Canada & Alaska

Michele & Stephen's trip in 2012

Collecting Man in Halifax

Our motorhome (Man) should have arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia on 2012-06-03 and we should have been able to collect it on 2012-06-06. However for reasons that nobody has explained the ship carrying Man (The Atlantic Conveyer) returned to Liverpool when en-route to Halifax and so lost two days. Because we had been monitoring the progress of the ship (both here and here) we knew it would be late and had made hotel reservations accordingly. Not everybody had been so careful and some people found themselves unhappily without a hotel room and a motorhome! It seems to be fairly common for the ship to be a couple of days late on this route and neither SeaBridge nor their agent in Halifax provide updates on the ship's progress.

Before you can collect your motorhome you need to pay "your" agent in Halifax (arranged by SeaBridge) and your motorhome needs to be inspected by Customs and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CIFA). (CIFA are primarily looking for soil contamination under your motorhome that might carry foot and mouth disease into Canada). Because Customs and CIFA may need access to the interior of your motorhome, and because you probably want the shipping company to only have the minimum keys needed to drive your motorhome, you should deliver your additional keys to your agent as soon as you arrive in Halifax. (SeaBridge do not tell you this.) In our case neither Customs nor CIFA felt the need to actually inspect Man internally.

The information from SeaBridge suggested that there would be a compulsory cleaning and inspection fee and that the total bill would be $350.00 Can, in our case it was only $150.00 Can.

The shipping agent used by SeaBridge is referred to in their notes as Atlantic Customs Brokers (ACB), 1525 Birmingham Street, Halifax, however the name on the outside of the building is Mathers Logistics.

After you have paid ACB and received two signed copies of the Delivery Order and two copies of the Advice Note you take these to the Customs Office at 1583 Hollis Street, Halifax. Here you convince customs that you have no prohibited items in your motorhome and that you intend to re-export it in the not too distant future. Because Canadian rules seem to require you to register your vehicle in a province if it is there for more than 30 days you probably want to plan your itinerary to avoid this.

After Customs has stamped your forms (all four of them) you can take a short taxi ride to the (correct!) port where you can collect your vehicle.

In order to be near ACB and Customs we stayed in the delightful Waverley Inn in down town Halifax. A character hotel with considerable charm (and free WiFi).

The flag on the right is nearly the Saint Andrew's Cross (after all it is Nova Scotia), the centre one is the Canadian flag and the flag on the left is multicoloured. The plethora of wires is a feature of downtown Halifax, and I suspect many Canadian towns.

The hotel boasts modern lighting...

..state of the art interactive in-floor advertising and...

...comfortable ergonomic chairs (but alas no desk or other flat surface for your computer). Highly recommended.

Some signs of Halifax