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View Full Version : Duty free sightings!



ThomasH
11-16-2009, 17:39
While in Windsor, Ontario this weekend, I found the store at the foot of the Ambassador bridge had some bottles you don't normally see at duty free. Beam had most of their line at this store including white, black, Red Stag, the Small Batch collection and most suprisingly, Jim Beam rye. What was even more suprising was the total absence of any WT products. I asked a sales person about it and was told they had been out of WT for several months. One word of caution about Detroit area duty free, the Canadian customs are gunning for duty on any excess bottles brought over from the US. My brother in laws friend got nailed to the tune of about 30.00 for a liter of whiskey that was over his allowance. He also got tagged for 5.00+ for a bottle of Captain Morgans spiced rum that was 70 proof. It seems that the threshold for the higher tax is 80 proof. Detroit customs isn't much friendlier, although the duty is much lower. They seem to be on high alert in Detroit after several large drug seizures coming from Ontario to Detroit in recent weeks. From now on, I will only be bringing back bottles I can't get here as the hassle at customs seems to increase with every trip!

Thomas

Special Reserve
11-17-2009, 04:32
I haven't been to Windsor in a while but in the past when I did go you could declare your purchase and be charge about $3/liter. Of course while you were in paying your duty immigration literally had the dogs going through your vehicle.

If your real clean your good.

The duty free by the tunnel always had a great selection of Canadian and Scotch but not bourbon.

JamesW
11-17-2009, 11:49
I haven't been to Windsor in a while but in the past when I did go you could declare your purchase and be charge about $3/liter. Of course while you were in paying your duty immigration literally had the dogs going through your vehicle.

If your real clean your good.

The duty free by the tunnel always had a great selection of Canadian and Scotch but not bourbon.

That's coming back to the States but going into Canada is a different beast. I looked into this recently as I visit family often and like to bring a bunch of bourbon with me since all they usually have is Beam in their liquor control stores (SAQ)...So here's the rub going into Quebec:
You have 1.15 litre exemption per adult, after that you can import up to 9 more liters but you need to pay a whopping 66% of the bottle's value as a tax plus an additional $1.50/ liter and then on top of it all you would have to pay gst and pst which is approx 15% more.

I just took this from the SAQ website:
"For example, on an imported 750 ml bottle of wine for which you paid $10, Canada Customs will collect $10.03. On the other hand, for an imported 750 ml bottle of spirits (40% alcohol) that cost $10, they will collect $23.62."

So bringing back a bottle of Lot B costing $50 here in the US would end up costing you about $118 after paying the duty :bigeyes:. Maybe even more since it's 90 proof! Imagine what a Stagg would cost you!!!!

That's socialized alcohol for ya! Merci et Bienvenue au Quebec!

ThomasH
11-17-2009, 15:58
Thanks JamesW for the the clarifiication on the Canadian duty. I won't be buying any extra bottles on the way to Canada anymore. That tax is excessive any way you slice it. I can buy bottles at the LCBO and not get charged anywhere near as excessively. I'll only be buying on the way back to the US from now on.!

Thomas

DeanSheen
11-17-2009, 17:15
Good to know. When I went up there a couple weeks go, via. Peace Bridge, I had bought a liter @ Duty Free of the Balvinie Triple Wood and told the guy I had that and a bottle of bourbon and he let me through.

On the way back, the US guy went through my trunk when I told him I had nothing to declare. I had nothing and he found nothing so he let me go.

With the current weak dollar the LCBO prices are nuts. I went through two stores and found nothing worth buying. I flaked on stopping at the duty free on the way home as I was going to get some more RedBreast.

The only thing on the LCBO's website that interests me at the moment is some strange pure pot still Irish I have never heard of. It runs $70 though.

ThomasH
11-17-2009, 17:29
Rob, you were lucky if you were by yourself going to Canada. Normally they allow one liter per person and evidently tax the extras to the hilt. Coming back to the states, it is only 2.00 and change per liter which isn't a big deal. We were basically treated like criminals in Detroit. Inside the customs office, 3 guys from Detroit got arrested for mouthing off to customs officers over an unpaid parking or speeding ticket in Detroit and another was about to get it for no passport and a big mouth as we were leaving. I seriously thought we were going to get caught in the middle of a lockdown of the customs office. I have never had a problem at the Windsor tunnel though. It seems that the exit from the Ambassador bridge leads to a rough area of Detroit whereas the tunnel leads to downtown Detroit and a quick entry to I-75. Maybe the bridge gets more of the badass crowd or something. I think I'll stick to the tunnel from now on!

Thomas

Special Reserve
11-17-2009, 17:40
I learned 40 years ago not to mess with customs. They can and will make your life miserable. I got off with a strip search and a very thorough search of my car and then was let go. I thinks it was the price I paid for looking like a hippie in the late 60's.

My only experience with bring alcohol into Canada has been via air. The duty free at DTW you bought the alcohol at a stand in the airport and they later gave it to you during your flight. No extras there, but no hassle either.