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Old 30-01-2010, 13:42   #1
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Cruising Permit ?

Does anyone know the real requirements for having to obtain a crusing permit. Vessel is Canadian registered, owner & crew Canadian.
I quote from the cbp.gov web site the following "Masters - The master or person in charge of the boat must report their arrival to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. For the purpose of these instructions, the term “boat,” means any vessel not engaged in trade or documented trade (not carrying merchandise or passengers for hire) such as pleasure boats and yachts, regardless of size. This requirement applies to all boats regardless of country of registration. Additionally, boats registered outside Canada or the U.S. must contact a local CBP office for a cruising license.

Also what happens if you purchase a boat in the U.S. register it as a Canadian Vessel but never actually leave the U.S.?
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Old 30-01-2010, 14:18   #2
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I am not 100% sure but if the vessel is reg in Canada it is considered a foreign vessel and subject to the rules just like it was visiting. Just because it was once a US vessel and never left means nothing it is now flying a foreign flag and is subject to the rules as such.

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Old 31-01-2010, 19:41   #3
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If you are planning on extended cruising in the US you need a cruising license which is good for one year. You have to report to US customs every time you move which can be a pain, and a $5,000 fine if you do not.
I used to call the coast guard and have them relay it to customs when a phone was unavailable. It annoyed customs a bit but....
If you plan to stay over one year you either need to leave the country or import the boat, it is around 1.5% for a boat built in the UK (Canadian Reg), then you can apply for a new permit. A new permit has to be applied for in person just prior to expiry of the old one.

I would guess if you bought the boat in the US you wouldn't have to import it!

If you are just going back and forth between Canada and the US you may not need a cruising license, there is some other type of process.
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Old 31-01-2010, 20:39   #4
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You can register the boat in Canada but will have to leave US waters before your cruising permit expires. ie. go to Bahamas and then come back. Canada Customs will want instant payment of taxes the minute you bring the boat into Canada plus duty if the boat was built in a non NAFTA country.

I have always gotten my cruising permit by calling Border Patrol (used to be uscg) in Oswego. They fax it to the Oswego Marina within ten minutes.

The requirement for a foreign vessel to check in at each port is a little strange in that my cruising permits say in one paragraph that once checked in no further reporting is required. Another paragraph says we must check in at each USCG district we pass through. We have never checked in after acquiring our permit and have been boarded on many occassions and had our paperwork checked..... no one has ever asked about the "check ins" after seeing our cruising permit.

If you are over 30' you will also have to purchase a US customs decal for $25.00 which must be renewed every year.

I am a Transport Canada Appointed Tonnage Surveyor but you only need a Tonnage Surveyor yo register if you are over 15 meters long, otherwise you can do it yourself. If you decide to register in Canada PM me and I can tell you how to do it.

For you Americans ...our "Registration" is the equivalent of your "Documentation"
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Old 31-01-2010, 20:41   #5
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The same rules apply coming from the south. You don't need a permit in the USVI, but everyone, including US citizens must perchase a cruising permit when they sail in Puerto Rician waters, including the Spanish Virgins.
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Old 31-01-2010, 20:57   #6
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Where was the boat manufactured ?

Where was the boat actually made ? - it makes a difference to what happens when you come to renew your Cruising Permit.

If it's an American Built vessel and the flag (Canada in this case) is on a list of countries which give reciprocal treatment, you should be able to find this on the CBP site with a little googling, you are entitled to 'successive cruising permits' without leaving the US. I've already done it and been told by CBP "no problem - it's the law".

You do though still have to report to CBP each and every time you move it, you can do this to the Regional office which is usually open 24 x 7 x 365. They actually sound just as bored with the whole process as I do, but that is the rule.

FWIW - the Decal mentioned before is NOT needed (I checked this with CBP).

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Old 31-01-2010, 21:16   #7
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Friends of mine, Canadians on a Canadian Registered boat were refused an extension of their cruising permit in Miami and were told to go to the Bahamas and get their passports stamped then come back and apply for a new cruising permit.

I suggest you check again. Any (American or Canadian) pleasure craft over thirty feet entering or re-entering. The US must have a Customs Decal.

I deliver boats across the border 15 or 20 times per year and deal with this stuff on a regular basis.

You can check out the decal fee at this site http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/pleasure_boats/user_fee/user_fee_decal.xml
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Old 01-02-2010, 06:02   #8
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OK

"Additionally, boats registered outside Canada or the U.S. must contact a local CBP office for a cruising license". Note the wording, this comes off the CBP website. This to me suggests that Canadian registered boat DO NOT need a permit. The rest I am fully aware of. We are currently cruising in a sailboat & have a permit, we call in once to each reginal office to report, & always ask where to report to next, we were never told to report to each port. If we don't need one then we would prefer not to go through the hassles. The Trawler is a Marine Trader built in Tiewan. Anyone know the duty etc to bring it back into Canada?
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Old 01-02-2010, 06:04   #9
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I think its 9.8% but a call to canada customs will confirm
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Old 01-02-2010, 06:26   #10
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Tax & Duty

Friends of mine have a trawler parked over the US sisde of Lake Ontario, every time they call thet get a different answer, it's crazy, both the US & Canadian people don't know what they are doing.
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Old 01-02-2010, 07:14   #11
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Originally Posted by S/V Ruth View Post
Friends of mine have a trawler parked over the US sisde of Lake Ontario, every time they call thet get a different answer, it's crazy, both the US & Canadian people don't know what they are doing.
I have had the same experience. Most local BP types don't know their own rules. To counteract this I carry a copy of the CFR's and a book I have made up of all the relevant BP directives. I have on several occasions had to show them their own rules.
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Old 01-02-2010, 08:09   #12
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Direct from Oswego CBP

I have my new cruising permit!! I talked to the Supervisor there in Oswego. He said regardless of what the web site may say, the rules they have posted in the office are as follows:-
1) If you are just cruising the Great Lakes or Canal systems you do not need a crusing permit.
2) However you do need ( & that means everyone except US registered vessels) a cruising permit for all coastal ports in the US east, west & south.
3)You need only report in once to each of the District Offices of each region, which means every State, S.c. has two & Florida has about 4.
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Old 01-02-2010, 12:15   #13
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Any advice given by a government official should prove to be wrong the advise given cannot be used as a defence.

The last I heard was that in the south of Florida you have to inform customs of every move. Even if you are moving from one marina to another in the same town.

The following quote was posted in Feb of 2008 on the website,
Noonsite: Report Of New Reporting Requirements For Foreign Yachts Entering US

"Noonsite received a report this week of new regulations applying to foreign-flagged vessels visiting the USA. According to the report, after initial entry into the country, yachts must report to CBP (Customs and Border Protection, part of the Department of Homeland Security) each time they move from one port to another, or even from one berth/marina to another within one port. It appears a yacht was recently fined $5,000 in Jacksonville, Florida for failing to report a move from one berth to another."
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Old 01-02-2010, 21:20   #14
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Okay, we have been preparing to enter the US and this is what I found:

First, out boat was built in the US but is now registered in the BVI's, so flying the British red ensign. This is one of the countries that the US has a reciprocal agreement with about extending cruising licenses...

So, there is no decal; that's only for US (or Canadian I read here) registered boats. The cruising permit is needed and valid for one year. Boats that are built in the US and on "the list of countries" can renew that permit without leaving the US for ever. All other boats need to leave the US... but I hear reports that in some states they don't care and renew anyway.
When you haul out you can have the "Customs clock" stopped while on the hard and work is being done on the boat.

Immigration is a thing depending on the officer you speak with. There are no written rules about length of stay... strange indeed.

Our US cruising permit was recognized in PR and US Virgins... no problems.

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Old 02-02-2010, 06:33   #15
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... Immigration is a thing depending on the officer you speak with. There are no written rules about length of stay... strange indeed...
Nick.
The CBP will grant a minimum B-2* stay of six months. They can give more time initially, but will do so only if the visitor can make a persuasive case for more time.


* A ‘B2' is a US visa used by foreigners for tourism and holiday purposes in the United States.

The Department of State's Foreign Affairs Manual, Volume 9, Part 41 provides guidance as to requirements for B-2* eligibility:

9 FAM 41.31 N3.1 Period of Time in United States Consistent with Purpose of Trip

“... The period of time projected for the visit must be consistent with the stated purpose of the trip. The applicant must establish with reasonable certainty that departure from the United States will take place upon completion of the temporary visit. Although "temporary" is not specifically defined by either statute or regulation, it generally signifies a limited period of stay. The fact that the period of stay in a given case may exceed six months or a year is not in itself controlling, provided that you are satisfied that the intended stay actually has a time limitation and is not indefinite in nature...”
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