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Old 15-06-2011, 10:10   #1
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U.S. Cruising Permits

Hi There!
Can anyone offer any web-links that might connect us right through to being able to allow us to apply-for/get our U.S. Cruising Permit, online?

Using search engines, just seems to get all kinds of "discussion" on the matter.

We're hoping somebody might actually have THE link, saved in their favorites?

Thanks!
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Old 15-06-2011, 10:33   #2
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Re: U.S. Cruising Permits

You cannot get a US cruising permit online. You have to enter the country with your boat and report to Homeland Security. If they let you in you then get a cruising permit from Customs.
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Old 15-06-2011, 11:58   #3
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Re: U.S. Cruising Permits

Actually, Rick, they are meant to be able to be done in advance. Its writ somewheres... I saw it said, but not the form.

I have also been searching the net in the last week for the link.

What I have found is a Small Vessel Reporting System Application Wizard and it can be done in advance.
https://svrs.cbp.dhs.gov/Application...ionWizard.aspx

And a list of all the forms a bureaucrat could possible want.... except the Cruising Permit, of course.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection - Forms

Perhaps someone has an auto-form-filler and we could just fill out all the forms and hope one is the right one?





Mark
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Old 15-06-2011, 12:14   #4
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Sigh. Welcome to the USA. Drives me CRAZY how our bureaucracy makes everything so difficult. It's not lost on me how we US citizens can go all over the world and basically are welcomed...but don't extend the same. I see the rationale but....

But hey...ironically, US citizens are treated the same when we come back. Going into another country, they smile, chat, make small talk, etc. Coming BACK into US, a whole other story. And having had my son in Costa Rica, I got a dose of dealing with my own embassy to get my son's papers...whew. Guess it's really a small price to pay for the amazing fortune of seeing this beautiful world tho!
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Old 15-06-2011, 12:20   #5
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Re: U.S. Cruising Permits

Interesting how many regulations they do on the boaters and then we have so many illegal people in our country. Amazing, amazing.
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Old 15-06-2011, 13:52   #6
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Re: U.S. Cruising Permits

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
Actually, Rick, they are meant to be able to be done in advance. Its writ somewheres... I saw it said, but not the form.

I have also been searching the net in the last week for the link.

What I have found is a Small Vessel Reporting System Application Wizard and it can be done in advance.
https://svrs.cbp.dhs.gov/Application...ionWizard.aspx

And a list of all the forms a bureaucrat could possible want.... except the Cruising Permit, of course.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection - Forms

Perhaps someone has an auto-form-filler and we could just fill out all the forms and hope one is the right one?





Mark
Mark,

A customs official makes out the Cruising Permit after you give them the required information. The program you allude to with the link is a new one to me but sounds similar to the "Local Boaters' Option" which now is only available to US citizens. I agree that the bureaucracy is amazing and the websites really clunky. There is an I68 program which I used to use on Lake Ontario crossings (Ontario to NY State). You used to be able to get a I68 (immigration permit) through the mail then they changed it to having to report at a port of entry and get one. Most Lake sailors gave up on that. Many ports in NY on Lake Ontario now have video phones and you report through that.

If a foreign boat reports in south of Sebastian Inlet in FL you have to phone an 800 number when you arrive. They will issue you with a number. You then have 24 hours to report physically (all persons aboard) to a Homeland Security office. Once cleared for entry you can then go to Customs for a cruising permit. If your entry is north of Sebastian Inlet just report to Homeland Security, no need to call and get a number.


By the way, the cruising permit program is only open to boats from certain countries. Not all qualify. Unfortunately trying to get the latest CORRECT info from officials or from websites is very difficult. It's been my experience in the past that what you get from one office might differ from info from another office.

p.s. I have found Lake Worth (Palm Beach) and Port Canaveral to be very good for clearing in. Port Canaveral is a bit more cumbersome for cruisers as there is no anchorage in the Port and the walk to Homeland security is about 20 mins. Lake Worth is excellent but you have to call the 800 number and if you don't have a US cell phone that's a bit difficult as there are no pay phones anymore. The queue at the 800 number sometimes stretches to 40 minutes if you happen to come in at a busy time.
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Old 15-06-2011, 14:22   #7
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Re: U.S. Cruising Permits

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vasco View Post
The program you allude to with the link is a new one to me but sounds similar to the "Local Boaters' Option" which now is only available to US citizens.
Correct! The Small Vessel Reporting System is where a US passport holder with Local Boater Option inputs a float plan. Upon return to the US, the master calls the SVRS 800 number and reports the float plan number and that it is complete. The float plan includes all crew members, whether they have the LBO or not. CBP advises that LBO crew is 'checked-in' and non-LBO has 24 hours to report.

AFAIK, LBO is available only in Florida, California, and Puerto Rico. And, an LBO issued in Florida will only work in Florida. I can't leave Florida and sail to PR and use my Florida issued LBO there. I guess that's why it's got Local in the name.

This is progress! Prior to 9/11, a US passport holder arriving from a foreign port on a private vessel only need to call in with passport number to check in. After 9/11, everyone had to physically visit CBP to check in. The LBO program requires an initial interview at a CBP office, then just a phone call to check in given you've entered a float plan in their system. I like it!
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Old 15-06-2011, 14:32   #8
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Re: U.S. Cruising Permits

Thanks to all.
Yes we have found the Lake Worth Inlet to be amazingly simple. In fact it was there that they even told us we'd get an automatic annual renew notice in the mail (which didn't come, of course).
Clearing in via Lake Ont. as VASCO mentioned, though is allegedly easier using the vid-phone system, they we're pissed at us the last time we went South and when we cleared in there on the vid-phone once, they made it quite clear in a very clear "tone" that we had to do it in advance, and not at the time of landing.

Thanks to all who tried to help!
Suppose we'll just go for a drive to Niagara and "try" and do it in person.
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Old 15-06-2011, 14:53   #9
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Also for citizens of many countries that have access to the visa waiver scheme. You can't use this to enter the US by boat. All applicable crew must have full visas. Getting that visa has to be done in your home country and is a real PITA. Canadians have different rules I believe

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Old 15-06-2011, 17:33   #10
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Re: U.S. Cruising Permits

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Also for citizens of many countries that have access to the visa waiver scheme. You can't use this to enter the US by boat. All applicable crew must have full visas. Getting that visa has to be done in your home country and is a real PITA.
No, you can get the visa in most countries from where you plan to sail to the USA. We (Dutch) just got our 10yr US visa's here in Panama for example.

ciao!
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