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My LEEK was SEIZED!!!! (Canada)

Joined
Nov 4, 2002
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1,091
Originally posted by Keith Montgomery
The problem here is that Canada Customs inspectors can make a determination that something is prohibited based on each individual inspectors interpratation of the description of a prohibited weapon. Once this determination is made, the only avenue of recourse is an appeal. They have a form that you can fill out, but if that avenue of appeal is rejected then it becomes quite expensive to fight it further.

Once the knife is determined to be prohibited it is confiscated. When the appeal process is over the knife is destroyed, not returned to the shipper.

me: ... I think you will have to, first of all, be nice. Don't go on a rampage. Be firm and keep your cool. Then when you have calmed down, look into. I think you better act on it quick, though. More than likely, knowing Canada customs like this poster has indicated, they will "destroy" it ( i.e. more than likely it will be owned by one of the customs people or be moved to a brokerage house ). Now why would you want to order something you can buy in the country? That, my friend, is bizarre.
 
Joined
Feb 7, 2003
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I don't consider it bizarre to purchase outside Canada. The major online dealers based in the US are very likely to have lower prices - sufficient incentive to warrant doing so.

Keith is spot on in what he says here. It is arbitrary and open to the interpretation of the Customs Officer concerned, etc. Not good, but that's how it is. It would be prudent to be circumspect when conversing with the CO, as SB advises.

You should be aware there has been a thread about the same thing happening with Canada Customs in relation to a BM 710. I'd say that a 710 is LESS likely to fall foul of the legislation than the Leek, but it did nevertheless. All the other considerations were in play then also - 710's were available for sale in local stores, etc. I'd suggest you run a search, obtain the email address of the guy who had the difficulty and see if you can gain some further insight from him. As I recall, he was at the appeal stage, last we heard, and he didn't seem optimistic.


Edited to add:

Here -

http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=240220&highlight=Canada
 
Joined
Jan 21, 2002
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Do contact Kershaw about it--they need to know stuff like this and have fought it in the past. Also, you might want to put this up on Ken Onion's forum (kenonionknives.com) to let him know about it.
 
Joined
Apr 20, 2003
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I have two AXIS locks on their way here shipped via Global Express Fri May 16th. They better have not taken them as well...

The least customs officials should do after intelligent appeals backed by facts is to have a list of common mistakenly confiscated knives/items so that they don't keep screwing up...
 
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Feb 7, 2003
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Well I don't want to put a jinx on things curious, but think the odds are you'll be okay.

It is outrageous I think, the arbitrary nature of it all and it's only to be expected that a purchaser will draw a conclusion from the fact that a particular knife is available for sale locally.

They don't seem to advertise it broadly, but Australia Customs will at least give you a ruling BEFOREHAND. You just have to email them with a link or whatever and you can rely on their response if any difficulty arises down the track.

The relevant parts of the Au legislation are much the same as Canada's. Interestingly, Au Customs will not permit the import of a Leek, but it will a 710.
 
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Dec 14, 2000
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Customs is notoriously ignorant of what the actual weapons laws are. I have crossed into and out of Canada with firearms and knives many times and have had the full spectrum of reactions from customs officers, from paranoid idiocy to truly professional efficiency. I once had to explain several different firearms laws to a customs officer and a trainee while they struggled to open the action on my pump shotgun in front of nearly 100 people in cars in a customs line. They swept everyone in the lot with the muzzle about ten times, totally ignorant of how to handle a firearm. I then had to patiently explain that .22 lr IS a rimfire caliber, which allows me to have hi cap mags for the 10/22 I had along. It's far better to be very thorough about clearing your items BEFORE you order them or ship them. I don't travel across the border with guns now, ironically because it's impossible to carry firearms INTO the US anymore without prohibitive amounts of red tape. Knives are something I've never had a problem with so far, though you're subject to the luck of the draw with the intelligence of the customs officer that you get.
 
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Apr 20, 2003
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but even if you have some sort of clearance beforehand couldn't they still theoretically confiscate it? depends on who's there to intercept right?
 
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Feb 7, 2003
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303
As has been said repeatedly, it is arbitrary. No doubt deliberately, incidentally - any number of laws are designed that way.

Although it is a matter of individual interpretation, you also have to bear in mind how bureaucracies operate. They will have their 'golden rules', every time. For various reasons, one of those would be that if you have obtained a prior ruling, that will be that - you'd be covered - UNLESS something exceptional happens in the meantime, say like a directive from above.
 
Joined
Apr 2, 2003
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291
aaron_simkovich: Nope no HOK around. Suburbia, I'm sandwiched by the rich in the division of mediocrity.

shmoopiebear: Thanks. I'll be sure to keep my cool, like dry ice. I guess its far more threatening to recite off Bill C68 without fault than to actually get audibly pissed at them. It was far cheaper to buy it online and I couldn't find a Leek on knifezone. They BETTER not destroy it before i get a chance to PROVE them wrong!

switched: I believe the leek is different than the 710 because it is IMPOSSIBLE, utterly impossible to open it with centrifugal force (this is a fiction force btw, its merely a concept they used in early times to explain centripetal force to boneheads :p ). It takes enough force to push the blade open to overcome the torsion, so I hope this wont be a deja vu of what will happen to me.

ZENGHOST: Will do, contacting Kershaw tomorow, it's too late to think properly now.

curious2003: I hope your AXIS locks get through, as someone said earlier, they could have had a bad day and are just holding them for the hell of it.

numberthree: Hehe FOOLS! Well I'm sure if I provide enough evidence I'll be able to make them look like fools and return it before I make a ruckus
 

calyth

#!/bin/sh of a man
Joined
Feb 23, 2002
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To be very honest with you, your chance to fight it is slim. First reason is that you are considered underage by Canadian Law. I'm quite sure that 19 years old is the age of majority in Canada and you shouldn't be allow to order one in the first place.
Secondly, the customs are known to hold on to "prohibited" items very tightly. Your chance of it getting release is quite slim indeed.
If Kershaw did already fought and won in the Canadian court about the Speed-Safes, then you probably have a better chance at getting it back.
 
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Feb 7, 2003
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303
I think I'd better clarify here.

When I spoke about "all other" considerations being in play, I didn't mean to suggest that the Speed Assist and the Axis could be regarded in the same manner. So yes V100, the 710 and the Leek are different, as you say.

But I'm not confident that helps you. If the Canadian experience is anything like Au, or other places in the world, even in the US it seems, then the Leek is 'trouble' - despite what the law might seem to be. Customs here do not like these. All they have to do is find A reason in the wording of the legislation, to focus on and thereby prohibit. Doesn't have to be centrifugal force, so I wouldn't be too hung up about that. In the case of the Leek, the usual reason given is 'assisted opening'. Centrifugal force, on the other hand, was the reason indicated as being the problem in the case of that 710. But the anomolous thing about that was, these will generally be okay, even in Canada it would seem.

It is not clear to me whether this court case you speak of was a Canadian one. If it is, then obviously that is going to have a lot of bearing and may decide the problem in your favour. If it isn't, I'd be pretty concerned myself.

I'm saying this isn't as clear cut as you might think. If Customs gets a set against a knife, then the likelihood is you do have a serious problem. So careful how you go.
 
Joined
Sep 23, 2002
Messages
241
Originally posted by aaron_simkovich
house of knives sells them, they must be legal


Yes House of Knives do sell them, and we have never had a problem ordering them that I know of. Kershaw has gone to court, from what I have been told by House of Knives, which is why we carry them. Timberland and Sog also make a speed safe knife and for whatever reason can not sell them in Canada. Customs sieze those knives and will not let them in. Customs don't and shouldn't sieze Kershaw knives because this is exactly what Kershaw went to court to prevent. Probably the best thing to do is contact Kershaw and see if they would be willing to give some documentation or something along those lines.

Maybe a search on google will bring something up...
 

BOK

Joined
Apr 16, 2002
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2,413
Originally posted by *Cho*
Timberland and Sog also make a speed safe knife and for whatever reason can not sell them in Canada. Customs sieze those knives and will not let them in.

I believe thats Timberline not Timberland and HOK actually did carry them for a while until they were discontinued. I think the story is that Kershaw sued them and the knife stopped production.

Legally we can sell both the Timberline 'speed assist' line and the SOG assisted technology stuff.
 
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Sep 23, 2002
Messages
241
Originally posted by BOK
I believe thats Timberline not Timberland and HOK actually did carry them for a while until they were discontinued. I think the story is that Kershaw sued them and the knife stopped production.

Legally we can sell both the Timberline 'speed assist' line and the SOG assisted technology stuff.

heh Sorry if I was speaking I would have said it right... :D

It's a shame we don't carry any other 'speed assists' a variety would be nice...but that is getting off topic.

If anyone can do anything most likely it would be Kershaw contacting them is probably the smartest thing to do. If all goes well hopefully you will be able to re-claim your Leak. If not at least you now know you can buy them in Canada.
 
Joined
Jan 24, 2003
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2,110
Originally posted by calyth
To be very honest with you, your chance to fight it is slim. First reason is that you are considered underage by Canadian Law. I'm quite sure that 19 years old is the age of majority in Canada and you shouldn't be allow to order one in the first place.
Secondly, the customs are known to hold on to "prohibited" items very tightly. Your chance of it getting release is quite slim indeed.
If Kershaw did already fought and won in the Canadian court about the Speed-Safes, then you probably have a better chance at getting it back.

Calyth, the age of majority in Canada is 18. Some provinces have 19 as an age limit for bozze and tobbaco only, it doesn't apply to anything else (i.e. power of attorney, buying lottery tickets etc.) Secondly there is no federal legal age limit on buying a knife in Canada.
 
Joined
Jan 2, 2002
Messages
208
I haven't read this entire thread so if I repeat what someone else has said please excuse my laziness.
While in Kuwait for three years I bought and shipped scores of knives internationally. The trick is to list them as "Hand Tools" on the customs form. Most sellers will do that for you.
 
Joined
Apr 2, 2003
Messages
291
The Leek that got through was labeled 'Door Stop' :D I was almost offended to see the seller call it that.

So, this story has a happy ending afterall. Last night I called customs and left a message leaving my number and telling them to review Bill C68 Section III. Today at around 11am (I was in Philosophy class having a debate about weapons laws ironically) some guy from customs called me. Heres the conversation:

V: Hi
C: Hi, this is Canada International Mail Prohibited Importations Unit, how may I help you?
V: An item was seized from me and I believe the item is legally allowed in Canada.
C: First of all the item was not seized, it was detained. Detention number and name please.
*gives info*
C: It's a knife?
V: Yeah
C: It's in the post office, on the way
V: So..I don't have to pick it up or anything?
C: Nope, you will recieve it shortly
 
Joined
Sep 23, 2002
Messages
241
thats cool, glad to hear you got it back. I guess when customes screws up they call it "detained".:D
 
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