Chicago - As the July 4 holiday is fast approaching, Customs and Border Protection reminds boaters of reporting requirements and procedures. Reporting is required for any boat coming from a foreign country - including tying up at a foreign dock - or any boat or crew who has come into contact with any vessel coming from a foreign country. The simple activity of fishing in Canadian waters will not require reporting arrival to Customs and Border Protection.
CBP encourage boaters to enroll in the "Canadian Border Boat Program" for issuance of an I-68 permit or the NEXUS Program. The NEXUS Card or the I-68 permit will allow the boaters to report their arrival to CBP. The master or captain is required to report their arrival by telephoning CBP. Vessels arriving in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, or Duluth, Minn. may call 1-888-523-BOAT (2628).
"We continually work closely with the local boating community," said Brian Humphrey, CBP acting director of field operations in Chicago. "We want the 2010 boating season to be safe and enjoyable for all. Please remember that while out on the water we encourage boaters to report any suspicious activities to CBP."
If the boater is not enrolled in either the I-68 Program or NEXUS Program, they will be required to present themselves for face-to-face inspection or at any of the Outlying Area Reporting Stations (OARS).
OARS sites can be found in the following locations:
Cedar Point Marina, Sandusky, Ohio; Brand's Marina, Port Clinton, Ohio;
East 55th St., Cleveland, Ohio; Grand River Marina, Fairport Harbor, Ohio;
Chagrin Lagoon Yacht Club, Eastlake, Ohio; Mentor Lagoon Marina, Mentor, Ohio;
Ashtabula Public Dock, Ashtabula, Ohio; Put-In-Bay, South Bass Island, Ohio;
Lampe Marina, Erie, Penn.; Dobbin's Landing, Erie, Penn.;
Perry's Landing Marina, Erie, Penn.; Presque Isle Marina, Erie, Penn.
Failure to report can result in civil penalties as defined in Title 19, United States Code, Section 1436, to include a penalty of $5,000 for the first violation and $10,000 for each subsequent violation, with the conveyance subject to seizure and forfeiture. In addition to being liable for a civil penalty, any master who intentionally commits a violation under subsection (a) of this section upon conviction is liable for a fine of not more than $2,000 or imprisonment for one year or both.
Please report any suspicious activities observed to 1-800-BE-ALERT (1-800-232-5378) or the after-hours toll free number: 1-800-562-5943.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.