There seems to be much confusion involved with entering Canadian or U.S. waters by boat.

The procedure of checking in with the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) or the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) when crossing the US/Canadian border is a process all boaters must endure. Until you have cleared customs, it is illegal to drop anchor, tie up to a dock or leave your boat unless it is to check in with the authorities. Other than docking assistance, only the vessel captain may leave the vessel until check-in is completed.

Boats arriving into the United States must arrive at a physical report site and call the local CBP reporting number. If you have nothing to declare and have the proper documentation, you may be able to clear by phone.

Boats arriving into Canada must arrive at a marine telephone reporting site and call the 24-hour number.

Both U.S. and Canada will give you a clearance number you will need to keep for twelve months.

Boaters from Canada wishing to visit the U.S. need to apply for Canadian Border Boat Landing Permit I 68, Canadian boaters who keep their boat in U.S. waters need to obtain a yearly Cruising Permit to visit Canada.  You can see where the uncertainty comes in?

Our best recommendation is to contact the Customs office where you live for the most accurate and current laws.

 For more information on fees, permits, and port of entries, go to, CBP’s website or CBSA’s website.


International Border Crossings by Boat — No Comments

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