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CBP San Diego Announces New App for Pleasure Boaters

Release Date: 
October 3, 2018

SAN DIEGO - U.S. Customs and Border Protection in San Diego is introducing a new way for boaters to check in when they arrive to the U.S. from a foreign port or place, using an app on their phone or other smart device.

The Reporting Offsite Arrival-Mobile (CBP ROAM) app allows boaters to alert CBP of their anticipated arrival in the U.S. when they are three nautical miles out from the San Diego CBP dock, saving time for both CBP and the public.

Pleasure boaters arriving in the U.S. from a foreign port or place are required by law to immediately report their arrival to CBP. The free CBP ROAM mobile app allows users to notify CBP via personal smart device, saving time for users. It also offers:

  • A streamlined reporting process with reusable traveler and mode of travel profiles
  • Shorter wait times by reporting from a smartphone instead of calling in
  • Remote inspections by CBP officers using video chat as necessary

The app, available for free to download, guides anyone arriving on a small, private vessel, on how to enter the necessary information for their international arrival, including biographic information for everyone aboard the vessel. 

“Boaters making entry into California with the ROAM App can now expect a streamlined process when reporting their entry,” said Bill Snyder, Port Director for the CBP Port of San Diego. “We look forward to working with the boating community to enhance compliant travel into the U.S.”

Originally introduced as a pilot program in August 2017 in the Northwest Angle, Minnesota, CBP continues to expand use of the CBP ROAM app to new locations in the near future.

Boaters can use the CBP ROAM app as a faster way to report their arrival in the following states and territories: Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Texas, California, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Previously, boaters could use the Small Vessel Reporting System (SVRS) to file their float plan with CBP.  However, beginning September 5, SVRS is no longer in service.  

Unlike SVRS, there is no application process or pre-registration requirement to use the CBP ROAM app. Once downloaded, travelers input their biographic information, conveyance and trip details and then submit their trip to CBP for review. A CBP officer may then initiate a video chat to further interview travelers. Once the CBP officer reviews the trip, travelers will receive a push notification and an email with their clearance status and next steps, if applicable.

In certain circumstances, boaters using the CBP ROAM app may still need to report in person to CBP, including if an I-94 or cruising permit is required, if customs duties must be paid, or in other circumstances as applicable.

CBP officers in San Diego began allowing use of the app in August 2018, and is now encouraging its widespread use in the area.  To date, the app has been downloaded nearly 38,000 times and CBP has approved over 25,000 arrivals nationwide.

“From an officer standpoint this is much-needed technology,” said Port Director Snyder. “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.”

Travelers with a smart device can download the app from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.

For any questions or concerns about the CBP ROAM app, please reach out to cbproam@cbp.dhs.gov.

Last modified: 
October 3, 2018
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