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Border Crossing Web Sites For Canada and U.S.

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Here are the official web sites of the border crossing agencies in the United States and Canada. Consult these before making your border crossing. Even if you cross frequently, check this before you go as rules do change.

Find out what you are allowed to take with you when you cross, regulations for food, animals, plants, liquor, cigarettes, firearms, etc. Both sites have extensive information on other rules and regulations for entering their respective countries. Before you leave your country of origin, you should know what you will be allowed to return with. Likewise, before entering another country you must know what you will be allowed to bring with you.

For the US Customs and Border Protection: http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/

For those leaving the US: Look under the side heading: US Citizens/Legal Permanent Residents

For those entering the US: Look under the side heading: For International Visitors

For Canadian Border Services Agency: http://cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/menu-eng.html

For those leaving Canada: Look under the side heading: Canadians and Residents

For those entering Canada: Look under the side heading: Non-Canadians

One of the items under US Customs and Border Protection (Know Before You Go - Tip: Register...) is of particular importance to RV'ers. Since those of us who are full time carry plenty of stuff with us, it would serve us well to follow this tip. I have always prepared CBP Form 4457 and get it verified by CBP before leaving the US. I have never been challenged regarding the contents of the motor home upon return to the US but it only takes once to make it worthwhile having this document prepared and verified before you leave the US. I have the form on my computer and update it as I purchase items. I fill out form 4457 and refer to the attached list which is printed from the computer. I have had agents come to check serial numbers and look at one or two items on the list and then go ahead and certify the remainder of the list. I have had agents simply certify the list without looking since it had serial numbers and identification information on it already. What they are looking for is anything you purchased out of the country and are returning with. You have to have some way to prove you took it out of country with you or you may be liable for duty on everything in your motor home!

This is the wording from the CBP Web site referenced above:

Tip: Register Items Before You Leave The United States

If your laptop computer was made in Japan, for instance, you might have to pay duty on it each time you brought it back into the United States, unless you could prove that you owned it before you left on your trip. Documents that fully describe the items -- such as sales receipts, insurance policies, or jeweler's appraisals -- are acceptable forms of proof.

To make things easier, you can register certain items with CBP before you depart -- including watches, cameras, laptop computers, firearms, and CD players -- as long as they have serial numbers or other unique, permanent markings. Take the items to the nearest CBP office and request a Certificate of Registration (CBP Form 4457). ( CBP Form 4457 ) It shows that you had the items with you before leaving the United States and all items listed on it will be allowed duty-free entry. CBP officers must see the item you are registering in order to certify the certificate of registration. You can also register items with CBP at the international airport from which you are departing. Keep the certificate for future trips.

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Guest Wayne77590

Darn Tom! We were planning on running up through Canada and back down, but now I don't think it is worth it. What a shame. All for the good ol' $$$$.

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Darn Tom! We were planning on running up through Canada and back down, but now I don't think it is worth it. What a shame. All for the good ol' $$$$.

Now Wayne, nothing I said should discourage you. Filling out the form won't cost you a cent! It just takes a little while to put together an inventory. You don't need to include any of the stuff that is attached to your motor home. Just inventory all the valuable loose items, computers, cameras, other valuables you carry with you. You should have a good inventory of these items for insurance purposes anyway. Consider this a good reason to get it done now and go to Canada. We have been to Canada every year, for the last four years. It's a great country, go and enjoy.

You don't have to pay anything at US Customs to process the form. It will take you a few minutes to process the paperwork. One hangup is that it isn't easy getting into Customs from the "back side." We can usually find a parking place on the US side somewhere nearby and walk in from there. I enjoy the reaction of the border agents, they don't see too many of these forms. I suppose that most RV'ers don't file this form but if you don't you leave yourself open to more problems than you want. Most border agents are quite reasonable but if you get one on a bad day it would be nice to have the form! With it you won't have any argument. :rolleyes:

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Border crossing-no problem. Last time there was four questions- What is your citizenship? Where are you headed? Do you have any fruit? What is your license plate on both coach and car? Thank you and have a good day!

Be polite, respectful and answer questions without hesitation.

Come up and visit-spend some US dollars!

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Now Wayne, nothing I said should discourage you. Filling out the form won't cost you a cent! It just takes a little while to put together an inventory. You don't need to include any of the stuff that is attached to your motor home. Just inventory all the valuable loose items, computers, cameras, other valuables you carry with you. You should have a good inventory of these items for insurance purposes anyway. Consider this a good reason to get it done now and go to Canada. We have been to Canada every year, for the last four years. It's a great country, go and enjoy.

You don't have to pay anything at US Customs to process the form. It will take you a few minutes to process the paperwork. One hangup is that it isn't easy getting into Customs from the "back side." We can usually find a parking place on the US side somewhere nearby and walk in from there. I enjoy the reaction of the border agents, they don't see too many of these forms. I suppose that most RV'ers don't file this form but if you don't you leave yourself open to more problems than you want. Most border agents are quite reasonable but if you get one on a bad day it would be nice to have the form! With it you won't have any argument. :rolleyes:

Tom, we are talking about a retired Marine. Do they have these forms that read real slow?

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Herman,

Be careful! Marines are fearless - until you put a piece of paper and a pencil in front of them! You know what they say... The pen is mightier than the sword!

I know Wayne is reading this. I'm sure we'll hear from him!

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Guest Wayne77590

I don't use a sword. I'm carrying. Much safer at a further distance.

Herman, I read real slow ever since I spent two years aboard a naval vessel. Every thing there was real slow.

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I have been visiting Ottawa for the past 10 years towing then driving the RV.

Never had an issue, however, nothing I had even looked new (laptop, cameras..) and I took nothing that would not tell then they could have if they wanted. Of course I was not a full timer either.

One big no no is do not have a radar detector. I never use one (afraid I would speed if I did) but I had a family member that forgot and it was hefty fine plus you loose the device.

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Most important is NEVER EVER try and bring a handgun into Canada. You will go to jail and you will be prosecuted. Our gun laws are very resricted and it would be best to never have a weapon including tasers. You won't need them here anyways.

Carl

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If you are traveling in the US with defensive weapons (shotgun, revolver, mace etc) and want to cross into Canada for a few weeks, how do you safely and conveniently leave them behind? We want to honor Canada's rules but don't want to give up our US rights while at home.

George and Amy Petruff

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