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Old 16-06-2016, 17:02   #31
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Re: Sailing through Foreign Waters

My two cents worth...

There's just no way the US is going to require you to get permission for the very simple reason that other countries (China, Russia, etc.) would reciprocate, requiring all US vessels (including US naval vessels, of course) to get permission even for innocent passage. Ain't gonna happen (in my opinion). Just sail through -- bearing in mind all the other good advice that it's a good idea to be prepared if you have to enter a US port. The Coast Guard can stop you, but that doesn't mean you've done anything wrong.

It's not quite pertinent, but imagine if a country like Singapore had a requirement like Australia. There are literally HUNDREDS of vessels passing through its waters every day (maybe every few hours). They would need a massive bureaucracy just to handle all the requests for innocent passage. (But going through there you will notice a coast guard boat every few hundred meters, or so it seems.)

Of course nowadays there's a solution to all of this: AIS. One assumes that if you they can see that "SV Oh Canada" is on a course of due south, they will leave you alone. If they don't, welcome them aboard, be nice, answer questions, and then be on your way.
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Old 16-06-2016, 17:08   #32
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Re: Sailing through Foreign Waters

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Originally Posted by CheapTravel View Post
Quick question about sailing from Canadas west coast to Mexico.
I want to sail from Canada to Mexico. If i plan to sail Non-stop all the way to Mexico do I have to report to U.S. customs. Keeping in mind i will not be pulling into any U.S. Ports or marinas.
Back to the original query regarding non-stop sail from Canada to Mexico.

As noted from other comments and links you do not HAVE TO report to US Customs when transiting the nicely vast international waters of the Pacific or even under international law of the sea rules regarding Innocent Passage within the 12 mile territorial waters.

As for everything else:

1) It can't hurt and might very well help to clear in right there in Washington State then clear out in San Diego. Stuff happens sometimes and you never know when safe harbor might suddenly look real appealing. Medical emergency, as an example. And only nineteen US bucks for a cruising license, as I recall. The prudent mariner, etc.

2) US Coast Guard boardings sort of anywhere, anytime for (?) reasons - yeah, it could happen. Been discussed in other threads. Their attitude will normally reflect your attitude. { As long as you're not carrying a load of illegal drugs or a bunch of trafficked Thai girls! } Bottom line: be professional about it and know that the "Be Nice" rule applies. I'll leave it for others to (yet again) debate the legalities of those boardings.

We went British Columbia to Cabo San Lucas in our Austrian-flagged sailboat but choose to make stops in various US harbours. But that was us and you apparently wish to bypass the whole coast. Good luck & good sailing!

James

Edit: I agree with StuM and his last post above about the legalities. My point of view is that I'm not so sure I'd want to argue the point when bobbing about at sea with an armed USCG Cutter with armed troops aboard standing off my stern. But that's me: the "choose your moment for defiance" type guy. <grin>
James
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Old 16-06-2016, 17:29   #33
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Re: Sailing through Foreign Waters

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Originally Posted by StuM View Post
Unfortunately, that comma you are referring to, while it may be in the training flashcard, is not in the legislation.

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/14/89

The Coast Guard may make inquiries, examinations, inspections, searches, seizures, and arrests upon the high seas and waters over which the United States has jurisdiction, for the prevention, detection, and suppression of violations of laws of the United States. For such purposes, commissioned, warrant, and petty officers may at any time go on board of any vessel subject to the jurisdiction, or to the operation of any law, of the United States, address inquiries to those on board, examine the ship’s documents and papers, and examine, inspect, and search the vessel and use all necessary force to compel compliance. When from such inquiries, examination, inspection, or search it appears that a breach of the laws of the United States rendering a person liable to arrest is being, or has been committed, by any person, such person shall be arrested or, if escaping to shore, shall be immediately pursued and arrested on shore, or other lawful and appropriate action shall be taken; or, if it shall appear that a breach of the laws of the United States has been committed so as to render such vessel, or the merchandise, or any part thereof, on board of, or brought into the United States by, such vessel, liable to forfeiture, or so as to render such vessel liable to a fine or penalty and if necessary to secure such fine or penalty, such vessel or such merchandise, or both, shall be seized.

Th USCG has NO jurisdiction over me or my boat beyond US territorial limits.


(Also see https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/USCODE...hap5-sec89.htm)
Can't site the case history, but as it was explained to me by an officer on a big cutter: if the vessel is US flagged they can board in international waters. If the vessel is not US flagged they contact the countries embassy in DC and get permission to board and then do. If there is no flag or obvious country registration visible then they can board.
FWIW
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Old 16-06-2016, 17:43   #34
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Re: Sailing through Foreign Waters

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Originally Posted by Paul L View Post
Can't site the case history, but as it was explained to me by an officer on a big cutter: if the vessel is US flagged they can board in international waters. If the vessel is not US flagged they contact the countries embassy in DC and get permission to board and then do. If there is no flag or obvious country registration visible then they can board.
FWIW
Exactly, if they tried to board a flag bearing, non US vessel in international waters without authority from the flag state there would be a major diplomatic incident.

(And don't hold you breathe waiting for a response from the PNG Embassy in DC )
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Old 16-06-2016, 17:47   #35
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Re: Sailing through Foreign Waters

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Originally Posted by StuM View Post
Exactly, if they tried to board a flag bearing, non US vessel in international waters without authority from the flag state there would be a major diplomatic incident.

(And don't hold you breathe waiting for a response from the PNG Embassy in DC )
Actually, except for a few states, I think the CG gets these permissions as a routine course of business. I bet Canada hands them out like maple flavored candy.
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Old 16-06-2016, 18:04   #36
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Re: Sailing through Foreign Waters

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Originally Posted by Lantau View Post
It's not quite pertinent, but imagine if a country like Singapore had a requirement like Australia. There are literally HUNDREDS of vessels passing through its waters every day (maybe every few hours). They would need a massive bureaucracy just to handle all the requests for innocent passage. (But going through there you will notice a coast guard boat every few hundred meters, or so it seems.)
Singapore does have similar requirements to Australia:

"With effect from 1st January 2012 it is now necessary to notify the Port Master at least 12 hours prior to arrival at Singapore."

Australia does not require notification for "transit passage". You can go through the Torres Strait without notifying them as long as you don't stop on the way.
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Old 16-06-2016, 20:17   #37
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Re: Sailing through Foreign Waters

I'm merely splitting hairs Stu, but without the comma, the meaning is that the US can "make inquiries, examinations..." etc, only on high seas over which she has jurisdiction.

Such a notion is nonsensical and totally contrary to observed US conduct ever since that insurgency in the 1770s.

For a man with a beard, an eye patch and a big green parrot on his shoulder, it just isn't worth arguing with the USCG since Friday Harbor ( no "u", if you please!) is so close to hand.

Another concession I make is that I try not be humming "Bandiera Rossa" as I enter ;-0)!

Cheers

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Old 16-06-2016, 20:25   #38
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Re: Sailing through Foreign Waters

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Originally Posted by StuM View Post
Singapore does have similar requirements to Australia:

"With effect from 1st January 2012 it is now necessary to notify the Port Master at least 12 hours prior to arrival at Singapore."

Australia does not require notification for "transit passage". You can go through the Torres Strait without notifying them as long as you don't stop on the way.
I was just going by what others said about Australia. I have no idea what they require. What you say makes sense: innocent passage applies.

What you describe for Singapore is notification before entering port, not innocent passage. I've sailed within spitting distance of Singapore (since Jan 1 2012) without saying a word to them. That's perfectly OK if you aren't stopping. But they do watch you very closely indeed -- by this I mean with a coast guard boat; one assumes that they are also watching you from afar with radar, possibly binoculars, etc. By the way, S'pore is among the countries requiring AIS for entry. Don't go into port there without it. You will not be welcomed with a smile; you will be fined instead.

But, back to the question, if the objective is to get from Canada to Mexico, not to visit US ports, just do it. If you have time with all your preparations -- is there ever enough time for such things? -- go ahead and notify the US authorities if you want. But innocent passage still applies in most of the world. Enjoy it while you can.
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Old 16-06-2016, 22:12   #39
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Re: BVI Charter

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Originally Posted by joeelliott View Post
Do I need to clear customs in St John if I'm planning to anchor in St John for a lunch stop and not go ashore? joeicnet@aol.com
I believe if you are anchored inside of territorial limits - eg within 12 miles - you are required to clear customs.
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Old 16-06-2016, 22:38   #40
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Re: Sailing through Foreign Waters

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Originally Posted by StuM View Post
He's at it again

What "authority" would that be - which applies to a vessel of another country in international waters?

AFAIK, the US doesn't govern the world yet.
Depending where you are!

The Australia navy boards boats of any nationality in the North and southern Indian ocean, though you can probably guess what the boats look like, Board a seize, three or four thousand of miles from its boarders.

Sorry for butting in.
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Old 17-06-2016, 00:32   #41
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Re: Sailing through Foreign Waters

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Originally Posted by peter57 View Post
Depending where you are!

The Australia navy boards boats of any nationality in the North and southern Indian ocean, though you can probably guess what the boats look like, Board a seize, three or four thousand of miles from its boarders.

Sorry for butting in.
Haven't noticed any of those boats showing a hailing port and flying a state flag. That makes them fair game
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Old 17-06-2016, 01:08   #42
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Re: Sailing through Foreign Waters

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Originally Posted by StuM View Post
Haven't noticed any of those boats showing a hailing port and flying a state flag. That makes them fair game
Yes, that is why I iterated you can imagine what they look like, and for got to say "need to be investigated".

Cheers,
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Old 17-06-2016, 06:14   #43
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Re: Sailing through Foreign Waters

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Originally Posted by Lantau View Post
My two cents worth...

There's just no way the US is going to require you to get permission for the very simple reason that other countries (China, Russia, etc.) would reciprocate, requiring all US vessels (including US naval vessels, of course) to get permission even for innocent passage. Ain't gonna happen (in my opinion). Just sail through -- bearing in mind all the other good advice that it's a good idea to be prepared if you have to enter a US port. The Coast Guard can stop you, but that doesn't mean you've done anything wrong.

It's not quite pertinent, but imagine if a country like Singapore had a requirement like Australia. There are literally HUNDREDS of vessels passing through its waters every day (maybe every few hours). They would need a massive bureaucracy just to handle all the requests for innocent passage. (But going through there you will notice a coast guard boat every few hundred meters, or so it seems.)

Of course nowadays there's a solution to all of this: AIS. One assumes that if you they can see that "SV Oh Canada" is on a course of due south, they will leave you alone. If they don't, welcome them aboard, be nice, answer questions, and then be on your way.
I think a lot of this goes back to plausibility.

Chinese freighters getting within 12miles of LA, are probably going to LA, where they have to check in and go thru all the red tape. They aren't going to run from British Columbia to Ensenada hugging the coast within 5 miles off the whole way. If they did, they would probably draw the CG interest and get boarded to check what is going on.

Likewise, the straights at Singapore, are a known transit location and I'd be willing to bet they track the AIS data on the freighters. Given the cruise speed and range, its very plausible that a freighter is just transiting.

A slow speed cruising boat running the length of the US west coast that close, is a lot less likely to be considered plausible. The only thing you have going for you is there aren't a lot of isolate anchorages to slip into unseen like on the east coast where you could anchor for the night and then slip back out (not that it's a smart idea to try it on the east coast).

Reality is the whole "innocent passage" idea is a courtesy not a requirement. If you touch territorial waters, they can pull you over. You can whine about, it may create an incident (unlikely unless they do something extreme), but reality is when a big boat with lots of young guys with big guns shows up and tells you to let them board, you are probably going to agree and arguing with them generally only makes the situation worse (you may be completely in the right but it won't make things go easier).
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Old 17-06-2016, 08:00   #44
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Re: Sailing through Foreign Waters

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Originally Posted by StuM View Post


What "authority" would that be - which applies to a vessel of another country in international waters?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imperialism

Still, the thread originally talks about Foreign Waters, which I interpret as US waters, No?

So the question is rather: why should the US not have and execute the right to limit, stop or search boats in US territorial waters?

In my book they should have such right. I can't see why they should overuse it. They are not known for that.

Cheers,
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Old 17-06-2016, 09:40   #45
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Re: Sailing through Foreign Waters

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4 August 1790: Congress authorized the Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, to create a maritime service to enforce customs laws (1 Stat. L. 145, 175). Alternately known as the system of cutters, Revenue Service, and Revenue-Marine this service was placed under the control of the Treasury Department
You see, unlike other Coast Guards, the USCG was formed as a law enforcement agency. Later on, it was merged with lifesaving and aids to navigation.
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