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Old 01-09-2016, 11:08 PM   #1
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Cool Required Decal-DTOPS

I just found out about this and Uncle Sam just got another $27.50 for a decal from U.S. CBP. It is called "Decal/Transponder Online Procurement System (DTOPS).

It would appear that my vessel is required to have this decal when re-entering U.S. waters.............

https://dtops.cbp.dhs.gov/main/login_internet.jsp
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Old 01-09-2016, 11:37 PM   #2
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This appears to be the online ordering process for the annual customs sticker the operators of aircraft and boats need to buy for the purposes of re-entering the US.

It's no big deal; we've had to buy this sticker for decades for the floatplanes and more recently for the cabin cruiser, too (we don't need one for our trailer fishing boat). It used to be $25 and it's good for one calendar year. The sticker goes with the vessel or plane you're entering in and you're supposed to stick it on it. It is not transferable between vessels or planes.

It's a US thing so Canada doesn't care about it. However, you don't have to have one in order to re-enter the US. You do, however, have to buy one if you don't already have one the first time during a calendar year you re-enter the US.

You will be presented with the form and you pay for it the first time you clear customs back into the US, say at Friday Harbor or Roche Harbor in the San Juan Islands. You pay for it and they'll (eventually) mail you the sticker.

We have never pre-ordered the sticker for the boat because some years we've never had the chance to take the boat into BC even if we intended to thanks to work or weather or something.

So don't sweat it. If you have a current one on your boat when you re-enter the US, great. If not, no worries, the agent checking you in will make sure you pay for one right then and there.
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Old 01-09-2016, 11:54 PM   #3
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Required Decal-DTOPS

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marin View Post
It's a US thing so Canada doesn't care about it. However, you don't have to have one in order to re-enter the US.

Canadians entering the US will also need one but like Marin said, we got ours when entering.


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Old 01-09-2016, 11:56 PM   #4
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Until today, I never knew about it. If your boat is 30 feet or more and you leave the U.S. and re-enter you are required to have one. But like Marin stated you can get one the first time you clear customs.


But dang I didn't even know.......
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Old 01-10-2016, 04:00 PM   #5
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Tom, have a couple of Klondike Bars, it won't make the decal go away but it will make you feel better.
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Old 01-10-2016, 06:25 PM   #6
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Don't feel too bad about buying a decal. All the commercial vehicles sitting in the southbound lines at the border pay $10.25 every time they come into the states. Or $400 a year for a permit.
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Old 01-10-2016, 08:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Canadians entering the US will also need one but like Marin said, we got ours when entering.


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Not "will" need one. It's something I've had to buy every year for as long as I can remember.
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Old 01-10-2016, 08:45 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by GFC View Post
Tom, have a couple of Klondike Bars, it won't make the decal go away but it will make you feel better.
Ha, you are right.......
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Old 01-10-2016, 09:02 PM   #9
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Not "will" need one. It's something I've had to buy every year for as long as I can remember.
That's what "will" means.... in American. Sorry.....
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Old 01-10-2016, 09:55 PM   #10
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The first time we came back into the US from Canada in our Camano we were parked in front of the Customs shack at Roche Harbor. The agent asked if we had our sticker and I answered that we were less than 30 feet. She looked out the window and said "No, you're not!". I showed her our CG documentation that said 28 ft. She still didn't believe me and went outside to measure. After confirming that we were in fact 28 ft (not counting the anchor and swim platform) she kicked my wife off the boat and proceeded to look for contraband. Didn't find anything and had to let us go.
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Old 01-11-2016, 07:08 AM   #11
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The first time we came back into the US from Canada in our Camano we were parked in front of the Customs shack at Roche Harbor. The agent asked if we had our sticker and I answered that we were less than 30 feet. She looked out the window and said "No, you're not!". I showed her our CG documentation that said 28 ft. She still didn't believe me and went outside to measure. After confirming that we were in fact 28 ft (not counting the anchor and swim platform) she kicked my wife off the boat and proceeded to look for contraband. Didn't find anything and had to let us go.
Messing with the Customs guys can backfire. They have a tough job and worrying about a year long sticker is not worth the hassle. A lawyer friend cannot resist tweaking the customs people on both sides of the border, much to his chagrin as he is now flagged in the data base.

We cross the borders by boat, car and air many times during the year. When on the boat, the crossing is done by phone if just my wife and I. Boater ID and Nexus plus frequent international flyer status keeps it quick and easy.

An issue is now arising for toking WA boaters that may be legal State carriers and cross into BC with a stash. If caught deportation and seizure of vessel for starters. Then placed on no fly lists and treated like an ISIS member. Moral, do not hassle or mess with the boating international borders.
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Old 01-11-2016, 08:53 AM   #12
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In 2005, before we started boating into Canada, we took a couple car trips to Delta, BC. to see our Camano being built. We were always greeted pleasantly when going into Canada. We were treated like criminals when returning, once being pulled out of line, separated, and interrogated. We were both in our 50's and had zero contact with any law enforcement our entire lives. On the other hand, clearing Customs in Friday Harbor has always been enjoyable.
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Old 01-11-2016, 09:52 AM   #13
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Messing with the Customs guys can backfire. They have a tough job and worrying about a year long sticker is not worth the hassle. A lawyer friend cannot resist tweaking the customs people on both sides of the border, much to his chagrin as he is now flagged in the data base.

We cross the borders by boat, car and air many times during the year. When on the boat, the crossing is done by phone if just my wife and I. Boater ID and Nexus plus frequent international flyer status keeps it quick and easy.

An issue is now arising for toking WA boaters that may be legal State carriers and cross into BC with a stash. If caught deportation and seizure of vessel for starters. Then placed on no fly lists and treated like an ISIS member. Moral, do not hassle or mess with the boating international borders.
SC,
what part of " messing with customs" did they do?
They stated that the boat was under 30' and the customs agent got her panties in a wad when she realized she was wrong.. which I have seen the "wrath" of BCP my self in a similar fashion.
I cut them some slack because they do have a rather thankless job... but they often treat a lot of folks like criminals. If they were a business they would of failed a long time ago purely because of the attitude they project.. good grief they make the worthless folks at the DMV look like saints most of the time.
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Old 01-11-2016, 10:10 AM   #14
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SC,
what part of " messing with customs" did they do. OD
Argued then got sent to be he next line. Profiling too is very common. Who knows what really triggered the Customs guys in this case.

Some years ago my brother, a Mormon, said he had no booze on his very large vessel. Unheard of in Sidney so several hours and two Customs guys couldn't find any either. Lots of stories from Homeland about the flagging and smell test applied to boating borders with very good results.
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Old 01-11-2016, 10:36 AM   #15
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A couple of things to remember when dealing with CBP:
a.) They have no sense of humor. If you think there is a problem with conveying humor
on the internet, just try joking with the officer while in line at the border.
b.) "Just the facts, ma'am" works best. My wife is not allowed to speak because she insists on including all sorts of minutiae that only raise more questions. The officer doesn't care that you bought a magazine about French cooking.
c.) If you meet the officer who is having a bad day, hold your tongue. Just like your boss, or your wife, you can't win an argument with an officer. The only thing worse than being wrong is showing them that they are wrong.
Just a few lessons learned in 50+ crossings a year for the last decade or so. Remember it's just a few moments of your life, it will pass!
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Old 01-11-2016, 12:29 PM   #16
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A couple of things to remember when dealing with CBP:
a.) They have no sense of humor. If you think there is a problem with conveying humor
on the internet, just try joking with the officer while in line at the border.
b.) "Just the facts, ma'am" works best. My wife is not allowed to speak because she insists on including all sorts of minutiae that only raise more questions. The officer doesn't care that you bought a magazine about French cooking.
c.) If you meet the officer who is having a bad day, hold your tongue. Just like your boss, or your wife, you can't win an argument with an officer. The only thing worse than being wrong is showing them that they are wrong.
Just a few lessons learned in 50+ crossings a year for the last decade or so. Remember it's just a few moments of your life, it will pass!
Great advice. Also, remember in today's time, their marching orders have changed and they're pretty much in the assume every person is a potential problem.
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Old 01-11-2016, 12:38 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcam View Post
A couple of things to remember when dealing with CBP:
a.) They have no sense of humor. If you think there is a problem with conveying humor
on the internet, just try joking with the officer while in line at the border.
b.) "Just the facts, ma'am" works best. My wife is not allowed to speak because she insists on including all sorts of minutiae that only raise more questions. The officer doesn't care that you bought a magazine about French cooking.
c.) If you meet the officer who is having a bad day, hold your tongue. Just like your boss, or your wife, you can't win an argument with an officer. The only thing worse than being wrong is showing them that they are wrong.
Just a few lessons learned in 50+ crossings a year for the last decade or so. Remember it's just a few moments of your life, it will pass!
Awesome advice. When crossing the boarder by road, I had the same arrangement with my wife! Ha I would look at her and say "zip it until we are on the other side!"
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Old 01-11-2016, 01:31 PM   #18
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I just found out about this and Uncle Sam just got another $27.50 for a decal from U.S. CBP. It is called "Decal/Transponder Online Procurement System (DTOPS).

It would appear that my vessel is required to have this decal when re-entering U.S. waters.............

https://dtops.cbp.dhs.gov/main/login_internet.jsp
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.
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Old 01-11-2016, 01:35 PM   #19
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My wifey is a smart girl and never says a word........

Took a camper across into Canada a few months ago and when the lady asked if I had any liquor I read from the prepared list in my hand the quantities to the milliliter. She smiled and welcomed us to Canada. ( I had done my homework). We never got out of the truck and the kids in the back were asleep through it all.

On the way back the man in the booth said "Did you buy anything in Canada?" "Nope"..... (we hadn't). "Welcome home".

I go through customs at the airport (admittedly in an aviator uniform) 40+ times a year. "Good Morning" "Yes Sir, No Sir".

Be polite, smile, cooperate, after the "Good Morning" speak only when asked. Do not mess with them and 99% of the time they are professional.

Now, don't get me started with the TSA.
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Old 01-11-2016, 02:55 PM   #20
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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
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