T Nation

Canadian Border Restrictions for Supps?

Hello,

Any Canadians out there?

I want to go to the States to buy some supplements that I can’t find here but I am having a VERY difficult time finding out if I will be able to bring them across the border. I have phoned customs and Health Canada and searched through their websites and am just getting the run around.

So I guess my question is 2-fold. 1)which supplements are restricted in Canada 2)if a supplement is restricted in Canada does that also mean I cannot bring it across the border?

Also, there seems to be a difference between restricted and banned? For example, on Health Canada’s website I see Kava Kava is banned but that is about the only supplement that is specifically mentioned. I am interested in supplements such as Boron and Vitamin K2, which while available in Canada, seem to be only permitted in very low quantities.

I am also interested in combination products such as Jarrow Bone Up- again, not available in Canada, how can I find out if I can take it across the border?

I have searched for a list. I can’t find one. I don’t understand the importing rule. If you could shed some light on this I would really appreciate it.

Thank you!

Well I still haven’t heard from Health Canada but I was talking to a couple of people here and there is no “list”. According to a sales rep for a Canadian supplement company, Health Canada does not have written restrictions on vitamin/mineral levels, they just place limits based on toxicity studies but they bend the rules if a company can show evidence that the levels in their product/combination are ok. By bend the rules I am assuming that means assigning a npn (natural product number).

It is also not a problem taking supplements across the border- the rep says a 3 month supply is ok while the clerk at the vitamin store says he just says he has a bunch of supplements and he has never been questioned.

So it seems I can bring across pretty much any supplement I like.

Where are you in Kanada? I just got back from the grocery store in Niagara falls, NY. There’s always a canadian or two I see buying 20 lbs of butter or, like today, 15 gallons of milk. It’s well known around here that many canadians come down in old clothes, buy new clothes at the outlet malls, put as many layers of the new clothes on as possible and then dump their old clothes in the parking lots. For a country full of sheeple, I’m actually surprised this goes on and I can’t imagine they’re declaring this stuff at the border.

I wish I lived close to the border and could bring clothes back, declaring stuff is BS in my opinion. I have to pay tax to my government for something I bought from somewhere in America? I don’t get it. I have a friend who gets all his supplements shipped to a place next to the border, banned stuff, he picks it up and comes back with no problems.

I think this is the sort of info you were looking for:

http://cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/publications/dm-md/d19/d19-9-1-doc-eng.html

http://isomerdesign.com/Cdsa/

The only restriction I have run into so far is the 90 day supply thing. I was not aware of this before i had this issue so I would typically buy a 6 month supply from Biotest to avoid paying multiple shipping charges. I didn’t have a problem in the past (about 2 or 3 big orders), but this time I got dinged and they had to send some of the stuff back to Biotest. I was ok with that i guess, since Biotest has a return policy. However, I wasn’t happy that it took Fed-ex literally a month to figure everything out with the shipment. But here’s the kicker…Fed-ex charged $205 for the return shipping!!! Just ridiculous. That’s 25% of value of the shipped contents.

I can live with the 90 day supply rule, but it become a problem for me in regards to protein powder. If you look at the Metabolic Drive label it says something like “for 20 grams of protein mix one scoop, for 40 grams mix 2 scoops and for 60 grams mix 3 scoops.” The stupid assholes at Health Canada interpret that as meaning the daily recommended dose for protein is a max of 3 scoops. That’s just one shake!! So they told me I can only order 8 at a time, which only lasts me 8 weeks if i’m lucky. Pisses me off.

Anyway, just thought I would mention that to any other Canadian members that order supps from Biotest or anywhere else in the US.

[quote]JMo_19 wrote:
The only restriction I have run into so far is the 90 day supply thing. I was not aware of this before i had this issue so I would typically buy a 6 month supply from Biotest to avoid paying multiple shipping charges. I didn’t have a problem in the past (about 2 or 3 big orders), but this time I got dinged and they had to send some of the stuff back to Biotest. I was ok with that i guess, since Biotest has a return policy. However, I wasn’t happy that it took Fed-ex literally a month to figure everything out with the shipment. But here’s the kicker…Fed-ex charged $205 for the return shipping!!! Just ridiculous. That’s 25% of value of the shipped contents.

I can live with the 90 day supply rule, but it become a problem for me in regards to protein powder. If you look at the Metabolic Drive label it says something like “for 20 grams of protein mix one scoop, for 40 grams mix 2 scoops and for 60 grams mix 3 scoops.” The stupid assholes at Health Canada interpret that as meaning the daily recommended dose for protein is a max of 3 scoops. That’s just one shake!! So they told me I can only order 8 at a time, which only lasts me 8 weeks if i’m lucky. Pisses me off.

Anyway, just thought I would mention that to any other Canadian members that order supps from Biotest or anywhere else in the US. [/quote]

thanx for mentioning this! So I wonder if it is because of the label like you say or the assumed limit of 60 grams per day applies to all brands of protein powders?

[quote]MrZsasz wrote:
I think this is the sort of info you were looking for:

http://cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/publications/dm-md/d19/d19-9-1-doc-eng.html

http://isomerdesign.com/Cdsa/[/quote]

thank you very much for these links!

So it seems like there are
1)controlled substances
2)“substances” that are not controlled or banned but do not get approval or the right to be commercially imported
3)substances that pass approval and are freely available in Canada- with or without a natural health product number.

Those links you provided are for controlled substances- so stuff I guess is basically illegal in Canada or needing a prescription. So I see DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone) for example is on that list and I bet that cannot be brought across the border.

Then in the middle are things like vitamin K2 and boron and who knows what else, whose quantities are limited in Canada and I guess not imported (not seen on the shelves here) but can be brought across the border. For example, I did not see Boron on those lists, yet in Canada maximum dosage in a pill is 800mcg whereas in the States it is 3mg I believe.

So I just wonder what they mean by a 3 month supply then- if for example they think max daily dosage of boron is 0.8 mg, then a multivitamin with 3 mg per pill would be 4 days worth? I hope they aren’t that clever.

Thank you also for the other 2 replies.

thanx for mentioning this! So I wonder if it is because of the label like you say or the assumed limit of 60 grams per day applies to all brands of protein powders?[/quote]

I spoke with someone at Health Canada while this was going on and they said they go by the label. Eventhough the label doesn’t explicitly state a daily max (b/c there really isn’t one with protein powder), they interpret MD label and meaning 3 scoops per day. I tried to explain to her that protein shouldn’t really be classified as a supplement and it’s really just another form of food, therefore the daily requirements vary from person to person depending on goals, etc. It didn’t help hah

[quote]JMo_19 wrote:
thanx for mentioning this! So I wonder if it is because of the label like you say or the assumed limit of 60 grams per day applies to all brands of protein powders?[/quote]

I spoke with someone at Health Canada while this was going on and they said they go by the label. Eventhough the label doesn’t explicitly state a daily max (b/c there really isn’t one with protein powder), they interpret MD label and meaning 3 scoops per day. I tried to explain to her that protein shouldn’t really be classified as a supplement and it’s really just another form of food, therefore the daily requirements vary from person to person depending on goals, etc. It didn’t help hah[/quote]

geeez, what a nightmare. Thanx so much for letting me know.

There’s no guarantee they will flag the shipment every time, so i was planning to just risk another large order but that return shipping charge is enough to deter me from trying.

Never had a problem and I’ve lived in AB and BC.

Also, OP, Boron?? Serioulsy? That was blown up back in the '80…

[quote]JFG wrote:
Never had a problem and I’ve lived in AB and BC.

Also, OP, Boron?? Serioulsy? That was blown up back in the '80…[/quote]

the boron is for estrogen- a female thing, to do with bones, not muscles :slight_smile:

I have never had any issues ordering from Biotest. I have ordered 2 V-Diet packages, which only lasts the 4 weeks but if they don’t know that, there are 12 or more tubs of MD, plus HOT-ROX and anything else you want to add. Never an issue.

[quote]Reconstruction wrote:

[quote]JFG wrote:
Never had a problem and I’ve lived in AB and BC.

Also, OP, Boron?? Serioulsy? That was blown up back in the '80…[/quote]

the boron is for estrogen- a female thing, to do with bones, not muscles :)[/quote]

And if you think that Boron is going to help, then…

Yeah, I’ve read the research. Just eat healthy for you.

[quote]JFG wrote:

[quote]Reconstruction wrote:

[quote]JFG wrote:
Never had a problem and I’ve lived in AB and BC.

Also, OP, Boron?? Serioulsy? That was blown up back in the '80…[/quote]

the boron is for estrogen- a female thing, to do with bones, not muscles :)[/quote]

And if you think that Boron is going to help, then…

Yeah, I’ve read the research. Just eat healthy for you.[/quote]

ya, I’m not counting on it. I noticed that the boron/prune studies were funded by the California Prune Growers Association or something. Still, I am trying to keep an open mind. I am also using Health Canada’s restrictions as a clue on what to avoid- I don’t think they are so dumb.

I agree about getting it from food. I have software that adds up the vitamins and minerals I eat in a day- it is actually pretty challenging to get the RDA’s of many minerals.

For the minerals, i take trace minerals in my water and ZMA before bed.

I just keep it simple and listen to my body. Ever crave hot dogs?? when I do, I just eat one or up my minerals for the day. Crazy on how your body knows what’\ it is missing.

As for the research part, for evry study you find, I’ll find 1-5 studies that says the opposite, and so on and so forth…

It’s not as much as “eating your fruits and vegseis” as it is about balance. If you are stress one day, your dietery needs change. Go for a run in the hot sun vs a cool morning? yeah, things change.

Don’t major in the minors. You only get a headache…

ei someone know if i order some product (testosterone) from latin america and they send me for dhl or ups does that arrive