After several calls to U.S. Customs & Border Patrol regarding fishing in Canadian waters and returning to U.S. waters I have some answers for anglers. Also note, when entering Canadian waters you do not need to call Canadian Customs unless you plan to anchor, go ashore or physically meet or touch another vessel. If you do plan to anchor YOU MUST call and get a clearance number at: 1-888-226-7277 this phone number is answered in Ottawa so don’t be surprised if they tell you you must go to port to clear customs. About half the time last year this happened to anglers. When it did they just said they would drift instead of anchoring. Remember, if you anchor you need a clearance number.
Now back to re-entering the U.S. after fishing in Canadian waters. The U.S. CBP officers I have spoken with said the following.
“We recommend anglers returning to U.S. waters either call us by phone or use the CBP-Roam App. If you don’t make the call or use the app and are contacted by the U.S. Coast Guard or WDFW they will require a clearance number. And, if you go fishing, crabbing or shrimping and acquire anything it is required that you MUST call us or use the CBP-Roam App.”
In other words, if you are successful in Canadian waters you MUST call 1-800-562-5943 or use the new CBP-Roam App. The app is awesome and uses your phone’s GPS, which must be turned on to allow the app to know where you are. You can only use the app when in U.S. waters. The app allows you to create an account and input your travel documents, passsport, Nexus or Enhanced Driver’s License. You can also have a list of contacts with your app to make it easy when using the app. The app requires you to take a picture of your documents for each person as well. Another cool feature is the video chat. If U.S. Custom’s officials want a face-to-face interview they simply switch on the video chat saving you from having to go to the Custom’s dock.
Also note, as stated below, the old Small Vessel Reporting System is no longer in use.
Please read the text below explaining the new CBP-Roam App and how it works.