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Thread: My Fellow Canadians

  1. #31
    Rocky Bow BMW Riders #197 bogthebasher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbrick View Post
    In either direction, do the immigration folks want to see registration or insurance docs too? Or is having passport in hand sufficient?
    Never needed more than the passport.
    Ken
    [2008 R1200RT (Biarritz Blue) - Mine]
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  2. #32
    Kbiker BCKRider's Avatar
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    fruit and vegetables, etc.

    A fairly frequent question both ways is "do you have any fruits or vegetables." Best advice is not to have any more than you are prepared to dump. Think they are afraid of importing pests.

    For years we had a LARGE garlic patch, and every year we would take down a 25 pound box to a friend in WA who craved our excellent garlic with no problem. (Think we sold it for $5/lb back then.) One year I was asked what was in that box on the back seat. "Home-grown garlic for a friend." "You can't import that. Would you prefer I confiscate it, or do you want to return to Canada?" I'll never know whether the rules had actually changed or if I was dealing with a mis-informed border guard. Since I had Canadian friends not far from the border, I made the U-turn, left the garlic with them, and returned to the border. PITA as I have never heard of any pests inhabiting garlic.

    Yet another time I brought back my mom's old lawn mower. They had to inspect it to see if there was grass (or more likely, weeds) that I was importing. Just another minor inconvenience.

    To all the excellent advice in previous posts, I would add:
    1. Know the rules (especially about amount of alcohol or tobacco you are allowed to bring in duty free) and the dollar value of goods purchased that are duty free after a particular time in the other country. I'm not current, but bet somebody reading this is and will chime in. KEEP YOUR RECEIPTS AND HAVE THEM HANDY.
    2. A little lying is OK, provided you can't be caught. New tires, a new riding suit, other farkles purchased at the big rally - if there is no good reason for the border guard to think you didn't take them with you, there is no reason you will be questioned. (So don't strap the 15 year old 'stich to the top of your bag while riding in the latest and greatest.) Declare everything you purchased which is under the limit and hide receipts for everything over and not obviously new in a dirty sock.

    Hey, I'm not suggesting criminal activity. I'm promoting "free trade."
    Doug
    1992 K100RS

  3. #33
    High & Dry statdawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wecm31 View Post
    I am otherwise okay with the border process, I fly/drive in/out of the US several times a year. Customs is not something to fool with, they are by far the most powerful officals in our world. They don't need rhyme or reason to ruin your trip!! I have stamps from both Cuba and Vietnam in my passport, always wondered if I would be identified as a commie! (I'll leave the NDP membership card at home)
    They may ask if you have cigars. A friend of mine was returning to the US and they asked him along a remote border in Maine why did you come this way and oh I see you were in Pakistan. Yes I was and its part of my world tour he replied. They said have a nice trip.

    I was stopped going into Canada and Sweden for having an Interpol record from the 1970's in Spain. I had to be talked to and had to give a blow by blow play of my future travel plans and who I know on my trip before I could send a post card. And I worked for US government at the time. I am all better now ...... registered !

    Its best just to be legal, they know if you are bull ****ting. They also want to get illegal items from you so they can dispose of them properly. One of the job perks.
    If one cannot command attention by one's admirable qualities one can at least be a nuisance

  4. #34
    Certifiable User Mike_Philippens's Avatar
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    I'm flabbergasted! A manual for passing a border... It musn't get weirder.
    -=- if you always see the road ahead of you, it's not worth the trip -=-

  5. #35
    Back in the Saddle mcmxcivrs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Statdawg View Post
    They may ask if you have cigars.
    Got that one after going to Cuba and having the stamp in my passport I was smart enough to leave the Cohibas at home. Not giving those up to some glorified security guard to enjoy; sure your going to destroy them, one at a time along with a couple of confiscated beverages

    Weirdest question I've been asked was, "When was the last time you were arrested?". Not have you been, but when. Of course my answer was "never". That caught me a bit by suprise. I guessed they must have had some other Ed Miller that showed up with a record on the system or something.
    Ed Miller, Calgary, AB
    2008 K1200GT, 2009 F800GS
    I can't wait to retire and have a fixed income. The one I have now is always broke.

  6. #36
    sMiling Voni's Avatar
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    Paul and I recently rode in at Osoyos, back out at Hyder, Alaska to Stewart, Canada, and then back to the US at Sumas, WA. Easy as pie! Happy greetings both arriving in Canada and the friendliest US greeting we've ever had!

    Voni
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  7. #37
    I like TANG! bubbagazoo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bogthebasher View Post
    Never needed more than the passport.
    Like wise.
    Robert
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    ÔÇ£If you get in too far over your head, remember - full throttle and make it spectacular!ÔÇØ http://www.yearroundriders.com

  8. #38
    Motorradfahrer
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    What is up with the fruit and vegetable question? Like bugs can't get past that big F'n wall between the countries? I wanted to ask why such a question when bugs can fly or I could throw an apple across the border. Seems ridiculous. Of course I said nothing but really, what is up the question? Also what is the deal with airplane food? Why do socks have those little hangers? Anyone have a little sock closet?

  9. #39
    Registered User cobbwebb's Avatar
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    passport card vs passport

    Anyone have any experience with the passport card being any faster or less of a hassle than using the regular passport at border crossings (Canadian)?
    '05 F650 GS
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  10. #40
    Registered User tourunigo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Statdawg View Post
    They may ask if you have cigars. A friend of mine was returning to the US and they asked him along a remote border in Maine why did you come this way and oh I see you were in Pakistan. Yes I was and its part of my world tour he replied. They said have a nice trip. ...................................

    Its best just to be legal, they know if you are bull ****ting. They also want to get illegal items from you so they can dispose of them properly. One of the job perks.
    they still have a record of my little Cuban cigar confiscation a while back. "Sir, these are not legal in the United States"...... "Really?" ...... they keep the cigars and I can go. "hmmmm.... hey, if they were good enough for Jack Kennedy then they're ok with me".... I wanted to say but didn't. - Bob
    saltyfogriders@gmail.com
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    Larry's River, Nova Scotia, CANADA

  11. #41
    Kbiker BCKRider's Avatar
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    You know, 90% of the time you can easily cross in either direction, provided you have a passport, no "attitude," and answer a few questions - most of which you've read in previous postings in this thread. When you pull up to the officer, put down the side stand and turn off the ignition. You will probably be asked to remove your helmet. Take your time and also remove at least one ear plug while telling the officer what you are doing. You are NOT running, is the message.

    If you are one of the 10% really hassled, just remember that border guards have enormous powers. Your job is to stay calm and cooperative while volunteering nothing. I'm sure there are a lot of smart and experienced people doing this job of guarding our borders. There are also a lot of dumb and inexperienced border guards who just don't get that a white guy in his 60's riding a BMW bike probably isn't a drug mule or a terrorist. Telling these types, if you encounter one, that he/she is an idiot, is probably not in your best interest.
    Doug
    1992 K100RS

  12. #42
    100,000+ miler 32232's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCKRIDER View Post
    I'm sure there are a lot of smart and experienced people doing this job of guarding our borders. There are also a lot of dumb and inexperienced border guards who just don't get that a white guy in his 60's riding a BMW bike probably isn't a drug mule or a terrorist. Telling these types, if you encounter one, that he/she is an idiot, is probably not in your best interest.
    As a law-abiding citizen, it can be hard to understand how anyone could suspect you of anything. What you don't understand is that the officer you're dealing with doesn't know you at all, and can't assume you're not trying to pull the wool over his eyes.

    When an officer has seen, personally or in training, a loaded gun in a baby seat under an infant, narcotics in sandwiches in a middle-aged couple's cooler or concealed inside a military vet's prosthetic limb, they have a radically different perspective to yours. Understanding has to be exercised on everyone's part.
    Dave

    '06 Triumph Scrambler (Trans-Labrador veteran)

  13. #43
    Back in the Saddle mcmxcivrs's Avatar
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    I expect that in real life the criminals and smugglers don't always conform to the Hollywood stereotypes. It could just as easily be the family in the Volvo or the guy on the BMW, as the all white van with the blacked out windows and the shifty eyed nervous driver of some foreign ethnic/religous group.
    Ed Miller, Calgary, AB
    2008 K1200GT, 2009 F800GS
    I can't wait to retire and have a fixed income. The one I have now is always broke.

  14. #44
    Certifiable User Mike_Philippens's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MCMXCIVRS View Post
    I expect that in real life the criminals and smugglers don't always conform to the Hollywood stereotypes.
    True. A conman must look trustworthy, otherwise people won't give them their money...

    That's what I told the guy I bought my bike from. He wanted to give me the title to the bike the day before I came to collect it (and had not paid). He said I looked ok... He gave me a weird look and still handed me the title... Those crazy Dutchmen!
    -=- if you always see the road ahead of you, it's not worth the trip -=-

  15. #45
    Kbiker BCKRider's Avatar
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    Dave and Ed Miller make interesting points. Clearly a lot of BC bud is still being exported south and it would seem quite a few handguns are being illegally imported to Canada. Maybe a sizeable amount of this traffic is by old guys in Volvos or on BMW bikes - but I doubt it. Few guys who fit that profile care to risk spending the rest of their lives in jail. Gangsters, except a few at the top, tend to be young and too stupid to look like young business exec's, I'd wager.

    It would be interesting to know how so much illegal stuff (drugs and guns in particular) move across the border. My guess is that the guards nail less than 5%, but of course, nobody except the criminals know.

    When I was in my 20's and had long hair, my car was much more often searched thoroughly - which made sense. I fit the profile of a drug user. My guess is that riders who fit the "outlaw" profile, spend a lot more time on average crossing the border than BMW riders. If you were a border guard with lots of vehicles backed up, which bike would YOU pull over for a good sniff by the canine?
    Doug
    1992 K100RS

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