With summer approaching, boating season will soon be underway.
The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is now reminding all boaters of their entry and reporting obligations when travelling in Canadian waters.
Unless exempt, all travellers entering Canada by water must report their arrival to the CBSA without delay.
All travellers including those with a right of entry (Canadian citizens, permanent residents and persons registered under the Indian Act) must submit their mandatory information in ArriveCAN before, or when, entering Canada at a marine port of entry.
Travellers who leave and re-enter Canadian waters with interruption, must report to the CBSA upon re-entry and will be subject to COVID-19 border and health requirements.
Travellers who leave and re-enter Canadian waters without interruption, do not have to report to the CBSA or meet COVID-19 border and health requirements.
Interrupted travel means that a traveller leaves Canadian waters and, before re-entering, lands outside Canada, anchors, moors, makes contact with another boat while outside of Canadian waters, or embarks or disembarks any people or goods while outside Canada.
Notably, travel to Canada is prohibited for foreign nationals who do not qualify as fully vaccinated.
Fully vaccinated foreign nationals who land on Canadian soil, anchor, moor, or come alongside another boat, or disembark any people or goods in Canadian waters: must submit their mandatory information in ArriveCAN before, or when, entering Canada at a marine port of entry; must report to the CBSA; must be admissible under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act; and are subject to all of Canada’s COVID-19 border and health requirements.
Foreign nationals who enter Canadian waters for leisure and touring, including pleasure fishing or sightseeing (known as loop movements), and those who transit Canadian waters from one place outside Canada to another place outside Canada, are not required to report to the CBSA as long as the boat does not land on Canadian soil, anchor, moor or come alongside another boat, and no persons or goods are discharged in Canadian waters.
Marine reporting options
In response to COVID-19, the CBSA has temporarily suspended its services at many small vessel reporting sites. Clients should consult the list of open designated marine reporting sites to ensure that services are available, either in person or via telephone reporting.
For boats carrying fewer than 30 passengers, there are two ways to report in order to enter Canada: report directly in-person at one of the open designated marine reporting sites, staffed by the CBSA; or, report to the CBSA’s Telephone Reporting Centre.
Follow the instructions posted at a telephone reporting site and request clearance to enter Canada.
Only the operator may leave the boat to place the call. Everyone else must remain onboard until the CBSA authorizes entry.
Failure to report
The CBSA and its law enforcement partners patrol Canada’s coasts and inland waterways and have the authority to stop any boat that has entered Canadian waters.
Failure to report to the CBSA, even if it is to refuel, may result in detention, seizure or forfeiture of your boat and/or monetary penalties. The minimum fine for failing to report to the CBSA upon entry to Canada is $1,000.
Use ArriveCAN. All travellers arriving in Canada by boat must submit their mandatory information including their proof of vaccination and suitable quarantine plan in ArriveCAN before or when entering at a marine port of entry.
Get informed. Boaters planning to come to Canada should review Reporting requirements for private boaters before making travel plans.
Know what you have onboard. Restricted goods include, but are not limited to, firearms and weapons; food, plants, animals and related products; explosives, fireworks and ammunition.
Right of innocent passage. Boaters who transit through Canadian waters exercising their right to innocent passage are not required to report to the CBSA unless instructed to do so by an officer. This includes boaters who do not land on Canadian soil, or anchor, or come alongside another vessel in Canadian waters, or embarked or disembarked any people or goods while outside Canada, and those who have not landed on foreign soil or anchored or come alongside another vessel in foreign waters, or embark or disembark any people or goods in Canada.