U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations has added to the list of pilot locations now using the new Reporting Offsite Arrival-Mobile (ROAM) application for small boat reporting.
This pilot expansion includes Rainy Lake, Lake Kabetogama, Ash River, Ely, and the Boundary Waters in Minnesota.
Additionally, travelers to the Rainy Lake area can utilize tablets at select resorts that are pre-loaded with the ROAM app to report their arrival.
This pilot addresses a pressing issue for border waters that depend heavily on tourism. Anglers and outdoorsmen from around the country travel to these border waters with their families to enjoy fishing experiences. Oftentimes these groups travel into the provinces of Ontario or Manitoba, Canada, which prompts border security, checks by U.S. Customs and Border Protection upon return.
However, to help change all of that, CBP soft-launched the pilot program Aug. 21, 2017, at select resorts within the Northwest Angle, Minnesota, and expanded to Crane Lake, Minnesota, in February.
The ROAM app allows small boaters, on border waters, the flexibility of reporting their arrival into the U.S. from any location via a device that is capable of 4G/LTE or Wi-Fi. The ROAM app is available in the Apple and Android stores under CBP ROAM. The ROAM app enables a video conference with CBP officers to efficiently make entry into the U.S.
Small boaters can construct a profile within the application, and submit their information for a CBP video conference when crossing the U.S. border via water. Traveler information can be easily saved within the app, or recreated for future crossings.
“From an officer standpoint this is much needed technology,” said Area Port Director Jason Schmelz. “From the clarity of the video, to the ease of use for the traveler, ROAM has strengthened border security in these remote areas while facilitating legitimate travel and trade.”
Additionally, as a part of the pilot expansion, CBP will allow floatplanes in Crane Lake and Ely, Minnesota to clear via the ROAM app at designated floatplane bases. These bases are limited to Scott’s Seaplane base in Crane Lake and Shagawa Lake Seaplane base in Ely. Pilots are still required to file the flight plan in eAPIS as well. However, upon landing on water at those designated floatplane bases, pilots can utilize the ROAM app to close out both their trip and their eAPIS.