Heading to The States For Black Friday? Here’s Some Advice

Thursday November 22nd, 2012

Posted at 11:00am


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File photo: Ambassador Bridge

The Canada Border Services Agency is offering some tips to simplify your return to Canada on Black Friday as higher travel volumes are expected.

  • Ensure that you have proper identification for yourself and everyone in the vehicle ready to present to the officer in the primary booth. For returning Canadian citizens and permanent residents, acceptable forms of identification are a Canadian passport, a Canadian birth certificate, a permanent resident card, a citizenship card or a certificate of Indian status.
  • Try to car pool with friends or family to reduce the traffic congestion on the bridge and in the secondary parking areas at the CBSA offices. Be patient and follow the directions of traffic directors assisting you in parking your vehicle.
  • Know your personal exemptions, including those for alcohol and tobacco. Remember there are no personal exemptions for same-day cross-border shopping trips so be prepared to pay HST on those purchases and possibly duty.
  • Be prepared to declare all of your purchases. Failure to report all goods may lead to penalty action up to and including seizure of the goods. Smuggling, undervaluation and other Customs Act contraventions may also lead to prosecution in a court of law.
  • Keep your receipts readily available, totalled and categorized by the items purchased (i.e. groceries, electronics, children’s clothing, adult clothing, toys, etc.) when presenting them to the officer inside the office. Keep in mind that paying the cashier in cash is quicker to process than debit and credit card transactions.
  • If you are travelling with a larger group of shoppers or on a shopping bus, be patient as border services officers must process each shopper individually.
  • Shoppers are reminded that you can only bring one turkey from the United States, duty free and without additional import requirements. Additional turkeys are subject to very high duties that will more than double the cost of the turkey.
  • Border Services say that they will have additional staff to process the anticipated higher volumes of travellers. Peak periods for returning to Canada on the Black Friday weekend are traditionally between 12pm to 9pm.

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