This was found in a local boating magazine- Author unknown
Boating between the US and Canada?
We just returned from a great trip to Victoria, BC and learned some good lessons along the way on how to enter and clear customs. If you’re thinking about a cross border trip but are intimidated on the customs process, I’d like to ease your mind and relate our experience. I am in no way a customs expert but can tell you firsthand what happened to us. The first thing to understand is everything has gone electronic so get someone on your team that’s comfortable with a cell phone or tablet.
To enter Canada, you need to use the Canada customs app, ArriveCan. You can download from the app store or sign in to the ArriveCan website. You will need to enter passport information for each person onboard but fortunately they can be scanned in using your device’s camera. You’ll need to edit and correct any information that scanned incorrectly. You will also need to scan Covid-19 vaccine cards as well and correct any information necessary. All this can be done anytime in advance of travel however the data cannot be submitted to Canadian authorities more than 72 hours prior to arrival in Canada. You can use one ArriveCan app for all persons onboard or each person or family can do their own. Once submitted, and assuming there are no issues, you will receive an emailed receipt. I stopped at the Customs dock in Victoria but there was no officer there. There is a phone on the dock, or you can use your cell phone and call the number posted. It took 45 minutes for an officer to answer and then they requested the name, date of birth, passport number and receipt number for the ArriveCan app. They asked the usual questions about anything to declare and after a few minutes gave me a clearance number and said we were good to go.
After a very pleasant stay in Canada, we returned to the US via Roche Harbor. I was surprised to find out that the US also has a required app call CBPRoam. This app needs to be downloaded to your device. You will need to create a login to login.gov and to CBPRoam. You need to purchase a boat decal ($33 for the calendar year) with a unique number to be used in the CBPRoam app. You then fill out the data required about the boat and all people onboard, again you can scan passports. No vaccine cards are required for entry to the US. The data can be entered at any time but cannot be submitted to customs until you are in US waters. This might be problematic depending on the availability of service where you might be. After submitting the data in the app, you will receive a call back from a customs agent asking questions about goods brought back and agricultural products. We were surprised that some groceries purchased in the US were not allow back after we visited Canada and needed to be eaten or disposed prior to arrival. Once you complete the phone call with Customs you will soon receive a clearance on the app. At this point you don’t need to stop at the customs dock unless directed and can proceed to anywhere in the US you want to go.
Once you get the hang of things the process is actually easier than it sounds. For brevity I have left out some minor details that will be self-evident. I hope I’ve allayed some fears and hope you have some great cross border cruises.