PRESCOTT – Border officials are warning travellers about the consequences of low-balling the value of goods coming into Canada.
This, as the Canada Border Services Agency has dealt with a dozen different cases at Ontario border points from mid-March to mid-April.
In those cases, the items were seized and the travellers had to pay a fine to get them back or lost them altogether.
In Prescott on April 3, a man from Ottawa was bringing back an antique motorcycle and declared the value as $2,500 U.S.
After doing some checking, border officers figured out a similar bike was selling for $5,300 U.S. After questioning the man, he fessed up and said he actually paid $4,800 for the motorcycle.
The man had to pay $1,685 Canadian to get the motorcycle back, as opposed to $320 had he been upfront.
Four days later in Lansdowne, a man had falsely declared an antique car at $21,454 Canadian but after some probing by officers, the man admitted swapping a $50,000 vehicle for the vintage auto.
He ended up with a $15,700 fine – $2,500 had he made a truthful declaration.
Lansdowne CBSA officers have had their share of seizures. They have held seven other items, including trucks and boats. As a total, the declared value was about 56 per cent of the total value of those seven items. The CBSA collected $38,676 in fines, instead of $14,280 in duty had everyone been honest.
The penalty for undeclared or falsely declared items range from 25-80 per cent of the value of the seized items.