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Jeremy V. Krause




Location: Buffalo, NY.
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PostPosted: Mon 05 Sep, 2011 3:24 pm    Post subject: Any Americans ever driven into Canada with their swords?         Reply with quote

I'm just curious whether anyone has done this or has any experience with driving across the border with your weapons.

Did they check your swords or container you kept them in?

Has anyone ever been turned away?

Is this even legal?

I am sure that I will call the appropriate folks (whoever that is) nevertheless as the border is an hour-and-a-half and I would hate to be turned away?
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Glen S. Ramsay




Location: Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Joined: 10 Dec 2003

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PostPosted: Mon 05 Sep, 2011 6:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I live in Canada and used to live close to the border in Vancouver. I set up a P.O. Box across the border in the States to receive large packages (swords) so I could drive across and bring them back to Canada personally. I always declared them, I just did it that way to avoid the international shipping cost which usually ended up being outrageous if UPS was involved. I also felt better about bringing the item across personally rather than trusting customs to let it through and get it to me without any hassles and it ending up in a warehouse somewhere waiting for some kind of clearance or something...

Long story short, I never had any problems. Bringing the swords north from the US was always simple, as long as I declared the cost. They generally like to see the sword and the receipt, but providing that I never had a problem.

I even brought my own swords south to the States for a Ren Faire, and then back north across the border again, and never had any problems in either direction. If you have a receipt for the sword, bring it with you so you can show them to prove you already owned it and didn't buy it in the foreign country, or they may want you to pay duty.

That was my experience. It was maybe five or six years ago though, but I assume it wouldn't be any different today. Make sure you do phone to be certain though.
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Jeremy V. Krause




Location: Buffalo, NY.
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PostPosted: Mon 05 Sep, 2011 7:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Glen S. Ramsay wrote:
I live in Canada and used to live close to the border in Vancouver. I set up a P.O. Box across the border in the States to receive large packages (swords) so I could drive across and bring them back to Canada personally. I always declared them, I just did it that way to avoid the international shipping cost which usually ended up being outrageous if UPS was involved. I also felt better about bringing the item across personally rather than trusting customs to let it through and get it to me without any hassles and it ending up in a warehouse somewhere waiting for some kind of clearance or something...

Long story short, I never had any problems. Bringing the swords north from the US was always simple, as long as I declared the cost. They generally like to see the sword and the receipt, but providing that I never had a problem.

I even brought my own swords south to the States for a Ren Faire, and then back north across the border again, and never had any problems in either direction. If you have a receipt for the sword, bring it with you so you can show them to prove you already owned it and didn't buy it in the foreign country, or they may want you to pay duty.

That was my experience. It was maybe five or six years ago though, but I assume it wouldn't be any different today. Make sure you do phone to be certain though.


So I actually need receipts? I have owned some of my swords for years. . . . . How does one accomplish this?

I can certainly state the value of the items I would bring but obtaining receipts from vendors would be a task.
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Mon 05 Sep, 2011 8:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeremy,

I have taken my swords into the United States from Canada, but I'm not sure if this is really the same thing. I found that, so long as I openly declared what I had with me, I had no difficulties getting into the US, nor returning home. It might sound funny, but I think there's a better chance that Canadian customs would have been a problem for me, rather than US customs.

I have never had anyone ask to see the receipt for my swords. My guess is that this would tend to apply only for newly purchased items. I do not expect it should be a problem for you.

I think the best bet, if they want to know why you have swords, is to mention that you are attending a martial arts seminar where you need them, or give some other legitimate reason for having them. It is more likely to be a problem if you're just randomly transporting them across the border without any real reason for doing so.

Keep in mind that this is all just a matter of opinion, and of my feeling on the situation, based upon personal experiences. It may or may not apply or have validity for your situation.
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Rusty Thomas




Location: San Antonio, Texas
Joined: 30 Oct 2007

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PostPosted: Tue 06 Sep, 2011 12:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Good advice so far. Can't speak of swords but i have brought guns and bows across the border numerous times. For guns they have to be inspected and documented with the correct paperwork. They didn't care at all about the bows I would assume that would be the same for the swords? If you want a receipt you can go to your local airport customs office and they can put any high dollar items on a form (sorry but i don't remember the form name) I have my expensive rifle/scope and binoculars on one of these forms. This was crossing at the Grass Range crossing in Montana so it might be different at different crossings. Don't bring any mace or bear spray with you either! And finally, from my experience coming back into the US is much easier than going into Canada. Just make sure you have your passport or you are not crossing now-a-days. I don't think it will be a problem but it is always good advice to check the Canadian customs website for more information and if you are really concerned call the border station you will be crossing at and ask them.
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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
Joined: 17 Sep 2003

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PostPosted: Tue 06 Sep, 2011 5:05 am    Post subject: Re: Any Americans ever driven into Canada with their swords?         Reply with quote

Jeremy V. Krause wrote:
I'm just curious whether anyone has done this or has any experience with driving across the border with your weapons.


A group of us tried to, once, but we were driven back by pikemen, bwa ha ha!
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Kel Rekuta




Location: Toronto, Canada
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PostPosted: Tue 06 Sep, 2011 6:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If they are blunts, no problem - the Border Services Agency lingo for them is "fencing foils." The terms "martial arts training tools" or "demonstration props" seem to be recognized. Don't get chatty, just answer their questions; these folks are looking for guns and explosives, not to be impressed by your hobby.

Sharps might attract scrutiny - not so much for the weapon issue but because of value to be taxed. Many collectors have smuggled antiques or high value repros to avoid duty. I am a commercial importer and a brother-in-law is a Border Services Agent at the busiest border crossing in Canada. The topic came up once.
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Jeremy V. Krause




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PostPosted: Tue 06 Sep, 2011 7:16 am    Post subject: Re: Any Americans ever driven into Canada with their swords?         Reply with quote

Matthew Amt wrote:
Jeremy V. Krause wrote:
I'm just curious whether anyone has done this or has any experience with driving across the border with your weapons.


A group of us tried to, once, but we were driven back by pikemen, bwa ha ha!


That got a laugh out of me and a funny picture in my head! Laughing Out Loud
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Tue 06 Sep, 2011 10:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The issue is often a question of bringing in something into the country that Canada Customs may suspect is for sale here, and not personal property that you will take back with you when you leave.

When coming back to your own country you may have to prove that it wasn't a purchase made during your trip to your own Customs Service.

For example, expensive electronics or jewellery could also be " questioned " when arriving in Canada or questioned by U.S. Customs when coming back to the U.S.

Don't know if this is still a usual practice but when leaving your country you have your Customs identify and give you paperwork to proves that you already owned the valuable item before leaving the U.S.A. and didn't buy it in Canada so as to avoid being taxed on your own stuff when you go back home.

As suggested visiting the web sites of your countrie's Custom Service and the Custom Service of the country you wish to visit, as well as sending e-mail questions to the border services might be useful, and not just for swords.

Since we in Canada can import by mail or shipping companies sharp swords without any problems, bringing them yourself is legal, but still good to be able to document provenance.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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