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CBP Reminds Boaters of Small Vessel Reporting System

Release Date: 
July 11, 2011

Boston, Mass. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection would like to remind boaters of the availability of the Small Vessel Reporting System to the northern border. The online reporting tool is a voluntary program and will expedite the entry process for participating boaters entering or coming back into the U.S.

The system is open to all U.S. citizens and permanent residents, as well as Canadian citizens,

Canadian landed commonwealth residents and Canadian landed immigrants who are nationals of a Visa Waiver Program country who have a valid passport and an Electronic System for Travel Authorization; or hold a U.S. visa for admittance, a valid passport, and a CBP Form I-94. Boat owners and passengers can fill out an online application and schedule a visit to an enrollment center near them to apply to the program. There is no fee to apply to the program. Boat owners or passengers who are currently members of a CBP Trusted Traveler Program (e.g. NEXUS or Global Entry), or who hold a current form I-68, can enroll without visiting an enrollment center.

Once enrolled, boat owners file a small vessel reporting float plan prior to their departure from the U.S, if the trip begins in the U.S., or prior to their entry into the U.S., if the trip begins foreign. Upon arrival in the U.S., boat masters can then call CBP at the closest port of entry with the float plan identification number received when the plan was filed, answer a few customs questions and receive clearance to enter the U.S.

Failure to report entry into the U.S. can result in civil penalties, including a $5,000 penalty for the first violation, $10,000 for each subsequent violation, and vessel seizure and forfeiture. Any boat master who is convicted of intentionally violating the law is liable for a fine up to $2,000 and/or imprisonment.

Boat Owners/operators are also reminded that they are responsible for reporting themselves, their crew and their passengers to CBP upon their arrival. On Lake Memphremagog , boaters may either report by using the Outlying Area Reporting Station (OARS) phone located at the Newport City Dock, or by calling the Derby Line port of entry at (802) 873-3316. On Lake Champlain/Missisquoi Bay, boaters may report their arrival by calling Highgate Springs port of entry at (802) 868-2778, extension 2.

For more information or to begin the registration process, please visit the CBP Small Vessel Reporting System web site.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017