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Old 27-07-2016, 17:15   #46
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Re: American Boaters going to Canada, Be Advised...

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Originally Posted by wannacat View Post
I boat on the Niagara River and we're having issues with "crossing the line"!!! It's totally ridiculous that we have to call in if we've tacked across the line, but apparently it's some stupid, couple of hundred year old law that only the Canadians care about or enforce!?!? American boarder services doesn't care if we're 10 feet from their shore or less, as long as we don't land, touch bottom or touch an American boat on the water. Yet, our the Canadian side is all over us to call in!
Our boat is permanently moored in a U.S. marina, only a couple of Kms south of the border. We sail in and out of both U.S. and Can waters all the time. We never anchor, touch land by grounding or otherwise, neither do we meet up with another boat from across the line while sailing on the open water. We sail our boat under these rules and have never been questioned by customs or border patrols about our sailing habits on our return to home port. We are well aware the border is "watched" closely by CBP and we intend to play by the book when it comes to rules of both US and Can customs and/or border patrol.
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Old 27-07-2016, 17:54   #47
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Re: American Boaters going to Canada, Be Advised...

Well, I didn't discover in these post if the OP was officially registered with the Canadian program or not. However, if he was, I would be damned if I ever paid that kind of outrageous fine. I would have demanded a call to the nearest consulate and raised holly hell. I would have made that guys day the worst he has had in years!! They could have put me in jail. Resort towns do not like bad press !! And they would have got some bad press. Even if they were not registered properly in the program, that should have been the first question asked when they called in initially. I hope the rude bastard loses his job. Its not that Americans should not be pushed around, no one should be pushed around. Man, this kind of stuff really pisses me off. (you can probably tell).
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Old 27-07-2016, 19:05   #48
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Re: American Boaters going to Canada, Be Advised...

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Originally Posted by captlloyd View Post
Well, I didn't discover in these post if the OP was officially registered with the Canadian program or not. However, if he was, I would be damned if I ever paid that kind of outrageous fine. I would have demanded a call to the nearest consulate and raised holly hell. I would have made that guys day the worst he has had in years!! They could have put me in jail. Resort towns do not like bad press !! And they would have got some bad press. Even if they were not registered properly in the program, that should have been the first question asked when they called in initially. I hope the rude bastard loses his job. Its not that Americans should not be pushed around, no one should be pushed around. Man, this kind of stuff really pisses me off. (you can probably tell).

I agree with you. It seems that as economies struggle more, laws are amended and vagaries are added to muddy the waters and assist in government collection schemes.

Yes, the officer always has discretion and attitude will influence that discretion, but so will his attitude.


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Old 27-07-2016, 19:11   #49
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Re: American Boaters going to Canada, Be Advised...

I remember two other couples and my wife and I got fleeced for every penny of cash we all were carrying with us 30 years ago. When we were traveling in the USA. We could even come up with 30 cents to pay duty on a six pack of beer when we got to the Canadian border. It's a known fact the if a traveler has any altercation with American Police and you are carrying cash , you can kiss it good by. Sure you can get it back if you take them to court. Why two friendly countries treat each others citizens so disrespectfully is beyond me . I'm actually afraid to go to the USA and I don't go there without a serious reason for doing so. I find it too easy to fall down a rabbit hole there. I would feel safer visiting Cuba.
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Old 27-07-2016, 19:11   #50
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Re: American Boaters going to Canada, Be Advised...

Here is an excerpt from the first post by OP.

Click image for larger version

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The OP does not say he was a paid member of CANPASS-agreed

He anchored in Can. waters & immediately phoned CANPASS.

He got the OK from CANPASS to anchor,swim,walk beach & visit restaurant & a permit # to prove it.

At this point,the ball is in CANPASS's hands-right or wrong.

What the h--l more could he do? He followed CANPASS'S (CBSA's) instructions. They were obviously wrong instructions but he didn't know that.

He acted in good faith with CANPASS's (CBSA's) blessing.

In this particular instance,I feel he got a raw deal.

I hope he pursues this & gets ,at least,an apology from my Fed govt.

/ Len-a pissed off Canadian!!
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Old 27-07-2016, 19:24   #51
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Re: American Boaters going to Canada, Be Advised...

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Originally Posted by lonesoldier0408 View Post
I agree with you. It seems that as economies struggle more, laws are amended and vagaries are added to muddy the waters and assist in government collection schemes.

Not sure what your "economies" comment means. Canada is doing ok. Not as great as other years, but not too bad. And unlike other law enforcement agencies, the CBSA does not get to keep any of the fine money levied.

The laws are pretty clear, and have not changed of late. American boaters who want to take a stroll on Canadian soil need to clear in as per normal procedures. Unless the OP, and all people on the boat, were CanPass or Nexus registered (which I infer they were not), a simple call in was clearly in violation of the law.

The officer was over-zealous and obnoxious, but he was not wrong. And of course, we don't know the full story here. We have the aggrieved person's account. Perhaps the officer would tell a different tale. And if (as I suspect) Pelee Island is a place where American boaters commonly disregard the official regs, there may be a crack-down going on which brings this crossing in line with what we now demand from all our border security (foolishly, I say).

I'm not trying to suggest this officer did right by the OP. But in this age of security-trumping-all-reason, (and is no different with Canadians crossing the US border), it's not really a big surprise.


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Old 27-07-2016, 19:36   #52
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Re: American Boaters going to Canada, Be Advised...

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Well I guess I sit on the other side of the fence. The job of a border officer is to protect and enforce the laws of entry, not educate people on the reporting requirements.
In that case the woman on the phone could have asked the OP for a credit card when he said he was going ashore.
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Old 27-07-2016, 19:48   #53
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Re: American Boaters going to Canada, Be Advised...

Government bueracracy in all its grandeur is none more evident than when crossing borders.

My wife and I recently renewed our US work visas in canada. This particular consulate had a special wooden box that unfortunately rendered my wife's handbag non compliant. It took me some time to introduce the official to the amazing property of leather that allows it to be folded. Magically my wife's handbag became compliant. The official remained dubious to this 'magic'.

Thinking we were over this ordeal we were then faced with a phone headset non compliance issue. My wife's corded headset had a blue stripe. (Klaxons blare) Therefore it must be bluetooth and not allowed in the building. Thankfully an older official came to our rescue. (Thankyou kind sir)

Inside we even had a lovely young lady fix a typo on our documentation. It's amazing how these things are more efficient when people work together and treat each other with a modicum of respect.

We thoroughly researched the US consular website in preparation for our visit. The only restriction listed was to bring a small backpack to store your belongings. This was our third such visit and each consulate does things differently.

After we successfully concluded our visit we walked back to our apartment. On the way we passed a small shop with wooden boxes. These looked familiar...

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Old 27-07-2016, 20:20   #54
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Re: American Boaters going to Canada, Be Advised...

You don't have to pre-register to call 1 800 Canpass. Read the whole page! 1 800 Canpass is the actual and only number you can call to clear Border Services back into Canada from the water! I've been doing it since 1977 and never have registered. The site says that it makes things easier and quicker for an American if they do and everyone on board is American. The fact that they issued the OP a Clearance Number should be proof enough and he should contest this atrocity !!! One time when we can back over from NY, late after a Regatta there, I told everyone on the boat to stay put while I went on land from my slip and made the call to Canpass. I had everyones nationality, birthdate etc. and received a Clearance number over the phone and was told that we were okay to go. I got back to the boat and there were 2 Agents there grilling my crew and turned to me and starting giving me a hard time for leaving the boat and not checking in. I gave them my Clearance number and told them to call the Canpass number, which they did. Then, they said goodnight, turned tail and skadadilled outta there. There may be another side to this story that we're not hearing???
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Old 27-07-2016, 20:20   #55
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Re: American Boaters going to Canada, Be Advised...

Just by the many varied opinions of the posters here, we should all understand what a quagmire the Canada/US border has become. I travel all the time across the border to my boat in Point Roberts, but I'm strongly considering bringing her back to Canada. Not because I dislike Point Roberts (awesome place, fantastic people), but because, even as Nexus pass holders, we are never entirely sure we are fully compliant with the ever changing rules on both sides, not to mention the occasional dickhead border person (Canadian and American). This is a VERY sad situation for all of us, and our respective governments need to hear more from the boating community. It seems that with every new rule/regulation designed to keep us 'safe' everyone suffers.
I certainly hope the OP comes back to Canada! Forget about this experience if you can. Our American friends are always welcome
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Old 27-07-2016, 20:34   #56
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Re: American Boaters going to Canada, Be Advised...

I'm sorry to hear CBP were such dickheads. Sorry but not surprised. Having experienced similar dickheadery from US customs I can assure the OP that his ordeal has only just begun. We missed many flight connections over the subsequent 5 years after our encounter. That's mostly gone away now but it occasionally surfaces unexpectedly. The only solution would be to stay home and I refuse to let the SOBs win that way. But it can be damn unpleasant and it definitely influences our travel plans. If we can fly over the US direct to Mexico we'll take that every time, no matter what it costs. Europe is good too.

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Old 27-07-2016, 20:58   #57
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Re: American Boaters going to Canada, Be Advised...

Sorry about your experience...border agents both sides of the border suffer from short man syndrome. Maybe things will get better once you guys build your wall.
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Old 27-07-2016, 22:17   #58
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Re: American Boaters going to Canada, Be Advised...

Just spoke with a buddy of mine up in Port Townsend yesterday, and he rehashed a story of similar lines. They crossed over coming south from Alaska and checked in. They were asked if they had booze, firearms, etc. No was the answer. Some guy of similar Napoleonic propensities searched the hell out of their 65ft trawler and found an aged BB gun rifle. Now the kicker here is, the guy looked to see what the velocity rate - feet per second (fps) was, and it was like 20fps over the "allowable" limit. They "seized" his boat and the same sort of song and dance had to happen. The double kicker here is the BB gun belonged to his son who had taken it aboard years ago and left it / forgot about it. The same son who's now an Army Ranger, was wounded and almost lost in Afghanistan.

Now the skipper pretty much lost his **** at this point and asked to get a supervisor involved. Things calmed down I guess. Fine was paid and he was on his way. But I tell you, left a sour taste in his mouth.
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Old 28-07-2016, 00:45   #59
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Re: American Boaters going to Canada, Be Advised...

I was not around back then,
but this sounds a lot like pre WWII border-crossing stories.

Given today's increasingly xenophobic hyper-patriot atmosphere
this and too many other similar tales will probably arise over the next year.

I just got back (yesterday)
from parading through sequences of TSA-style checkpoints
and the vicious tone heard now is absolutely different from just a few months ago.

I had one ogre go almost ballistic over a transparent ink pen trying to get me excited.
I simply ignored his attitude
but his bile was also directed toward people behind me,
much like what I witnessed in LAX and SFO not that many years ago (TSA).
Screaming at tired and dehydrated air travellers does not impress me.

Not USA, not Canada but some asian borders.
All, "I-am-in-your-face-now" hostile.

I am always very careful about what I carry across borders,
but the final straw was a drug-sniffing team with a dog who likes wallets.
Fortunately mine was almost empty.

They will be going after your pocket money ala civil forfeiture,
and the USA has set the standard for how to do that and make Billions.

Be very careful about border crossings,
it will get much worse between now and November.

We already see the results here of fishing boats in this region
being confiscated and sunk/burned, the crews paraded like shackled slaves being
bartered over between nations.

This is all being driven by nationalism and flag-waving not seen in decades.
Fortunately, eventually, cooler heads will prevail but in the meantime it is a rough ride.
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Old 28-07-2016, 05:00   #60
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Re: American Boaters going to Canada, Be Advised...

This is an example of sensible border treatment

Alberta teens detained for Pokemon Go U.S. border crossing - Calgary - CBC News
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