Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, February 21, 2013 — The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) facilitates the entry of legitimate travellers and goods, while protecting the safety and security of Canadians and ensuring that Canada's border is not used for illegal activity. This work is carried out by CBSA border services officers (BSOs) who ensure that the people, goods and conveyances entering Canada meet all requirements and are compliant with Canadian law.
In January 2013, CBSA officers at the Sault Ste. Marie port of entry (POE) processed 81,251 travellers in 55,000 vehicles which represent a seven percent decrease in travellers and a six percent decrease in vehicles compared to January 2012. The POE also processed 2,169 commercial importations, which is a 1.37 percent decrease from last January, and more than 166 international travellers by bus.
In January, officers at the Sault Ste. Marie POE conducted more than 309 immigration interviews resulting in the issuance of 12 visitor records, 31 work permits, one study permit, and five Temporary Resident Permits. Fifteen individuals were given the option of voluntarily withdrawing their application to enter Canada.
On January 23, a lone teenage traveller arrived at the POE seeking entry to visit a friend. After interviewing the teenager further, CBSA officers determined that her intention was to meet an adult male whom she had met in Canada during the previous summer. Sault Ste. Marie Police Services were called to investigate the matter and subsequently arrested and charged the adult male with sexual interference, sexual exploitation, sexual assault and possessing child pornography. The teenager returned to the United States and was reunited with her family.
Also on January 23, a male U.S. resident was seeking entry into Canada. Officers conducted a criminal records check and discovered that the individual had several convictions including driving under the influence, assault with a dangerous weapon, failure to stop at the scene of an accident resulting in serious impairment/death and reckless driving. He was deemed inadmissible to Canada due to his criminality and was given the option of voluntarily withdrawing his application to enter Canada. He returned to the United States.
In January, CBSA officers conducted approximately 724 secondary examinations for customs purposes or on behalf of other government departments, initiated four seizure actions for various offences and issued additional written warnings for undeclared or undervalued goods.
On January 17, two returning Canadian residents each declared a snowmobile purchased in the United States and paid the applicable taxes. After further processing, officers discovered that a trailer was also purchased in the United States for US$800 but was not declared. The trailer was seized for the offence of non-report and was released back to one of the travellers upon payment of a $472.80 penalty. Had the trailer been properly declared, the applicable taxes would have amounted to approximately $40.
On January 26, the Sault Ste. Marie POE received a tip claiming that individuals were spotted removing tags, opening boxes then hiding items in a vehicle. When the vehicle in question arrived at the POE, the occupants declared US$600 worth of skating costumes which they paid taxes on. Officers then conducted a search of the vehicle and found $404.22 worth of undeclared goods. The items were seized for non-report and were released back to the travellers upon payment of a $294.39 penalty. Had all the goods been declared properly, the applicable taxes would have amounted to approximately $52.
The CBSA reminds all travellers to truthfully declare all purchases and goods, including firearms and weapons. Smuggling, undervaluation and other Customs Act offences may lead to seizure and/or prosecution in a court of law.
Certain foreign nationals who do not meet the requirements to overcome their criminal inadmissibility may be allowed to enter Canada with a one-time only fee-exempt temporary resident permit. For more information, please visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada Web site.
Anyone with information about suspicious cross-border activity is encouraged to call the CBSA Border Watch toll-free line at 1-888-502-9060. All calls are completely confidential.
For media information
Canada Border Services Agency