When crossing the border into either the United States or Canada, it may seem tempting to avoid duties and taxes by not declaring goods properly. People have also misrepresented themselves at a border crossing for various reasons. Here at Speed Global Services, we want to make sure that our blog readers know that if they try to sneak something past customs officers, they’re likely to lose a lot more than they can gain.
Look at this collection of police reports for Saskatchewan ports published by The Estevan Mercury, for example. At the North Portal Port alone, one of the province’s major ports, 11,300 commercial trucks and 27,550 travelers were processed during May of this year. In just one month, there were plenty of examples of wrongdoing gone wrong, for the perpetrators at least.
One man, a resident of Saskatchewan, was returning to the province after he bought a boat and boat trailer from friends. He declared the goods at $6,600, about $5,000 for the boat and another $1,000 for the trailer. Customs officials determined that he had actually paid about $10,000 for both items. An accurate declaration of goods would have cost him $500, but that would still be much less than the $2,300 penalty issued to him.
Penalties accrued for inaccurate reporting of purchased goods are always far more costly than the duty that would be charged on what was bought. One couple leaving Saskatchewan for Alberta presented a bill of sale for some wooden bear statues and declared that they cost $1,300. When customs officers found out that they actually cost $3,275, the couple was issued a fine of $1,175. Declaring the goods properly would have cost them only $175 in duties.
It’s important to remember that, in a province that processed tens of thousands of people and vehicles crossing its borders, that these examples are the exception and not the norm. But when you take the law into your own hands, you run the risk of losing much more than you would have paid if you played by the rules.
Speed Global Services works hard to ensure that your commercial and freight shipments always make it through border customs with a minimum of stress. Find business success with the commercial freighter that won’t cut corners. Call us today to find out how we can improve your business operations traveling through Western New York or Southern Ontario.