Canada Provincial Liquor Mark-Up Fee - Crossing the Border

Discussion in 'Canada' started by JonnyBeers, Dec 22, 2012.

  1. Had the pleasure of paying a $31.14 markup 'Fee' today on $55 of beer...

    This is the first time I've had to pay anything on bringing beer back, but this is also the first time I've gone to the States just for a couple hours and brought back alcohol. Have gone for just 1 day and brought back 12 bombers no problem. It was interesting to get the receipt and see how much actual taxes duties and markups are (in BC at least)

    Here's the numbers

    Quantity: .0409 HLT (8x12oz + 4x22oz)
    Value of Beer: $55
    Duty: $1.28
    Provincial Liquor Markup: $31.14
    GST/HST: $6.79

    I think the provincial markup fee is ridiculous! Is it this bad in every province?
  2. tbadiuk

    tbadiuk Savant (425) Manitoba (Canada) Feb 9, 2009 Verified

    Holy crap! At the MB border you would have paid about $18 instead of the $31.xx. That is, it's been pretty consistant that I can expect to "add a third" (33%) to my declared value to get the amount I need to pay.
  3. tbadiuk

    tbadiuk Savant (425) Manitoba (Canada) Feb 9, 2009 Verified

  4. I knew it was bad but I wasn't expecting it to be quite so high!

    No surprise the provinces with the highest markup have a higher quantity limit over your duty free amount. I can only dream of $.01/oz wow....
  5. Dear Stone Brewing,

    Please send beer.


  6. tbadiuk

    tbadiuk Savant (425) Manitoba (Canada) Feb 9, 2009 Verified

    Oh wow, I just realized that I live in the only "no limit" province in Canada! :):) Although, 45L isn't too shabby at all...
  7. andrenaline

    andrenaline Advocate (540) Ontario (Canada) Nov 14, 2009 Verified

    Wowza that's really high. :eek: Ontario is bad for wine and spirits, but beer has always been hella cheap. I always love crossing the border and declaring the equivalent of 2 cases of beer by volume with a price tag of over $200. They always seem baffled and confused at how I managed to blow so much money on such a small volume of beer.
  8. FEUO

    FEUO Initiate (0) Ontario (Canada) Jul 24, 2012

    Customs and duties are charged on $ spent on beer, not by oz or mL.
    I used to think it was based on qty but found out recently when they asked for my receipts. I said i didn't have any and got a lecture. They are aware of expensive beers and must pay on the amount spent.
    Now, coming back in after 24 hours you can bring back 1 case. Not sure if its totally regardless of cost, but they haven't asked me yet. I go across every other week and will be testing the waters again in a couple days.

    I really need to clarify with a couple of my neighbors who are customs officers. I may have just been getting dicked around by some over zealous officers at the tunnel. Never had an issue at the bridge.
  9. It's roughly $12/24 12oz bottles in SK.
  10. Duty for me (a hardly worth it $1.28) was charged on volume at $31.22/HL (a HL is a LOT of beer). The markup was based on price at 55% of the total value of the beer regardless of volume.

    As far as I know you are not allowed to bring back any booze duty/tax/markup free unless you've been gone for 48hrs+. The new 24hr limit of $200 does not apply to alcohol from everything i've read. Otherwise it's still 8.5L of beer once you've been gone 48hrs, and cost doesn't matter unless you're over the $800 limit at that point for all goods purchased.
  11. TheSevenDuffs

    TheSevenDuffs Champion (860) Ontario (Canada) Jan 20, 2010 Verified

    Wow, that is ridiculous! In Ontario we typically pay 30-33% overall duty on beer but it varies at 33% seems to be the max. I just paid duty a week ago at about 22%. 56% (in your case) would have me seriously considering beer runs south of the border.
  12. Ya the provincial markup in Ontario is $0.66 a litre according the above link (Apendix B). I would assume actual duty is the same across the country as that's federal (I think). And then on top of that there's the provincial GST/PST/HST.

    In BC you pay 12% HST, plus about 1-2% duty, plus the 55% markup, so in the end it's close to %70 total fees. It's bullshit... It helps to conveniently lose receipts and claim a ballpark figure ;)
    Rutager likes this.
  13. And today I went to pickup a few trades and online orders... $340 worth of beer and I didn't have to pay a cent of tax/duty! guess the world balances out.
  14. FEUO

    FEUO Initiate (0) Ontario (Canada) Jul 24, 2012

    Little yang for the yin.
  15. How do you get online orders delivered to Canada? I'm in the beer wasteland of NB, so if I can get something delivered that would be awesome.
  16. kjyost

    kjyost Champion (800) Manitoba (Canada) May 4, 2008 Verified Subscriber

    Pretty sure when he says "pick up" he has them shipped to a parcel depot by the border on the US side that stores shipments for you for $5 then you need to clear customs as you normally would. I'll let him confirm that...
    JonnyBeers likes this.
  17. TheSevenDuffs

    TheSevenDuffs Champion (860) Ontario (Canada) Jan 20, 2010 Verified

    That is the only option. Easy for people like me who live an hour from the border. You can have trades shipped directly to you but there is always the risk of Canada Customs seizing the package...
    JonnyBeers likes this.
  18. Yeah, kinda figured that....makes sense.

    I need to try to get some trades going....we don't have access to any whales in high demand out here to re-send, but we do have some solid local breweries (Propeller, Garrison, Picaroons, etc.).
  19. Andygirl

    Andygirl Savant (280) Michigan Jan 3, 2013

    Out of curiosity, living just the other side of the bridge, could someone bring you gifts of beer without all the bs fees?
  20. hoser

    hoser Savant (475) Alberta (Canada) Feb 17, 2003 Subscriber

    Surprisingly if you tell customs they are gifts it is even more hassle. If you are crossing your border it is best to tell them that the beers are for your own consumption. This was advised to us from a US customs official.
  21. I second that !
  22. Ball Park figures are worse if you get an asshole.

    Buddy of mine declared 100$ of beer on his way in, they said alright perfect bring it in. So he did and they looked on the internet for the price on everything. Total came to around 350 which was what he paid and so the confiscated thet whole lot.. lesson learned.

    Always declare what you got. Worse case scenario, you'll pay taxes.
  23. TheSevenDuffs

    TheSevenDuffs Champion (860) Ontario (Canada) Jan 20, 2010 Verified

    Is that actually true? I can't believe that anyone at Canada Customs would go to those lengths? Did he not have invoices/receipts?
  24. TheSevenDuffs

    TheSevenDuffs Champion (860) Ontario (Canada) Jan 20, 2010 Verified

    An American can bring one case of beer in to Canada duty-free.
  25. 100%true. Most of the beers were hill farmstead and they list their prices online. It was from Vermont/quebec border.the guy searched it all and checked with winooski bev...
  26. kjyost

    kjyost Champion (800) Manitoba (Canada) May 4, 2008 Verified Subscriber

    I've seen customs going online checking the prices of boats online. If they were being assholes I could see this. I had a run in once as I only claimed half my beer and they were rather nice about it... I will never do it again, it would have only saved me $30-40 and I could have lost all my beer & other stuff.
  27. TheSevenDuffs

    TheSevenDuffs Champion (860) Ontario (Canada) Jan 20, 2010 Verified

    But I assume what your friend did is "lose" his invoice from HF to try to save duty and then he claimed his $100 amount with no invoice to support it?
  28. What I'm saying here is that you can never give a ballpark amount. If you falsly declare and they find it, they confiscate. Plus he was over the 8.5L limit.
  29. kjyost

    kjyost Champion (800) Manitoba (Canada) May 4, 2008 Verified Subscriber

    *CAN* confiscate it. I had border guards that didn't, thank heavens because I forgot about a box that I didn't declare. They were searching all single males that day and flat out told me to quit wasting their time they are looking for drugs & weapons, so they nailed me for duty and went on my way.
  30. TheSevenDuffs

    TheSevenDuffs Champion (860) Ontario (Canada) Jan 20, 2010 Verified

    I think you are missing my point. Your friend obviously did not have a receipt because if he did, it would have been a receipt that totaled $350. That was his mistake. As long as you have receipts, Canada Customs does not give you trouble (at least in my experiences). There have been many times where I have crossed the border with non-itemized receipts and I was not given any trouble. I just told them what the receipt was for and they took my word for it. Of course, I always declare the exact volume of beer that I have.

    Back to my original point, the only time I have ever been given trouble at the border paying duty was when my brother brought back a golf bag that he ordered on E Bay and he did not have a receipt. They told him they could make him log in to his e-bay account to prove the value of the bag but they did just take his word.

    Moral of the story: always have receipts.
    oldp0rt likes this.
  31. TheSevenDuffs

    TheSevenDuffs Champion (860) Ontario (Canada) Jan 20, 2010 Verified

    As for the 8.5L limit, that really sucks for you guys in PQ. In Ontario our limit is 50L.
  32. Yes that's correct, shipped to border depot in Washington 40 mins from my place in Vancouver (without traffic).

    As for border guards going online to check prices I've also heard of this. Friend paid $80 taxes on $100 of beer. Pretty sure if you cross when it's super busy this would never happen. Always claim your actual volume and you'll probably never have any issues even if you don't have a receipt. Being alone in the car also doesn't seem to help, and if you get some young punk border guard be completely honest! I've never had to bring in my beer to get looked at and they've only opened my trunk once.

    After crossing the border 3 times just to pickup beer and only paying duty once I'm happy, gonna hold off on the orders for awhile unless I'm going to the US for more than a couple days.
  33. Also, if ordering to Pt Roberts do not use Fed Ex unless it's from an authorized beer shipper, they x-ray everything and you'll either have it confiscated or have to go all the way to Burlington WA to pick it up like I did :p
  34. FEUO

    FEUO Initiate (0) Ontario (Canada) Jul 24, 2012

    An hour? You poor bastard. :p
    I can see Detroit from my office and the depot where I get my stuff shipped is right outside the tunnel.
    In and out on my way home in under 20 mins. ;)
    Or, I could just run to Royal Oak (15 min) and buy off the shelf. Better yet, go to Kuhnhenn (15 min) and grab a growler and a pint! :D
  35. TheSevenDuffs

    TheSevenDuffs Champion (860) Ontario (Canada) Jan 20, 2010 Verified

    Nodody likes a show off :p
  36. FEUO

    FEUO Initiate (0) Ontario (Canada) Jul 24, 2012


    One of the few perks of living down in earth's rectum.
  37. TheSevenDuffs

    TheSevenDuffs Champion (860) Ontario (Canada) Jan 20, 2010 Verified

    Very true. But a GREAT perk. Do you now allow private messages or is your mail box full? Tried to send you one and don't see the option to start a conversation with you...
  38. FEUO

    FEUO Initiate (0) Ontario (Canada) Jul 24, 2012

    No idea. I've gotten PMs before. Let me clear out the ol inbox.
  39. Hmm i'm also in MB. Curious about the liquor markup. Last Nov i can back with something like 60-80 12oz bottles of beers, total fees paid around 25, awesome. Came back just this night with 109 12oz bottles, 350 dollars...!? wondering wth happened, like if the first guy messed up or the person i talked to today. Needless to say i was really shocked, had i known i wouldn't have brought back so much.
  40. TheSevenDuffs

    TheSevenDuffs Champion (860) Ontario (Canada) Jan 20, 2010 Verified

    I can tell you that when you paid $25 on 80 12 oz bottles, your duty was definitely mis-calculated. It happens quite often.

    As for your $350 of duty paid, what was the total value of the beer? Remember that duty is calculated based on volume and price and that part of the total duty paid is HST (13% in Ontario) so it can add up pretty quickly if you are buying expensive beer.