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Rakhi Vasavada
Rakhi Vasavada, Financial and Legal Consultant
Category: Finance
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Experience:  Graduated in law with Emphasis on Finance and have have been working in financial sector for over 12 Years
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Hi, I do have a question about CBSA charged tax on my undeclared

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Hi, I do have a question about CBSA charged tax on my undeclared items.

On Canada Day, I went back from my 2 weeks vocations. When I arrived in Vancouver Airport, I was stopped by a CBSA Inspector. After hours of search and questioning. My watch and my cell have to pay fines becasue it over $800 limit.

CBSA found the receipt of the watch even I explained that my parents gave me this watch as a gift because of my graduation and new job. I also explained that I did not try to hide this watch becasue I was wearing it when CBSA stopped me. I said I asked my parents how much it is when I saw this watch at the first time. They said $200 and I believed in them. The reason they said is $200 becasue the receipt include 2 watches. $200 fo my dad, and $3700 for me. They knew I would not happy becasue they bought me such an expensive watch. So they use $200 as my watch's value. And they will explain that $3700 is for my dad whcih makes sense for me.

I thought I did not brought over $800 because besides watch and cell, 95% of items were bought in Canada, and they are aged. My parents told me watches was $200 plus a leased phone from China Moblie which it is $0, as well as other cheap stuffs. I should not over $800.

After hours of long trip and investigation, my brain did not think at all. In order to catch my next flight and get home asap. I paid the fine immediately.

Next day, I read the receipt carefully and re-thinking the whole process. I have following questions and I also find an error when they calculating the fines.

1, I know I have $800 tax free. If CBSA only held my watch and cell, and they did not ask more questions regarding my other belongings because there were 100% came from Canada. When the calculated the fine, it seemed that the did not apply my $800 excemption at all. The just use the receipt total of the watch and retail price of the cell for their convenience.

2, My watch ($3970) was subject to 50% and cell ($700) for 25% of fine. When I call CBSA, the hotline, for reason of doing that. The said there is not any guide to specify that watch is 50%. I am thinking is 50% is reasonable and even legal?

3, The error: because the receipt of watch is Chinese. the use the total to calculate fine. However, my parents told me that there are two watches on that receipt, another $200 watch is for my dad and that watch is with my dad in China when I arrived in Vancouver. Could I get tax of my dad watch back becasue it does not enter into Canada at all.

In addition, could I have any chance that get the whole fine of watch back? My parent did buy it and gift it to me. I can prove that I was in Canada whn they bought this watch. In addition, I do not have any intention to take this vocation as a shopping opportunity. I just bring back lots of old stuffs, meet my parents in 2 weeks which both of us waiting for5 years. Then, I want back Canada becasue I have to go to work on July 2, 2013.

Thank you for you time for viewing my case, and I wish you may help me in my case.
Dear Friend,

Hello and welcome. Thank you for using Just Answer.

I am really sorry to hear about your situation. You probably got caught as the value of the watch that you were told by your parents was $200.

Kindly note that such things happening is very common for persons. However, I am sorry as I may say something which you may not have expected from me. Let me suggest you options and throw light on some things.

First, if the watch is really worth $3700, then it is not worth appealing. This is because of two things. One, they have the bill and secondly they have ALL the means to assess the value of the watch. The only option you have, (though I see a very little chance as you showed them the bill as well) that the same was gifted to you while in canada.

It does not matter if you are gifted anything or you purchased it. Once you bring it to Canada, you HAVE to declare it. Also note that Canadian Law REQUIRES to declare EVERYTHING that you bring and willful non declaration can result in prosecuation and confiscation of the products.

Also note that once confiscated, it can cost between 25 and 80 per cent of the value of seized goods to get them back..

It is GOOD that you got through after paying fine.

Sorry, but you have one more option. CBSA has a dispute resolution center. If you feel that wrong assessment is done, as in your case, you CAN CERTAINLY file for resolution of your dispute. The following is an excellent resource to know about Dispute Resolution.

It will also let you know about your appeal rights as well.

However, I see hope only in the fact that they have not considered the free limit of $800 while calculating your fine. They were perfectly within their rights to impose other fine due to non declaration of watch.

I am sorry I did not tell you what you would have expected. I would advice you to file appeal / go for resolution of dispute. But do not stretch it too long as you can end up penny wise pound foolish.

I am sure this would help.

You may please leave a positive rating if this helps as that is the only way we receive credit for assisting you. Alternatively feel absolutely free to revert with more queries if you have.

Warm Regards
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