February 28, 2012:
Recently we have seen an increase in the incidences of employees being asked for additional information when crossing the border in advance of their household goods shipment.
When transporting household goods into Canada from the United States the employee is required to provide a listing of goods accompanying them as well as a listing of goods that will follow at a later date. Both of these lists are to indicate the value of the items shipped.
For the most part, the practice has been that the Border Agent has accepted the mover’s inventory and insurance value as stated by the moving company for the goods that will follow, rather than an item by item valuation from the transferee as he/she crosses the border.
That said, Border Services Agents can request the more detailed valuation. Recently, All Points has seen an increase in requests from some Border Services Agents for transferees to provide a value for each line item on the inventory. This can cause significant delays both in completing the task and in responding to the follow-on questions on the information provided.
So, why haven’t moving companies and relocation companies recommended that transferees prepare such valued inventories in advance of crossing the border rather than having it sprung on them when they do cross? The challenge is that it is a large, time consuming activity to prepare the more detailed valuation on the off chance that the employee will be asked to provide the more detailed valuation. All Points still does not feel that the frequency with which this is currently occurring warrants moving to the more detailed version for all cross border transfers.
We are watching closely to see if the incidence rate increases further.