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Old 02-09-2014, 12:30   #1
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Any Canucks know about a U.S. Cruising Permit?

Looking to find out what we can from any fellow Canucks who have purchased a U.S. cruising permit?

Where do you get them?
How much are they and how long are they good for?
Do you have to report leaving as well as arrivals?
Is it for the boat...or persons on the boat?
What is the process to obtain one?
Once you have it, can you then legally stay in the U.S. for the allotted time period?

Anything else we should know about it?

Thanks very much...internet searches have turned up confusing info.....

gunk
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Old 02-09-2014, 12:58   #2
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Re: Any Canucks know about a U.S. cruising permit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gunkylump View Post
Looking to find out what we can from any fellow Canucks who have purchased a U.S. cruising permit?

Where do you get them

at Homeland Security - US Customs
How much are they and how long are they good for?

No charge, up to a year.
Do you have to report leaving as well as arrivals?

Leaving where?
Is it for the boat...or persons on the boat?

boat
What is the process to obtain one?

Ask for one when you check in at a US port.
Once you have it, can you then legally stay in the U.S. for the allotted time period?

No

Anything else we should know about it?

You cannot get another one unless you leave the US for a foreign port and stay out at least 15 days.
Thanks very much...internet searches have turned up confusing info.....

gunk
It's all here:
https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/det.../226/related/1
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Old 02-09-2014, 15:47   #3
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Re: Any Canucks know about a U.S. cruising permit?

Thanks Rick, much appreciated! Getting ready to live the dream....trying to find out all we can.......

gunk
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Old 02-09-2014, 16:08   #4
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Re: Any Canucks know about a U.S. cruising permit?

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Do you have to report leaving as well as arrivals?
When you get the license, they should give you a list of phone numbers for the marine desk in each jurisdiction (there is also a 1-800 #) - when you first arrive in a new area (usually the next state) you're supposed to check in by phone. In our experience, either nobody actually does this, or they only have newbies answering the phone at CBP. Each and every call was with someone who has "never done this before", so be prepared to spend a little time on the phone. There doesn't appear to be a lot of consistency as to how reporting is done between states. As I said, most states only needed a report on arrival in the state, but Florida required a call for every move.

As for how long you can stay in the US, that is a bit of a catch-22. If you came from a country where you needed a visa, you could apply for a year-long tourist visa, but coming from Canada and therefore exempt from needing visa, that's seemingly impossible. You might try calling CBP or the US embassy, but I don't give expect you'll be able to penetrate the bureaucracy.
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Old 02-09-2014, 16:37   #5
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Re: Any Canucks know about a U.S. cruising permit?

Sooo, I take it that my Nexus card alone will not cut it in the States...wow!

And Florida wants to know my every move...lol....guess I had better do some reading and asking questions on the provided website from Vasco...this is going to be a big change for us.

Here in the Great Lake States....check in once with the Nexus card, and then check back into Canada.....easy peasy.

gunk
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Old 02-09-2014, 16:52   #6
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Re: Any Canucks know about a U.S. cruising permit?

We are residents of Canada and keep a Canadian documented boat in Florida year round. You need a cruising permit if the boat is 30 ft or more. It is good for one year. At the end of the year the boat must leave the USA for 15 days before you can get another permit.
You usually do not need to call in if you have a cruising permit, usually only if don't have one and are travelling under a "permit to proceed". However as in Canada and most other countries the rules vary with the customs/immigration officer you deal with.
This year we had our boat hauled as usual and the local customs office insisted they must hold our Canadian boat documentation until we return. They could not show us any legislation or regulation giving them the authority to do this, but what can you do ? Seems when dealing with a border official there are no laws or logic involved.
We will probably move the boat to the Bahamas and sail it and have it hauled there. With tougher anchoring laws coming in Florida it may solve a lot of other problems.
There is also a yearly decal all US boats have. Some foreign flagged vessels buy them too. When asked about one for our boat my reply was, I don't need one, that ended the conversation
Not to be disrespectful to the border officers in the US they always treated us with respect and did their best to help us. It just seems the procedure is always different.
Bob
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Old 02-09-2014, 18:44   #7
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Re: Any Canucks know about a U.S. cruising permit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gunkylump View Post
Sooo, I take it that my Nexus card alone will not cut it in the States...wow!

And Florida wants to know my every move...lol....guess I had better do some reading and asking questions on the provided website from Vasco...this is going to be a big change for us.

Here in the Great Lake States....check in once with the Nexus card, and then check back into Canada.....easy peasy.

gunk
The bureaucracy is not as bad as it seems. Once you get cruising down the coast you will get to know other experienced cruisers and will learn how the real world works. On paper it looks daunting but in reality it's not bad at all.
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Old 02-09-2014, 19:13   #8
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Re: Any Canucks know about a U.S. cruising permit?

"There is also a yearly decal all US boats have. "
News to me, Bob. A decal for what?? There are no federal requirements for any "decal" on boats in the US. There are all sorts of annual things that can be applied for, but aren't mandated or common.
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Old 02-09-2014, 19:18   #9
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Re: Any Canucks know about a U.S. cruising permit?

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"There is also a yearly decal all US boats have. "
News to me, Bob. A decal for what?? There are no federal requirements for any "decal" on boats in the US. There are all sorts of annual things that can be applied for, but aren't mandated or common.
Here you go,
https://dtops.cbp.dhs.gov

I should have said any boat leaving US waters needs a Decal.

Every US cruiser I talked to in Florida mentioned it, and complained about it. It seems to be well known down there. I guess it may depend on what part of the country you are in.

Bob
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Old 02-09-2014, 19:30   #10
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Re: Any Canucks know about a U.S. cruising permit?

In Florida we were also told we could register for the Local Boater Program. After looking into it it did look like it would save any time or trouble for us. So have never bothered with it.

There is also a Small Vessel Reporting system. As far as I know it only works in the Great Lakes, they don't know anything about it in Florida. Many of these Federal programs are quite local.

All this becomes a bigger problem as the rules will change along the way if you are moving a boat south from Canada.

Bob
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Old 02-09-2014, 21:30   #11
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Re: Any Canucks know about a U.S. cruising permit?

Thanks for the replies above, much appreciated!

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Old 02-09-2014, 21:53   #12
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Re: Any Canucks know about a U.S. cruising permit?

Bob-
That decal program is an option for frequent border crossers. It is NOT MANDATORY for "boats" in the US. It is an option with limited application for a small portion of the boating public.

Again, there's no "decal" required for all boats in the US. And even that one, does not apply to recreational vessels under 30 in length, which are the majority of recreational "boats" in the US. Offhand...something like 50% are under 26' and 90% are under 36? 38?
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Old 03-09-2014, 04:52   #13
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Re: Any Canucks know about a U.S. cruising permit?

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Bob-
That decal program is an option for frequent border crossers. It is NOT MANDATORY for "boats" in the US. It is an option with limited application for a small portion of the boating public.

Again, there's no "decal" required for all boats in the US. And even that one, does not apply to recreational vessels under 30 in length, which are the majority of recreational "boats" in the US. Offhand...something like 50% are under 26' and 90% are under 36? 38?
Can you provide a reference that says the decal is a voluntary program ? I have boating friends in Michigan that go back and forth to Canada and are never asked for a decal, they can't check in in Florida without a decal. I think it is called selective enforcement. If you could post that voluntary Decal reference they would be very happy. Obtaining the decal on line (the only way to get one) has huge problems, it is renewed once a year. The new decal is sent to their home in Michigan. A neighbour has to watch for it and mail it to them in the Bahamas so they have to return to Florida each spring. I've heard similar stories from dozens of cruisers down south. They will be very happy to have this web page to show customs when they check in.

The advice I provided the OP was concerning living his dream, as he owns a 47 ft boat I assumed he would be on that and not his 29 ft boat. He might want to research a decal before heading south with his boat.

So I should have said to him any US boat over 30 ft needs a Decal if they leave the US and want to return to the US.

Bob
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Old 03-09-2014, 05:35   #14
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Re: Any Canucks know about a U.S. cruising permit?

Hi Bob!

You are correct, we are going to live the dream so to speak on our Stevens 47. We just purchased her, and she is located in Pensacola, Florida. Hence the original questions.

We are heading down to Florida this month to get accustomed to the Stevens, big jump up from our Bayfield. Although we do not have plans to leave the U.S. before Christmas, it is after Christmas in looking ahead that we will be jumping over to the Bahamas for a month or so, and then back to the U.S. Then, in June or so, we plan on cruising the eastern seaboard before jumping out of the U.S. again after the storm season. That is the plan, written in sand.

I just want to make sure that we satisfy all requirements when we are leaving the U.S., and then re-entering from another country.

Here in the Great Lakes, no issue. Nexus card, phone in, they already have ALL our information for my wife and I on file, we confirm, and we are in, just like that. I am hoping that it remains that easy throughout the U.S. waters.

So far on this thread, we are getting some great new info, and we really appreciate the responses!

gunk
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Old 03-09-2014, 07:15   #15
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Re: Any Canucks know about a U.S. cruising permit?

gunk,

As far as I can tell the application of the rules varies depending on which officer you talk to. With us, we bought the boat in Md; went in to Homeland Security in Baltimore - we took everything we had for the boat; they looked at our Cdn ship registration, and our passports IIRC. We were told that we were cleared in for anywhere in Md, but if we sailed to any other state - even across the bay to De, then we needed to check in. They gave us a long list of phone numbers - but the areas of responsibility were not always clear. When we arrived in Deltaville Va, we called Norfolk, and got told we were 'supposed to called Alexandria, but that's ok, you're cleared into the system, call again when you get to NC.' When we called in at NC, we were told to call again when we passed Swansboro (NC). When we got to Fl, we were instructed to use the 1-800 number and call in for all coastwise moves. They all ask the same set of questions - cruising permit number, number and nationality of those on board, where you came from, when and where you're going. I forgot to call in once in Fl, and the following day when I was reporting, I was totally honest, and told them where we were and admitted missing a call - the officer "reminded" me that the penalty for not reporting is a $5000 fine. I will say again, we had a year-long "cruising permit", not a permit to proceed or whatever Bob is talking about.

We didn't need to clear out of the US, but the Baltimore office had told us to mail the cruising permit back to them. We kept a photocopy and mailed the original back before jumping off to the Bahamas.

That aside your other concern is your length of time in the US. Having looked, I can say there are no hard and fast rules, and application varies with the officer you deal with. To avoid problems you should make every effort to avoid being in the US for more than 180 days in the year. If your plans are otherwise, make sure you are able to prove that you are still resident in Canada (have recent utility bills and tax returns on hand) - CBP wants to be assured you're not planning to become an illegal immigrant.
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