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Crossing the Boarder to Canada


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#1 Roy & Ann

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 07:44 AM

We are going full time the end of the month. Our first big trip will be to Alaska. We would like to take some house plants with us but do not know if we can bring them to Canada and back.
Any one know what the rules are in Canada and back to the USA?

Thanks
Roy

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#2 rambler100697

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 08:20 AM

We are going full time the end of the month. Our first big trip will be to Alaska. We would like to take some house plants with us but do not know if we can bring them to Canada and back.
Any one know what the rules are in Canada and back to the USA?

Thanks
Roy


Hi Roy: Short answer: No! Canada is specific about plants; check this Web link: http://www.inspectio...4/1299162708850

We drove to Alaska a year ago and had no trouble at Canadian customs because we had checked out the vagaries of border crossing through the Canadian Web sites. That said, some language obscures the true function of Canadian law, such as those regarding handguns. I had to send snail-mail queries to two Canadian agencies in order to get straight answers. Even then, those who responded did so by telephone. When I asked for an answer in writing, I received one of two.

And, you never know whether an individual customs agent will be lenient or strict about enforcing the rules. We crossed into Canada at Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. It was a breeze, largely because we had nothing to hide. But you and your wife should be prepared to be interviewed individually by different agents. They want to know whether you are telling the same story. I just held out the keys to our baggage doors and told them our motorhome was an open book.

Coming back to the U.S. above Glacier National Park was the more difficult. The U.S. agent confiscated the best key limes we'd ever tasted. Gin and tonics just haven't been the same.

Bottom line: Don't allow trepidation of customs to diminish your joy on "the trip of a lifetime."

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#3 Trusty_2010

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 09:18 AM

Last summer, we traveled to Canada and left our plants at a RV campground near the border in Maine; a nice lady watered them and in gratitude, we brought her back a couple bottles of wine. The CG was set-up to store items for people traveling to and from Canada - perhaps you can find a CG in Washington (I am guessing that is where you will cross) that will do the same?

Off the Road but planning our next trip!


#4 D&D Vogel

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 10:20 AM

I usually have a small herb garden. After much reading on various Canadian sites, not one of them truly clear, most frustrating, I concluded that I don't get to garden until September when we return to the lower 48. Not only are potential pests and diseases present on plants, but the soil and soil borne issues are also a concern. So, sadly, my pots empty pots are cleaned out and riding around in the back of the car, and the bagged soil and fertilizer went to good homes. I do respect that every place wants and needs to protect its agricultural products, but, sniff, sniff, I miss my garden.

Donna

#5 Kellie Roberts

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 10:25 AM

Here is a short example page - with a lot (but not all) of the commonly allowed houseplants for personal use:

Eligible & Non-Eligible Houseplants

Unfortunately I know, or have read about, people in both camps: some waved right through with a non-eliglble plant on their dash & some who have been required to throw them in the trash on the USA side if they wanted to cross.
Kellie & George Roberts
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#6 LindaH

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 07:33 AM

When we went to Alaska in 2001, we had an African Violet onboard. We were never asked about any houseplants at any of the border crossings, so the African Violet made the entire trip with us.

LindaH
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#7 wereoffagain

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 07:56 AM

We crossed at Sumas, Wa. late afternoon, last Saturday, May 5th. We had a small bag of fresh Washington apples that the Canadian boder agent insisted we throw in their trash bin. Said they might infest their trees. Doubt they would allow house plants. We'll see you on the road to Alaska. Good luck and Safe Travels, Ann and Jerry 27' MB Lazy Daze motor home http://fulltimeusa.com/

#8 Bob Cochran

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 09:53 PM

A quick question is the border to Canada like California if fruit purchased in a store it is ok but from a fruit stand it is not? :huh:

Own a 37 foot 2014 Keystone Fuzion pulling with 1998 Freightliner Century. Fortunate to retire early intending to full time but circumstances prevents this at the present time. Living in a sticks and bricks home all paid off DW has to have roots some place and this works.


#9 Trusty_2010

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 08:13 PM

A quick question is the border to Canada like California if fruit purchased in a store it is ok but from a fruit stand it is not? :huh:


I check the Canadian Website (cannot remember the name) before we crossed and the list of forbidden items convinced me that we should not bring any fruits and vegetables across the border - and I left our dog's food at a RV park we were going to return to in the US. That may be a conservative approach but at least we did not have to throw out our groceries at the border.

Off the Road but planning our next trip!


#10 RBH

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 09:44 AM

It's really hard to say for sure what the customs agents are going to look for but having crossed back and forth literally hundreds of times and at least a dozen times times towing a 5th wheel, only once has the trailer even been looked into and then subsequent questions about the lifestyle and why we chose a 5th wheel led us to believe that the agent was only interested in the trailer floorplan. We have never had to relinquish any food stuffs or even asked about plants etc we had on board. We are always asked about firearms (don't carry any) and alcohol. We have found it best to immediately get on the agents good side. Towards that end, remove your sunglasses as soon as he looks at you, shut off the engine if it's a diesel, turn off the wipers if it's raining, hand him your passports and pet papers, include a page with the license plate numbers for both the tow vehicle and the trailer so he doesn't have to leave the booth to get them, and answer the questions truthfully. Don't volunteer information and don't elaborate unless asked to do so. DO NOT try to make jokes. They take their job seriously and insist you do too. That being said, when they punch in your plate number a red flag may come up prompting furthur inspection. I think our having been thru customs so many times has helped our being able to breeze thru with minimal interference. Your experience may vary.

#11 Kellie Roberts

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 09:13 PM

Roy & Ann .. just wanted to update you on your question, or at least how it just applied to us today. I have 2 houseplants with me (a standard ivy plant & one called a moss rose) - they never said a word about them. Frankly I had intended to play stupid i.e, first time, had no clue they could not come with me, but they were never discussed at all even sitting in plain sight.

I do, however, believe that it is the luck of the draw & an at your own risk ( of having to trash them). We had an exceptionally nice, friendly agent who processed us through.
Kellie & George Roberts
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Bluebird Wanderlodge ~ No Reservations
'08 Jeep Sahara 4x4
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~A ton of regret never made an ounce of difference~

Not A Moment Too Soon