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Old 21-06-2011, 08:25   #16
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Re: Sailing Through

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Originally Posted by gettinthere View Post
on the great lakes, vessels cruise on the detroit, st. clair & st mary's rivers, which are border rivers between US & Canada without checking in to customs or immigration; unless landing. Same applies on the great lakes themselves where you could stay in one country's waters but can cross back and forth into the other country's waters without checking in unless landing.

This is incorrect. If you call Canada Customs they will tell you that there is a requirement to check in if you have been in US waters, whether you went ashore in the US or not. I know this applies on the Great Lakes. It is a bit stupid, if you cross the line in the middle of Lake Ontario you are required to call Canada Customs when you return to land in Canada.
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Old 21-06-2011, 08:46   #17
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Re: Q flag

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Originally Posted by drgroovemeister View Post
Thank you everyone for the reply. A fellow told me today that by flying the Q flag you are essentially " Hiding in Plain Site ". But would like to know if you can be borded with the Q flag up and told to check in.

And is it not true that unless you touch foot on dock or land you may be considered transiting. Could you drop the hook for say a safety reason ie too tired to sail and wanting a rest.
First underline - answer - YES

Second underline - answer - NO

Unless the country has specifically provided for "Q"-ing through, like the Bahamas, you can safety assume with confidence that you need to proceed to a Port of Entry and do "Practique" = Check-in/out.
That means physically taking you and your vessel to the Port of Entry and complying with the published procedures unique to that country. Those procedures are available on Noonsite.com or on the country's website.
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Old 21-06-2011, 11:14   #18
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Re: Sailing Through

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Originally Posted by dropanchorfor3 View Post
Ok, so you need to check in, I get that. But how do you do it, call yourself in or literally dock and check in.
This varies in different countries. In the US you tie up at a dock that is approved for customs clearance and the captain only then leaves the boat to call US Customs and Immigration to report his arrival and request clearance. This may require the captain to go to the nearest US Customs office with crew list, boat papers, etc or they may visit your vessel.

Other countries have similar requirements, some countries are very, very different. You really must check the requirements for each country. www.noonsite.com has a list of countries and very up to date information on the procedures for each country. You should note that many countries, especially island nations, only allow clearance in at certain ports so you can't just stop anywhere you like and call in for clearance.



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Originally Posted by dropanchorfor3 View Post
And what's this raising an Israeli flag thing, do have to while your over there to show you have been cleared.
Not sure what you mean by this. Are you referring to sailing to and clearing in to Israel or an Israeli boat sailing to another country?

Either way, it is standard procedure for a vessel to fly the courtesy flag of the country they are visiting after they have cleared into that country. In many countries the courtesy flag is the same as the countries flag, other countries may have a special flag. In some countries this is just considered a courtesy but in many places it is considered a requirement and will get you a visit from the authorities and possibly a fine or worse if you don't fly the proper flag.


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Originally Posted by dropanchorfor3 View Post
Or do you call in and that country sends out there Coast Guard/ Navy to check you in. I hate to beat this to a pulp, but I am just trying ti understand...
I have never heard of clearing customs in conjunction with boarding by the local navy or CG. If clearing in to Israel (and some other countries) you may get a visit from the navy or escorted in by the navy but strictly as a security measure. Clearing customs is a totally separate issue.
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Old 21-06-2011, 11:25   #19
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Re: Sailing Through

What's the current regulations for non-US registered boats entering the US and traveling from port to port within US waters?
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Old 21-06-2011, 11:30   #20
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Re: Sailing Through

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Originally Posted by Vasco View Post
This is incorrect. If you call Canada Customs they will tell you that there is a requirement to check in if you have been in US waters, whether you went ashore in the US or not. I know this applies on the Great Lakes. It is a bit stupid, if you cross the line in the middle of Lake Ontario you are required to call Canada Customs when you return to land in Canada.
Yikes. I've been doing this wrong (along with everyone I know in the area). I've been following the US rules that say that you don't need to check back in unless you've landed in another country. I had no idea the Canadian rules were so different and such a pain in the a**. Thanks for the heads up!

Here are some references I found on the matter: Canadian Customs Act and a presentation by customs that clarifies the act (note that there is no date on this, so I don't know how old it is).

Important note: There is an exception to people who are transiting our waters only.
Quote:
[From the Act] Exception

(5) Subsections (1) and (3) do not apply to any person who enters Canadian waters, including the inland waters, or the airspace over Canada while proceeding directly from one place outside Canada to another place outside Canada unless an officer requires that person to comply with those subsections.
Quote:
[From the presentation] In order to be considered “in-transit”, subsection 11(5) requires that the vessel must be proceeding directly from one point outside of Canada to another point outside of Canada.
Accordingly, a vessel can be considered to be in-transit only if it is using the Canadian waters for the purpose of moving from one location abroad directly to another location abroad.
In-transit movement must be continuous, uninterrupted and without delays or stop-overs.
Such movement could be for reasons of the shortest route, requirement of deep waters, evading obstacles such as bridges, etc.
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Old 21-06-2011, 11:58   #21
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Re: Sailing Through

For the US, the rules are pretty reasonable (better than Canada's), but I had to do a little digging to find references. First of all, once you're in to the US, you only need to check back in if you entered another foreign port, not if you just leave their waters (or if you rendezvous with a hovering vessel). See this brochure.

The question of transiting is a bit tougher. I had to go and read the CFRs to try to find it. First of all, according to 19 CFR 4.2,
Quote:
Upon arrival in any port or place
within the U.S. ... the master of the
vessel shall immediately report that
arrival to the nearest Customs facility
or other location designated by the
port director.
Just to be sure that this really means that you can sail around for years within a couple feet of land without checking in, I looked up the definition of arrival in

Quote:
(f) Arrival of a vessel. The phrase ‘‘arrival of a vessel’’ means that time
when the vessel first comes to rest,
whether at anchor or at a dock, in any
harbor within the Customs territory of
the U.S.
My read of that is that if you don't anchor or land anywhere, you don't need to check in.

To the OP's question, though, I would ask why they would bother? Checking in is easy, then if you need to put in anywhere for any reason you don't have to make sure it's a port of entry. On my recent trip down the West Coast to SF, we checked in at Port Angeles first, just in case we needed to stop. We did need to stop due to a wrapped prop, and had the ability to do so in a secluded bay (Drake's Bay) instead of going in to SF Bay directly. And no, tired crew isn't an emergency.
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Old 21-06-2011, 12:18   #22
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Re: Sailing Through

I would strongly suggest to OP that they check in at first US port, get a cruising license and then are free to call as a pleasure yacht at any US port with only a phone call to clear Customs. It's easy, inexpensive and saves a lot of worry.
On the other hand if you are engaged in "innocent passage" you are not required to check in on a voyage through territorial waters.

Geneva Convention on the Territorial Seas 1958
United Nations Convention Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1982
Article 18 Meaning of Passage
1. a) Traversing that sea without entering internal waters or calling at a Roadstead or port facility outside internal waters.
b) Proceeding to or from internal waters or a call at such Roadstead or port facility.

2. Passage shall be continuous and expeditious. However, passage includes stopping and anchoring, but only in so far as the same are incidental to ordinary navigation or necessary by force majeure or distress or for the purpose of rendering assistance to persons, ships or aircraft in danger or distress.
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