Canadian moonshine laws

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Canadian moonshine laws

Postby partonken » Wed Apr 18, 2007 5:05 pm

Just wondering if anyone know what the laws are for making moonshine in ontario canada? And if it is illegal, what is the best way to protect yourself from going to jail? Just wondering after my mother was worrried that i would end up in jail! Then she definetly wouldn't get her drink! thanks ken from ontario
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Postby drunk2much » Wed Apr 18, 2007 7:04 pm

Well how old are ya that your mother is worring about ya? to avoid detection is dont blab to people that have something to gain by telling the athorities plus never ever sell trade or barter that way they really dont have much of a case against ya other than the taxes you screwed the gov for but hell thats what i get a kick out of the most. and use your head when running a batch.
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Postby bushido » Wed Apr 18, 2007 7:27 pm

REGULATED
Yes

STATUS
Over-The-Counter
Age Restricted

SCHEDULE
Un-Scheduled

* It is illegal to purchase alcohol for a minor.
* It is legal to brew beer and ferment wine for personal consumption without a license.
* In order to sell beer or wine, a license is required.
* It is federally illegal to distill hard alcohol (even for personal consumption) without a license
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Canadian moonshine laws

Postby birdwatcher » Thu Apr 19, 2007 3:13 am

I heard(not confirmed) that about a year ago, in Kingston, ON, a hobbiest(distiller) was turned in by some tight ass.

He went to court and the judge threw the case out but warned the guy that if he was ever caught selling his product, he would throw the book at him.

G
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Postby bushido » Thu Apr 19, 2007 5:35 am

Probably true. It's the lost taxes the Govt. worries about, they hate the competition. Up here I believe they tax liquor at 18% plus GST & PST, so on a $30 bottle of liquor, the govt takes $8.20. Hows that for profit without getting off your ass to do anything to earn it :evil:
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Postby triggernum5 » Thu Apr 19, 2007 5:47 pm

We needed some kind of license to distill cedar oil for sale in Ontario.. Licenses are actually not excessively pricey IIRC.. Ironically though, its probably legally safer to distill liquor against the law unless you are an absolute straight-man, and intend to sell above ground.. You, and your close friends may be watched for infractions.. Stillin' isn't in the news right now, so you're ok.. When reporters start babbling about 15 stills on every block, its time to tighten the ship..
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Re: Canadian moonshine laws

Postby demonrichie » Wed Oct 13, 2010 10:14 pm

birdwatcher wrote:I heard(not confirmed) that about a year ago, in Kingston, ON, a hobbiest(distiller) was turned in by some tight ass.

He went to court and the judge threw the case out but warned the guy that if he was ever caught selling his product, he would throw the book at him.

G


well kingstons pretty safe for distilling if some1 got busted the tight ass rat musta been getting annoying. with 5 prisons releasing real criminals into the area constantly the cops dont even bother with worrying about distillers.
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Re: Canadian moonshine laws

Postby Kifi » Sun Nov 14, 2010 11:30 am

http://www.imbibemagazine.com/Modern-Mo ... oon-Rising

Here's what Mike McCaw had to say about how Canada punishes home distillers:

"While McCaw sells distillation equipment, he notes that he does not practice home distilling himself, for one basic reason: the law. “We have some of the most dire penalties of anywhere in the world,” McCaw says, noting that the only distilling he personally has done took place in New Zealand, where it’s legal. “In Canada, if they catch you, you get a fine and they seize your equipment. In the U.S., if you’re caught, they seize your house, your car and your bank account. If you are caught, you can end up destitute. If you want to do this, you need to make sure you don’t talk about it openly in public; and share the information only with a small number of very close and very trusted friends.”"

I spoke to an RCMP officer over coffee. He told me "it's definitely illegal. But we won't even respond to a complaint unless we hear that there is selling going on."

See above - a case in Kingston, ON recently, where a non-selling home distilling case was thrown out of court.

I spoke to a Revenue Canada boss in Toronto. The wing of their investigations unit that deals with monitoring distilling operations is tiny (a couple of people for all of Ontario) and is squarely focused on monitoring commercial distilleries.

It would be PR suicide for the cops to go after home distillers in Canada, and they know it. The public would overwhelmingly side with the distiller, and it would kick off a national debate on misplaced policing priorities.
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Re: Canadian moonshine laws

Postby SuburbanStiller » Mon Nov 15, 2010 12:19 am

If you can't do the time, don't do the crime.
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Re: Canadian moonshine laws

Postby Liquid_Luv » Wed Nov 24, 2010 8:09 pm

SuburbanStiller wrote:If you can't do the time, don't do the crime.


Please tell me what is so criminal bout what we do... the Tax Man misses out on a few extra $$$... I personally pay the amount required for 7 families to live comfortably, yet I only have one. :?
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Re: Canadian moonshine laws

Postby blanikdog » Thu Nov 25, 2010 12:38 am

Liquid_Luv wrote:
SuburbanStiller wrote:If you can't do the time, don't do the crime.


Please tell me what is so criminal bout what we do... the Tax Man misses out on a few extra $$$... I personally pay the amount required for 7 families to live comfortably, yet I only have one. :?


Perhapsyou local politition could answer that question better than we can. We all pay taxes to enable the more needy to survive, that's the problem with a social-democratic society. I paid taxes for six decades and am now an age pensioner

Thats the good part of a social-democratic society
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Re: Canadian moonshine laws

Postby SuburbanStiller » Thu Nov 25, 2010 2:40 am

Liquid_Luv wrote:
SuburbanStiller wrote:If you can't do the time, don't do the crime.


Please tell me what is so criminal bout what we do... the Tax Man misses out on a few extra $$$... I personally pay the amount required for 7 families to live comfortably, yet I only have one. :?


I heard of a guy that all he did was grow a plant and sell it to some friends and he went to prison. I heard of another guy that stole $3 Trillion from the American taxpayers, their children and grandchildren and gave it to some rich banker types, and they give him a Nobel Peace Prize.

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Re: Canadian moonshine laws

Postby Ayay » Thu Nov 25, 2010 2:51 am

Eat cake!
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Re: Canadian moonshine laws

Postby The Baker » Thu Nov 25, 2010 5:45 am

Liquid_Luv wrote:
SuburbanStiller wrote:If you can't do the time, don't do the crime.


Please tell me what is so criminal bout what we do... the Tax Man misses out on a few extra $$$... I personally pay the amount required for 7 families to live comfortably, yet I only have one. :?


You're preaching to the converted here!
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Re: Canadian moonshine laws

Postby Kifi » Fri Nov 26, 2010 9:16 pm

Liquid_Luv wrote:
SuburbanStiller wrote:If you can't do the time, don't do the crime.


Please tell me what is so criminal bout what we do... the Tax Man misses out on a few extra $$$... I personally pay the amount required for 7 families to live comfortably, yet I only have one. :?



I don't know if the taxman misses out on much. It's legal in Canada to produce a hell of a lot of ethanol without the requirement of paying taxes - not sure what the limit is, but it's in the hundreds of litres. It just has to contain wine or beer flavouring in addition to the alcohol. Ridicuous that I can make all that 5% beer or 12% wine I want, but I can't make a 7% rum and coke from scratch. Discrimination based on flavoring and nothing more.
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Re: Canadian moonshine laws

Postby blind drunk » Fri Nov 26, 2010 9:25 pm

Discrimination based on flavoring and nothing more.


I think we have a case with the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal :mrgreen:
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Re: Canadian moonshine laws

Postby Kifi » Fri Nov 26, 2010 9:55 pm

blind drunk wrote:
Discrimination based on flavoring and nothing more.


I think we have a case with the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal :mrgreen:


Lol! Where is Gwen Jacobs when you need her.....
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Re: Canadian moonshine laws

Postby Ayay » Sat Nov 27, 2010 1:15 am

French revolution. If there's no bread then eat cake.

They don't have to care an they can't see the reality. Offin heads was the ol solution.
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Re: Canadian moonshine laws

Postby Midday Moon » Sat Apr 23, 2011 8:25 am

The Canada tax on alcohol isn't a percentage, rather a per litre charge. $11.696 per litre of pure ethanol. That's $3.5088 per 750mL bottle at 40% abv. Where'd they got that number, I don't know.

The Excise Act 2001 - don't get it confused with the old one which is still on the books for brewers only - is here:

laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/E-14.1/index.html

It's illegal to distill ethanol without a licence except for "analysis" (Section 60) I don't think that this has been tested in court yet, so we may be in the clear for smaller batches if we aren't selling it... but who knows. Perhaps that's why they let the Kingston guy off - they don't really want to find out if he was in the wrong or not. Licences are subject to all the excise regs: taxes, bond prepayment, paperwork; and Canadian Food Inspection Agency requirements for commercial kitchens. There is no home distillation license, I've asked. An excise officer told me that you have to be caught in the act of distilling ethanol; having a still and moonshine in your house isn't enough for court (though Section 61 says you can't have a still, this is vague in practice because of all the other things you can do with a still). Cops are only allowed to search your house from 6:00am to 9:00pm unless "there are reasonable grounds for [the warrant] to be executed outside of that period". (Section 258)

Penalty - Summary conviction: $10,000 to $500,000 and/or up to 18 months in jail. Conviction on indictment: $50,000 to $1,000,000, and/or up to five years in prison. And they seize your stuff, of course. Good times. There are probably other penalties too, but this is the main one.

This is where it's screwy - it's essentially, maybe literally, legal - yet they have this big threat hanging over you just in case they decide they really don't like you. Compare this to the Bronfman family, who own Seagram's and were once the biggest distilling business in the world. A bunch of years ago they transferred $2 Billion out of the country, and the Canadian government waived $700 Million in taxes. Or I should say they 'waved' it, as in goodbye. In my view, they also waived their right to bicker about piddly lost taxes from a few home distillers, though I'm sure my view would never stand up in court.
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Re: Canadian moonshine laws

Postby Kifi » Sun Apr 24, 2011 12:06 pm

Here is some food for thought:

- Call your local police dept - tell them you're thinking of ordering a still, but want to find out if it's legal or not first. I called my local RCMP and regional police depts - they said 'if you're not selling, we're not interested'. Period. I'm told that you get the same response at any police station in Canada. Of course, you'll always have a cop here or there that didn't get the memo, which is perhaps what happened in Kingston.
- In Canada, there is a 5 year prison sentence for transporting liquor, wine or beer across provinical lines. Yet, if you call www.zyn.ca, a Calgary based online wine store, they'll happily send you some wine across provincial lines (although the site itself isn't set up to accept orders from Ontario, for example). So, why are they 'risking' a 5 year sentence? A friend of mine who runs a winery in Niagara on the Lake had the answer for me. Turns out the worst that really happens here is a cease and decist letter from the gov't, and in practice, that only happens if you're making a bundle of money. So, unlike with penalties in the Canadian Criminal Code (this is all Excise Act 2001), there is a pretty major delta between penalties and what happens in reality.
- The law in Canada says that wine samples, if sampled by a manufacturer, must be free of charge. Recently, citing liablility and the often remote locations of wineries away from public transit routes, a Federal Cabinet Minister advised wineries to break that law, and charge for samples to limit consumption. So the Canadian Excise Act is unique in that politicians are quite happy to publicly advise breaking the parts that don't make sense, which I think makes it less legitimate than other laws.
- You can freely import a still into Canada, so that supports the view that, in practice, a still isn't really illegal. You'll sure as heck hear from them if you try and bring a lb of heroin into the country, that's for sure.
- We have lax substance laws in Canada. Even getting caught with a few grams of marijuana is pretty much a non event - ie, they take it away from you, and that's it. So really, what are they going to do if they find you with moonshine.....

So, best practice is don't tell, don't sell. But as long as you're not selling, not much is going to happen to you in Canada.
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Re: Canadian moonshine laws

Postby Mr.Spooky » Sun Apr 24, 2011 1:41 pm

im in the U.S,, and i just keep about 2K in a special acount just to get me out of some shit... if its ilegal,,, its ilegal.... every day there is someone that is being made example out of. if you cant stand the heat,,,,,stay the hell out of the kitchen :wave:
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Re: Canadian moonshine laws

Postby snowboybrown7 » Fri Sep 02, 2011 10:48 am

Not meaning to kick a dead horse, but I had an experience with this.

A few years back the RCMP went through a serious recruitment campaign. Being young and idealistic, I figured I'd make a good cop. Part of the application process is a polygraph, and they have you fill out a form prior to taking it.
Wanting the job, I figured it was best to be honest. I wrote on the form that I had built and used a rum still at home.
The officer who reviewed my form asked me about it when we spoke. She was more curious about how the product turned out. I asked her if it was illegal, and she said "I don't think so, not unless you're selling it."

Now, I'm pretty sure it is illegal...but this was the officer in charge of screening new candidates for the Canadian federal police force. She hires new cops.

I keep pretty quiet about the hobby nonetheless, but I really don't think that hobbyist distillation is something that would ever be successfully prosecuted in Canada. As long as you're not selling, or making people sick, it seems to be ok.

Canadian judges are pretty big on personal freedoms. A superior court judge in Ontario almost legalized marijuana last April. A guy with fibromyalgia couldn't get a prescription for Medicinal use, so he grew his own. When they took him to court, the judge said that the marijuana laws denying him medicine were unconstitutional. The Crown has until November or something to appeal. Google "R. v. Mernagh 2011 Ontario Superior Court" if you care. I'm not advocating to legalize weed, just using it as an example about the prevailing attitude in the Canadian legal system about personal freedoms vs. outdated laws.

Be safe and honest and you should be fine.
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Re: Canadian moonshine laws

Postby Kifi » Fri Sep 02, 2011 12:37 pm

Very insightful post.

If you call your local police office in Canada and tell them you're thinking of buying a still (yeah, call from a phone booth, they still exist) :), they'll tell you that they don't really care as long as you're not selling it, and the way the 2002 Canadian Excise Act revisions were written, it would be almost impossible to get a conviction if you weren't selling or poisoning people. Most Canadian legal experts are pretty sure it's legal in Canada, but until someone tries to charge a non-selling, non-poisioning moonshiner, there won't be any case law for reference.

A case in point - a rogue moonshiner who poisoned a bunch of homeless people was nailed in Toronto's Kensington Market recently for 'producing alcohol that is not liquor' (so, in essence, "poisioning, or attempting to poison people" is the crime), and illegally selling alcohol without a permit. Even in that extreme case where someone nearly (or did) die, they didn't charge the moonshiner with making liquor illegally. I think you're safe.
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Re: Canadian moonshine laws

Postby blind drunk » Fri Sep 02, 2011 2:43 pm

:!: :!: :!: :!:
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Re: Canadian moonshine laws

Postby adanac58 » Wed Sep 14, 2011 10:44 pm

i pay tax on every pound of sugar i buy, every bit of equipment i use ... now i think ive gave my share to the government ... hehe
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Re: Canadian moonshine laws

Postby dwbhomebrew » Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:47 am

Every province regulates liquor sales differently.

In New Brunswick there are some interesting details in the Liquor Control Act...

37(1)Nothing in this Act shall, by reason only of the fact that they contain alcohol, be deemed to prevent the manufacture, sale, purchase or consumption of
(a)an extract, essence or tincture or other preparation containing alcohol and prepared according to a formula of
(i)the British Pharmacopoeia,
(ii)the United States Pharmacopoeia, or
(iii)a formula approved of by the Minister, or
b)a proprietary or patent medicine prepared according to a formula approved of by the Minister and in respect of which a licence has been granted to sell the same under the Proprietary or Patent Medicine Act, Chapter P-25 of the Revised Statutes of Canada, 1970.

37 (2)If of the opinion that a proprietary or patent medicine, extract, essence, tincture or preparation that contains alcohol, or any other preparation of a solid, semi-solid or liquid nature that contains alcohol, and that, or an extract from which, can be used as a beverage or as the ingredient of a beverage, the Minister, with the approval of the Lieutenant-Governor in Council,
(a)may prohibit the sale thereof by retail within the Province, or may prohibit the possession of the same for sale by retail within the Province, except by a liquor store or by persons duly licensed by the Minister to keep and sell the same by retail in accordance with this Act and the regulations, or
(b)may prohibit the sale thereof within the Province.

37(3)The Minister shall notify the manufacturer or vendor of the proprietary or patent medicine, extract, essence, tincture or preparation of a prohibition made under subsection (2) and from and after the date of the notification a person within the Province selling or keeping for sale any such proprietary or patent medicine, extract, essence, tincture or preparation prohibited as aforesaid is guilty of an offence.
37(4)The publication of a notice of the prohibition in The Royal Gazette is conclusive proof of any notification required under subsection (3).


Sorry for the long read and the nasty format.
Now Google the British Pharmacopoeia(B.P.) (1864 version) (Spiritus Rectificatus and Spiritus tenuior) (Liquor Control Act does not specify what year the B.P. to use as a guide :D )

1..Liquor Control Act says someone can make and sell preparations from the B.P.
2..The B.P. says someone can distill spirits up to 84%.
3..Even if this can be seen as a prohibited drink (Section 37.2) Section 37.3 says "anyone selling or keeping for sale... is guilty of an offence."
4..So if someone was using these spirits as medicine or for making medicine and not selling anything(but you are allowed to sell the medicine)... they would have a legitimate reason to run a home distillery operation.

All nice and legal.

Hmm.... Sometime reading the fine print.

I wonder about the laws in other provinces??????
It's been a lot of typing... so I need to go take some medicine and rest. :thumbup:
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Re: Canadian moonshine laws

Postby atarijedi » Tue Jul 31, 2012 1:51 am

Turns out there is an exception to chemical still licensing in the Excise Act (not Excise Act, 2001) in Section 134, Subsection 2. It states that if your still capacity is 23L (6gal) or less, you can register and license your still without paying the bond or registration fees.

So while you still need to register, and will still need to pay the ~$12/L of pure ethanol excise tax. You can do it legally and above board, if you want to.

I sent in my application, we will see if the CRA agrees with me. :D
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Re: Canadian moonshine laws

Postby braden87 » Thu Aug 23, 2012 8:13 am

atarijedi wrote:Turns out there is an exception to chemical still licensing in the Excise Act (not Excise Act, 2001) in Section 134, Subsection 2. It states that if your still capacity is 23L (6gal) or less, you can register and license your still without paying the bond or registration fees.

So while you still need to register, and will still need to pay the ~$12/L of pure ethanol excise tax. You can do it legally and above board, if you want to.

I sent in my application, we will see if the CRA agrees with me. :D



Get anywhere with this?
I'd like to do it!
What sort of form do you fill out and send, what's the process??

Thanks!!
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Re: Canadian moonshine laws

Postby atarijedi » Mon Aug 27, 2012 1:18 pm

braden87 wrote:
atarijedi wrote:Turns out there is an exception to chemical still licensing in the Excise Act (not Excise Act, 2001) in Section 134, Subsection 2. It states that if your still capacity is 23L (6gal) or less, you can register and license your still without paying the bond or registration fees.

So while you still need to register, and will still need to pay the ~$12/L of pure ethanol excise tax. You can do it legally and above board, if you want to.

I sent in my application, we will see if the CRA agrees with me. :D



Get anywhere with this?
I'd like to do it!
What sort of form do you fill out and send, what's the process??

Thanks!!


I haven't received a response yet. Which is sorta good news. Last time I sent one in I had received a call by now saying that I couldn't have it.

I filled out this form > http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pbg/ef/l63/l63-03e.pdf Which is the standard form for requesting a license and registration for a chemical still.

Most of the form is self explanatory, type of license is Spirits, registration type is Alcohol. For type of security, since I wasn't paying a bond or reg fees, I checked off "Other" and wrote in "Excise Act S.132 SS.2" and left the rest of the Bond info boxes blank.

Last time I applied, they had told me that at the start of the "Excise Act, 2001", it states that the Excise Act no longer has any force, and the 2001 version now has the power. Which is only half true, so I also wrote a letter to go along with my application. It explained how although at the start of the Excise Act, 2001 it says that the Excise Act is no longer in power, that only applies to manufacturing and handling, not licensing. There is nothing in the Excise Act, 2001 about licensing, all that info is in the Excise Act, which means they have no reason to deny my application.

Then you just mail it in to your local Excise Office. It will be one of these > http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pub/em/edm1-1-2/edm1-1-2-e.html
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Re: Canadian moonshine laws

Postby John51 » Mon Sep 17, 2012 12:51 pm

The 11th commandment:

Thou shall not get caught.
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