Canadian crossing questions - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-05-2012, 10:15 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by DavidSo View Post
I've found some info on this but a lot of it is older dated so I thought I'd ask. I'm possibly traveling to Canada this summer. I'll be getting the passport card. I know that going and returning are separate issues. I'm wondering about 2 things:

1. I have two dogs and I have read that all I need is proof of rabies vaccination. I assume that means a printout from the vet? Any other possible hangups?

2. Is there a limit to a vacation stay? I may be there 2 months. Do I need a full passport for that or will the card be enough?

Sorry for the questions.
Last time we crossed to take our Escape trailer to the factory in Chilliwack, B.C.,(in Sept. 2011), we were asking for our passports, our vehicle registration, our dogs international handwritten health certificate from our vet ( costs $50 here and is good only for 30 days), the dogs rabies and shot records, and of course about foods and our dog food. The is the most extensive list we have ever had to provide but lucky for us we had it all. So I think the point is that they can ask for all these things but don't each time. Just be prepared. On they way back thru the border coming home we were the lucky random winner of a physical search of our truck and trailer while we were in the building with our dog, leaving our truck and trailer keys with the border officer. We have crossed many times and not ever been subjected to this amount of scrutiny. Everything was fine it just added an hour or so to our travel time. I think they just wanted to have a really good look at our few months old Escape trailer!
As an added note, I pay for the handwritten international health certificate for my dog each time because if they "demand" it one time and I don't have a current one it was explained to me ( by the border patrol officer), that technically they could quarantine my poor old dog for up to 6 weeks and that would kill both of us, so I pay the price to insured against that.
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Old 02-05-2012, 12:23 PM   #16
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All the responses are much appreciated, thank you! My biggest fear is getting caught on technicality that I had no way of knowing, especially where my dogs are concerned. It does seem that the experience is totally in the hands of the border agent, right or wrong, legal or illegal. My trips into Canada years ago were some of my best memories, but the world has changed. I may rethink my plans.
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Old 02-05-2012, 04:44 PM   #17
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I understand completely. Here in Vt we are about 2 hrs. from the border and haven't been to Canada in years. There is a town right on the border, Derby Line. The border runs down the main st. and through houses, public buildings, ect. The two sides share a fire dept. When all this stuff started the firemen from Canada were not allowed to come put out the fire in the U.S. People who happened to cross the border while walking down the street were harassed. I know lots of folks on the forum cross the border all the time but.... Raz
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Old 02-05-2012, 05:15 PM   #18
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All the responses are much appreciated, thank you! My biggest fear is getting caught on technicality that I had no way of knowing, especially where my dogs are concerned. <<<<<<.
Don't fret! Yes, it's not encouraging that various border officers can ask various questions and not always apply all the regulations or maybe not even know them all BUT; even if they did it is easy to stay on the safe side.
1. Have a passport or passport card.
2. Have current certs from the vet.
3. Have no firearms. If you are going to bear country, have pepper spray and a horn.
4. Have no food. For some items, it may cost you few bucks more to purchase it on this side of the border but, our food is as tasty as yours and AFAIK a good steak is even cheaper here than there...
5. No more than 200 cigarettes and 40oz of liquor per adult. Booze and smokes are expensive here but, don't bother bringing any beer. It is more expensive but, it actually tastes like beer

IMHO, if you go by above, the worst at the border that can happen is that you will be delayed by extra half of or full hour by a random, more in depth check (usually on US side) which will leave you wondering, "why me?" but than, you will get to enjoy Canada where...
The world maybe has changed but scenery in Canada (mostly) remained the same and people definitely remained the same, still overusing "thank you" and "you are welcome" and actually meaning it!
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Old 02-07-2012, 03:58 AM   #19
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I travel back and forth at least 6-7 times a year
We often bring back groceries to Canada, and have never had a problem.
Going back to the US is probably more rigorous in what is allowed, and what isn't.
Don't take meats, veg or fruits to the states, don't bring milk, apples or guns to Canada.
Pepper spray, mace or stun guns are also a no-no.
The large bear size pepper sprays are allowed(only if they can't fit in a pocket)
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Old 02-07-2012, 09:38 AM   #20
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I am from Michigan, and we have passports, and have photo copys
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:06 AM   #21
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I'm Canadian and currently in Florida. I cross the border fairly regularly as I live near the Bluewater Bridges b/t Mich and Onatrio. Follow Andrew's advice and don't worry. I have crossed the border with my Trillium from Montana to Alberta, from North Dakota to Manitoba, and from Ontario to New York and never encountered a problem. I usually have my cat with me and carry his vet cert. The custom-guys on either side have always treated me fine.
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Old 02-07-2012, 02:38 PM   #22
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In British Columbia rabies vaccination is no longer required my dog had one just for travel into the US. I don't see any hangups with the dog.
Actually that is not correct. A dog coming into Canada from a country that is not listed as rabies free must have a valid rabies vaccination. The USA is not considered rabies free so a proof of vaccination is needed. You will also need proof on entering the USA as well. You have less than a 10% chance of actually being asked for it though going in either direction. but it really does happen from time to time. ;-)

Canadian Food Inspection Agency - Importing Domestic Dogs


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Stay 2 months or four its all the same here. Canada is still very relaxed for entry wish I could say the same about the boarder into the US .
The rules are actually the same going in both directions. An American can visit Canada for up to six months without a visa - the same as a Canadian can into the USA - providing you can prove financial resources to support yourself during that time and do not work. You can expect to be asked when going in either direction as to how you can afford a stay of more than a month -you may also be asked to prove you have a permanent residents in either the USA or Canada depending on your citizenship - helps to carry a utility bill with you of some sort that matches whats on your drivers licence. Happens going in either direction for both Canadian's going into the USA and Americans going into Canada. A border agent on either side can set a visit limit of less than the six months if they are not satisfied with your answers or they do not think you have a strong enough reason to go back to your country of citizenship.

Best on both sides to avoid bringing any meat, fruit, plants, veggies and eggs over the border as the rules change often! IMHO way easier to just say you don't have any than getting into a chat about what you have and don't have. Basics such as butter, milk, bricked cheeses, canned goods, breads, cereals, oils, juice, tea, coffee, flour, nuts, candy and prepared sauces such as ketchup, mayo etc are not a problem going either way. Up until this summer rice was not an issue either but if the rice comes from county known to have the Khapra beetle it is not allowed either way. Now all you need to do is figure out where your rice came from!
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:14 PM   #23
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I'm very glad I posted this thread. It's been a real learning experience. I feel much better informed and prepared. You can read all the official sites you want, but nothing compares to real life information about conditions on the ground. I do know one thing. Once you get past the guards, Canadians are great folks and the country is breathtaking. The last time I crossed, my buddy and I got caught with fresh peaches we had just bought at a roadside stand. Rather than hand them over, we sat outside the guard shack and ate every last one . Then we crossed with everything but the pits . That's about as serious as crossing ever got before all this terrorist mess.
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Old 02-08-2012, 09:14 AM   #24
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David I cross a number of times a year and I have never had any serious problems going either way, yes once or twice I have been asked a few more questions than normal but other than that things really haven't changed all that much since 9/11. More often than not most of the questions I am asked are about the trailer -does it have a bathroom - could they stand up in it - sometimes those are the only questions! :-)
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Old 02-08-2012, 10:05 AM   #25
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We were crossing into Canada from Minnesota one cold (34 Deg F) rainy evening . The occupants of the car ahead of us and on the outside lane were being questioned. . All of a sudden 2 Canadian Custom Agents came running from the Headquarters building headed right toward this car followed shortly by another officer with a dog . The two men in the car were then handcuffed with their hand around a steal support column at the edge of the canopy with the cold runoff from the roof coming down on there heads . In a matter of minutes the contents of the car was laying on the ground including the seats and parts of the dash. The dog was in the car going crazy. We asked "what happened" . The occupants of the car were 2 men wearing suits and ties and no luggage , who said the purpose of their trip was "FISHING" ? . What really got this started is they got smart with a Canadian female customs officer That's a NO NO
They found drugs hidden in the dash . Never lie or act rudely to customs cause you
are going to loose
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Old 02-08-2012, 10:27 AM   #26
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Also make sure your trailer is locked at all times, especially if you've stopped somewhere. Not locked equals instant inspection.
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Old 02-08-2012, 07:02 PM   #27
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Also make sure your trailer is locked at all times, especially if you've stopped somewhere. Not locked equals instant inspection.
???? Inspection by whom? Where?
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Old 02-08-2012, 07:17 PM   #28
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............. Never lie or act rudely to customs cause you are going to loose
I live 30 minutes from the border but don't cross even once a year. Unfortunately the problem is the thuggish behavior of the guards on the US side. They truly have a chip on their shoulders.
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