Don’t low-ball goods at border: CBSA

In this June 4, 2016, file photo, cars line up at the border crossing in Johnstown, Ont. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

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.