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CBP Announces New Small Vessel Reporting System

Release Date: 
May 24, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Customs and Border Protection today announced the availability of the Small Vessel Reporting System along the northern border and in Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The online reporting tool is a voluntary program that will enhance security while expediting the entry process for participating boaters entering the United States. The SVRS will be available nationwide in coming months.

"The Small Vessel Reporting System allows international boaters to pre-register with CBP in order to obtain an expedited clearance upon arrival in the U.S.," said Executive Director John Wagner. "The SVRS makes the reporting process easier and faster."

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 (ESTA); 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. Participation will require applicants to undergo a vetting process which will include checks against law enforcement databases and terrorist indices and an in-person interview. 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 abroad. This advance information will allow CBP to share information with other DHS law enforcement components (Border Patrol, CBP Air & Marine and/or U.S. Coast Guard) and better coordinate enforcement operations focused on non-compliant boaters. 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 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.

For more information or to begin the registration process please visit the Small Vessel Reporting System (SVRS) page.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017