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Old 02-10-2009, 09:43   #1
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US Customs Decal Placement

What's a good place to stick the custom's decal? I was surprised how little information came with it. It says it can't be damaged and should be near the normal boarding area, yet I have no idea if it holds up to weather.

Also, I assume one needs the number when calling the custom's number when returning to the U.S. Again, the decal came with no phone number or returning protocols.
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Old 02-10-2009, 09:55   #2
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It will hold up to the weather for at least the year it is valid. Keep the paperwork in the ship's papers so you can remember the number when you need.

For checking in, procedures vary by region. See U.S. Customs and Border Protection - Travel
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Old 02-10-2009, 09:57   #3
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It seems it was designed more for aircraft and possible motor vessels with a primary entrance point and not for a sailboat.

I see most including mine for the past several year attached at the entrance to the cabin from the cockpit. I have a clear spot away from lines in the curve just as you would enter the companion way steps. This has never seem to be a problem for the few CG teams I see on other boats. I've never had anyone even look at mine, nor even ask about it which was a surprise to me as I often use the alternate check in procedures allowed by the Local Boaters Option.

Truth is I only have seen the decal on about 30% of boats with US Documentation in the West Indies and Florida. It is like many things, Good to have but probably not a worry until you need it!
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Old 02-10-2009, 10:13   #4
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I put them low on the mast. They last forever, I have them from 1990 still stuck on the mast.
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Old 02-10-2009, 11:10   #5
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Mines on the cabin window and has never deteriorated.
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Old 02-10-2009, 11:24   #6
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I just got mine (first one), and was wondering the same thing. Then I noticed on the back of the decal it says:

PLACEMENT OF DECAL --
VOID IF NOT PROPERLY INSTALLED
Remove decal from adhesive backing. Place decal on outside of the conveyance within 18 inches of the normal boarding area where it is visible when doors/hatches are open. Decal MUST be adhered to conveyance by adhesive on decal.

FWIW. For all those of you who placed it elsewhere -- I believe you have committed a federal crime similar to removing the tag from a bed mattress.
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Old 02-10-2009, 11:30   #7
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PLACEMENT OF DECAL --
VOID IF NOT PROPERLY INSTALLED
Remove decal from adhesive backing. Place decal on outside of the conveyance within 18 inches of the normal boarding area where it is visible when doors/hatches are open. Decal MUST be adhered to conveyance by adhesive on decal.


.
I think the bottom of the mast matches these requirements.
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Old 02-10-2009, 13:10   #8
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I don't think any official has looked at mine in 10 years. Re-entering the US last Spring, we called the 800# as we passed into the Bay and were told to proceed to Baltimore (our destination) to check in. When we called on arrival, we were told to go to BWI airport with our entire crew to clear emigration. Luckily, we had a car. We were also told to go to the Baltimore customs office to clear in the boat. Gone are the days (since March, 2009) where that sticker makes any difference so why pay the fee?
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Old 02-10-2009, 13:11   #9
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I think the bottom of the mast matches these requirements.
That was my first thought as that's where the registration sticker goes for a documented vessel in the state I keep my boat, but I don't think that's within 18 inches of the normal boarding area.
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Old 02-10-2009, 13:14   #10
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The decal was designed for small planes. Doesn't really fit sailboats.
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Old 02-10-2009, 18:10   #11
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The decal was designed for small planes. Doesn't really fit sailboats.
yeah - that's why I wondered about the "boarding" requirements. On a plane within 18 inches of boarding would be on the interior. Not so with boarding a boat.
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Old 03-10-2009, 07:56   #12
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I previously asked a couple of Coast Guard and Customs people. None really had any idea how to meet the requirement on a typical sailboat. Most said "at the point you get on the boat". When I said that depends on how I enter a slip, aft first or bow first or if the finger is on starboard or port or if I'm arriving to the boat by dink... all would be different points of entry. The general feeling was in that case near where you enter the interior of the boat....

That is the reason I posted mine near the companion way hatch...

But it probably will not matter as long as you made the effort unless you run across some anal retentive official..... but again that may be redundant?
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Old 03-10-2009, 11:37   #13
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This illustrates the fact that when boarding an aeroplane, youíll be getting IN it; but you first get ON most boats.

Then there's those rigid horizontal sails ...
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Old 03-10-2009, 12:32   #14
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I don't like decals on my boat they are nasty to get off and we only visit the other side once a year or so. It's bad enough we have to buy the thing in the first place, I don't think we charge Americans to visit our country and leave their money behind as we do in theirs. Since we check in by videophone and they ask for the number when we do I don't stick it on I take it with me to read the number. I leave it at that. If I feel I have to display it I tape it to the cabin side close to the cockpit where the boarding gate is. This will probably work until we run into the inevitable keener and we'll see what happens from there when we meet him/her.
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