New federal regulations governing cross border shopping have had “minimal” effect at the border in the Greater Trail region, says a Canadian Border Services Agency spokesperson.
Stephanie Waddell said less than one week into the reign of the new regulations it was too early to see if there would be a significant trend developing.
However, for the first weekend of the rise in the duty-free limit — from $50 to $200 on visits of more than 24 hours — there was a slight increase in local traffic volumes compared to the same weekend last year.
For the June 1-3 weekend, there were 597 vehicles crossing the border into Canada from the U.S., and increase of 43 vehicles from the weekend recorded one year ago. From June 3-5, 2011, there were 554 vehicles.
The CBSA officials collected $12,840.71 in duties and taxes this year, a jump of $2,899.95 from the $9,940.76 they collected in duties and taxes last year.
The lack of any change in the same-day exemption — a time period in which most cross border shoppers would do the deed — could offset the impact of the other rule changes on cross-border traffic.
Americans, however, are entitled to $200 worth of exemptions when crossing the border from Canada on a one-day excursion.
On June 1 the federal government approved a rise in the duty-free limit on visits of more than 24 hours, rising from $50 to $200.
Any visit longer than 48 hours allows a Canadian to return with duty-free goods worth up to $800 — up from $400 for up to one week, and $750 for longer than a week. The allowance for duty-free goods remains at zero for stays of less than 24 hours.