The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is committed to keeping Canada safe from the threats posed by weapons and undeclared food and animal products. Today, the CBSA announced that border services officers seized eight undeclared firearms as well as numerous food, plant and animal products in the West Coast & Yukon District.
On May 25, 2021, two United States residents who were seeking entry to transit through Canada were referred for secondary examination. Border services officers conducted a search and seized firearms and firearm parts and detained food, plant and animal products outlined below:
- Seven restricted firearms
- One prohibited firearm
- 15 prohibited magazines
- Three bobcat skins
- One bear paw
- Two seal skin hats
- Seven pieces of whale baleen
- Two ivory tusks
- Two ivory ornaments
- Two sheep horns
- 13 ivory pucks
- One turkey talon
- One bear skull
- One walrus skull
Most of the detained animal products are protected goods under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), Appendix I – III. CITES falls under Canada’s wildlife trade law – the Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act (WAPPRIITA).
The traveller who claimed ownership of these goods has been charged with the following:
- s. 91(1) Criminal Code – one count of unauthorized possession of a firearm
- s. 91(2) Criminal Code – one count of unauthorized possession of prohibited devices
- s. 153(a) Customs Act – one count of making false statements
- s. 159(1) Customs Act – one count of smuggling
In addition to the charges and having the prohibited items seized, the traveller was issued a $8,500 penalty by CBSA for the release of the seized vehicle. He is scheduled to appear in court on July 13, 2021.
Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) collected the wildlife items and issued two penalties, with a $1,200 fine, under WAPPRIITA.
“This seizure demonstrates the hard work and diligence of CBSA border services officers and their commitment to keeping firearms out of our communities as well as ensuring that endangered goods, without the proper import requirements, do not enter illegal trade in Canada.”
– Darlene Klips, Director, West Coast & Yukon District, Pacific Region, Canada Border Services Agency
- Travellers are encouraged to leave their firearms at home when seeking entry to Canada. However, travellers with firearms must declare them to the CBSA officer at the first opportunity and meet import regulations.
Travellers who do not declare their firearms upon arrival can face seizure, monetary penalties, arrest and criminal prosecution. Failing to declare firearms can also make visitors inadmissible to enter Canada.
- The CBSA administers over 90 acts, regulations and international agreements on behalf of other government departments, such as the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), as they apply at the border. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is responsible for general policy and international arrangements regarding the importation of food, plants, animals and related products to Canada,
while CITES is administered by ECCC.
You are required by law to declare all food, plant and animal products you bring with you into Canada. Failure to declare any of these products or to provide required permits/certificates can lead to detention of products, penalties, and prosecution.