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Old 01-11-2016, 03:00 PM   #21
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In addition to having the decal, we are enrolled in the Small Vessel Reporting System (SVRS). It was easy to set up but included an interview. Everyone on the boat must be in the program.
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That was the part we just couldn't accomplish, as our only time there we had 10 or 11 people on the boat. However, for regulars going back and forth and couples or small families, a great system.
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Old 01-11-2016, 04:15 PM   #22
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I would suggest that getting the sticker sign up done on line and then mailed to you would simplify your and the Custom guy's life. Plus it makes you look like a good guy with no hassles, maybe. Entering Alaska is the same advantage as entering WA from BC waters.
Order done, now waiting for my magical sticker....
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Old 01-11-2016, 04:32 PM   #23
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In addition to having the decal, we are enrolled in the Small Vessel Reporting System (SVRS). When coming back into the states, a phone call is all it takes. It was easy to set up but included an interview. Everyone on the boat must be in the program.

Small Vessel Reporting System (SVRS) | U.S. Customs and Border Protection
This program is only good for re-entry back into U.S. Waters. I explained our situation and he suggested the NEXUS program.
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Old 01-11-2016, 04:56 PM   #24
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This program is only good for re-entry back into U.S. Waters. I explained our situation and he suggested the NEXUS program.
You're talking two different things here. The Customs sticker is a requirement for a private vessel or airplane entering the US. It has nothing to do with the people on the boat or plane; it applies to a specific boat or plane and you have to have one displayed on the boat or plane when you re-enter, even if you re-enter by telephone using a Nexus pass and don't go to a Port of Entry at all. If you don't have the sticker on your boat or plane you will have to clear at a POE so you can buy the sticker on the spot.

The Canadian Nexus pass replaces two things and it has to do with people, not the means of conveyance.

One, it replaced the old Canpass system which boaters could use to clear customs into Canada by phone with no need to go first to a Port of Entry. Initially a Canpass was good for anyplace you wanted to arrive in Canada (for us, someplace in the Gulf Islands). After 9/11 it was changed to a list of designated points. The official Port of Entries were on the list of course, but over time they added other locations (bays, harbors) that were not POEs. As I recall it was not required for every person on the boat or plane to have a Canpass so in this respect, too, it was different than the current Nexus pass system.

Two, the Nexus pass replaced the old "PIN" system used by US Customs for phone clearance into the US. After 9/11 the PIN was replaced by a specific immigration form the number of which I can't remember. The application for this form required a personal interview in the appropriate office (for us it was in the King County terminal building on Boeing Field). While my wife and I got these forms a number of years ago I doubt it they are still valid and I don't even know if it's still an active program.

The US eventually recognized the Nexus pass system and so today this pass is good for re-entry into the US as well as entry into Canada (Canadian pass holders can use it the other way round). The border crossings have special lanes for Nexus pass holders entering Canada or the US by vehicle, and boaters can use the Nexus pass to clear into Canada or back into the US by phone. However, the customers officer you're talking to can still require you to clear at a POE if they want you to; the Nexus is not an automatic clearance into either country.

Unlike the customs sticker, the Nexus pass applies to people, not the means of transportation. So if entering Canada via boat, every person on on the boat must have a valid Nexus pass. If even one person on board does not, the vessel has to clear customs and a designated POE. The same is true of re-entry into the US.

So far my wife and I have not gotten Nexus passes because most of the time in recent years we've had guests on board when we've taken the boat to Canada. And the times we haven't the POEs we use are pretty much on the way up and back so it's no big deal to stop at them.

But a Nexus pass would certainly be convenient as we drive into Canada more often than we boat or fly into it. But it requires an in-person interview and these so far have been very inconvenient to set up so we keep putting it off.
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Old 01-11-2016, 05:56 PM   #25
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Well, ordered boat sticker, have passports and applied for NEXUS.....Look out Canada!!! ASD is coming....
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Old 01-11-2016, 08:01 PM   #26
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My wife and I got our Nexus passes a couple of years ago. We scheduled our in-person interviews on their website after conditionally approved. Several weeks/months later, we interviewed and received the passes. To our surprise and delight, the Nexus fee included 5 years of TSA Precheck. Not sure if they still include it, but worth checking out.
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Old 01-12-2016, 07:45 PM   #27
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I just checked the CBP website as to whether TSA Pre-check is included with a NEXUS pass. It is. The NEXUS pass costs $50 and is good for five years. The TSA Pre-check cost? Take a guess; $85 for five years. I looked it up cuz I had an inkling that the cost would be more at TSA. I am not at all a government basher but REALLY! I fly fairly often but have always refused to pay $85 to reduce my government's costs. I just arrive a few minutes earlier to wade through the TSA security. But, having plans to boat to Canada we will apply for a NEXUS authorization and receive the ancillary benefit of TSA pre-check and at a $35/person discount.
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Old 01-12-2016, 09:23 PM   #28
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Changes for Canadian DTOPS program

We are a bit unique as we are Canadian but the boat lives in WA State. We (actually the boat) has a lifetime State issued permit to keep the boat there.We have always purchased the annual decal to travel back and forth in the boat.
We also have Nexus Cards and are enrolled in the Boater Registration program that makes life very easy.
The big change for this year for Canadian boats is that the DTOPS decal program is being replaced with an annual "Cruising Licence" which will require an annual face to face visit with a CBP agent on the initial entry into the US. The cruising licence is valid for 365 days. Of course I found this out AFTER purchasing a 2016 decal and only found out because I called the BR program to update our profile for 2016.
More information is here:
https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/local-m...beginning-2016
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Old 01-12-2016, 10:35 PM   #29
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We have been buying a decal for 13 years for our sailboat. We usually make three trips to Canada each year. We have Nexus cards for our entry into the US. We don't use Nexus for entering Canada as we find that it's quicker to stop at Oak Bay or Sidney and use the phone.
In August we bought a powerboat to enhance our boating experience. We have three trips planned for that boat as well as our travels on the sailboat. So, when I ordered the decal for the sailboat, I also ordered a decal for the powerboat.
When they arrived, I called CBP at Pt. Angeles to update our BR pages with the new decal number as well as add the powerboat to our BR number. A very nice officer told me I would have to make an appointment to get a new BR as they can't handle two boats on one number. I called Blaine CBP to see if I could take care of it there. A very confused CBP officer insisted that I call the Coast Guard because CBP did nothing on the water. I didn't point out the assets that I see on the water seemed to be manned by CBP officers.
In the end, I called the Small Boat Reporting System. A very nice officer thanked me for being pro-active, added the new boat to our existing BR number and wished me well. She informed me that when I called in the responding officer would simply ask which boat we were on. Very nice!
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Old 01-12-2016, 10:59 PM   #30
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We have been buying a decal for 13 years for our sailboat. We usually make three trips to Canada each year. We have Nexus cards for our entry into the US. We don't use Nexus for entering Canada as we find that it's quicker to stop at Oak Bay or Sidney and use the phone.
In August we bought a powerboat to enhance our boating experience. We have three trips planned for that boat as well as our travels on the sailboat. So, when I ordered the decal for the sailboat, I also ordered a decal for the powerboat.
When they arrived, I called CBP at Pt. Angeles to update our BR pages with the new decal number as well as add the powerboat to our BR number. A very nice officer told me I would have to make an appointment to get a new BR as they can't handle two boats on one number. I called Blaine CBP to see if I could take care of it there. A very confused CBP officer insisted that I call the Coast Guard because CBP did nothing on the water. I didn't point out the assets that I see on the water seemed to be manned by CBP officers.
In the end, I called the Small Boat Reporting System. A very nice officer thanked me for being pro-active, added the new boat to our existing BR number and wished me well. She informed me that when I called in the responding officer would simply ask which boat we were on. Very nice!
That is true. I have two boats on my BR number. Have for years with no issues just tell them which boat I'm on.
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Old 01-13-2016, 07:55 PM   #31
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...But a Nexus pass would certainly be convenient as we drive into Canada more often than we boat or fly into it. But it requires an in-person interview and these so far have been very inconvenient to set up so we keep putting it off.
Thanks Marin, you cleared up a lot!

Still, I'm not sure I fully understand. I'm a US citizen going to Canada and back by boat next year. I'll be stopping at a CA POE anyway, so checking in is no problem.

I'd really like to avoid having to visit a US POE in person on the way back if at all possible.

It sounds like I need the DTOPS sticker for the boat, which I can order on line. I'll do that.

For crew (just the 2 of us), is NEXUS the next step? Do we have to go to Canada for a face-to-face? Is it worth it if I don't cross regularly? I already get TSA Pre-Check, not even sure why.

Finally, what about the Small Vessel Reporting System (SVRS)? Should we apply for that too?
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Old 01-13-2016, 08:05 PM   #32
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For crew (just the 2 of us), is NEXUS the next step? Do we have to go to Canada for a face-to-face? Is it worth it if I don't cross regularly? I already get TSA Pre-Check, not even sure why.
Easy enough to do Nexus interview in Blaine. Both US and Canada officers are at same location. It is a very nice facility and easy to find. One long wait at the border will more than cover the Nexus interview time.
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Old 01-13-2016, 08:26 PM   #33
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Finally, what about the Small Vessel Reporting System (SVRS)? Should we apply for that too?
Unlike NEXUS the SVRS is ONLY for re-entry to the U.S. Nexus is both Canada and U.S. We have applied for NEXUS cards. The interview most likely is several months away. The reason we are getting the NEXUS is the ability to just call in, thus saving fuel and time.

Here is the SVRS web link:

https://svrs.cbp.dhs.gov/Default.aspx
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Old 01-13-2016, 08:40 PM   #34
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I'd really like to avoid having to visit a US POE in person on the way back if at all possible.
To my knowledge there are only two POEs in the San Juans during the summer/early fall, Friday Harbor and Roche Harbor. We used to be able to clear at Bellingham but I don't believe that has been possible for many years. I don't know about Anacortes.

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It sounds like I need the DTOPS sticker for the boat, which I can order on line. I'll do that.
Yes, legally you'll need one. If you clear into the US by phone I think--- but I'm not positive-- that you will always be asked to provide the number of the customs decal on your boat.

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For crew (just the 2 of us), is NEXUS the next step? Do we have to go to Canada for a face-to-face?
If you want to clear back into the US by phone you will need a Nexus pass for each person on the boat. The pass requires an in-person interview but you don't have to go to Canada to do it. You can make an appointment in Seattle, for example, for the interview.

However...... I have heard horror stories of how long the wait time can be before you can get an appointment in Seattle. It seems to be much faster to make an appointment for the Blaine border crossing and do the interview there. However I don't believe it's a walk-in situation. You still need to make an appointment.

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Is it worth it if I don't cross regularly?
That depends on your situation. For us a stop at Roche Harbor on the way back into the US has so far never been much of an inconvenience. We usually clear the day before we want to be back in Bellingham and spend the night after clearing at some nearby spot in the islands: Parks Bay or Indian Cove if we want to anchor or West Sound if we want a harbor.

However if we were heading home from someplace on the eastern side of the Gulf Islands then it would require a long slog to the southwest to get to Roche Harbor. So in that situation clearing by phone with a Nexus pass would be much more convenient for us. We used to do this with the old Canpass/PIN system, heading straight home from places like Cabbage Cove, Montague, etc.

However in recent years we've always had guests on board for our Gulf Islands trips, either from here or from Europe, and they've never had Nexus passes. So we would have had to clear at a POE no matter what. So we've simply planned our itinerary to be heading back into US waters more from the west: Sidney Spit, Port Browning, Genoa Bay, South Pender Island, etc. So going to Roche doesn't require a side trip and a long backtrack.

Quote:
Finally, what about the Small Vessel Reporting System (SVRS)?
I know absolutely nothing about that program, I'm afraid.
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Old 01-13-2016, 09:39 PM   #35
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There is also the I-68 program for returning to US. It is only for returning to US on a boat. It allows a call in for entry clearance. It is a yearly thing, cost is less than 20 bucks a year and is quick and easy to get.
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Old 01-13-2016, 09:43 PM   #36
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We applied for a SVRS number on line. There is a list of interview sites, we chose the customs office adjacent to the Portland ME airport. Took an hour and we left with a SVRS number for both my wife and I. System worked 4.0 when we cleared back in to Fort Pierce from the Bahamas last March, only glitch was customs wouldn't let you clear until you were docked in case they wanted to inspect. When we cleared into Canada in July '14, we simply called the 800 CANPASS number and it was handled on.the phone. So no face to faces in either direction.
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Old 01-13-2016, 09:54 PM   #37
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There is also the I-68 program for returning to US.
That's the form I was trying to think of in an earlier post. We had them for awhile years ago but they've long since expired and so far we've had no motivation to get them again.

We're actually much more interested in clearing into Canada at a non-POE destination by phone rather than clearing back into the US by phone. So for us a Nexus pass is the way to go if we every bother to follow through with it. We've filled out the application forms but so far after about four years they continue to sit on my desk at home.
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Old 01-13-2016, 10:23 PM   #38
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You actually have an option in addition to the NEXUS pass. It is called an I-68. It is a yearly document the performs the same function as the NEXUS "on the water". I have a NEXUS and Jill does the form. It is processed at the CBP office next to the Bellingham Airport.
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Old 01-13-2016, 10:35 PM   #39
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You actually have an option in addition to the NEXUS pass. It is called an I-68. It is a yearly document the performs the same function as the NEXUS "on the water".

I don't believe the I-68 is good for going into Canada, only for returning to the US.
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