View Full Version : Registering Electronics??

01-18-2005, 09:22 AM
Ok Since someone asked about allowable foods I am wondering about electronics. I know in previous years it was recommneded that you stop at the Canadian customs office before crossing the border and register your electronics (portable dvd player, camera's, etc). Is this still the case or is it necessary? I have talked to CAA and they said they have never heard of that before but I know when I was younger my parents did it. Not sure if it is still necessary due to the Free Trade agreement.
Thanks for any information you can provide!!

01-18-2005, 09:50 AM
It has never been "neccessary", but some choose to do it to eliminate the chance that on your return trip, you'll be asked to provide proof that you didn't purchase the items during your trip (if you still have them, you could also take your item's receipts with you as proof).

I personally have never had any problems when crossing the border.

01-18-2005, 10:00 AM
I registered all of my electronics about 10 years ago and have never been questioned about them when returning. Of course, I now have all new stuff and was wondering whether to register or not. But I don't think I'll bother.

01-18-2005, 11:23 AM
We always register oour electronics it is just a peace of mind thing just in case any questions were to be raised. None have to this point but we would rather be safe than sorry.

01-18-2005, 01:50 PM
I used to register mine, then I was told that as long as it has the Canadian CSA sticker on it, customs knows it was bought in Canada. Last trip I took a video camera, a laptop and a digital camera and never registered anything. I just had to take them out of their cases going through security.

01-18-2005, 01:54 PM
The first time we went in 1992 I registered our electronics as I was told this was the prudent thing to do. As I am always nervous crossing the border I figured it would be 1 less hassle. My kids both had brand new GameBoys and Walkmans that they had been given for Christmas in anticipation of the trip and I got a new camera. I went to an office on Kennedy Road at the 401 to register the goods a few weeks before we left because my husband said he wouldn't stop at the border to do it. No one at the border even looked at the kids GameBoys or Walkmans or my camera. I was left feeling like I had wasted my time registering everything. Since then I haven't bothered registering anything and no one has ever questioned the origin of any electronics we have with us.

01-18-2005, 04:23 PM
It's always a good idea to "register" your goods with Canada Customs. "Register" is somewhat of an overstatement, as Canada Customs does not keep a record of your belongings, but gives you a piece of paper which acknowledges you had the property in Canada, before you left the country. The paper from Customs has the product description, brand name, and serial number.

It's a good idea to have it, in the remote chance your car/suitcase is searched at the border. If Canada Customs believes you bought the goods outside of Canada, you'll have to prove you already paid duty/taxes on them. Or else, they will charge you duty/taxes and a fine for smuggling.

Note -- a CSA sticker is not proof the item was bought in Caanda. Many electronics sold in the USA have this sticker -- especially if the product is sold in both Canada and USA. The sticker only shows it meets CSA electrical standards.

It takes about 60 seconds to get the paper from Canada Customs, and will give you piece of mind.

01-18-2005, 04:32 PM
Do you have to do this at the border crossing or is there other offices that you can register at? Say in the Southwestern Ontario area!

01-18-2005, 10:32 PM
You can register at any Canada Customs office (it does not have to be a border crossing). Check the blue pages of your phone book for the nearest office.

01-19-2005, 01:21 PM
There was a case yesterday in BC where a couple's engagement ring was confiscated because they could not prove she was wearing it before she left the country and did not have a bill of sale or appraisal with her. They were told that to get it back they would have to pay duty on the appraised value or somehow prove when and where in Canada it was purchased. They are appealing the ruling.
Funny, I wear several rings and gold chains and never once thought to take my appraisal certs or bills of sale with me. In my case, I think I'd be hard pressed to find a bill of sale for my engagement ring after some 30 years!

01-21-2005, 11:31 AM
I never trust the vultures at CCRA, so I used to get the temporary exportation certificate. Although, the whole thing seems more of a "guilty until you can prove innocent" scenario and every time I pull up to the damn customs window I picture a drooling dog wondering what they can tax me on next. (mom_rules gives a perfect example... That is such BS)

I've only ever picked up the cards AT the border crossing before I go over. In windsor, though, that's a hoot because there isn't really any place to park to go into the office to get the card.

Although, it not a problem anymore since I don't live there. :D