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Update on taking alcohol into Canada

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    #16
    We go into Canada every year for months at a time,we have NEXUS and I will not abuse that privilege!! You are only allowed 1 bottle of Wine/Liquor or a case of Beer (that's 24 not Costco 36 cans) only one of these items per person......The local Breweries love it when I come over,i'am certain their stock rises.Also I know when we call to check in their always from Ontario Canada as they haven't a clue as to the area we're in/going to...many times I had to give a geography lesson.
    Brad & Sharon
    Lady Jake
    1985 4550 EH 700TI /Twin Disc 502
    LaConner,Wa. (summer)
    2003 Scout CC 24' W/225 Yamaha
    kailua Kona,Hi (Winter)

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      #17
      As other have pointed out, 'Bar Stock', 'Ships Stores' etc. are meaningless phrases that risk problems with customs either way, and for Nexus Pass holders really jeopardizes participation in the Trusted Traveller program if you are over the limit for alcohol, tobacco etc., and the pleasantness of a CBP officer on any given day is a risk that I am not willing to take.

      For the past few years, Canadians on the West Coast require a cruising license to travel in US waters which replaced the purchase of a decal. This adds yet another layer of BS to the process as the cruising licence is valid for one year, but must be surrendered at least 15 days before a replacement licence can be issued. This is a real PITA for us as we are heading to Roche Harbor for the Bayliner Rendezvous next week, which will be exactly 12 months since our last license was issued.

      The CBP Officer at Roche Harbor told us last year that the 15 day wait time is waived if the vessel is built in the US - I knew there were extra reasons for owning a Bayliner.
      Since posting this a few minutes ago, I have spoken to CBP to confirm that indeed, there is no wait time for US built vessels.
      Rob
      Bayliner 5788
      'Merlin V'
      Vancouver BC

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      • TenMile
        TenMile commented
        Editing a comment
        Rob, you should download the CBP Roam app if you haven't already. Doesn't help this year with the cruising license but it does significantly expedite the customs process. You scan your passports into the app, then submit them for "verification" - US Customs will call you and initiate a video chat with you and the other passport holders and provide you with a verification code you upload. When you are about 15-30 mins from the dock, initiate the app and they can clear you before you arrive. That way you can get the cruising license at your leisure when the office is less busy.

      #18
      For a number of years, we have declared having "bar stock" on board. Same with all of our cruising friends. Nary an issue.
      Two years ago, we had 16 bottles of wine and a number of various bottles of liquor at various levels when crossing via Nexus into BC.
      The customs agent asked if this is what we typically keep on board (yes, it actually is) and nothing else was mentioned.

      The important things to remember:
      - its for personal consumption only
      - it will not leave your possession at any time
      - it will not leave the boat
      Pat
      Paragon
      1999 4788

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      • cosmo777
        cosmo777 commented
        Editing a comment
        I want to add - we are declaring everything, so there is no risk to us as nexus holders. Its when they find things that are un-declared that you begin to have problems.

      #19
      Originally posted by cosmo777 View Post
      For a number of years, we have declared having "bar stock" on board. Same with all of our cruising friends. Nary an issue.
      Two years ago, we had 16 bottles of wine and a number of various bottles of liquor at various levels when crossing via Nexus into BC.
      The customs agent asked if this is what we typically keep on board (yes, it actually is) and nothing else was mentioned.

      The important things to remember:
      - its for personal consumption only
      - it will not leave your possession at any time
      - it will not leave the boat
      Are you using Nexus? When we first got our Nexus cards a few years ago we were told by the Canadian agent that users of the card are responsible for knowing the importation rules and that declaring additional amounts may not keep them from pulling the Nexus privileges. In other words, you will not get fined because you declared the excess but they may still elect to suspend the Nexus privileges. Moreover, bar stock is a slang term for the stock aboard a commercial passenger vessel, not a pleasure vessel. While many agents turn a blind eye to it with regards to pleasure vessels, the importation rules still apply.

      I'm sure that there are many things that Customs will overlook, but I do not think that it is worth it to risk losing Nexus privileges.
      1999 3788, Cummins 270 "Freedom"
      2013 Boston Whaler 130 SS
      Anacortes, WA

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      • cosmo777
        cosmo777 commented
        Editing a comment
        Yes, we have declared "bar stock" the last 3-4 years while clearing using Nexus. Same goes with all our boating friends: bar stock + Nexus. I've yet to hear of anyone having an issue with this, as in paying fees, fines or losing their Nexus.

        A couple of years ago, the head guy with Waggoner even declared bar stock using Nexus - wrote an article on it on their website....

      #20
      The last couple of years when hitting Canada Customs I inform them that my wife and I live on the boat during the summer months and have a large stock of opened and unopened alcohol strictly for our personal consumption on board the boat. I then begin my list: 1/4 bottle of XYZ brand rum; 1/3 bottle of Tanqueray gin; 1/3 bottle of MacAllan single malt scotch... it is usually about then they tell me to stop and go on my merry way. We have never had an issue and the Canadian officials have always been great to deal with. When en route to Canada my wife spends 15 minutes documenting all of the alcohol on board.

      I'm sure at this point they see our history when we call in and would be suspicious if we only came in with a couple of bottles of wine... :-)

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        #21
        All,

        Apologies if this is terribly off topic. But I'm interested in hearing how all of you find the Nexus service. Since my wife and I often cross between US and Canada here in the PNW, I've often considered applying for a Nexus card. However we usually cross with different guest crew and always thought that the extra effort to get Nexus cards for just us an unnecessary hassle. We've never had a problem clearing either Canadian or US customs. Just properly declare all of the items on board and graciously accept any directives the respective border control agents impose and you're golden. Exactly what benefit would Nexus approval allow us given we will have non Nexus approved crew aboard?

        I will say we've transitted through US customs in many different ports but lately rely on the professional care and respect we've received from entering at port of Anacortes. We usually transit into Canada through Bedwell Harbour. Both have been fantastic to deal with and the people/inspectors very professional.

        Oh by the way we're careful to purchase any alcohol or food stuffs beyond the immigration limits in the destination country.

        RB Cooper

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          #22
          I always take more wine into BC then our limit. I declare it and have receipts for the value. I tell them it's part for our ship stores as we live on the boat for 4+ months both in and out of the US. They always ask if it's for our own consumption and if we intend to give any to anyone in Canada. We answer yes and no respectively. We are always prepared to pay duty if they ask for it. So far, (11 years) they haven't asked us to pay.
          I look at that I'd rather pay 100% duty on my $5-8 bottle of Costco jug wine for a total of $10-16 bucks for something I like to drink vs that bottle of unknown dust covered wine sitting on a shelf in Blind Channel or Refuge Cove for 20 bucks. Not to say that you can't get good wine at these places but late in the season some of it has been sitting on the warm shelf for a long time.

          As for NEXUS, do it.
          But make sure you follow all the rules.
          I've had Global Entry for years and got NEXUS a few years ago. ( I also have APEC, if you travel for business in Asia get it)
          My wife and daughter have NEXUS so when we cross the boarder we won't take anyone that doesn't have it.
          I have friends and relatives meet us in Sidney or Port McNeil so we don't have to deal with stopping on the way in or out.
          Note: Bedwell is a training station. If want to take the chance of a full blown search stop there.

          Comment


            #23
            Originally posted by Pacrimrat View Post
            Note: Bedwell is a training station. If want to take the chance of a full blown search stop there.
            When It's busy at Bedwell and there are a lot of boats wanting to clear you actually get through fairly quickly. If it's not busy they will do a full blown search.

            We stop at Bedwell if we have guests that do not have Nexus cards. The last time we stopped we were the only boat there. Within a few minutes there were 4 agents at our boat. Then a 5th agent came, pulled me aside and asked about my Canadian firearms license and if I had any firesarms aboard (I participate in shooting competition on both sides of the border.). I was answering his questions and envisioning a full fledged search of the boat when an agent that appeared to be the supervisor walked up. This agent asked what type of shooting competitions did I participate in. When I told him Cowboy Action Shooting he immediately asked if I knew a particular shooter that was a friend of his. It turns out I did. After that he called off the rest of his team and sent us on our way.
            1999 3788, Cummins 270 "Freedom"
            2013 Boston Whaler 130 SS
            Anacortes, WA

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              #24
              Technically ship's stores is for commercial boats and must actually be locked off and inaccessible while in the host country (I think some ports will actually come and put a customs sticker on it so they can verify it wasn't used upon departure?).

              Informally ship's stores and bar stock is what lets the agents know that you are a routine traveler and have more than the limit. I think we all understand that declaring ship's stores or bar stock doesn't guarantee we won't pay a duty but until Gordon posted above I have never met anyone who has actually been charged.

              The key with Nexus is to never lie to them, declare what you have. You are not breaking any rule or law by importing alcohol and paying the fee they charge.

              I recently found a case of wine we had stowed and inadvertently taken back and forth many times--fortunately I always declare that we are over and I don't know by how much, so I never lied, but if I had given them a list or told them anything specific we could have been in jeopardy.
              2000 Bayliner 4788 "Perfect Balance"
              370HP Cummins
              Zodiac YL 340 30HP Nissan
              Moored at Roche Harbor

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