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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay with the newly announced unlocking and with there being no indication from Rogers that we'll be seeing them here anytime soon, I'm getting closer to making the trip to Buffalo to purchase an iPhone.

If I wanted to be a good boy and declare my purchase, what am I looking at for duties to bring it back. I will not be staying long enough for any personal exemptions.

I will probably call CCRA (using a disguised voice, from an untraceable pay phone) to verify but does anyone have any idea? Would it fall under the NAFTA designation?

I know I'll get hit with the GST and PST.
 

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I have no idea about crossing the border, but you could try buying online and possibly skipping the fuss.
 

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if you are driving down there and buy an iphone there and actually using it, i don't think they will charge you tax as you can say you brought it down to the states with you...

if you are buying it online, it could cost anywhere from $0 - $100ish pending on what the seller declare the value as and which courier you are using. UPS charge you as if you own a bank!

As for the NAFTA thing... its only works if the product is MADE IN CANADA OR MADE IN USA then in theory its tax free.... but then look at the lumber dispute crap from b4......
 

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There are no duties - you will get hit with all of NY State Tax and PST and GST.

Still against the value of such a device to productivity and cool factor :D an extra 20% is not so horrid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You can't order an iPhone online, they won't ship to a Canadian address. If I could, I'd pick up one of the refurbished ones that are $100 off.

MacDoc, I thought about doing the hack to activate it for Wifi while down in the States, then I could sync it to my PowerBook and if they did question me I could just say "I forgot to register it before I left on my way down but as you can see I've had emails from the past few days so I've had it for a while now".

I'm wondering for the $90 it would cost to cover the two taxes if it would be worth it or not. And if you factor in everything. Our price (if we had them here) would probably be $649 (based on exchange of entry Mac Mini which is also $599) plus GST/PST bringing it up to $740. Buying it there for $600 and paying the NY State tax (which I think is 8.75%) I'd be paying $652.50 US or $690 Cdn. Customs will hit me for GST/PST on roughly $630 (they better not charge taxes on price including NY State Sales tax) which means I'll pay around $90 bringing the total to approximately $780 Cdn.

Yes I tend to do all these calculations when I want something that I know I should probably wait for... It's a problem of being self employed. The CTO side of my brain is trying to justify it to the CFO part of my brain... laughing

Most times the CFO side of my brain wins these inner discussions by saying those few simple words "show me a business case" but even it thinks it is cool and is looking for ways to justify the purchase... of course it is trying to quantify the increase in productivity and the 'cool factor'.
 

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Okay with the newly announced unlocking and with there being no indication from Rogers that we'll be seeing them here anytime soon, I'm getting closer to making the trip to Buffalo to purchase an iPhone.

If I wanted to be a good boy and declare my purchase, what am I looking at for duties to bring it back. I will not be staying long enough for any personal exemptions.

I will probably call CCRA (using a disguised voice, from an untraceable pay phone) to verify but does anyone have any idea? Would it fall under the NAFTA designation?

I know I'll get hit with the GST and PST.

I went this past Saturday with a friend to Walden in Buffalo. We only went for a couple hours. When we got back to the Canadian border:
The guard asked if and how much I was declaring.
I said "500 dollars".
He said, "does this include alcohol and tobacco?".
I said, "No"
He says, "What did you buy for $500?"
I said, "an iPod at the Apple Store". (which technically it is as I can't use the phone feature just yet).
He said, "go ahead".

I drove through the border without having to pay any duties. I paid 499 for the phone and 43.66 in taxes (8.75% State tax) at the store. I don't know if this is standard procedure or just a judgement call as I thought less than 48hrs, you were only allowed $50 of personal exemption. I sure was happy.
 

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Okay with the newly announced unlocking and with there being no indication from Rogers that we'll be seeing them here anytime soon, I'm getting closer to making the trip to Buffalo to purchase an iPhone.

If I wanted to be a good boy and declare my purchase, what am I looking at for duties to bring it back. I will not be staying long enough for any personal exemptions.

I will probably call CCRA (using a disguised voice, from an untraceable pay phone) to verify but does anyone have any idea? Would it fall under the NAFTA designation?

I know I'll get hit with the GST and PST.
You are considerably more opptomistic then myself, I have yet to see a single, proven unlock method aside from the out of stock forever TurboSim. Buying an iPhone before a proven, avaiable, and price-friendly method of unlocking the phone seems a little 'cart before the horse'ish...
 

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You are considerably more opptomistic then myself, I have yet to see a single, proven unlock method aside from the out of stock forever TurboSim. Buying an iPhone before a proven, avaiable, and price-friendly method of unlocking the phone seems a little 'cart before the horse'ish...
I thought the same until I brought it home, ran the easy activation bypass and now use it as a Wifi iPod. I no longer have the need for my work laptop to sit anywhere in my house an surf the net. Neither do I have the need to do that on my desktop either now. Great to show off your iPhoto library as well. I can sync my iCal/ToDos/contacts as well. Basically a multimedia PDA. For now, that will ease my mind until a) unlock software comes out for a small price b) an unlock software gets released for free because AT&T legal blocks it from being sold c) Bladox makes more Turbo SIMS d) at worst, I'd have to solder it.
 

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I went this past Saturday with a friend to Walden in Buffalo. We only went for a couple hours. When we got back to the Canadian border:
The guard asked if and how much I was declaring.
I said "500 dollars".
He said, "does this include alcohol and tobacco?".
I said, "No"
He says, "What did you buy for $500?"
I said, "an iPod at the Apple Store". (which technically it is as I can't use the phone feature just yet).
He said, "go ahead".

I drove through the border without having to pay any duties. I paid 499 for the phone and 43.66 in taxes (8.75% State tax) at the store. I don't know if this is standard procedure or just a judgement call as I thought less than 48hrs, you were only allowed $50 of personal exemption. I sure was happy.
Yea, you got lucky.
 

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Not lucky, as his experience is more typical than you would expect. has a lot do do with what is worth the time of the Customs officer. If he had said yes to booze or tobacco it would be different. Everything purchased would be up for discussion.
 

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I don't think it's luck. I've crossed the border many times for business & pleasure over the past 20 years - they've definitely changed their focus on goods being brought in to Canada. I've been practically strip searched in the past for saying I was close to the limit in value. The past few years, I sometimes don't even get asked how much I'm bringing back. Just this July I went down to Grove City, PA to buy business clothes and other things over a weekend - $1600 between two of us, told the customs agent the truth, he said "ok" and let us pass. Didn't ask what it was or if we had alcohol or tobacco.

I'm back this weekend & will have my first look at an iPhone. Probably won't buy it since the iPod announcement is rumoured to be close. Then again, maybe once I have my hands on it, I won't be able to resist. ;)
 

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Me too - ie the trip to Buffalo!

Just hoping that you'll keep us all posted here as to how you do when you go to buy an iPhone.

Thinking here too, wonder what the ROAMING costs might be, if you did go ahead and Register with AT&T and then used it here in the Golden Horseshoe.
Rogers I understand serves as the roaming network but you're still on the AT&T much cheaper plan...

Anyone care to offer news on that?

Jim
 

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AT&T will shut off the account after 3 months of roaming on any other network.
 

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Hmmm..but I live within 80 kms of the border...

So maybe all I'd need do is to drive to Niargara Falls (on the canuck side even) NY and make a call or two..once every 3 months...

Sounds like great way to have some great chicken wings and RollingRock beers to me!

;)

Jim
 

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In case you were still wondering... I bought my iphone in Washington today.. the 4gig one so I paid $499 + 7% WA state tax, got to the border, got a grumpy border guard (you dont pay duty but you pay tax) and had to pay the 7% gst and 6% pst (or whatever it is in BC)... which cost me about $75 CAD
 

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so why did you declare the phone? with all the traffic at that crossing, he was probably grumpy because your honesty interuppted the smooth flow of "don't ask. don't tell" smuggling that occurs at all busy crossings.

Back in the heyday of cross border shopping there was a joke making the rounds in Sault ste Marie Michigan (across river from Sault ste Mare Ont)
" How do you spot a Canadian in Soo, MI?
" He is carrying 2 turkeys and smnells like gasoline"
 

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1 roll of white electrical tape will "transform" your iphone into an ipod. Then, you buy a 6 pack of beer and declare the booz (this will justify your nervousness). The officer will let you go for sure, but worst case scenario you'll have to leave the $8 six pack at the border. walk in the park.
 

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Thinking here too, wonder what the ROAMING costs might be, if you did go ahead and Register with AT&T and then used it here in the Golden Horseshoe. Rogers I understand serves as the roaming network but you're still on the AT&T much cheaper plan...
You'd be paying AT&T's roaming rates, which are $0.79 per minute, unless you can get onto their "World Traveller Plan" for $5.99/month or the AT&T Canada Plan for $3.99 a month, either of which drops your rate to $0.59/min when roaming in Canada.

There have been reports that you need to be a customer for at least 90 days before they will activate roaming capabilities, but from my experience that refers to overseas roaming (as opposed to Canada and Mexico), which is understandable as some of the overseas rates can get quite expensive and they want to make sure you're good for it.

Data rates over EDGE would be pretty bad as well, however... $0.0195/kb, which doesn't sound like much until you do the math and realize that it works out to almost $20/MB. There's an International Global Data Plan for iPhone that will give you 20MB/month for $24.99 with $5/MB for overage (similar to Rogers data rates, actually :( ).

That's all in US Dollars, of course. You can read it all on AT&T's site at http://www.wireless.att.com/learn/international/roaming/affordable-world-packages.jsp

Also note that this only applies to contract plans. GoPhone (prepaid) plans do not offer any roaming capabilities outside of the U.S. at all (you'll simply get "No Service" unless you're near an actual AT&T tower -- the mode my iPhone lives in perpetually, in fact, as I didn't want to commit to a contract or pay huge roaming fees).

AT&T will shut off the account after 3 months of roaming on any other network.
That's actually something of a myth. The problem is that the U.S. cellular network is very different from what we're used to up here, with pockets of coverage that are run by numerous regional providers where no AT&T coverage actually exists. The 3-month limitation applies to domestic roaming, and is based upon the fact that within the U.S. you don't pay any additional fees for roaming on non-AT&T networks (ie, if you're in any area without native AT&T coverage). Naturally, AT&T wants to restrict this, as it costs them money.

International roaming, however, they could really care less about, since you're footing the bill. They don't necessarily make any huge money from it by the time they pay the local carriers (ie, Rogers), but they're certainly not losing money. I know of a number of business people who have U.S.-based AT&T cell phones (even prior to the iPhone), who have sometimes been out of the U.S. for 6-9 months at a time with no issues.
 
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