US Customs Information

The master of any American pleasure boat must report to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) immediately after arriving into the United States from a foreign port or place and must also report any foreign merchandise on his boat that is subject to duty. U.S. pleasure craft and foreign-flag vessels without a cruising license that are 30 feet or longer in length must pay an annual fee of $25 for the user fee decal. User Fee Decals may be purchased online through the CBP Web site. Information about obtaining a cruising license can be found in the "Pleasure Boats" brochure under publications.

U.S. citizens should carry proof of citizenship such as a passport or birth certificate. Canadian citizens should present proof of Canadian Citizenship; Mexican citizens may present a border-crossing card. Canadian, Mexican, and U.S. citizens must carry a passport if they are arriving in the U.S. from outside the Western Hemisphere. If your boat has anchored or tied up, you are considered to have entered the United States.

No one shall board or leave the boat without first completing customs processing, unless permission to do so is granted by the CBP officer in charge. The only exception to this requirement is to report arrival. If it is necessary for someone to leave the boat to report arrival to CBP, he or she must return to the boat after reporting and remain on board unless instructed otherwise. No one who arrived on that boat may leave until the CBP officer grants permission to go ashore.

A report of arrival into the United States should be made to the CBP office nearest to your point of entry. A comprehensive list of ports and their contact phone numbers can be found at CBP website at
http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/toolbox/contacts/ports/

User Fee Decals:
http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/pleasure_boats/user_fee/user_fee_decal.xml

Information for recreational vessels returning to the US:
http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/pleasure_boats/boats/pleasure_boat_overview.xml

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