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Old 30-03-2011, 05:16   #31
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Re: Turned Away by Customs?

If a US citizen or other non-Canadian citizen is convicted of a DUI* offense in the USA or a dui offense in any country other than Canada, the DUI offender will be inadmissible to Canada on grounds of criminality, unless rehabilitated, because the DUI offense is deemed to be a Canadian DUI offense and all Canadian DUI offenses are deemed indictable (similar to a US felony - see above) unless the Crown has elected to proceed with the DUI offense by summary conviction (which will never have happened because the DUI offense occurred outside Canada).

* Although we don’t use the term DUI, Canada has two main substantive DUI law criminal offenses:
impaired operation or care or control,
over 80 operation or care or control

See also (Post 16) ➥ Sailing with a Felon
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Old 30-03-2011, 05:24   #32
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Re: Turned Away by Customs?

In the EU , the basic process is as follows

For Customs infringements, these usually result in a fine and confiscation of the offending article. IN serious cases ( arms, drugs,etc ) you will be arrested.

Immigration, if you are subject to immigration checks, then (a) You can be refused entry, in the case of private yacht you will usually be given 24 hours to leave. (depends on your reason for being denied entry). This can be varied by local immigration. In teh event that you cannot or will not leave, you will be arrested and held in dentention and repatriated usually at their cost if you cant pay. The option exists to arrest you for serious violations and you will be tried and sentenced and jailed and then deported. If you are claiming aslyum, then there can be a long delay, while you are held in dentention or an aslyum seekers camp while they consider the merits of your claim.

In some cases I know off, minor infringements of immigration law, caused the officiers to confine the crew to the port environs, but this is usually for commercial crew.

The immigration officiers have wide powers and can vary these procedures quite a bit

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Old 30-03-2011, 05:59   #33
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Re: Turned Away by Customs?

Thanks for all the replies guys. I think when i leave i will skip the U.S just head right for Cuba. They love Canadians EH..
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Old 30-03-2011, 06:41   #34
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Re: Turned Away by Customs?

As to being refused entry by vessel to a country - The "old" way was - if you had maintenance/weather/whatever issues - to allow you 10 days to clear them up and leave or face jail and vessel impoundment. This was covered in the International Maritime Convention (treaty) and referred to as "safe harbor provisions."
- - However, after 9-11 all that changed when the USA declared that such provisions are null and void and every vessel must be "pre-cleared" prior to entry into a USA port/waters. Most all of these "new rules" were aimed at commercial shipping but under the supposedly "equal treatment" provisions of the USA Constitution, all vessels commercial and private had to comply. It was a nightmare of BS for both cruisers and government officials and slowly over the years the "pre-clearance" of the vessel and crew were re-defined to allow private vessels to enter and then clear-in. The "Local Boaters Option" is another such refinement.
- - But, as is common in the world, once the USA declared "safe harbor" null and void, a lot of other countries reciprocated and also nullified their recognition of the practice. This cause havoc all over the world with shipping, especially with 3rd World country's shipping. So currently each sovereign nation / group, such as the E.U. have their own new "safe harbor" definitions/rules. No more worldwide "common" definition/rules.
- - Needless to say you must be prepared to be "turned away" or really politely plead your real distress situation and be able to back it up. Additionally you need to be able financially to afford the "charges" for official quarantine procedures should the particular country demand such. If you cannot - and there are no common-sense, compassionate officials involved - you face jail and confiscation of your vessel.
- - Welcome to the Brave New World . . . .
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Old 30-03-2011, 06:57   #35
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Re: Turned Away by Customs?

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Originally Posted by Mark1977 View Post
Thanks for all the replies guys. I think when i leave i will skip the U.S just head right for Cuba. They love Canadians EH..
This situation is world-wide, not just the USA. However the normal cruiser rarely ever encounters any problems. The smaller the country, of course, the smaller the government - and - the more that country really wants your money that you will spend on supplies and visiting. So unless you are "jack-the-ripper" or your last name is "bin-laden" you will most probably never encounter such problems.
- - Specifically in the Caribbean, my vessel was welcomed everywhere without exception by all the various "Customs" officials. However, we were denied entry to St Lucia by the "Immigration" official for not having a proper "pre-visa." Technically the boat could stay, but we could not. Intervention by a local government minister solved our problem, at an expense. One good thing about some small 3rd world countries is that with some "expense," your problems can be quickly solved to your satisfaction.
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Old 30-03-2011, 07:00   #36
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Re: Turned Away by Customs?

When you leave a country, make sure you have cleared out correctly with the main agencies (customs, immigration) and have obtained a zarpe. This is a document that says you have cleared correctly. This is usually issued by customs and will state your intended destination. Most countries will allow you to stop for a short period for reoairs if necessary, but check first.
If you don't have the correct paperwork then you may have to return to your last port and clear out. Could be a problem if there is an ocean between the two ports!
Agree with previous post - it will depend on the officiousness of the country.
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Old 30-03-2011, 13:03   #37
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Re: Turned Away by Customs?

If you contact the destination countries embassy and apply for a visa before departure, wouldn't that take out a lot of the guesswork?
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Old 30-03-2011, 13:40   #38
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Re: Turned Away by Customs?

I do not have any criminal offenses, either recent or from "back in the day" when marijuana became very popular.

That being said, I understand the principle of not allowing a person into a country who does have a criminal record. As a Canadian, I don't want any scummy person from the U.S in, and I am sure that many of my American friends don't want scummy Canadians down there either.

Now, let's try and define "Scummy". Does just having a criminal record mean the person is scummy? Especially if it was for a DUI or pot possession from 35-40 years ago?

The problem is that when these rules are made, there is no discretion. I want to keep out the person who is a violent offender, a sex offender or a fraudster. Always and forever.

I am a bit mixed on the DUI thing, as I believe it is criminal to be driving impaired, however, a one time event that happened 10, 15 or 20 years ago, in my mind, should be pardoned and exempt.

Other criminal offenses, where there is no victim, (such as pot smoking) I would be more lenient.

Don't hold your breath on these restrictions easing; not in Canada, and not in the U.S.

That would take waaaaaaaaaay too much common sense.
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Old 31-03-2011, 13:23   #39
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Re: Turned Away by Customs?

This a very complicated issue; according the country you are talking about, the flag of the boat and the nationalities of the people on board, the port of entry and more importantly, the mood of the officials you have to deal with, te outcome will depend a great deal..

-We stayed in the marina in Palermo for two days, the skipper didn't check in, we didn't check out and I haven't seen any single officials around. (the boat had an USA flag, as a crew; two french, one turk)
-I am visiting Rhodes and Simi very often. Normally I should have a Schengen visa. (not an easy one to get for a turkish citizen) Noone has ever asked form me any document so far. (the boat has a turkish flag !!) I pay though 10 € for the marina..
-Once in Simi cost guard cought me in the port (hadn't checked in) , I said the propeller was fouled and I was in emergency case (it was true) . They rejected and took me to the police station. Then we found an agent paid 100 € and all was over, they let me go.
-In exactly the same port, one charter boat has been confiscated for 4 weeks, simply because they didn't have the original of the insurance papers.

Smiling and playing fair does help a lot, but doesn't work every time. Frankly, I can afford to pay some kind of reasonable fee, if this considered as an offence. At worst, they can ask me to leave immediately and even refuse to get any supply at all. My fear, is to end up in jail or confiscation of my boat in one remote island..

Cheers

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Old 06-04-2011, 04:02   #40
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Re: Turned Away by Customs?

Just to let you know the the BS goes both ways. I was refused entry to the USA from Canada because of a B&E, theft under $200.00 charge when I was 18 years old, 30 years ago. How lame can you get. I was held at the US customs for almost 6 hours, finger printed , mug shot, interrogated and told I would be arrested and jailed if I EVER tried to cross the US border again, then deported .
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Old 06-04-2011, 11:47   #41
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Re: Turned Away by Customs?

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Originally Posted by playfair1965 View Post
Just to let you know the the BS goes both ways. I was refused entry to the USA from Canada because of a B&E, theft under $200.00 charge when I was 18 years old, 30 years ago. How lame can you get. I was held at the US customs for almost 6 hours, finger printed , mug shot, interrogated and told I would be arrested and jailed if I EVER tried to cross the US border again, then deported . Sieg Heil Big Brother
Sorry to hear that. I've gotten more hassle at US customs, (and I'm a US citizen), than any other country I've been to, including communist ones.
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Old 06-04-2011, 11:54   #42
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Re: Turned Away by Customs?

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Originally Posted by playfair1965 View Post
Just to let you know the the BS goes both ways. I was refused entry to the USA from Canada because of a B&E, theft under $200.00 charge when I was 18 years old, 30 years ago. How lame can you get. I was held at the US customs for almost 6 hours, finger printed , mug shot, interrogated and told I would be arrested and jailed if I EVER tried to cross the US border again, then deported . Sieg Heil Big Brother
immigration laws and the way they are enforced are ridiculous,,, me,,, being a US citizen have had an easier time getting into other countries than I have had crossing BACK into the US,,I even have a TWIX card, the most worthless card IMHO to ever be issued,,,
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Old 06-04-2011, 13:02   #43
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Re: Turned Away by Customs?

When I was a little bit younger I spent some time traveling around the US - at some point I had to extend my H1-B visa. Due to a mistake my request got "delayed". At some point I got picked up by the Border Patrol near San Diego, did not have my passport on me cause I forgot it in San Francisco at my friends place. Also that young chap of a Border Patrol officer (first shoot then ask type) saw in the computer what status I had re. my visa. Bottom line - got arrested and was put into a detention center. A lawyer hired by my father had to bail me out - she was able to prove it was a mistake of the immigration office.

Question - is it possible I could turned away at customs if I like to visit the US again ? I know that my record is still in the database but nobody can answer if it at least it is "cleared".
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Old 09-04-2011, 01:06   #44
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Re: Turned Away by Customs?

Canada can be rather strict on letting people in, especially Americans. My cousin is in the RCMP and also empowered to act as an immigration officer. Like U.S Customs not all agents or police officers have the training to conduct immigration. Canadian immigration officers did not have the power to arrest or no police powers up until recently. Hence why in the past they did not have guns! The reason my cousin has immigration authoruty--they would get called to the border alot! Usually an armed American hunter with a minor DUI being denied.

Canadian immigration law states
Quote:
A senior immigration officer or an adjudicator, as the case may be, may grant entry to any person who is a member of an inadmissible class described in subsection (2) subject to such terms and conditions as the officer or adjudicator deems appropriate and for a period not exceeding thirty days, where, in the opinion of the officer or adjudicator, the purpose for which entry is sought justifies admission.
I would not guarntee the above that they'll still let someone into Canada with a conviction. But I assume letting someone refuel and stock provisions as a justified reason for admission. Oh, the reason I mentioned my cousin. She often just let people in unless it was something serious.

One of the reasons Canada can be strict when foreigners are seeking an immigration benefit from our officers, especially Americans.

Americans don't need a visa to enter Canada. Since once inside an American can pretty much do the same as a Canadian, except vote. An American is free to buy property, etcetera. Since Canada does not normally record entry and defiently not exit. Americans are exempted from overstay penalties in our immigration law. Once past Canada Customs, an American can pretty much live in Canada within a gray area! So we are picky with people that have a criminal past ie felony convictions under Canadian law. Its the same for Canadians going into America--Id like to assume that some human decency exist in both countries and Americans would at least allow someone to get fuel and other provisions.
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Old 09-04-2011, 02:12   #45
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Re: Turned Away by Customs?

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Originally Posted by Zonker View Post
Question - is it possible I could turned away at customs if I like to visit the US again ? I know that my record is still in the database but nobody can answer if it at least it is "cleared".
This is becoming more common as the incredible bulk of computerized surveillance often red flags innocent travelers.

At one time I had dramatic problems entering the US as my name happened to be the same as a known alias of a dangerous IRA operative …on their most wanted list!

As I have a slight Scottish accent, when flagged at the US Border, the guns came out, I was roughly brought down, handcuffed, stripped (the guy had known tattoos) and detained for hours.

After the 3rd time, I inquired via the State Department; “Freedom of Information Act” to be given the details of what I was being accused of, explaining this was compromising my career as a foreign-going Captain.

After interviews with the FBI and other agencies, they explained that certain departments still had me linked as a red flag to this alias without confirming that it was a False hit!

They apologized, couldn’t guarantee it wouldn’t happen again, but would alert those agencies to update my personal status.

It seemed to work, because I never got arrested again, but I would note that the Immigration officers read a lot of stuff before.... letting me pass.

If you are at all concerned about how computerized records of the various border security agencies might view your identity, best to contact them requesting pre-clearance of your security status…. prior to your planned visit.

Seems to me to be the best way of proactively helping to keep the borders safe
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