Originally Posted by MarkJ
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.
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?
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.