_News Talk 770
Bargain hunters headed across the border for a weekend shopping spree no longer have to hide their purchases. Effective June 1, the duty free limit for a 48 hour trip to the U.S. has increased to $800. The duty free limit for a 24 hour trip has quadrupled from $50 to $200, while limits on alcohol and tobacco purchases remain the same.
Maggie Schofield with the Calgary Downtown Association says local business owners shouldn't expect a major hit to their bottom line. "Certainly they'll be an impact. People are interested in shopping south of the border particularly because of our strong dollar, and typically more people head to the U.S. during the summer holidays; however day to day shopping wont be impacted significantly."
On the flip-side, Schofield says shoppers shouldn't expect local retailers to suddenly drop their prices or hold any major sales to stay competitive with the cross border market. Adding despite the bargains stateside, it always pays to support local retailers.
Ben Brunnen, Chief Economist for the Calgary Chamber of Commerce says he's pleased with the government's move.
"The nature of this announcement focuses on harmonizing the cross border exemptions with the U.S. That's a good message from an efficiency perspective, from a regulatory perspective. Streamlining and harmonizing policies helps ensure that we're able to be competitive and enhance our competitiveness. "
Canadians take 30 million overnight trips a year to the U.S., and at YYC, passenger, Susan Lamb says she's looking forward to packing a larger suitcase for future trips. "That's awesome, cause unfortunately it's cheaper to shop down there for clothing, school supplies, alcohol, it's just cheaper."