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Old 11-04-2013, 10:32   #1
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Question about entering US waters - PNW

If I leave Victoria and sail south to round Vancouver Island heading to Tofino with no intention of landing on US shores, do I have to check in with US Coast Guard when passing through Salish Sea?
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Old 11-04-2013, 11:04   #2
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Re: Question about entering US waters - PNW

No. You only have to check in if you actually land (which would include dropping your anchor in U.S. waters, even if you don't get off the boat).
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Old 11-04-2013, 11:06   #3
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Re: Question about entering US waters - PNW

If you do not plan to anchor or dock in the US, you do not need to check in, as I understand it.
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Old 11-04-2013, 11:14   #4
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Re: Question about entering US waters - PNW

Here is the specific rules concerning vessel check in:

4.60 - Vessels required to clear. - PART 4: VESSELS IN FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC TRADES - Code of Federal Regulations - Title 19: Customs Duties - April 01, 2010 - Order: 4.60 - 19648931 - PART 4: VESSELS IN FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC TRADES - Id 19648931 - vLe

If you enter "Customs Waters of the US" you maybe subject to boarding regaardless of flag.

I would call the USCG or US Customs directly and not rely on advice from here, since you will be trhe one who might be arrested... Not us!
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Old 11-04-2013, 11:39   #5
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Re: Question about entering US waters - PNW

Don't sweat it. You do not need to clear in, matter of fact you would have a hard time trying to clear in. If you get boarded, have your paperwork in order, and safety gear up to snuff.
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Old 11-04-2013, 11:43   #6
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Re: Question about entering US waters - PNW

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremiason View Post
Here is the specific rules concerning vessel check in:

4.60 - Vessels required to clear. - PART 4: VESSELS IN FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC TRADES - Code of Federal Regulations - Title 19: Customs Duties - April 01, 2010 - Order: 4.60 - 19648931 - PART 4: VESSELS IN FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC TRADES - Id 19648931 - vLe

If you enter "Customs Waters of the US" you maybe subject to boarding regaardless of flag.

I would call the USCG or US Customs directly and not rely on advice from here, since you will be trhe one who might be arrested... Not us!
This is for vessels "departing from a port or place in the United States." Last I checked, Victoria was not yet a part of the US .

We routinely pass through US waters up here on the Great Lakes, without having to clear in. Have never had a problem. That said, jeremiason is probably correct in pointing out that the USCG will do whatever they want in their own waters. They could board a Canadian-flagged vessel, in which case it may take some explaining and convincing on your part.
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Old 11-04-2013, 11:46   #7
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Re: Question about entering US waters - PNW

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Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
...the USCG will do whatever they want in their own waters. They could board a Canadian-flagged vessel, in which case it may take some explaining and convincing on your part.
That's true, of course, regardless of whether you check in or not.
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Old 11-04-2013, 11:51   #8
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Re: Question about entering US waters - PNW

Its not 'explaining', it is just answering the normal questions, as what you are doing is supported by maritime law, i.e Innocent Passage Innocent Passage Law & Legal Definition
The coasties aren't going to give you a hard time unless you are doing something illegal, e.g. leave the BC Bud at home, or are being a jerk. There also some Customs enforcement boats in the Straits.
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Old 12-04-2013, 00:08   #9
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Re: Question about entering US waters - PNW

The DHS cruises the Strait's South and East of Victoria and may pull along side to see where you've been and are going. Just be honest and they'll leave you alone.
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Old 12-04-2013, 18:34   #10
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Re: Question about entering US waters - PNW

[QUOTE=Paul L;
The coasties aren't going to give you a hard time unless you are doing something illegal, e.g. leave the BC Bud at home, ....[/QUOTE]

Didn't you know? They are selling "Bud" legally in Washington State!

Thanks for the replies, I think I will call in when over the line and see what they tell me to do.
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Old 12-04-2013, 18:37   #11
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Re: Question about entering US waters - PNW

How about just keeping a good log, or tracks on your GPS? That should show you where you've been, pretty well.
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Old 12-04-2013, 18:42   #12
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Re: Question about entering US waters - PNW

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Didn't you know? They are selling "Bud" legally in Washington State!

Thanks for the replies, I think I will call in when over the line and see what they tell me to do.
Yea, but the Feds don't yet agree.
Calling in offers you a chance to go down a rat hole. Most likely the person on the end of the 800 number, if you get an answer, will only know about clearing you in when you are located at a Port of Entry. You will explain that you are passing through. They will explain about only at Port of Entry. You will explain about just passing through.......
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Old 12-04-2013, 18:48   #13
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Re: Question about entering US waters - PNW

Yeah, NOT a good idea.

There's a reason they call it "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
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Old 12-04-2013, 18:56   #14
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Re: Question about entering US waters - PNW

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Originally Posted by eliems View Post
If I leave Victoria and sail south to round Vancouver Island heading to Tofino with no intention of landing on US shores, do I have to check in with US Coast Guard when passing through Salish Sea?
First, if you need to clear or report a "landing" you contact U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) not US Cost Guard. The rules are similar on both sides of the USA/CAN border. You can transit and do not need to report unless you land, anchor, or come in contact with another vessel (no rafting).

Some other activities, like scuba diving, fishing, etc ... might require reporting and other permits.

If you need to report because of choice or emergency like grounding, here is more info: Pleasure Boat Reporting Requirements - CBP.gov

If you report in the USA, you MUST report back in Canada on your return home. Here is more info: http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/publicati...f5061-eng.html

FWIW, if you plan to do it often get the NEXUS card ...
it makes the USA/CAN border crossing much easier by air, land, or water.

BTW, I am not guessing ... I boat on the USA/CAN border lakes and rivers.
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Old 12-04-2013, 20:36   #15
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Re: Question about entering US waters - PNW

OK, sounds like I should not call in after all unless I decide to make land in the US.
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