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Old 07-08-2017, 08:35 AM   #1
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Canada boating law

I am hoping some of our wonderful Canadian TF members can give us some insight into the tweak the Canada Gov did to their boating laws last month.


From my understanding, the tweak to the law allows U.S. Boaters to cruise Canadian waters without checking in, as long as they do not dock their vessel and step foot on land.

I have not been able to confirm this by looking at the Canadian Gov. website. Any info on this would be helpful.


Thank you and Cheers.


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Old 07-08-2017, 08:40 AM   #2
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Here you go, the new exemption


Travellers - Reporting requirements for private boaters
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Old 07-08-2017, 08:41 AM   #3
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Greetings,
Mr. hf. I think what you describe has been the case in both Canada and the US for a long time and applies to what may be considered as international waterways common to both countries (Atlantic east coast, Pacific west coast, Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway. As long as a boat does NOT dock or anchor in the other country there is no need to check in.
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Old 07-08-2017, 08:56 AM   #4
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Thanks Mate.

This last time I check that site it did not have the new update.

Now if reading this right. If I came from the Eire canal system and use the Welland canal to get into Lake Erie, I would have to check in. Would that be right?

Thanks again.

Cheers.

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Old 07-08-2017, 08:58 AM   #5
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Greetings,
Mr. hf. I think what you describe has been the case in both Canada and the US for a long time and applies to what may be considered as international waterways common to both countries (Atlantic east coast, Pacific west coast, Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway. As long as a boat does NOT dock or anchor in the other country there is no need to check in.
Thanks Mate.

I was thinking the same thing. However I was not sure. The website has been updated now. Thanks again for your input.

Cheers

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Old 07-08-2017, 09:16 AM   #6
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Greeting,
Mr. hf. You think you are correct (post #4). You would have to check in if you traverse the Welland Canal. I think the mechanism of tying to the lock walls would be considered "docking". At least that's the way I read it.
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Old 07-08-2017, 09:33 AM   #7
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Greeting,
Mr. hf. You think you are correct (post #4). You would have to check in if you traverse the Welland Canal. I think the mechanism of tying to the lock walls would be considered "docking". At least that's the way I read it.

RT. I would say "YES" that would be the case.

Thanks for your take on it mate.

Cheers

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Old 07-08-2017, 10:31 AM   #8
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The only part that is "New" is that it is now clearly set out on the web page.

It works both ways too.

eg: All BC ferries leaving Tsawassen terminal heading for Active Pass enter US waters within a few m of leaving the dock, pass through those foreign waters without anchoring, re-enter Canadian waters 1/2 way across Georgia Strait, without incurring any obligation to check in on either side.
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Old 07-08-2017, 10:38 AM   #9
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I believe this has been the "accepted conduct" for as long as I can remember. Nice now that it is codified.
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Old 07-09-2017, 12:49 AM   #10
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Correct as stated, if there is no landing (docking, tying up to dock, float, lock or another boat) and no anchoring. Simply not allowed to come into direct or indirect contact with the countries land mass except floating over it. If this is the case and you just transit waters of US or Canada, you don't need to check in with that foreign countries Customs department. Here is something most don't know. A Canadian returning from US waters is required to check back in once back into Canadian waters even though they hadn't needed to check in with US authorities while transiting US waters.

I know the BC Ferries was just mentioned and they enter US waters near the Tsswassen terminal for a short distance. Technically they are required to check in when re-entering Canada but I understand they have an exemption. You and I going between the Southern Gulf Islands and Vancouver don't have an exemption and are technically supposed to check in with Canadian custom when travelling from Canada to Canada but passing through US waters.

Now everybody who has checked in with Canadian Customs in a trip like this, please put up your hand!

What? Nobody? H'mm. Me either. I wonder if anybody EVER has?
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Old 07-09-2017, 07:00 AM   #11
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Actually I believe that requirement was just changed within the last month. I recall a news blurb as it's considered big news here on a border city.
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Old 07-09-2017, 07:23 AM   #12
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Actually I believe that requirement was just changed within the last month. I recall a news blurb as it's considered big news here on a border city.
I don't get it. I always understood the "innocent passage" rule to apply, as per international treaties. I don't see what this "new" law changes.

Certainly no-one has ever hassled US boaters traveling up the Lubec Narrows to Eastport, Maine, even though the border crosses the channel several times.

On a side note, it's not just tying up or anchoring that requires check-in. Fishing regulations are strictly enforced, and exchanging anything with another boat could be considered smuggling. In either case, you'd not only have to check in, but make sure you're following all appropriate regulations.
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Old 07-09-2017, 08:12 AM   #13
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This new rule was to solve a problem created by over zealous Canada Customs officers, mainly in the thousand Islands of the St Lawrence River, who were nailing boaters who innocently strayed over the boundary. Hopefully a little common sense will now prevail.
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Old 07-09-2017, 11:20 AM   #14
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This new rule was to solve a problem created by over zealous Canada Customs officers, mainly in the thousand Islands of the St Lawrence River, who were nailing boaters who innocently strayed over the boundary. Hopefully a little common sense will now prevail.
That is my take on it as well.

Here on the Great Lakes we always had to make sure we stayed in U.S. Waters while we were cruising.

I believe the New rule is covering the Great Lakes and the St Lawrence River.

In any case. I glad for the tweak in the Law and I wish to thanks everyone for their posts.

Thanks Fellas!

Cheers

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Old 07-09-2017, 11:23 AM   #15
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This new rule was to solve a problem created by over zealous Canada Customs officers, mainly in the thousand Islands of the St Lawrence River, who were nailing boaters who innocently strayed over the boundary. Hopefully a little common sense will now prevail.
Hopefully so.
I'm on Lake St Clair, it's the extension between Lakes Erie and Huron, it's about 17 miles across at it's widest.

We were having a huge problem with sailboat races, according to CDA CUSTOMS the race boat needed to call in immediately apon returning into CDN waters. Even though they were obviously following a race course and had no intention of stopping anywhere along the route.
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Old 07-09-2017, 11:44 AM   #16
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Reporting Exemptions
If you are visiting Canada, you are not required to report to the CBSA if you:

do not land on Canadian soil and do not anchor, moor or make contact with another conveyance while in Canadian waters, and
do not embark or disembark people or goods in Canada.
If you are returning to Canada, you are not required to report to the CBSA if you:

did not land outside Canada and did not anchor, moor or make contact with another conveyance while outside of Canadian waters, and
did not embark or disembark any people or goods while outside Canada.
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Although not spelled out this way that was my understanding also and has been for many years.
Was ok for fishing or commercial vessels with the range and staffing to make the passage with NO stops but totally useless for the rest of us. Yes, I can think of a few pleasure boats also who could manage that but very few who would/could and they would miss one of the reasons for travelling this coast.
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Old 07-09-2017, 02:02 PM   #17
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I don't get it. I always understood the "innocent passage" rule to apply, as per international treaties. I don't see what this "new" law changes.
That doesn't apply to inland waters.

Fishing licenses is another challenge. I've even been onlakes where the two sides were in different states and fishermen who crossed the middle sometimes got into trouble.
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Old 07-10-2017, 06:11 AM   #18
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Folks that have checked in once , can simply check in by radio on subsequent visits.

WE went back to Canada , checked in by radio and the officer wanted to know how Lucy our cat was doing!
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