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Old 08-02-2017, 06:33 AM   #1
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Food issues going to/from Canada

We're considering taking our TT by ferry to Vancouver Island, staying a few days and taking the ferry back to WA. Has anyone done this and how did you handle the prohibited food issues? I've looked online about the restrictions and I don't plan to have fresh meats, poultry, eggs, fruits and such but when I look at was restricted returning to the US the website says canned and vacuumed packed foods are permitted unless they contain meat. Does that mean that canned tuna and chili that I bought in the US and took to Canada cannot be brought back into the US? What has been your experience? Any advice appreciated.
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Old 08-02-2017, 06:53 AM   #2
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I travel back and forth regularly and have never heard a thing about cans! Then only things I've been asked about are dog food (my guys are on raw and it's never been a problem), and fresh fruits and veggies (I just don't). I did get busted for a forgotten bag of firewood once but duh on my part!
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Old 08-02-2017, 03:07 PM   #3
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I travel back and forth regularly and have never heard a thing about cans! Then only things I've been asked about are dog food (my guys are on raw and it's never been a problem), and fresh fruits and veggies (I just don't). I did get busted for a forgotten bag of firewood once but duh on my part!
Consistent with my experience. The only thingng I would add is they want the dog food in the original container. A neighbor who goes up frequently got caught on that recently but they didn't do anything, just advised him of the rule.

We always carry the dog's papers but they haven't asked for them.

The main thing they ask about comiing back is liquor, tobacco, and large purchases.
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Old 08-02-2017, 03:59 PM   #4
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Coming back into the US in 2014, those rascals got my tomatoes. Was gonna have a BLT the next morning for breakfast. Bet they enjoyed them too.
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Old 08-02-2017, 04:18 PM   #5
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At least they took them. When I got snagged for forgotten firewood, they made me go back into Canada to dispose of it. Between the turnaround, finding an exit, finding a spot to dump it, waiting in line again, and follow up inspection, I lost 2 hours and that put me right in Buffalo rush hour. And all my own dang fault
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Old 08-03-2017, 01:30 PM   #6
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Went back and forth last year and no mention of food.
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Old 08-03-2017, 01:53 PM   #7
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Canada always wanted to know about fresh food... I got my 5# bag of Vidalia onions snagged once. Coming back to US another time they flagged me for inspection and found an unopened pack of Canadian sausage in the fridge, which they took and had for dinner I'm sure. It all depends on the day and the inspector's disposition.
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Old 08-03-2017, 02:11 PM   #8
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Thanks for the info. That's about what I expected. I don't plan to have any fresh food when we cross and the website's statement about canned goods with meat had me baffled. That seems absurd. Anyway, thanks to all who responded.
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Old 08-03-2017, 02:22 PM   #9
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They don't like potatoes entering the US.Or tomatoes. Rice must be in it's original bag. Rice from some countries are banned. Beef is sometimes a no no.
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Old 08-03-2017, 04:03 PM   #10
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Hello:
We have traveled to and from Canada from NH for many years with an RV...we are asked if we are bringing foodstuff back from Canada as we enter US, i.e., fresh vegetables, fruits, plants, etc. Never had we had an issue....what's in your fridge should be from US....however, I have been guilty in bringing back strawberries (but I froze them) from Canada to US......
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Old 08-03-2017, 04:21 PM   #11
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We made three trips to Vancouver Island in the June and July this year, and no questions were asked about food. We were fully stocked with food (fruit, meat, vegetables )for boat camping in remote Nootka Sound. They asked about "booze". The Canadians did ask about propane on one trip. They always ask about weapons and one guy did ask about filet knives; I said no and he laughed and I smiled.
It is handy to make a copy of your TT license paper - they often as for the TT number.
As to the ferry, your best time is the 5:15 am for the boat to Duke Point. We always have reservations, but for the main deck, you need that months earlier.
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Old 08-03-2017, 09:51 PM   #12
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I have gone back and forth that route many times and they do ask about fruits and veggies, dog food and meat, as well as the usual firearms, liquor and cigarettes. I make sure I get rid of everything, including canned meat before I cross either direction. The real question is "Do you want to sail through customs, or be stuck waiting while your rig is searched for a few hours?" I have had varying degrees of questioning including no inquiries about food, to a thorough search of my car, coolers etc. Have the receipt for dog food, and the original package, and have a big buffet of whatever food you still have at the last rest-stop before you get into the customs line-up. Crossing from the Victoria side, you will have to answer to customs on the Canadian and American sides. If you don't have any banned items, you will be across the border and enjoying your vacation that much sooner. Your US dollar buys a lot more in Canada, so feel free to do as much grocery shopping as you can when you get to the island. You can go to the Canadian and US customs websites to see what is/and isn't okay to bring across. My husband thinks I'm paranoid for getting rid of the beer bottles that have old lime slices in them, but I just want my holiday to be painless. Enjoy your travels. The ferry from Anacortes WA. to Sydney, BC. should be one everyone's bucket list.
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Old 08-03-2017, 10:11 PM   #13
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I look at was restricted returning to the US the website says canned and vacuumed packed foods are permitted unless they contain meat. Does that mean that canned tuna and chili that I bought in the US and took to Canada cannot be brought back into the US? What has been your experience? Any advice appreciated.
Speculation mode on. I wonder if they are talking about food you personally put in those "seal-a-meal" bags or did your own home canning? Speculation mode off.

I kind of doubt they are talking about commercially packaged.
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Old 08-03-2017, 10:27 PM   #14
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Las t year we picked up the data sheet from the US and Canadian Border Services. It really depends on the Border Agent at the time. There was no problem with any meat coming in to the US except Goat or Mutton. Neither of which we had. Steak, chicken, bacon, sausage, fish (salmon) - no problem.

We crossed in to the US a few weeks ago at Sarnia and even declared citrus fruits and apples because we'd forgotten to ditch them. The US agent asked if they were for personal consumption and waved us through when we confirmed they were. Tomatoes can be brought in to the US but the need to be choped or sliced, ready for a sandwich or salad. If they are whole, be prepared to have them taken. Equally, green onions.

Crossing back in to Canada a couple of weeks ago I think they asked our address to confirm ownership of the vehicle. We declared we had slightly more alcohol than personal limits allow - not a problem. Work done on he RV (warranty) - not a problem. We had no tobacco, firearms or other restricted items (Mace, OC spray, etc.) - no problem. Definitely had less than $10k in cash. The entire process took perhaps 3 minutes.
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Old 08-04-2017, 09:30 AM   #15
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The only thing the border people asked was firearms, dogs and booze. We don't smoke and we have no firearms even at home and no pets and I have a beer but that's about it. It was no problem other than not stopping at the right place, the officer told me he hoped I paid more attention to the stop signs in Canada.
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Old 08-04-2017, 10:11 AM   #16
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When we returned from the East coast of Canada to Ontario via the US states, the US customs took all our vegetables.
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Old 08-05-2017, 10:42 AM   #17
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We just came through Canada 3 days ago. We reentered the US in Vermont. We had no issues with canned food or anything else. They just asked if we had any wood, produce, or weapons. They also asked if we had bought anthing in Canada. Enjoy your trip the roads we traveled in Canada were in awesome condition.
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Old 08-10-2017, 03:16 PM   #18
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We went through once at an Idaho border. We had a bell pepper fall behind our crisper somehow, we even had some cut up, those were fine however

But this one, when he found it, he looked at me like I was a drug smuggler.

Trailer pulled to the side, then the speech. I am now on a blacklist that if it ever happens again, I will be charged, fined and potentially jailed. he said he didnt want to hear the excuse of I forgot, I was tired, or anything of that nature

He took our apples to since they didnt have individual sticker. I asked if I could eat one when he did, I was starving, and it gave me something to do as he ranted.

Reminded me of Barney Fife, had a lazy eye, and was so hard to take it serious when it was over something to trivial

All over a bell pepper. I might as well of had guns in there.

Makes me never want to go over the border again.
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Old 09-10-2017, 06:23 PM   #19
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Wife and I always precook a bunch of meals and freeze them.... We catty them in a freezer I have in coach's basement.... Would they confiscate those????
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Old 09-10-2017, 07:00 PM   #20
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You shouldn't have a problem.....we have crossed the border many times and the only thing the US ever asks when we are returning is if we have purchased any fruits or vegetables or plants and are bringing them home......
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