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Do you frequently travel to Canada directly from the United States on a small private pleasure boat? If so, the CANPASS - Private Boats program could be for you! The program provides expedited border clearance for low-risk, pre-screened persons entering Canada by private pleasure boat.
Members can call the CBSA to report their estimated time of arrival at least 30 minutes before but no more than 4 hours prior to their expected arrival in Canada.
Members may also be entitled to use telephone reporting marine sites not available to other boaters.
To be eligible for CANPASS - Private Boats, you must meet these criteria:
- Be a citizen or permanent resident of Canada or the United States and have lived in Canada and/or the United States continuously for the last three years;
- You are admissible to Canada under applicable immigration laws;
- You have provided true and accurate information on the application;
- You have not been convicted of a criminal offence for which a pardon has not been granted;
- You have not had a customs seizure within the past six years; and
- You are not in violation of any customs or immigration legislation.
Using CANPASS - Private Boats
How CANPASS - Private Boats works
The boat owner/operator is in charge of the boat and he or she must report all passengers and goods on board the vessel to the CBSA. Boat owners/operators are responsible for reporting themselves, their crew and passengers to a telephone reporting centre (TRC) by calling 1-888-CANPASS (1-888-226-7277) at least 30 minutes before but no more than 4 hours prior to the boat's estimated time of arrival at a designated marine reporting site in Canada.
The TRC allows individuals who enter Canada by private aircraft, corporate aircraft or private boat to report their arrival and make their declarations to the CBSA by telephone.
Where to call
The 1-888-CANPASS (1-888-226-7277) toll-free line is only available in Canada and the United States. If a trip originates outside the United States, the 1-888 number is not available and the boat owner/operator must call the TRC directly (long-distance charges may apply).
TRC for All of Canada
Boat owner/operator responsibilities
The boat owner/operator must ensure that all passengers have the appropriate travel documents for entering Canada. He or she must also call the TRC at least 30 minutes before but no more than 4 hours prior to the boat's estimated time of arrival at a designated marine reporting site in Canada.
During that first telephone call to the TRC, the boat owner/operator must provide the following information to the CBSA:
- persons on board;
- the estimated time of arrival (ETA);
- the vessel licence or registration number and boat name (if applicable);
- the full name, date of birth, citizenship and CANPASS membership number of all persons on board;
- the proposed initial docking site in Canada (must be a designated marine reporting site) and the final destination of the boat in Canada;
- passport and visa information of passengers (including the crew), if applicable;
- the destination, purpose of the trip and length of stay in Canada for non-residents;
- the length of absence for each passenger who is a returning resident of Canada;
- a declaration of all goods being imported, including firearms and weapons;
- a declaration of all currency and/or monetary instruments totaling CAN$10,000 or more; and
- for returning residents of Canada, a report of all repairs or modifications made to goods (including the boat) while outside Canada.
Note: If the ETA changes by more than 30 minutes or if there are any changes to the point of arrival, the list of passengers or their declarations, the boat owner/operator must advise the TRC prior to arrival in Canada.
The boat owner/operator must remain at the point of arrival until the ETA reported to the TRC has elapsed. No second call to the TRC is required. If there is no officer waiting to meet the boat when it arrives at the reported ETA or actual time of arrival, whichever is later, the boat may proceed to the final destination and passengers may disembark.
In addition to the above, the person in charge of the conveyance is responsible for the following:
- ensuring that all persons being transported into Canada on board the pleasure craft are in possession of all travel documents required by the legislation, i.e. passports, visas, or other; and
- the removal of inadmissible passengers and any associated administrative and medical expenses and fees.
Note: Any contraventions of the legislation may result in detention, seizure or forfeiture of the conveyance and/or lead to criminal prosecution, monetary penalties and/or imprisonment.
Proof of presentation
As proof of presentation, the boat owner/operator will be provided with a report number. The owner/operator shall retain the report number for the entire trip in Canada and present the number when requested by a border services officer.
- If a border services officer is not waiting to meet the boat when it arrives at the reported docking site at the ETA or actual time of arrival (whichever is later), the boat may then proceed to the final Canadian destination.
- If requested by an on-site border services officer, the owner/operator shall present the conveyance, along with all goods and persons, for examination.
Travelling with non-members
CANPASS - Private Boats membership privileges only apply when all persons aboard are program members. If a non-participant is aboard, please consult Reporting requirements for private boaters.
All travellers aboard must declare any personal goods they are importing, including firearms and weapons, and report currency and/or monetary instruments totaling CAN$10,000 or more. For more information, see Cross Border Currency Reporting. If duties or taxes are payable, the border services officer at the TRC will ask for the traveller's mailing address and Visa or MasterCard number and expiry date.
Although the boat owner/operator is solely required to call the CBSA with the information on each person on board the boat, which includes the declarations of goods, each individual is ultimately responsible for complying with customs and immigration legislation.
Your membership may be revoked or suspended if you fail to comply with the requirements and procedures of the CANPASS - Private Boats program. This includes non-compliance with customs and immigration legislation, or any other related laws the CBSA administers and enforces.
Once an applicant has completed and signed the CANPASS application form, the CBSA is authorized to collect personal information such as name, date of birth, address, citizenship, proof of citizenship and residency information.
The information will be used for background security checks and is not shared with a third party. All information is stored in a secure central database, which in turn is protected by various methods, including firewalls. Access to client information by employees is also controlled and monitored.
All personal information provided is protected under the federal Privacy Act.
Participation in the CANPASS - Private Boats program is restricted to pre-approved travellers. Applicants undergo a detailed security clearance check before being enrolled. Every time CANPASS - Private Boats members enter Canada, their membership information is verified against customs and immigration databases to ensure their compliance with the program's regulations. Each member's eligibility is re-assessed annually.
Join CANPASS - Private Boats
The non-refundable processing fee is CAN$40 for each applicant 18 years old and older. The fee is waived for those under the age of 18. You can pay using Visa, MasterCard or American Express. You can also send a certified cheque or money order in Canadian funds payable to the Receiver General for Canada. Do not send cash.
Your participation in this program is strictly voluntary. The information that you provide will be used to determine your eligibility. If you are accepted into the program, your membership will be valid for five years.
If you are under the age of 18, written consent from a parent or legal guardian is also required.
How to apply
- Complete and sign the CANPASS application form: Form E672.
- Send the following to a Canadian processing centre:
- the completed application form;
- the non-refundable processing fee of CAN$40 for each applicant 18 years old or older; and
- a photocopy of your proof of citizenship or permanent resident status.
- If you are accepted, your application will be processed in approximately four to six weeks.
- Applications that are incomplete or do not include all the necessary documents and the non-refundable processing fee will not be processed. The CBSA will send a letter asking you to submit the missing information.
Canadian processing centres
Alberta, British Columbia, Nunavut, Manitoba, Northwest Territories, Saskatchewan and Yukon
Telephone: 604-538-3689 or 1-866-496-3987 (toll-free)
Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Quebec
Telephone: 905-371-1477 or 1-800-842-7647 (toll-free)
Proof of citizenship or permanent resident status
Applicants must provide acceptable proof of citizenship or permanent resident status in Canada or the United States. Please send photocopies of the documents with the completed application form. These photocopies will not be returned.
If you are a Canadian or U.S. citizen, please provide one of the following:
- birth certificate and photo identification;
- valid passport;
- citizenship certificate or card;
- certificate of naturalization;
- certificate of retention of Canadian citizenship;
- certificate of Indian status in Canada; or
- certificate of registration of birth abroad.
If you are a permanent resident of Canada or the United States, please provide one of the following:
- valid Canadian permanent resident card; or
- record of landing - IMM 1000, also known as a Confirmation of Permanent Residence - IMM 5292.
- United States
- valid U.S. permanent resident card
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