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Old 15-06-2016, 19:03   #1
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Sailing through Foreign Waters

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.
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Old 15-06-2016, 19:07   #2
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Re: Sailing through Foreign Waters

Nope. Stay in international waters and you went from Canada to Mexico, just as any ship might.
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Old 15-06-2016, 20:50   #3
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Re: Sailing through Foreign Waters

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Originally Posted by tkeithlu View Post
Nope. Stay in international waters and you went from Canada to Mexico, just as any ship might.
True. Small note: If sailing east of Catalina Island off the southern coast of California then you're in US waters. Twelve miles from the mainland coast and twelve miles from Catalina = 24 and the gap is but 22 miles wide.

Still doesn't matter though, because the right of Innocent Passage then applies - just sail through non-stop.
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Old 15-06-2016, 21:14   #4
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Re: Sailing through Foreign Waters

Just be aware, that most countries require advance notice if you are going to enter their waters, and you should check what the lead time is, because if you should change your mind (it's a longish passage, and the northern part can be rough enough for equipment to break for which you might not have what's necessary to repair or replace on board), and you would still have to give the advance notice, prior to entering a port, which process must be completed prior to seeking an anchorage or marina. Penalties for not following the rules can be quite severe.

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Old 15-06-2016, 21:20   #5
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Re: Sailing through Foreign Waters

Having to give prior notice before entering foreign waters seems over the top to me. We had to do it in Australia. Fortunately, that was the only country we had to do it on our trip around the world.
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Old 16-06-2016, 01:18   #6
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Re: Sailing through Foreign Waters

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Having to give prior notice before entering foreign waters seems over the top to me. We had to do it in Australia. Fortunately, that was the only country we had to do it on our trip around the world.
Things have changed. Tonga, Fiji, New Zealand, Cooks all require it now.
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Old 16-06-2016, 03:42   #7
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Re: Sailing through Foreign Waters

I had no idea the U.S. was implementing prior notice. It seems that it does not apply to innocent passage -

eCFR — Code of Federal Regulations

160.103 Applicability.

(a) This subpart applies to any—

(1) Vessel on the navigable waters of the United States, except as provided in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section;

(c) Except pursuant to international treaty, convention, or agreement, to which the United States is a party, this subpart does not apply to any foreign vessel that is not destined for, or departing from, a port or place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States and that is in:

(1) Innocent passage through the territorial sea of the United States;

(2) Transit through the navigable waters of the United States which form a part of an international strait.



It appears for actually entering or leaving the U.S. recreational vessels are not required to give prior notice -

160.203 Applicability.

(1) U.S. vessels in commercial service, and

(2) All foreign vessels.


But then in exemptions recreational foreign vessels are also exempt -

160.204 Exemptions and exceptions.

(i) A foreign vessel 300 gross tons or less not engaged in commercial service.



from #19 when you have to clear customs
Closest USA customs port of Entry to Sidney, BC, Canada

You can sail all you want in U.S. waters without clearing, touch the bottom with an anchor, touch a dock, touch another vessel then you have to clear.

From the Customs and Border Patrol Patrol government web site:
https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/det...tering-the-u.s.

If your boat has anchored or tied up, you are considered to have entered the United States. No one shall board or leave the boat without first completing customs processing, unless permission to do so is granted by the CBP Officer in charge.


The CFR(code of federal regulations) also says if you make contact with a hovering vessel you have entered.
19 CFR 4.2 - Reports of arrival of vessels. | LII / Legal Information Institute
(b) For purposes of this part, “foreign port or place” includes a hovering vessel,
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Old 16-06-2016, 04:02   #8
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Re: Sailing through Foreign Waters

This question came up for the inside passage in Canada a while back.


If you are running a couple hundred miles offshore, likely no problem.


If you are hugging the coast 5-10miles off and they decide to pull you over, the burden will be on you to prove you were just transiting. It's hard to prove a negative (you didn't enter a port or anchor along the way and you aren't planning to).


You may or may not have the right of innocent passage but once you enter the territorial waters, they can pull you over and hassle you if they want.
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Old 16-06-2016, 04:35   #9
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Re: Sailing through Foreign Waters

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, CheapTravel.
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Old 16-06-2016, 06:04   #10
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Re: Sailing through Foreign Waters

Are the rules the same for passing through mexico?
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Old 16-06-2016, 08:39   #11
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Re: Sailing through Foreign Waters

This would not be unusual if the US requires to (?) report sailing thru their territorial waters (inside of the 12 miles line). Fear of the penetration and plenty of red tape have been reported before.

Mind nearly everywhere else you are free to sail thru the 12 miles patch without any formal requirements. All that may happen is a local coastguard boat or plane contacting you on the VHF and asking your status and your destination.

BTW sail flag up, also at night. Ask their standing via email and keep a copy of the response, just in case you get boarded, paralyzed and deported.

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Old 16-06-2016, 10:07   #12
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Re: Sailing through Foreign Waters

Quote:
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.
It can be a rough trip. Most stop in California to get last minute items and wait for November - end of hurricane season - to enter Mexico. Also it is a good idea to get your TIP for Mexico from San Diego.
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Old 16-06-2016, 10:25   #13
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Re: Sailing through Foreign Waters

Surmising, and that is all it is: surmise for the sake of erring on the side of caution: The very asking of this question might suggest that the poster is not yet ready for the challenges the sea will offer him after he turns left at the Swiftsure :-)

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Old 16-06-2016, 10:30   #14
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Re: Sailing through Foreign Waters

You can also apply for you Mexican TIP online from https://www.banjercito.com.mx/registroVehiculos/
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Old 16-06-2016, 10:34   #15
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Re: Sailing through Foreign Waters

I would suggest clearing into the US as soon as possible. If you have to take shelter, it would help to have cleared in.

As mentioned, clear out in San Diego.
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