Ontario man fined $800 for bringing chicken soup mix into Canada

Kolochuk has decided to keep on fighting and will appeal the tribunal’s decision.
Kolochuk has decided to keep on fighting and will appeal the tribunal’s decision. iStock

Note to all soup enthusiasts: you can’t bring the delicious stuff back from vacation without declaring it at the border.

That is the message Canadian Border Services Agency sent to St. Catherines, Ont. resident Raymond Kolochuk when he came back from a vacation in Mexico two years ago with a tub of Knorr soup mix.

When Kolochuk and his wife went through customs at Toronto’s Pearson Airport, customs didn’t release one of their suitcases in which the chicken soup mix was found.

The next day he got a call from the CBSA informing him that the soup mix was against regulations and that he had violated s. 40 of the Health of Animals Regulations.

The cost of this violation? $400.

However, he was given a choice: pay the fine immediately or fight it but if you lose you’ll pay double.

Kolochuk told The National Post: “I almost dropped the phone when I heard the amount of the fine . . . It’s not like I was importing guns or drugs.”

He decided to fight for his right to eat chicken soup but even that turned out to be problematic.

Kolochuk missed his hearing because by the time he finally received the letter with the hearing date, he was away on a three-month vacation. As a result, he was found to be in violation and ordered to pay the $800 fine within 30 days.

CBSA for their part, did not let this go without commenting that there wasn’t just one tub of the soup found in Kolochuk’s luggage but several, and that “all food products must be declared.”

Kolochuk has decided to keep on fighting the good fight and will appeal the tribunal’s decision to the Federal Court of Appeal.

Good cluck!

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