FAQ

As an American, if you accidentally brought a gun to the Canadian border crossing and just remembered it when they asked you if you have any weapons in the car, are you probably going to prison for that mistake?
I am a Canadian, but cross the border a fair number of times for day trips each year. More often than not, I like to pick up my favorite alcohol on my way back. Since it was only a day trip, I get to pay the taxes and duty. This is important only to point out I have to go inside, queue up behind other who are dealing with stuff like hand guns, duty owing etc.Now I have been behind people with hand guns a few time. Here is what I have learned. Now remember I am not a customs agent, so these are just my observations of the interactions with others.First off, yes everyone is correct, DECLARE you firearms, ammunition and explosives. If you do not declare them, and they find them, you are in a TON of trouble. If you are not 100% sure if your hand gun is in your trunk, tell the customs agent exactly that, “I think I took my gun out of my trunk, but I am not 100% sure right now.” They will look, if it is there no problem, if it isn't there even less of a problem. Now if you do have a hand gun, and declare it here is what I have seen happen a few times. Customs will take your gun into their control. It will be tagged and received into inventory. As a courtesy, Canada Customs will hold your hand gun at the border crossing you entered at and issue you a receipt. When you level Canada back to the USA you cross at the same customs point stop off at Canada Customs, give them the receipt and they will give you your gun back for you to take with you back into the USA. I am not sure of the maximum amount of time Canada Customs will hold your gun for you, but they are usually pretty easy going.Now some advice, When you get to the Customs office, you are already inside Canada. If you are carrying a gun, you have committed a pretty serious offense, but like USA ICE/INS the customs officers are there to protect the sovereignty of their country they have no interest in giving you a hard time, unless you MAKE them want to. So to this end, IF you cross the border and find you have something illegal to import and you did not declare it you are in the wrong. Work with the border patrol, they WILL work with you. I know this much from 1st hand experience going into the USA with Cuban cigars, which at the time was a felony to import into the USA. When confronted with the cigars I was to say the least surprised. I knew the box they were in was something I had thrown in the back seat the night before. I know I had Cuban cigars in that box 3 years ago, but I had thought they were all gone. I was wrong to the count of 2. Well enough to say I was going to get the cigars taken away from me. If they were not dried out they would be worth about $75.00 each. When I was told they would be seized I replied with, “Of course, I understand.” and then again apologized for violating US Law. The end result was I lost two cigars, 20 minutes and had to fill out a ton of paperwork. That was it.Now on the Canadian side I was in line behind some American who was yelling at the border officer about how, holding his gun and him having to cross into the USA at the exact same customs point in order to get his gun back, unacceptable that was to him. At one point threatened to take the officers to court and sue them. That is when an RCMP officer grabbed the guy by the neck, walked him briskly to the south facing window, so fast the guy face hit the window. The white posts were pointed out to him (The border between Canada and the USA) and that he was already in Canada, with a gun, and if they so desire he could be charged then and there with attempting to smuggle fire arms into Canada. The guy because very quiet after that.No one expects every person that crosses the US Canada border to know all the rules, and know what the up to date rules are. The trick to making your crossing easier than you ever imagined is be calm, helpful, honest. And don’t give the customs agents hell, they are doing their jobs. If you want to yell at someone, yell at your Member of Parliament, or Congressmen, they write the rules.
US customs and border protection? Is it really possible to "secure" US borders?
Borders can be secured if the is the political will to spend the money.The DMZ between North and South Korea is an excellent example.With the massive trade between the US and Canada and the US and Mexico, there will always be people and things that get past at busy birder crossings.However, the areas which are not official border crossings can be sealed up to what ever degree the political system is wiling to pay for.Border crossings can be made better with various high tech tools, like back scatter X rays, chemical sensors, facial recognition, good intelligence, etc.So the borders can be secured against serious radiological threats, etc.Keep in mind the the border patrol and customs may not arrest everyone the can at the border, they may let some one through, so they can track them and identify other conspirators and smugglers.So the borders may actually be more secure than they appear to be.
Why is integrity important to US Customs and Border Protection?
I'm guessing that by "integrity" you mean the integrity of our border or being able to secure our border.It's important to US Customs and Border Protection because that's their job.Here are some reasons it might be important to those who live in the United States:to protect us from criminals who can cross back and forth to commit crimes and escape prosecution.to protect us from serious diseasesto protect us from invasionto protect us from those our military has abused in other countries
How do I get access to public bill of lading databases from Customs and Border Protection?
As stated in the previous answer, this information is not available to the general public.  Here is what CBP says:How can I get information about who is importing or exporting various commodities?Importer names on entry documents are confidential and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) does not disclose names of importers to the public. However, there are a number of private sector media services that are permitted by the privacy statute, 19 CFR 103.31 (d), to collect manifest data at every port of entry. Reporters collect and publish names of importers from vessel manifest data unless an importer/shipper requests confidentiality.Please be aware that there is a subscription charge for this information.Among the companies that provide this information service are the Journal of Commerce's PIERS database and Ealing Market Data Engineering Co.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection: Can I bring food in my checked baggage into US?
There isn't a simple black and white answer, to "can you bring food into the US", though border patrol has a highly detailed guide which you can use to determine which specific food items may or may not be permissible.From: https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers...-Condiments such as ketchup (catsup), mustard, mayonnaise and prepared sauces that do not contain meat products-Olive oil and other vegetable oils-Bread, cookies, crackers, cakes, granola bars, cereal and other baked and processed products-Candy and chocolate-Cheese- Solid cheese (hard or semi-soft, that does not contain meat), butter, butter oil, and cultured milk products such as yogurt and sour cream are not restricted. Feta cheese, Brie, Camembert, cheese in brine, Mozzarella and Buffalo Mozzarella are permissible (USDA Animal Product Manual, Table 3-14-6). Cheese in liquid (such as cottage cheese or ricotta cheese) and cheese that pours like heavy cream are not admissible from countries affected by foot-and-mouth disease (FMD). Cheese containing meat is not admissible depending on the country of origin.-Canned goods and goods in vacuum packed jars (other than those containing meat or poultry products) for your personal use-Fish- personal amounts of fish, shrimp, abalone and other seafood are allowed and can be fresh, frozen, dried, smoked, canned or cooked-Dried Fruit- things like apricots, barberry, currants, dates, figs, gooseberries, peaches, prunes, raisins, tomatillos, and zereshk (USDA Miscellaneous and Processed Products Manual, Table 3-69)-Liquid milk and milk products intended for use by infants or very young children are admissible if in a reasonable amount or small quantity for several days' use. Note:  Milk and milk products from goats must be accompanied by a USDA import permit if from regions classified as affected with foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) or Rinderpest.-Powder drinks sealed in original containers with ingredients listed in English. However, admissibility is still under the discretion of the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Agricultural Specialist.-Juices- commercially canned (USDA Miscellaneous and Processed Products Manual, Table 3-75)-Tea- commercially packaged and ready to be boiled, steeped or microwaved in liquid. Coca, barberry and loose citrus leaves are prohibited (USDA Miscellaneous and Processed Products Manual, Table 3-148)-Coffee- roasted or unroasted if there is no pulp attached. (USDA Miscellaneous and Processed Products Manual, Table 3-48)-Spices- most dried spices are allowed except for orange, lemon, lime and other citrus leaves and seeds, lemongrass, and many vegetable and fruit seeds-Honey- comb honey, royal jelly, bee bread, or propolis if it is not intended to be fed to bees (USDA Miscellaneous and Processed Products Manual, Table 3-100)-Noodles and ramen that do not have meat or eggs in the spice packets-Rice- (See ALERT below) white rice, basmati rice, brown rice, husked rice, polished rice, rice flour and other products that do not have the hull attached (USDA Miscellaneous and Processed Products Manual, Table 3-130).ALERT: Effective July 30, 2011 non-commercial quantities of rice from countries where Khapra beetle is known to occur will be prohibited from entering the United States. Failure to declare rice will result in fines.-Flour- wheat, rice, oat and cornmeal-Mushrooms, fresh and dried- above ground parts that are clean and free of soil-Nuts- All nuts are allowed if they have been boiled, cooked, ground, oven dried, pureed, roasted, or steamed. Other nuts may be allowed if they are free from their husks (the shell remains), such as almonds, betel nuts, Brazil nuts, cashews, coquilla nuts, filberts (hazelnuts), Java olives, kara nuts, gingko nuts, macadamias, pecans, pili nuts, pine nuts (pinon nuts), pistachios, and walnuts. (USDA Miscellaneous and Processed Products Manual, Table 3-105, 3-106)-Bakery items, candy, chocolate, and dry mixes containing dairy and egg ingredients [such as baking mixes, cocoa mixes, drink mixes, instant cake mixes, instant pudding mixes, liquid drink mixes containing reconstituted dry milk or dry milk products (including those that contain sugar), potato flakes, and infant formula] commercially labeled and presented in final finished packaging are generally admissible.Fruits and Vegetables:Travelers may check the general admissibility of fruits and vegetables by consulting APHIS's FAVIR database. Simply select the type of fruit or vegetable in the "Approved Name:", and then select the country of origin in the "Country/Region:" field. You will receive one of the following results:· 0 entries found means the fruit or vegetable is NOT allowed into the United States· # entry(ies) found [followed by the name of the commodity and the name of the country] click on "CIR".If the import requirements indicate: 1 Subject to Inspection: This commodity is subject to inspection at the port of entry and all general requirements of 7 CFR 319.56-3. The fruit or vegetable is allowed into the United States pending Inspection.If the import requirements indicate: Condition of entry treatment then the fruit or vegetable is NOT allowed into the United States in passenger baggage.Every fruit or vegetable must be declared to a CBP Agriculture Specialist or CBP Officer and must be presented for inspection - regardless of its admissibility status. Fresh fruits and vegetables need to be clean and may be prohibited if they have insects or diseases.Note: See FDA Web site Food products imported from Japan and radiation safety.The following items are admissible:Aloe- above ground partsCoconuts-husks must have been completely removed and cannot have sproutedGarlic- peeled clovesGinger- clean rootsSt. John's bread- podTamarind bean podWater chestnut- corm or nut onlyAnimal Products and Animal By-Products:Meat, milk, egg, poultry, and their products, including products made with these materials, such as dried soup mix or bouillon, are either prohibited or restricted from entering the United States, depending on the types of animal diseases which occur in the country of origin. Fresh (chilled or frozen), dried, cured, and fully cooked meat is generally prohibited from most countries. Canned meat is allowed entry, except beef, veal, lamb, mutton, venison, elk, bison, etc., from countries affected by bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).Products containing raw egg ingredients are prohibited from most regions.Eggs and egg products from Exotic Newcastle Disease (END) and Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) affected regions, including cooked eggs, if not accompanied by a USDA Veterinary Service import permit remain prohibited regardless if those items are for personal consumption. Effective February 15, 2012, travelers may once again bring fully cooked eggs from Mexico into the U.S.Pork should be commercially canned and labeled in unopened containers. Pork and pork products are not admissible from Mexico, except for cooked pork in small amounts for a meal.Effective January 14, 2010, cooked pork skins (also known as pork rind) entering as commercial cargo or in passenger baggage from regions affected with foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), swine vesicular disease (SVD), African swine fever (ASF), or classical swine fever (CSF) must be accompanied by an original certificate issued by an official of the National Government of the region of origin.Canadian Agricultural Products:For fruits and vegetables from Canada, consult the FAVIR database.Fruits and vegetables grown in Canada are generally admissible, if they have labels identifying them as products of Canada. Fruits and vegetables merely purchased in Canada are not necessarily admissible, i.e. citrus or tropical fruits such as mangos, which clearly were not grown in Canada because it does not have a climate that supports those crops. (Potatoes from western regions of Canada are currently restricted because of a disease outbreak. While commercial imports are permitted under stringent guidelines, travelers from Canada should avoid bringing raw potatoes with them into the U.S.).Food products from Canada, including pet food and fresh (frozen or chilled), cooked, canned or otherwise processed products containing beef, veal, bison, and cervid (e.g. deer, elk, moose, caribou etc.) are now permitted from Canada in passenger baggage. Products containing sheep, lamb, or goat will not be allowed entry.The passenger must provide proof of the origin of beef, pork, poultry, cervid meat, and pet food in order to bring them into the United States. Examples of proof of origin include the grocery store receipt where the product was purchased or the label on the product indicating the province in which it was packaged.Hunter harvested game birds (pheasant, quail, goose, etc.) or cervid carcasses (e.g. deer, moose, elk, caribou, etc.) from Canada are allowed entry when importers present to the Customs and Border Protection officer evidence such as a hunting license that the product is hunter harvested wild game. Hunter-harvested wild non-cervid animal (e.g. wild sheep, goats, or bison/buffalo, etc.) meat or carcasses, which must be eviscerated and head removed, are allowed when the hunter shows to CBP officers a hunting license, tag, or equivalent.Mexican Eggs/Poultry:The regulations regarding bringing cooked poultry-such as chicken and turkey-meat, including deli-sliced poultry meat, and cooked hard-boiled eggs into the U.S. from Mexico have changed. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service informed CBP that APHIS is implementing new requirements for processed (including cooked) poultry meat and cooked, hard-boiled eggs brought by passengers arriving from regions where APHIS considers Exotic Newcastle Disease (END) to exist. Currently, Mexico is a country recognized by APHIS as being affected by END.According to the new requirements, processed poultry meat brought by passengers arriving from Mexico or from any region classified by the USDA as affected with END or HPAI must be accompanied by government certification confirming that the meat was cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 74 degrees centigrade. This requirement is for all poultry meat (excluding canned, hermetically sealed, shelf stable meat), poultry meat products, and poultry products. There is no exception for cooked eggs from the Mexican states of Sinaloa and Sonora.Certification of poultry having been cooked at a temperature of at least 74 degrees centigrade does not apply to poultry meat products intended for personal consumption (poultry meat and meat products in passenger baggage or carry-on, personal meals). For movement into the U.S., CBP officials must still visually inspect these items to certify that poultry meat and poultry products in checked or carry-on passenger baggage or in meals, from END or HPAI affected regions, for personal consumption appear thoroughly cooked throughout. Amounts greater than 50 pounds found in passenger baggage are considered commercial and will require a USDA APHIS Veterinary Services certificate as part of the entry packet.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection: Is it legal to ship beef from the US to Canada?
In this case NO unless your can supply all the food inspection and veterinary certificates required to import meat into Canada. You said this is a "home made" operation so I doubt that you have this certification. Let me say though that I deal with commercial transactions and that is my outlook. Sending a gift to a friend may not even be looked at by Canada Customs. But if they do they will seize it.