Bringing grocery from Canada to USA

Old Aug 6th, 2022, 05:07 PM
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Bringing grocery from Canada to USA

We will be visiting Glacier National Pak. Since the east side of the park has little grocery offerings, I'm thinking of buying in Cardston in Alberta. Can you share your experience?
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Old Aug 7th, 2022, 04:57 AM
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You can cross the border from Canada into the US with groceries. Just be sure to declare what you have. When I drive across the border I simply say I have some groceries, or packed a lunch, or whatever and always just get waved through.

https://help.cbp.gov/s/article/Artic...nd%20penalties.
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Old Aug 7th, 2022, 06:57 AM
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Crossing into Vermont, we had to show receipts that did not exceed $20 total.
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Old Aug 7th, 2022, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by HappyTrvlr View Post
Crossing into Vermont, we had to show receipts that did not exceed $20 total.
$20 per item or category, or is that $20 of total groceries? That's kinda a low limit, even pre-inflation.
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Old Aug 7th, 2022, 07:09 AM
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Iíve crossed the border several times with groceries, both directions, and groceries never came up.

Last edited by tom_mn; Aug 7th, 2022 at 07:22 AM.
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Old Aug 7th, 2022, 09:46 AM
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How improbable could it BE that you buy groceries, and just happen to have a full, itemized list of everything you purchased for easy review by a border guard ?? (A: not very...)


If something specific about... your... tube of purchased toothpaste is a no-no... they'll tell you about it.

Don't worry too much
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Old Aug 7th, 2022, 10:13 AM
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I think you cannot bring citrus fruit purchased in canada to the US. This is the most recent information i coild find on this with a quick google search. It was updated in 2021
https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/local-m...-united-states
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Old Aug 7th, 2022, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by NorthwestMale View Post
How improbable could it BE that you buy groceries, and just happen to have a full, itemized list of everything you purchased for easy review by a border guard ??
A: if I just bought them 15min prior to arriving at the border as the OP says they plan to do then chances are pretty good Iíd still have the detailed store receipt.
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Old Aug 7th, 2022, 11:21 AM
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>>Travelers entering the United States must declare all agricultural products on their U.S. Customs forms. U.S. agricultural inspectors will examine your items to be sure they meet entry requirements and do not harbor harmful foreign pests or diseases. U.S. inspectors have the authority to make a final determination about whether your products can enter the country. We recommend that you keep receipts and original packaging of agricultural products as proof of their country of origin.

https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/res...eler-canada-fv
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Old Aug 7th, 2022, 06:17 PM
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U.S. agricultural inspectors will examine your items to be sure they meet entry requirements
Opening link above gives a detailed list of allowed and prohibited items.

Thereís a reasonable supermarket in Browning (IGA) which isnít so far past St Maryís, thereís a museum there also.

internal to US: I have had apples confiscated flying San Juan to Orlando, and cherries confiscated driving Oregon to California, and peaches confiscated driving Utah to Arizona.

Last edited by tom_mn; Aug 7th, 2022 at 06:35 PM.
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Old Aug 7th, 2022, 07:53 PM
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The thing that will always get you (if anything does) for border crossings, is fresh fruits and produce, seeds and nuts. Or non-commercial meat, fish, etc. might get notice.

No one cares about your can of SPAM or Nalley chili

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Old Aug 8th, 2022, 03:32 AM
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Fresh fruits and produce from Canada, with a few execptions noted on the cbp websites, are ok.

On a recent border crossing by car from Canada to the US I had a bag full of fresh fruits and produce from a farmers market. I declared that I had them, and was waived through.

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Old Aug 8th, 2022, 07:20 AM
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OP here. Thanks all for sharing your thoughts. Looks like fresh fruits and veggies are the most high risk items. I will stick to buying canned fruits and veggies, and fresh meat and deli meat. Wife likes to eat fresh fruits but guess it's okay to go without for a few days.
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Old Aug 8th, 2022, 11:28 AM
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>> guess it's okay to go without for a few days.

It is ok. It is better to keep the wife happy and just get fruits that are permitted Apples, pears, arctic kiwi, plums, apricot, blueberries, strawberries, ...

And if you accidentally get European blackberries or cherries from Ontario instead of the varieties that are ok then you are out a few $CA if they are confiscated.
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Old Aug 9th, 2022, 01:22 PM
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There was a small grocery store in Babb that at a minimum had apples/oranges/bananas we stopped at on the way in to Many Glacier. We bought those as well as other lunch stuff for our hikes while there, not a bad selection for a small store can't remember prices.
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Old Aug 9th, 2022, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by J62 View Post
A: if I just bought them 15min prior to arriving at the border as the OP says they plan to do then chances are pretty good I’d still have the detailed store receipt.
Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight... that's what I suggested


... but with that in mind... just GO to the border person, TELL them you just bought ($83.41 worth of Groceries)... and show them the receipt.

IF it is unlawful to transport a certain tube of toothpaste, or Smarties... or whatever... they will tell you as much.

They will confiscate the (Smarties - and munch on them among themselves)... and NOT beat you up and arrest you.


So there isn't too much to worry about.


Just don't buy 34 pounds of Canteloupe (or whatever that amounts to in metric measurements) with big plans centered around your canteloupe... while expecting it all to be allowed in.



Last edited by NorthwestMale; Aug 9th, 2022 at 07:30 PM.
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Old Aug 10th, 2022, 07:47 AM
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If you get Canadian cantaloupe then that would be ok. You can bring in 50 lbs of potatoes, so why not 34 lbs (16 kg) of cantaloupe?
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