US flag Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Reporting Requirements for Recreational Vessels Arriving in U.S. along Lake Erie Shoreline

When Reporting Is Required

Boaters must report their arrival to U.S. Customs and Border Protection if having been engaged in any of the below activities:

  • After having been at any foreign port or place including tying up at a foreign
    dock, or
  • After having had contact with any hovering vessel

The simple activity of fishing in Canadian waters will not require reporting arrival to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

There are three exceptions to the face-to-face inspection at a designated reporting

  • NEXUS,
  • Canadian Border Boat Landing Permit (I-68), and
  • Outlying Area Reporting Stations (OARS)

Participation in any of the programs does not preclude the requirement for physical reporting upon request by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Reporting Procedure

U.S. Customs and Border Protection encourages 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/Captain is required to report their arrival by telephoning CBP.

Ohio or Pennsylvania

1-888-523-BOAT (2628)

Detroit Area

(313) 393-3793 or (313) 393-3949

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 are located at 12 locations along the south shore of Lake Erie:

  • Put-in-Bay, Bass Island, OH
  • Cedar Point Marina, Cedar Point, OH
  • Brand’s Marina, Port Clinton, OH
  • East 55th Street, Cleveland, OH
  • Lagoons Marina, Mentor, OH
  • Chagrin Yacht Club, Eastlake, OH
  • Grand River Marina, Fairport, OH
  • Ashtabula Public Dock, Ashtabula, OH
  • Presque Isle, Erie, PA
  • Dobbins Landing, Erie, PA
  • Perry’s Landing, Erie, PA
  • Lampe Marina, Erie, PA

Where to Report

Reports of arrival may be made at any of the following ports of entry. Upon report of arrival a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer will provide further instructions regarding designated reporting locations and entry processing. The boat must be made available for possible boarding at the time of the report.

Physical in-person reporting can be done by calling in advance one of the following Ports of Entry (during normal duty hours):

Erie, PA

(814) 833-1355

Cleveland, OH

(216) 267-3600

Ashtabula, OH

(440) 998-3073

Toledo, OH

(419) 259-6424

Sandusky, OH

(419) 625-0022

Hours are Monday through Friday 0800 - 1700 and on Saturday and Sunday 1000 - 1800 (except for Toledo, which is closed on weekends). The boat must be made available for inspection and boarding by CBP officers.


NEXUS Marine program is a joint Canada-U.S. initiative that offers facilitated customs and immigration clearance for recreational low-risk boaters entering either country through registration into the program. NEXUS is valid for 5 years and satisfies the boat operator’s legal requirement to report to a port-of-entry for face-to-face inspection in accordance with 8 CFR 235.1, but boaters must still phone in their arrival to satisfy 19 USC 1433.

Canadian Border Boat Landing Permit (I-68)

Canadian Border Boat Landing Permit (I-68) applicants for admission into the United States by small pleasure boats are inspected and issued an I-68 permit for the entire boating season. The I-68 permit allows boaters to enter the United States from Canada for recreational purposes with only the need to report to CBP by telephoning in their arrival.

Outlying Area Reporting System (OARS)

OARS is another northern border method for boaters to report entry to satisfy 19USC and 8CFR requirements into the United States from Canada. The OARS program uses videophones, typically located at public marinas, which boaters may use to report to CBP.

Failure to Report

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 1 year or both.

Brands Dry Dock Marina (OARS Location)

315 West Lakeshore Drive

Toledo/Sandusky, OH 34015

Put In Bay – DeRivera Park (OARS Location)

306-364 Bayview Ave

Port Clinton, OH 43452

Cedar Point Marina (OARS Location)

1 Cedar Point Drive

Sandusky, OH 44870

E. 55th Street Marina (OARS Location)

5555 N. Marginal Road

Cleveland, OH 34101

Mentor Lagoons Marina (OARS Location)

8500 Civic Center Boulevard

Mentor, OH 44060

Chagrin River Yacht Club (OARS Location)

35111 Halsey Road

Eastlake, OH 44095

Grand River Marina (OARS Location)

93 River Street

Grand River, OH 44045

Ashtabula Public Dock (OARS Location)

USCG Station Ashtabula

401 Morton Drive

Ashtabula, OH 44004

Presque Isle (OARS Location)

1 Peninsula Drive

Erie, PA 16505

Dobbins Landing (OARS Location)

34 State Street, #2

Erie, PA 16507

Perry’s Landing (OARS Location)

1 Lawrence Pier

Erie, PA 16507

Lampe Marina (OARS Location)

17 W Dobbins Landing

Erie, PA 16507


Upper Peninsula Cities

Lower Peninsula Cities

U.P. DNR Marinas

(Not using too many)

Baraga, MI

Alpena, MI

Gladstone Marina

Barbeau, MI

Boyne City, MI

Menominee Marina

Brimley, MI

Charlevoix, MI

Cedar River State Harbor

Cedarville, MI

Cheboygan, MI

Escanaba Municipal Marina

Detour, MI

East Jordan, MI

Fayette Historic State Park

Drummond Island, MI

Harbor Springs, MI

Manistique Marina

Escanaba, MI

Mackinaw City, MI

Naubinway - Garfield Township Marina

Gladstone, MI

Petoskey, MI

St. Ignace Marina

Grand Marais, MI

Presque Isle, MI

Mackinac Island State Harbor

Houghton, MI

Rogers City, MI

Hessel/Clark Twp. Marina

Mackinac Island, MI


DeTour State Dock

Manistique, MI


Sault Ste. Marie-George Kemp Marina

Marquette, MI


Sault Ste. Marie-Charles T. Harvey Marina

Menominee, MI


Whitefish Point State Dock

Munising, MI


Little Lake State Dock

Neebish Island, MI


Grand Marais - Burt Township Marina

Ontonagon, MI


Munising - Bayshore Marina

Paradise, MI


Marquette - Cinder Pond Marina

Sault Ste. Marie, MI


Marquette - Presque Isle Marina

St. Ignace, MI


Baraga Municipal Marina

Sugar Island, MI


Houghton City Marina



Grand Traverse Bay Schoolcraft Township Marina



Lac LaBelle State Dock



Copper Harbor State Dock



Eagle Harbor State Dock



Hancock - Houghton County Marina



Ontonagon Village Marina


Last modified: 
May 5, 2014