Jim, Do you have to pay customs on everything?
No , just have to pay our BC taxes (12%) when coming through , if they're not too busy at the border.
Sometimes they just say "have a nice day" , if they don't figure the amount they will collect is worth the time to do the paperwork.
Anything made in the U.S.A. or Mexico is exempt under the North American Free Trade agreement , anything made outside of those countries , but bought in the U.S.A. , is subject to duty (up to 20%) , as well as tax , but it is rarely enforced unless the dollar amount is fairly high.
Any Food is pretty much exempt from duty and tax , although they have limits on dairy products.
Alcohol and tobacco are strictly enforced and duty collected on anything over the personal exemption , which is a six pack of beer per person per trip.
Cheers , Jim.