Electronic devices and borders - Re: Possible road trip....Illnois, Canada, Maine and back

Dan Cohoe dancohoe at oxford.net
Sat Sep 5 11:04:57 CDT 2015

-----Original Message-----
From: cctalk [mailto:cctalk-bounces at classiccmp.org] On Behalf Of Steven
Sent: Saturday, September 05, 2015 9:59 AM
To: General Discussion: On-Topic and Off-Topic Posts
Subject: Re: Electronic devices and borders - Re: Possible road
trip....Illnois, Canada, Maine and back

On Fri, 4 Sep 2015, william degnan wrote:

>> I had fun taking 20 IBM pc's from Montreal to the usa.  I ended up 
>> setting up a broker account to ship items in a rented van.  It was do 
>> this or the items would be impounded.  I had to be escorted by 
>> flashing lights custims police bacj into canada.  You can't simply 
>> drive through customs without correct paperwork.  Stuck at border and 
>> customs for 6 hours.

>When did this become so difficult?  Joe Thiemann gave me a literal car load
of classic gear before he moved to Germany.  My wife and I made a day trip
to Montreal and had absolutely no problems at >the border coming back in.  I
think the ICE agent found it amusing.  They took a brief look at the back
seat, then asked what was in the trunk.  I said "..more of the same".  After
a brief grimace, he >waved me through.

I believe the issue going to the USA is with "commercial" vs "personal
property".  AFAIK, US CBP has discretion on commercial up to a value of
$2500 regarding pre-notification and a customs broker requirement but
recently it seems like they are not allowing anything commercial without
full procedures. 

I think a US Citizen or Resident Alien would have little trouble getting
through to the USA as long as whatever they were bring in is identified as
personal property.

I have been turned back coming from Canada to VCF MW with a load of "trading
items" in my station wagon.  They required a broker and none would take
walk-in clients.  However, no flashing lights escort staged to get me back
to Canada.

There are only two options on the form they ask you to sign:  (a.)  US
Citizen or resident with personal property or,   (b.)  Commercial goods.   

Recently I inquired about establishing a relationship with a broker and quit
when asked for a $700 surety bond by the broker.  I tried only one broker so
maybe others would require less. 

On the Canadian side, last time I brought commercial stuff through, I was
allowed to fill out all the required forms at the border without any
pre-notification of arrival etc.  They have computers set up for importers
to enter the documents online right at the counter.  It's a good idea to
organize yourself with knowledge of how to complete the forms before you
show up.

Will be testing the system going south again soon.


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