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Old 21-01-2014, 17:54   #16
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Re: Canadian Boat Crusing in US

the "Customs Decal Fee" was $27.50 last year and applies to all pleasure craft over 30'.
Note "all" ... even American vessels returning from foreign waters.

You can check out the regs at DTOP .... which reminds me I have to file for a new decal
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Old 21-01-2014, 17:58   #17
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Re: Canadian Boat Crusing in US

This US Customs/Border/Patrol website seems geared for Canadian boaters entering the US:

https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/lis...IT/suggested/1

This sub-page concerns the cruising permit:

https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/det...3D/suggested/1

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Old 21-01-2014, 18:07   #18
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Re: Canadian Boat Crusing in US

I have always been charged the customs decal fee when delivering US boats from the east coast to the upper Great Lakes. Customs position is that going through the Welland Canal means the boat is returning to US waters from a foreign port. Note that the charge is applied against the boat not to me as a Canadian.
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Old 21-01-2014, 18:26   #19
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Re: Canadian Boat Crusing in US

I live and sail on the border with Canada, I have never obtained a custom sticker. don't call in much either. never heard of the custom sticker until perhaps 12 years ago. reported in from the north channel once and was asked to come in to get a sticker and just kept going. I once phoned the custom officials once and they didn't think much of it either. One guy said you can buy a one time sticker or fee for 5 bucks. The idea of the custom sticker is to help you get across the border without having your boat inspected I guess. It is for going back and forth a lot. another thing, the officials really haven't a clue what this is all about. used to be I 68's. but you need not have one, I have Nexus but now they want you to have a another boat reporting number BRN ? didn't get that either.
as far as reporting into Canada, no problem, just call in and give your location and boat number and they then know your name and ask a few questions and then you in. one thing to remember, never tell them a lie.
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Old 22-01-2014, 11:15   #20
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Re: Canadian Boat crusing in US

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Originally Posted by Vasco View Post
The cruising permit is for the boat only. Nothing to do with immigration or visas.
- therefore, I assume the answer is, a Canadian has only 4-6 month per year to cruise in US. Correct?

Another Q: How a Canadian registered boat left on hard in the US boatyard is treated? Do I have to get it into the water and out of USA when the 1 year cursing permit expires, or there is some sort of exemption (i.e. under repairs)?
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Old 22-01-2014, 15:41   #21
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Re: Canadian Boat crusing in US

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Originally Posted by argalax View Post
- therefore, I assume the answer is, a Canadian has only 4-6 month per year to cruise in US. Correct?

Another Q: How a Canadian registered boat left on hard in the US boatyard is treated? Do I have to get it into the water and out of USA when the 1 year cursing permit expires, or there is some sort of exemption (i.e. under repairs)?

The cruising permit is the period the boat is allowed in the US.
https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/det...ld-one-expires
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Old 23-01-2014, 08:41   #22
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Re: Canadian Boat Crusing in US

Thanks for your replies, Vasco.
I am at the stage of planning for my future cruising adventures and obviously have a lot to learn.
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Old 23-01-2014, 09:33   #23
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Re: Canadian Boat Crusing in US

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So does anyone know what is really needed. And is Canpass okay or is NEXUS better seems the two seem similar but different. Thank you
As already mentioned ... there are different and unrelated things mixed in your query. As for being informed by border people ... it is up to one crossing the border to be informed what is needed for crossing the border, bringing the boat into the country, visas, permits, etc ... before actually attempting to cross to the other country.

The info below assumes Canadian citizenship/residency ...

1. CANPASS vs NEXUS, both are your personal "border crossing IDs" used in lieu of passport, nothing to do with your personal car, boat, or airplane. I prefere NEXUS as it is a document issued in cooperation between USA and Canada, while CANPASS is a Canadian document which is intended to expedite your border clearance processing back to Canada. Might be accepted by the US but I would not bet on this to always work, especially outside of USA/CAN border areas.

2. Crossing by BOAT and BOAT documents ... various options, more info here: Pleasure Boat Reporting Requirements - CBP.gov ... note that CANPASS is not listed as an acceptable document. Also check the requirements by location/state (menu option on the right side).

In addition, US requires Cruising Permit ... I am not very familiar with it as my boat LOA is just inches below the requirement ...

All documented or registered vessels 30 feet in length or greater are required to pay an annual processing (user fee) of $25 (U.S. currency ... edit: the fee changes from time to time). Payment is required for the vessel at or before the time of the first arrival for each calendar year. Private pleasure vessels not required to pay a user fee include vessels less than 30 feet in length and vessels granted a cruising license, under 19 CFR 4.94, during the term of the license.

Here is link to one of the CBP documents that is quoted above, also note a link to the site where you can purchase the permit/sticker in advance of your trip: U.S. Customs and Border Protection - Archived

3. In addition to the federal regulations, there are various state specific boat regulations that might require additional state permits/registration/stickers based on the length of stay in that particular state, that might involve taxes as well.

Hope this helps ...
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Old 23-01-2014, 09:50   #24
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Re: Canadian Boat crusing in US

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Originally Posted by argalax View Post
Another Q: How a Canadian registered boat left on hard in the US boatyard is treated? Do I have to get it into the water and out of USA when the 1 year cursing permit expires, or there is some sort of exemption (i.e. under repairs)?
Although I am not in such situation, and not familiar with the details which are state specific ... I would check this carefully as there might be federal importation issue, and state specific residency/tax issues involved here.

Conversely, if the US registered boat stays in Canada for more than 6 months, the importation process kicks in ... customs duties and/or federal/provincial taxes (based on your residency).
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Old 05-02-2014, 04:21   #25
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Re: Canadian Boat Crusing in US

We are Canadians, residents of Canada. We have a sailboat we keep in Florida and live on it in the winter. The boat was purchased in Florida but is now a Canadian documented vessel. When we cross the border by car in Nov. I explain what we are doing and we will return to Canada in April. There is no problem, no visa. I understand if we stay for 6 months plus one day we are subject to US income tax. Also at some point we would loose our provincial health insurance if out of province beyond a certain number of days. Six months is not a concern so I have looked into the exact requirements for that. We do have out of country health insurance but it requires the provincial insurance be in force.

As far as the boat is concerned we have a US cruising permit for it valid for one year. We have to leave the US before it expires and get a new one on our return to the US. We have never had a decal and no one has asked us about it. You can get extensions if the boat is having work done to it or for some reason it can not leave port. An alternative would be to register the boat in Florida and pay Florida sales tax on it. I don't think you need a cruising permit then. There is also an annual fee to maintain the FL registration, like a auto licence plate. Some counties have additional fees as well.

Some US states will want to charge taxes on a boat left there more than a certain period of time, in some cases it can be quite short and can even vary by county. In general as a foreign flagged vessel you can avoid a lot of this.

As far as I have been told you do not need a cruising permit if the boat is hauled. However as in Canada my experience with border officials is the requirements change depending on who you talk to. Some of the rules are enforced or not depending on who the officer is, how much they know about it and how you present yourself. It never helps to point out to an official what the actual rules are. They have the power and it seems discretion to do what ever they want. I have found the same thing in the US and in Canada.

Good luck in your journey, Bob
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Old 05-02-2014, 06:09   #26
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Re: Canadian Boat Crusing in US

Bob....I think the confusion with your situation is that the rules were not drawn up to allow a canadian registered boat to be left for months in the US. Also, each state may have and enforce their own rules differently. However, the decal is required for any vessel longer than 30 feet or an aircraft. That rule has been in place since the 80's.
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Old 05-02-2014, 08:17   #27
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Re: Canadian Boat Crusing in US

I was informed by CBP.GOV inspectors that upon the cruising license expiration, and if you wish the vessel to remain in the US, you are supposed to surrender the ownership documet to the nearest CBP facility, then upon returning to the US and wanting to obtain a license renewal and if you cannot go directly to a foreign port but must pass through other CBP jurisdictions, you will need "permits to proceed" for each leg.
Also, ALL foreign vessels must have an annual cruising license regardless of where the vessel is made, if owned by a foreigner it is a foreign vessel for CBP enforcement purposes...
Nothing to do with "decal" Nexus or whatever....

Note that not all CBP offices have the same attitude towards expired licenses, always call and check before making a potentially costly error.
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Old 05-02-2014, 10:00   #28
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Re: Canadian Boat Crusing in US

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Bob....I think the confusion with your situation is that the rules were not drawn up to allow a canadian registered boat to be left for months in the US. Also, each state may have and enforce their own rules differently. However, the decal is required for any vessel longer than 30 feet or an aircraft. That rule has been in place since the 80's.
I don't think there is any confusion for me. I am doing the same thing most other Canadian boats are doing down here, I don't think my situation is unique. A small percentage do return to Canada each spring but most are left south of the border. There are hundreds of Canadian boats that are left on the US east coast each spring for the summer. When fall comes they are launched. Just before leaving US waters the cruising permit is turned in and the vessel goes to the Bahamas for a portion of the winter. They obtain a new cruising permit upon returning to the US in the spring and have the boat hauled. There are many Canadian boats in the Bahamas each winter. Many have been following this routine for many years.

I am sure you are right about a decal. I just mentioned I have never had one and never been asked for one. I have never asked for one either. I will ask about it. As I said how the rules are applied seems to be very dependent on the officer you are dealing with that day. Every time I ask a question at Canada Customs I get a different answer.

Regards, Bob
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Old 05-02-2014, 10:08   #29
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Re: Canadian Boat Crusing in US

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Originally Posted by mcm View Post
I was informed by CBP.GOV inspectors that upon the cruising license expiration, and if you wish the vessel to remain in the US, you are supposed to surrender the ownership documet to the nearest CBP facility, then upon returning to the US and wanting to obtain a license renewal and if you cannot go directly to a foreign port but must pass through other CBP jurisdictions, you will need "permits to proceed" for each leg.
Also, ALL foreign vessels must have an annual cruising license regardless of where the vessel is made, if owned by a foreigner it is a foreign vessel for CBP enforcement purposes...
Nothing to do with "decal" Nexus or whatever....

Note that not all CBP offices have the same attitude towards expired licenses, always call and check before making a potentially costly error.

That has also been my experience. The boat that was hauled and stored beside us last summer had an expired cruising permit (they forgot to turn it in before leaving for Bahamas). They had to leave their Canadian documentation papers with CBP last spring. It was kept there until they returned this fall. Once the vessel was launched they only had a short time before having to leave US waters.

Regards, Bob
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Old 05-02-2014, 10:46   #30
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Re: Canadian Boat Crusing in US

Many newbie Bahamas cruisers run afoul of the cruising permit rules. It's normally issued for a year. If you enter the States in May from the Bahamas and get a cruising permit the next year you have to enter at least 15 days later. So every year you have to return later. The procedure to avoid this is to surrender the permit when departing in the fall or,as many do, ask for a permit on entry to expire say March 31. The officers will type in any expiry date (less than 1 year of course) you wish on the permit. This is easier than surrendering the permit as we seldom know when we are actually departing due to waiting for windows. It may be that you can surrender the permit after you've left by mailing it back from the Bahamas but I am wary of the postal service. Asking for a March 31 or April 15 expiry works for us.
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