Halifax, Nova Scotia, March 21, 2012 – The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) reports that in 2011, more than 6,000 aircraft, and 2,000 boats — carrying more than 870,000 travellers, and 35,000 commercial shipments — entered Canada via Nova Scotia's air or marine ports of entry.
Canada's border services officers examine all persons and goods seeking entry to Canada at ports of entry, and some may be referred for more in-depth examinations, known as secondary examinations. These examinations may be for customs, immigration or on behalf of other government departments such as the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
Secondary examinations of individual travellers resulted in a total of 128 seizure actions. Of these, 27 were drug-related, and one was weapons-related. A large number of seizures were related to alcohol, tobacco, currency, and prohibited plant or animal products, and to the undervaluing of goods such as clothing and household items.
There were also 15 child pornography seizures among travellers, including one in October, when a foreign national arriving at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport was arrested after CBSA officers found suspected child pornography on his laptop. A forensic examination conducted by the CBSA found that he was in possession of over 3,000 images and literature depicting child pornography. A similar seizure happened in December at the airport, when another foreign national was arrested. A forensic examination assisted by the Halifax Regional Police Integrated Internet Child Exploitation (IICE) Unit found over 5,000 child pornography images and literature.
CBSA officers in Nova Scotia removed 60 persons from Canada, and prevented 440 inadmissible persons from entering Canada.
In 2011, CBSA criminal investigations cases in Nova Scotia resulted in 10 convictions under the Customs Act and 10 convictions under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
CBSA officers carried out a total of 12 seizures related to commercial shipments, including five drug-related seizures.
A total of 571 container ships called on the Port of Halifax in the past year. Through the course of in-depth container examinations on the pier, as well as at the CBSA's Container Examination Facility, CBSA officers made 12 seizures, ranging in type from firearms, tobacco, alcohol, and narcotics. Some significant drug seizures included the interception of five kilograms of heroin (valued at $2 million) from a shipment of flour originating in India, and the seizure of over 30 kilograms of high-grade cocaine (valued at $4 million) concealed within cans of beans originating in Colombia.
After an absence from Canada of 24 hours, you may bring back $50 worth of goods duty- and tax-free; after 48 hours, your personal exemption is $400; and after an absence of seven days, you are entitled to $750 worth of duty- and tax-free goods. There are no personal exemptions for same-day purchases.
The CBSA reminds travellers to truthfully declare all purchases and goods received outside of Canada upon their return. Smuggling, undervaluation and other Customs Act offences may lead to seizure and/or prosecution in a court of law. A record of infractions is kept in the CBSA computer system. If you have an infraction record, you may have to undergo a more detailed examination on future trips.
New regulations are in place related to certain foreign nationals who do not meet the requirements to overcome their criminal inadmissibility, to 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.
Please refer to the I Declare brochure on the CBSA Web site for more information.
Anyone with information about suspicious cross-border activity is encouraged to call the CBSA Border Watch Toll-free Line at 1-888-502-9060.
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For further information
CBSA Communications, Atlantic Region