The last day of the year is usually no big deal for us - No huge celebrations, parties, etc.
This year, however, my plan was to get a good start on our CBSA Form B4 and B4A. To those of you unfamiliar with the Canadian permanent resident landing process, these forms are to be completed for all of your personal belongings you are going to be bringing into the country. The reason to fill them out is easy: You avoid paying duties and taxes on those items you had previously owned and used prior to landing.
The good news is, we've got nearly everything neatly typed into Open Office template forms I had previously made up. We lack only a few outside/gardening equipment items, most of which will not move with us anyway, as there is no place to store them. Our friends Mary and Diane of Our Journey Toward Canadian Immigration advised we total each page of Goods to Follow, as the border agents in BC really appreciated that.
We are planning on landing in February, but not moving anything until late spring or early summer. Therefore, all of our items are listed as "Goods to Follow". Who knows how the CBSA accounts for items as they are brought into the country? No doubt we will make a few trips until all the real estate is disposed of in the US.
Here's some of the basics from the CBSA's website:
Settling in Canada
Information on importing goods for people intending to settle in Canada
RC4151 (E) Rev. 06
Ownership, possession, and use requirements
For your goods to qualify for duty- and tax-free importation as settler’s effects, you must have owned, possessed, and used them before your arrival in Canada. If you have the sales receipts and registration documents for these items, you can use them to help prove they meet these three requirements.
It is important that you meet the three requirements of ownership, possession, and use. For example, if you owned and possessed the goods without using them, the goods are subject to duties. Please note that leased goods are subject to regular duties, as we do not consider that you own them.
Items you can import duty- and tax-free
Personal and household effects include goods such as:
clothing and linen
private collections of coins, stamps, or art
hobby tools and other hobby items
pleasure boats and the trailers to carry them (trailers are subject to Transport Canada requirements)
mobile trailers, not exceeding 2.6 metres (9 feet) in width, which the owner is capable of moving on a personal basis
tool sheds or garages which do not attach to, or form part of a dwelling.
However, houses, large trailers you use as residences(*), and any goods you use or will use commercially are not eligible as personal or household effects. These goods are subject to regular customs duties.
(*) Damn! Guess we won't be moving the designer double-wide after all!!
Happy New Year to all of you.
We are anticipating a GREAT 2008 as we hope you are . . . .