Border officials are expecting long wait lines this weekend as Canadians flock to the United States for Black Friday. But that won’t stop Winnipegger Steve Penner, who says the deals are too good to pass up.
“Things are cheaper and taxes are cheaper in Grand Forks (N.D.) than they are in Winnipeg,” said the 55-year-old. “We go down, get all our Christmas shopping done. And yeah, sometimes we have to pay duty, but it’s still a better deal.”
Sales tax in North Dakota is five per cent, lower than Manitoba’s seven per provincial sales tax.
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“And sometimes they don’t ask you to pay, they just wave you through,” said Penner. “With the family traveling, we usually don’t go over our limit.”
What’s allowed, and what’s not
Exemptions: If you’re gone for a day, you get $50 worth of goods to bring back. If you’re gone for 48 hours, you get $400. A week? $750. Goods made in the US and Mexico are always duty-free thanks to the North American Free Trade Agreement.
What happens if you get caught smuggling: Border services can seize your goods, fine you up to 80 per cent of their worth, take your car and you have to pay before you get any of it back. That’s if you’re not arrested.
Things you can’t (easily) bring back: Plants, animals, food, vehicles, used mattresses, cultural objects and prescription drugs.
Things you absolutely can’t bring back: Obscene material, hate propaganda and child pornography.