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Beware! The real truth about purchasing a watch outside of Canada

by Dino 14 August, 2008 View Comments

I know you've been tempted seeing a watch in the islands or at duty free shops. What a great deal, I'll just put it on, and tell customs it's my watch if asked. The reality is, it is a criminal offense to not declare any luxury goods over $2,000.00.

We've had many customers tell us lately, that at the airport, there are plain closed customs agents doing nothing else but checking passengers wrists and neck lines for unclaimed luxury items. It used to be basically a Rolex watch that they could recognize, but they are much more sophisticated and knowledgeable now. High end items have serial numbers, and can be traced to the country to which they were exported. For all you fast talking travelers, even gifts must be declared and have the duties and taxes paid.

Bell & Ross, Glycine, Patek Philippe, Chronoswiss, and Graham are just some of the brands that have been spotted and questioned at customs here in Montreal. So, it's not just the Rolexes and Cartiers that are being stopped.

The result of lying to a customs officer (which, by the way, they are great at spotting) will get you a fine of 50% of the watches value, plus the duties and taxes. If the cost of such an offense isn't enough, it can go on record for 5 years, so your name pops up every time you cross the border. That, to me, is bigger than the dollar amount, the constant hassle of being on the blacklist.

The end result is that buying it from an authorized dealer with a warranty in your own country with all the duties paid is a no brainer and hassle free.

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