When you do business internationally, you probably travel back and forth across the Canadian border regularly. Although Canada is where you were born and where your current home is located and you have a right to be there, there are certain things that you don't have a right to bring back with you. Failing to declare any controlled substances you bring back with you from abroad can land you in hot water.

If you're just setting up your international business you may not be familiar with the exemptions. If you're gone more than 24 hours to bring back something you couldn't get in Canada, you are allowed $50 worth of goods. People who are gone 48 hours can have $400 worth of goods and after 7 days you can have $750 worth. If you have more than that, you must pay taxes on what you bought.

The reason for this is that since other countries (particularly the United States) have lower sales tax, they are able to offer many products for less than Canadian retailers. To prevent all of Canada's money from being spent in American stores, taxes must be paid on any goods you buy while you are there, except if your goods are worth less than the exemption amounts. Only citizens and residents qualify for exemptions. Take a peek at the Duty Free Canada website for a list of frequently asked questions regarding border crossings.

Alcohol and tobacco products are a little different. You can only bring back 1.5 liters of wine, 1.14 liters of spirits, or 8.5 liters of beer without paying taxes. You can also bring 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars, 200 grams of tobacco, and 200 tobacco sticks. If you are bringing in products for your personal or business use under NAFTA, the products have to be labeled "made in USA" or "made in Mexico" (or at least not made somewhere else) before they qualify for exemption from taxes.

Anything you buy abroad should be declared when arriving home. By air this means on a card, by car you can declare orally. Keep your receipts handy because your luggage may be searched. Not declaring goods can result in a steep fine. If you bring in restricted goods such as firearms, fireworks, weapons, food, plants, and animals you must declare them or they will be seized and you will face prosecution. If your industrial insulation company is low risk and does a lot of cross border business you can apply for an automatic fast pass through customs, such as Nexus.

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