Sunday, July 28, 2013

Part IV: Returning To Canada By Car

So you've successfully concluded your USPSA shooting matches in the US, and are returning to Canada. What can you expect? Well, it's similar to entering the US, except it has it's own documentation requirements. As they say in Thailand, "Same, same, but different." Don't be one of those folks that fixates on entering the USA, only to neglect your return home.
 
 
Just like travelling around Canada, domestically, you require paperwork. Here is the checklist for returning to Canada:
 
1. Passport
2. Authorisation To Transport (ATT or STATT)
3. Firearm license (PAL or POL)
4. Registration certificates for each firearm in your possession
 
Occasionally the Canadian authorities are skittish when you declare firearms, however the vast majority of times it is a relatively painless process, as long as you are prepared. Again, I hand over all documentation immediately. This gets the declaration out of the way, leaving no surprises. Quite often you will be required to have the firearms examined, which usually necessitates a visit to the inspection booth. 
 
Some other useful information:
 
You can travel with somebody else's firearm, as long as it was declared on your Form 6, and as long as you are in possession of the registration certificate.
 
Sometimes the Canadian authorities will ask you to present evidence that you attended a match. Naturally this isn't a precondition to returning, but compliance is easy, so simply present a copy of the Match Invitation.
 
You will find that the more frequently you travel, the easier the border crossings become, as you establish a track record.
 
Be familiar with the legislation, both US and Canadian, regarding returning with any firearm related purchases (parts, components, ammunition etc). These are heavily restricted. It is common practice for the US to hold check-stops just before the Canadian border. If you are caught in possession of unlawful items, there can be dire consequences. In this regard, be aware of any recent changes to the legislation, and keep copies of any paperwork to verify this.
 
You can return with the ammunition you originally entered the US with, in fact you must. This includes the spent brass, as these items are declared on your Form 6NIA.
 
You can use photocopies of your registration certificates. The originals are not required. I usually make multiple copies, and ensure I have copies in abundance, just in case I lose something.

Plan your trip, and ensure you use border crossings that are listed on your ATT, otherwise acquire a STATT to cover any alternative routes.
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