Had a quick chat last night with a customs officer, she believes the change to $1,000 from $500 came when their computer system was changed. Apparently this was October 2005, at least that is what I understood.
I was told to go onto the customs website and check it out. Well I went on their site and even did a search or five, couldn't find it.
However I do know that I have brought close to $900.00 worth of goods via the postal system from Germany and it went straight through, although customs did check the contents of the parcel according to a sticker. This was in March this year.
I'll be asking more questions when I see her next!