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Old 05-01-2018, 03:54 PM   #1
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City: San francisco
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Pacific Star
Vessel Model: 1990 Grand Banks 32 #834
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PNW Border Crossing Tips?

We are planning on trucking our Grand Banks 32 from Alameda CA to Anacortes WA in late June, and trucking her home in October.

So, 3 months in the Salish Sea, and we anticipate at least a few, and maybe more, crossings from USA to Canada and visa-versa.

Any tips on making those crossings easier each way?

So far, I have obtained from US Customs a "Small Vessel Reporting System" (SVRS) permit and decal for me and the boat, and a second permit for my wife as crew. I am supposed to call in when getting close to or entering US waters and, hopefully, they will tell me I don't have to report in at the nearest customs dock.

These SVRS permits seem to be getting common on the Great Lakes, but I have not heard much about them in the PNW. Anyone have any PNW experience with them?

Tips for other permits which might be helpful, both for entering Canada and entering the USA?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 05-01-2018, 04:45 PM   #2
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Check this out:

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Old 05-01-2018, 04:46 PM   #3
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We have enjoyed using the NEXUS trusted-traveler program for several years. It was worth the effort and we will renew when the time comes.

Best Wishes
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Old 05-01-2018, 07:33 PM   #4
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Going to Canada is easy. Stop at the designated dock. Bidwell, Sydney, Victoria, Vancouver or nanimo. If no one is there pick up the phone and they will clear you right away. Don’t bring a hand gun. Best to have no fire arms. Best to keep your alcohol to the legal duty free limit. No food with pits, no apples, generally stay away from food with seeds. It’s rare to get inspected and they don’t make a fuss if they catch you with an apple or one bottle to many, they just take it.

Coming back to the US. I was told by customs some years ago that nexus was the only way to clear by phone. That may have changed I don’t know. Everyone who clears by phone that I know uses nexus. Returning you should try to use Friday harbor. They are much more efficient than Roach Harbor. I have found that the US mostly cares about who is on the boat and drugs maybe a little about food with seeds and potatoes. While WA is drug friendly you can bet the border guards are not. Would not advise bringing your medical mj back into the US.

Best to travel with a passport.
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Old 05-01-2018, 07:44 PM   #5
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With a boat that has never crossed customs in your name call a month or more early to each customs number and get the boat data into their system. Will save you a lot of time in the future.

Canada 866-996-3987
US 800-562-5343

You can ask them at these numbers any questions you have about clearing by phone.
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Old 05-01-2018, 08:18 PM   #6
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If you go the Nexus route and want to clear by phone coming back into the US, you will also need a Homeland Security decal. They will want the decal's number. And, they will want to know your "BR" number, that was given to you when you were approved for Nexus. They may also ask for your passport number and expiration date. Going to either the Friday Harbor or Roche Harbor customs dock to check in eliminates the need for the decal and BR number. Always good to have passports with you.
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Old 05-01-2018, 09:14 PM   #7
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They will sell you the decal over the phone if you didn't get one in advance. You can get the BR number over the phone as well, takes about 1/2 hour per person.
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