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Law blamed for steady flow of toilets across the border

SHARE Law blamed for steady flow of toilets across the border

Psst. Hey, buddy. Wanna buy a toilet?

American homeowners are heading into Canada to sneak around U.S. regulations and pick up high-capacity toilets.A U.S. conservation law that took effect in 1994 limited toilets to 1.6 gallons a flush. The older toilets allowed 3.5 gallons.

Plumbing suppliers in Windsor, Ontario, just across the border from Detroit, report they are increasingly seeing customers from Michigan. Some buy up to four toilets for remodeling projects or new homes.

"They drive back across the border from Windsor and we ask them what they've got in their cars," said Mark Hoying, a senior inspector at the U.S. Customs Service in Detroit. "Some will say they bought a toilet, believe it or not."

The toilets are available duty-free in Canada because of the North American Trade Agreement.

Rep. Joe Knollenberg, R-Mich., is pushing a bill to repeal the toilet-regulating law so that U.S. toilet manufacturers can make any type of commode.

"We've had an overflow of complaints about these new toilets from consumers," Knollenberg said.