driving from US to Canada with kit: customs?

lovemysonors

Senior Member
if i go to the US to buy a used kit and return to Canada, how could i possibly avoid paying Customs fees (a one day trip so the max. you can bring back is $50)??

can i say i traded my kit for it? do i get a receipt that says $50?
 

lovemysonors

Senior Member
How would anyone know?
if you're driving through Customs and they see a drumkit in your backseat, it might be difficult to convince them that they were traded or a gift.

of course, it's your word against their beliefts or thoughts, and if you have no paperwork, will that elicit more questions and issues? is documentation required for obvious merchandise in your car?

has anyone actually done this and was it really THAT simple to say it was a gift or trade???
 

Ironcobra

Platinum Member
It's just your drum kit and you're bringing it across the border. How can they charge you for that?

I don't know much about it, but borders are stupid.

The border at Niagra Falls was easy to get across, provided that you're white and the guards are white. Racism is stupid.
 
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lovemysonors

Senior Member
It's just your drum kit and you're bringing it across the border. How can they charge you for that?

I don't know much about it, but borders are stupid.

The border at Niagra Falls was easy to get across, provided that you're white and the gaurds are white. Racism is stupid.
yeah, the border can be really anal from what i've heard, require documents or questionning or you get lucky and they don't say a word about the carload of gear!

but yeah, i'm not white and most of the guards are so....who the hell knows!
 

Ironcobra

Platinum Member
If you were smart, you would take off all the heads and pack the drums inside of each other.

Whatever you buy while you're there, you can can show them, like a t-shirt or something. Then they won't even bother looking the back, as long as you have a story that's believable.

If they do end up looking and finding drums, just say your the drummer for a band and you have a gig coming up. They really can't say anything.

Oh, and if you take all the heads off, they won't be suspicious of you hiding anything in the drums.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
You can produce a receipt for 50.00, but they may know better and want tax on the retail value of the kit.
 

Ironcobra

Platinum Member
And I'll add that the Canadian guards are easier coming back than the American guards, as long as you have plenty of ID they'll be happy to have you back.
 

Garvin

Pioneer Member
I would seriously just not even think about it and if they ask, say you had a gig or rehearsal or something. Just don't leave any tags on it and look tired and hungover like you just had a gig. That would be a pain in the ass to have to worry about. Good luck!

If you get busted, let us know and I'll be happy to write you an appeal indicating how ridiculous it is. I'm sure they would appreciate that LOL!
 

lovemysonors

Senior Member
I would seriously just not even think about it and if they ask, say you had a gig or rehearsal or something. Just don't leave any tags on it and look tired and hungover like you just had a gig. That would be a pain in the ass to have to worry about. Good luck!

If you get busted, let us know and I'll be happy to write you an appeal indicating how ridiculous it is. I'm sure they would appreciate that LOL!
dude! if i tell them i was playing a gig, that might open up a whole can of worms because even though i'll be returning home to Canada, if they really wanted to bust my chops, they'd ask for an entertainment visa and all of that crap!
 

drumhead61

Gold Member
I am going along the lines of this quote to take the heads off and place the kit in the trunk...after all it is just a day trip nothing major so claim something of no great consequence and go home...I use to do that all the time when I use to come back from Bangor, ME and rarely had my trunk checked into...so long as I just stated that I went over for a visit and am bringing back nothing or whatever.

You can also say that they are your drums, that you have been carrying them around and took them over to practice with a friend or that you were picking them back up from a friend who had taken them over prior to that...GOOD LUCK though, but I know I would avoid the custom fees as well...those BITE.

If you were smart, you would take off all the heads and pack the drums inside of each other.

Whatever you buy while you're there, you can can show them, like a t-shirt or something. Then they won't even bother looking the back, as long as you have a story that's believable.

If they do end up looking and finding drums, just say your the drummer for a band and you have a gig coming up. They really can't say anything.

Oh, and if you take all the heads off, they won't be suspicious of you hiding anything in the drums.
 

Garvin

Pioneer Member
dude! if i tell them i was playing a gig, that might open up a whole can of worms because even though i'll be returning home to Canada, if they really wanted to bust my chops, they'd ask for an entertainment visa and all of that crap!

I clearly have no idea what I'm talking about here... I'm glad to learn though since I live in fairly close proximity to the Canadian border myself.

At this point I am going to quit offering idiotic advice and just keep my mouth shut until theres a subject that I can offer some help on.
 

lovemysonors

Senior Member
I clearly have no idea what I'm talking about here... I'm glad to learn though since I live in fairly close proximity to the Canadian border myself.

At this point I am going to quit offering idiotic advice and just keep my mouth shut until theres a subject that I can offer some help on.
hehe, no worries;)

hey that wasn't said in annoyance, just a 'whoa! wait a minute, let's think about all of the paranoid options that could possibly happen!'
 

lovemysonors

Senior Member
I am going along the lines of this quote to take the heads off and place the kit in the trunk...after all it is just a day trip nothing major so claim something of no great consequence and go home...I use to do that all the time when I use to come back from Bangor, ME and rarely had my trunk checked into...so long as I just stated that I went over for a visit and am bringing back nothing or whatever.

You can also say that they are your drums, that you have been carrying them around and took them over to practice with a friend or that you were picking them back up from a friend who had taken them over prior to that...GOOD LUCK though, but I know I would avoid the custom fees as well...those BITE.
yep, i think i'll say that i was trying to sell them to someone over the border and no luck, or that i just didn't take them out of the trunk like you mentioned.

wish me luck;)
 

crdirtRider856

Silver Member
You could always make a drumcar like Captain Bubble's and drive it back through. Just bring someone to drive your car back. = D
 

drumhead61

Gold Member
yep, i think i'll say that i was trying to sell them to someone over the border and no luck, or that i just didn't take them out of the trunk like you mentioned.

wish me luck;)


Yeah, I am going along with that too...what a minute...I said that...HA...Good luck bro
 
M

Mediocrefunkybeat

Guest
Claim self-employment as a musician and get the tax rebate for business expenses.

Or at least that's what I hope to be able to do in the future...
 

arthurk1

Senior Member
The canadian border is very, very, uncool. Things that get you a slap on the wrist here are life in prison up there, such as a minor drug offense. Be very careful. I have had many a tour bus stopped, searched, and dealt with like we were in Germany or something. . Be careful!
 

jazzgregg

Pioneer Member
The canadian border is very, very, uncool. Things that get you a slap on the wrist here are life in prison up there, such as a minor drug offense. Be very careful. I have had many a tour bus stopped, searched, and dealt with like we were in Germany or something. . Be careful!

Hahaha, that's funny, life for something like possession, okaaay. And Germany when?

Never say gig, because you're not technically allowed to go down and gig without paperwork. Say rehearsal.

Yeah, you could say you forgot/leave them in the car (assuming they all fit in the trunk) because you 'gig regularly' (but not in the USA). But that might run into trouble since, as someone asked, you DO need documentation for goods in your care, that's why you declare them going down.

The selling to someone thing might work too, but you might run into the declaring issue again 'how come you didn't declare these on the way down?' It's a lot of trouble, but try and take 2 separate border crossings and just pray they don't type stuff into the computer. If they don't, you'll be fine.

Good luck,

G
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
I have crossed the border with my kit once about a year ago. I had played in northern Vermont at a resort and the next day I was going to visit a friend in Canada. I didn't have any problem with the border police. I simply said that I was visiting a friend for the day. I was telling the truth. My bottom heads are clear. The looked inside some of my drums and they let me cross. When I returned the Americans did the same thing they looked at the drums in more depth. They were more concerned about finding other things. I never even thought about it.
I bring my golf clubs and my skis to Canada three or four times a year. Just tell them that the drums are your hobby and you play with friends and you should be OK. People bring guitars and other instruments in motor homes and campers across the border all the time.
 
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