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Border Crossing Question(S)

Discussion in 'Chit-Chat' started by honk, Jul 21, 2005.

  1. honk

    honk

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    This is directed toward people who have successfully imported EPA and DOT EXEMPT vehicles from Canada into the US at either Blaine or that other gate on I5 near Vancouver. I've pored over all of the posted info and am in close contact with Wayne and the importer/dealer who Wayne trusts, a guy named Tom.

    I've bought the pretty 1977 BJ40 FST that Wayne has posted for sale in the forum more than once. I will have a bill of sale and an Alberta, Canada title document in hand. I'm hoping to be able to simply go to Vancouver (where the vehicle will be - shipped by Wayne COD), put the cruiser on my trailer and drive back to a border crossing to pay duties and come on home. Nice and simple. Tom is of the opinion that I'll be able to do this since the EPA and DOT forms won't be needed or asked for because of the age of the vehicle. He's suggested that I probably don't even need the assistance of an importer (I had offered him the job).

    BUT I'm seeing things, details too many to list and mostly, I hope, irrelevant to this, on the custom service (now Dept. of Homeland Defense :rolleyes: )website that have brought me to ask for actual experiences from others who may have done it this way, if anyone has.

    All I'm trying to do is prepare for rolling up to the U.S. Customs window - I needn't concern myself with any Canadians except on the way in, right?

    So what kind of things do they have in their quivers that the US border people might use to stall this? Are there right answers to give?
    --Is there a particular person to approach or call ahead of time? Is anyone very familiar with entry at either of those border points?

    Apologies for feeling that I need to ask this, but I've crafted my life to be able avoid buerocrats(sp?) and petty officials. Now here I am, forced to interact with some of them as a price for my affinity for these simple vehicles.
     
  2. rgsiii

    rgsiii

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    I used an importer to get a BJ42 across. My impression was that if it was a couple of years older, it would have been no problems doing it myself. The importer said something like,"Good thing it isn't older or you wouldn't need me."

    Yours is a few years older and should be able to be brought back with minimal effort. Famous last words.
     
  3. crushers

    crushers post ho

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    i would suggest calling customs, chat for a few minutes and if you feel comfortable then go for it.
    they usually will answer all your questions readily enough.
    cheers
     
  4. honk

    honk

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    Ya, will do. Tom said that each port does things in it's own way and that's why I thought to ask if anyone had specific experience with these two. Maybe one is smoother than the other?

    I know that going up there's quite a difference between them on the RCMP side. At the big one near Vancouver I've just cruised through with a wave, practically, and at the smaller Blaine crossing they once kept me under interrogation for an hour inside the office and parked in their restricted lot. One of the Cannuck guys even followed me into the men's room to watch while I took a piss. Good thing I was driving a pickup that time and not the campertruck.
     
  5. crushers

    crushers post ho

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    WOW!! i have had GREAT luck at all the crossings...

    i have never had a problem, but then i have such a honest face and such a peaceable, non threatening demenor...
    they can't help but trust me...
    ;^)

    BTW, i loved the rant the last border patrol gent gave me when i just gave him my drivers license for ID.
    "you know son (loved that part) till we can tell a Canadian from a Yank just by looking at them i am afraid i will have to turn you back."
    then he took a look at Cruiser and asked for his papers, sorry no can do forgot them at home.
    "I know you boys up north have a hard time realising this but the US is at WAR. we have to be careful who we let in. on your way now..."
    and he let us through...
    ;^)
    great guy.
    cheers
     
  6. honk

    honk

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    I'm a throwback -bearded longhair one time freak. I think it makes the border crossing guards think of the stories that their fathers told them. :D
     
  7. Landpimp

    Landpimp GOLD Star

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  8. Technikev

    Technikev

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    If you do have customs duties to pay, I would suggest contacting a customs broker and have all the paperwork in advance and on your person when crossing the border.

    Years ago when driving transport truck across the border a few times, it always helped to have paperwork in order. As I recall, there was one form that if not completed, would incur an instant $1000 fine. This was a commercial transport venture, mind you do would likely not apply to you. Don't mean to get you in a tizzy, just be sure to have your crap in order, especially post 9/11.

    You will get all worked up about this crossing and the person at the gate will probably just wave you through. Good Luck

    -Kevin
     
  9. honk

    honk

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    You're probably right about the easy trip back through but I'll try to be prepared. There will be duty since it's goods, but the only problem I've ever had in coming back down was in recovering Canadian taxes paid. The vendors charge it, as they must, and it's refunded on leaving.......mostly. There were issues about how much was for goods and how much was for labor and the woman refused to believe that I'd paid so much just for a trans. overhaul in labor. Maybe it was my fault as I hadn't come to believe it either! :D


    A tunnel!! That's TOO funny, Pimp.
     
  10. Greg_B

    Greg_B

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  11. Greg_B

    Greg_B

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    Congrates of the truck!

    We are 5 minutes from the Abbotsford/Sumas border crossing. Don't think you're alone if something comes up. Wayne has all my and Sheldons contact information if you want to have it handy. More then glad to help if we are around, or not on shift (both of us work shiftwork).

    Phone the border crossing of your choice, ask questions, get the persons name, find out when they are working, and make your trip across at that time.

    gb
     
  12. crushers

    crushers post ho

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    good time to do a face to face with these great boys,Ken, they know some good grub spots...
     
  13. coldtaco

    coldtaco

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    Honk

    Hi, I am assuming that you have visited the US customs web site to get any info. If your rig is older than 25 yrs, then there are no problems with meeting EPA, DOT requirements. I would search each site for the required paper work to print out and have filled in before you reach the border.
     
  14. honk

    honk

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    Is it all you talk about, Wayne, food? :)

    Probably a GREAT idea to try to coincide the trip with the shift of someone who gives me good answers. I'll try to do that.

    Getting on the phone now to Peace Arch (St. Peter's Gate?)

    coldtaco, we're just putting it together now, thanks.
     
  15. crushers

    crushers post ho

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    i don't drink much at all, so food is good...
     
  16. honk

    honk

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    Just teasing you ;). I don't drink at all but may start again before this importation is done. WTF are they going to do with six copies of both DOT form HS-7 and EPA form 3520-1 anyway? (That's five plus the original for you budding cruiserimporters) All both forms will say is that this one is exempt from DOT form HS-7 and EPA form 3520-1. They use one form to tell the other form??

    OK, I got the forms x 6.

    Forget calling Blaine US Customs for anything. You'll get a tape that says to leave your name and FAX number so they can FAX their import/export package. It says that they won't mail it or email it, only FAX it. No FAX number you're SOL. Then it cuts off in midnextsentence.

    ---------------------------------------------

    Does anyone have a good phone number for the US Customs office at the US I-5/Canadian Hwy 99 crossing? That's the big one that goes to Vancouver easiest.
    ----------------------------------------------

    Interesting (thanks George) that the Canadian customs phone numbers are all toll free while the US customs numbers are not.

    This better be worth it. I hate hassling with badged geeks.
     
  17. HZJ60 Guy

    HZJ60 Guy Tank Buster

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    Steve Mcqueen stars in, THE GREAT ENTRANCE!

    Er uh, I mean the great escape. What should we call that new tunnel?

    Tom Dick or Harry?

    How about DICK! (HEADS)

    TB
     
  18. cruiser_guy

    cruiser_guy

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    You need to visit both sides on the way out and you need to give 3 business days notice. Canada checks if the vehicle has been reported stolen and the U.S. deals with duties and taxes.
     
  19. dieseldog

    dieseldog She idles just fine . . .

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    You should be able to sail through with a vehicle that is over 25 years old. Of course they will want to check and confirm that the vehicle is ACTUALLY that old. (Some folks try to pass vehicles off as something they are not.) I don't even believe there are any import duties on a vehicle this age. And as for me, I like the more remote crossings rather than the big ones.
     
  20. 1FE pig

    1FE pig

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    -Abbotsford- Huntington-sumas crossing is the one , peace arch is a parking lot most of the time.It will go fine if you got all the papers they want,won't be fast.goverment people are only fast when taking money from you.