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tax free shopping near border with USA?

Netherlands
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tax free shopping near border with USA?

been reading some articles about taxfree shopping south of Calgary area in brochures while visiting Jasper NP

Don't know if it's worth the trouble, but can i find something similar in Osoyoos or Hope?

Vancouver BC
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1. Re: tax free shopping near border with USA?

I am guessing it is the duty free outlets at border crossings. If so you cross, shop and return. Canadian residents have to be across the border 48 hours. Foreign visitors can cross/return same day with "personal belongings". Worth it? Not a chance.

Jasper, Canada
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2. Re: tax free shopping near border with USA?

This is not the same as duty-free, but Alberta does not have a provincial sales tax, so the only sales tax you pay here is the Canada-wide GST of 5%. BC (where both Osoyoos and Hope are) has recently combined the GST and their provincial sales tax into an "HST", which is 12%.

Vancouver, Canada
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3. Re: tax free shopping near border with USA?

"Duty" is an import tax paid when foreign goods are brought in to the country. Its one of those hidden taxes applied long before the goods hit the shelves. Duty free shops at airports and border crossings avoid paying this import duty on these goods, and so purport to save you a bit on goods that you are promising to export outside the country.

My experience has been that Duty Free shops know that they have you sucked in to believing that you are getting a deal and jack their prices up accordingly, so you have to be careful about what you buy. Its often not much of a deal, especially if you are heading south. We've stopped picking up duty free liquor when taking a US holiday because we can usually pick the same item up for less at a local grocery store south of the line.

Having said that, I have not noticed any duty free at the Osoyoos/Oroville Crossing, but I haven't been that way for a while and wasn't looking either. You might be able to see on Google street view if there are any duty free outlets at that crossing.

Vancouver, Canada
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4. Re: tax free shopping near border with USA?

There is no border crossing at Hope. You'd have to go to Abbotsford/Sumas for the next available crossing. I believe they do have a Duty Free store at that crossing.

Netherlands
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5. Re: tax free shopping near border with USA?

i found an address: 202 97th street, Osoyoos

supposed to be a duty free shop but i will be careful :-)

Vancouver, Canada
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6. Re: tax free shopping near border with USA?

I'm a bit puzzled. (Because according to Google Maps, this address is about 2.5 km into Canada from the border.) My understanding of duty free is that you make your purchase (in the US), go through the border because you are in the only driving lane to do that (into Canada). Or, make your purchase at the duty free in Canada, go through the forced choice lane across the border into the US. The goods are sealed and the shopping bag is sealed. Isn't that how it works? So I'm puzzled how www.bcdutyfree.com could be located so far into Canada.

Perhaps once you're in the States, the goods become "yours" and you can return to Canada without concern.

But a foreign national has to go through a fairly serious process to get into the States. Something about an I-94 and getting fingerprinted and paying a few dollars. See post #8 on this forum thread which is a direct quote from RescueTeam. tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g154943-i81-k38111…

Edited: 20 August 2010, 06:05
West Grey, Ontario
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7. Re: tax free shopping near border with USA?

Hi DutchTravelagent;

MuftiMixandmatch has posted a link to a comment about the I-94W visa waiver and citizens of the UK. The I-94W visa waiver also applies to citizens of the Netherlands.

Upon entering the US you will be required to obtain an I-94W visa waiver as an addition to your passport. To obtain the waiver, you will be photographed, fingerprinted, and pay a fee of $6 US.

The I-94W visa waiver will be attached to your passport, and must be surrendered when you leave the United States.

The process of obtaining the I-94W waiver takes on average ½ an hour.

Unless you were already planning to visit the US, I don't think that the savings are that great for the trouble involved.

Best Regards

Vancouver, Canada
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8. Re: tax free shopping near border with USA?

Thanks RT, I was hoping you would notice this question.

Netherlands
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9. Re: tax free shopping near border with USA?

hi RT,

Yes i know about the I94 procedure (being a travel agent) but i read about stores on Canadian soil.

The one in Osoyoos, i skipped.

Then, yesterday, when we got back in Vancouver, i saw i had a leaflet of the Vancouver Outlet store, 157 Water Street, so i thought, let's go there to look for a bargain.

Let me tell you and all readers: BOGUS.

What is promised in the leaflet (4 tees for $8,99) is not there; instead, we saw a lot of things we had seen cheaper elsewhere when we first arrived in the beginning of this month.

So, let that be a warning to anyone picking up that same leaflet. This is NOT an outlet store at all.

Got some great deals after all yesterday AND I found s Vans dealer (shoes) where o found a nice pair of shoes.

Thanks all, i'm heading back home today, now @ YVR airport.

Cheers!

West Grey, Ontario
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10. Re: tax free shopping near border with USA?

You're Welcome, MuftiMixandmatch !

Hi DutchTravelagent;

As the others had pointed out, the only "Tax Free" places to shop would be at the duty free store(s) at the border. The point was that for you to make a purchase at a duty free store located in Canada, you would then have to exit the country, with your purchase, to the US.

Best Regards