week in august around Niagara Falls (ON) and I'm not sure to find goods beers available in LCBO and in the beer stores (pretty sure in fact). In Niagara Falls (USA) there is a store with good beers. I know I can bring back to Canada 24 bottles if I stay in USA 48 hours but I won't. I just want to cross the border an hour and bring back my beers. Is there someone who knows how much the custom officer will charge me in taxes and other fees?
  2. kjyost

    kjyost Champion (785) Manitoba (Canada) May 4, 2008 Verified

    Just say you were visiting the American side of the falls. They will wave you through. ;)
    Electros likes this.
  3. tbeckett

    tbeckett Champion (850) Ontario (Canada) May 17, 2009 Beer Trader

    A few things have happened to me with Canadian customs.

    1) I've brought back around 6 bottles after a few hours in the U.S. and told them that's how much I have. They did nothing.

    2) I've spent 2 days in the U.S. and brought back more than the allowed amount. After some confusion and a rookie customs officer who was very confused with different bottle sizes, I was forced to pay $2 in duty plus $4 taxes.

    Always be prepared to pay duty, especially if staying that short. Always be honest. If you're feeling adventurous, lie. The LCBO has decent beers too.

    Have your story straight. You'll find that 'I went to buy beer' won't do you too much help.
  4. I'll be honest, so if I bring back around 12 bottles, it could cost me an extra 6$ or around?
    iguenard likes this.
  5. iguenard

    iguenard Savant (385) Quebec (Canada) Jan 30, 2006 Beer Trader

    If its an ontario crossing, figure 50 cents a bottle... if its a Quebec crossing, figure between 1-2$ a bottle, depending on the value of the beer returned. Just hold on to your receipts, and be honest... BTW an Ontario crossing, the limit can extend to 6 cases of 24x341ml beers. Youll just pay roughly 20$ in duty per case. WELL worth avoiding a Quebec crossing.
    oldp0rt likes this.
  6. iguenard

    iguenard Savant (385) Quebec (Canada) Jan 30, 2006 Beer Trader

    Oh, and Ontario crossings cant charge you Quebec provincial taxes, so its cheaper, and I've been waved in with up to 3 cases + whiskey just cause they dont wanna bother with interprovincial duty. Bonus.
  7. I'd say the taxes and duty are more in the 30% to 35% range.

    So a 12 pk of Samuel Adams selling for $14.99 + bottle deposit + NYS sales tax plus Canadian duty and taxes will end up being probably $21.00 or so. Canadian dollar is about $1.06 US.

    A dozen bombers of Ommegang say $120 would be another $40+.

    As tbeckett said, be prepared to pay and dont lie, I cant emphasize that enough.
  8. Thanks a lot guys!
  9. JonnyBeers

    JonnyBeers Advocate (535) British Columbia (Canada) Oct 24, 2012 Beer Trader

    There was a post not too long ago about this. There is an actual form/guide on some government site as to what percentage each province marks up alcohol and the duty rates. It varies significantly province to province. Duty, tax, and mark-up are 3 different things. For instance in BC the actual total all in 'mark-up' is close to 80%....
  10. JonnyBeers

    JonnyBeers Advocate (535) British Columbia (Canada) Oct 24, 2012 Beer Trader

    iguenard likes this.
  11. DougOLis

    DougOLis Savant (285) California Aug 15, 2008

    Do the taxes and customs affect American citizens crossing the border as well?

    I'm moving to BC for work and would like to bring some of my beer with me, but how much will depend on what I'll have to pay to accomplish that.
  12. JonnyBeers

    JonnyBeers Advocate (535) British Columbia (Canada) Oct 24, 2012 Beer Trader

    You would have to declare, not sure about the taxes in that situation. I know when I moved back to Canada from Hong Kong I was allowed to bring back a certain amount of personal/household goods etc tax free, but I don't remember if alcohol was included in that personal exemption. I'm a citizen though, so it may be different if you're just here for work. Best to Google it.
  13. mtomlins

    mtomlins Advocate (670) Ontario (Canada) Mar 12, 2010 Beer Trader

    The taxes are applicable to everyone crossing the border regardless of citizenship. If you enter the country with more than the permitted alotment of anything, then you can legally be taxed. Whether or not you are taxed is situational.

    Ah, now this is something different altogether. I was in a similar boat as you back in 2004. I moved to Vancouver from the States as a landed immigrent (I had previously applied for and received my permenent residency). When I crossed the border with all my shit (furniture, electronics, beer, car, etc.), it all came in tax free as 'settlers effects.' It is a one-time deal though and may be tied to the type of visa you are travelling under (permenent resdident vs. a work visa vs. ...).
  14. 4ster

    4ster Savant (385) Ontario (Canada) Aug 17, 2012

    I've brought beer up from Vermont into Quebec now on numerous occasions, and so far been lucky, but also probably under any reasonable exceptions... (well, at least my short term memory loss of "uhh I think about 8 bottles....".... oh forgot about those multiple cans of Heady...) anyway, generally if you've been down for 1-2 nights and there is 2 of you, I haven't had any problems, as to a day trip, for having a mixture of 12 oz and bombers, maybe 12 total they didn't seem too concerned.... I think it's people who fill up their trunk that have more to worry about, and best not to shit them on that....

    Here's some links I've come across which have been helpful as well...
  15. 4ster

    4ster Savant (385) Ontario (Canada) Aug 17, 2012

    and if you've read those links, and are astute you will notice that anyone wanting to bring shit loads of beer back.... do it through Manitoba ;) (glad I have some Winnipeg friends)
  16. I make at least one or two trips a year down to North Dakota to pick up some US craft that we don't get in Manitoba. I've paid duty once or twice and been waved through the rest of the time.

    Be honest, be courteous, answer their questions directly and you should have a decent border cross.
    FondueVoodoo likes this.