With the quickly approaching Memorial Day weekend kicking off the unofficial start to another busy summer boating season, U.S Customs and Border Protection is reminding pleasure boat operators of federal reporting requirements.
“It has been a long winter, and Customs and Border Protection wants to remind vessel operators, especially those arriving from Canada or returning to our area after wintering over in the Caribbean, how and where to report their U.S. arrivals,” said Dianna Bowman, CBP’s Acting Port Director for the Area Port of Baltimore.
CBP Port of Baltimore has contacted local Harbor Masters, specifically in Annapolis, and has posted updated Port of Baltimore pleasure boat reporting directions on CBP’s website.
CBP officers will soon launch regular pier patrols to marinas in Maryland, Delaware and Virginia to deliver new signs and flyers, and conduct compliance examinations of foreign-flagged vessels that officers observe at those marinas.
CBP officers will continue these outreach and enforcement operations throughout the boating season.
Pleasure Boat Reporting Requirements
Federal law (19 CFR 4.2) requires the master or person in charge of a vessel, such as a pleasure boat or yacht, regardless of size, to report their U.S. arrival immediately to the nearest CBP facility (see 19 USC 1433).
This requirement applies to all boats regardless of country of registration.
Failure to report international arrivals may result in civil penalties (see 19 USC 1436) to include a $5,000 penalty for a first violation and $10,000 for each subsequent violation with the conveyance subject to seizure and forfeiture.
Pleasure boat operators arriving within the jurisdictions covered by the Port of Baltimore should report their arrival to (410) 962-2806 during routine business hours, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., or to (410) 865-2100 x 0 after hours.
A CBP officer will advise where the master and boat’s passengers should present themselves for CBP inspection.
“The United States is a welcoming nation,” said Casey Owen Durst, CBP’s Field Operations Director in Baltimore, the agency’s operational commander in the mid-Atlantic region.
“As the nation’s border security agency, Customs and Border Protection needs to know precisely who and what is entering the U.S. at all times.”
“These pleasure boat reporting requirements help CBP to effectively manage and to secure our nation’s borders.”
For more information, please visit CBP’s Pleasure Boats and Private Flyers reporting webpage.
Small Vessel Reporting System
There are four exceptions to the face-to-face inspection at a designated reporting location, NEXUS, Canadian Border Boat Landing Permit (I-68), Outlying Area Reporting Stations (OARS), and the Small Vessel Reporting System.
The Small Vessel Reporting System (SVRS) is a voluntary effort that will allow eligible, low-risk, pleasure boat operators and passengers, who are U.S. Citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) of the United States, to register with CBP and complete the customs and immigration clearance at the time of arrival.
This program will satisfy the boat operator’s legal requirement to report to a port-of-entry for face-to-face inspection in accordance with 8 CFR 235.1, but boaters must still phone in their arrival to satisfy 19 USC 1433.
CBP’s Office of Field Operations
Almost a million times each day, CBP officers welcome international travelers into the U.S.
In screening both foreign visitors and returning U.S. citizens, CBP uses a variety of techniques to intercept narcotics, unreported currency, weapons, prohibited agriculture, and other illicit products, and to assure that global tourism remains safe and strong.
For international travel tips, please visit CBP’s Travel webpage.
CBP’s border security mission is led at ports of entry by CBP officers from the Office of Field Operations, who enforce all applicable U.S. laws, including against illegal immigration, narcotics smuggling and illegal importation, and by CBP agriculture specialists, who protect U.S. agriculture from the introduction of pests or disease from overseas sources.
Please visit CBP Ports of Entry to learn more about how CBP’s Office of Field Operations secures our nation’s borders.
Learn more about “A Typical Day” for CBP in 2016.