US Custom’s Small Vessel Reporting Requirements Update

Nexus CardI recently fished Canadian waters and upon re-entering U.S. waters, as required by law, I called the US Custom’s Small Vessel Reporting Center in Bellingham. All aboard my vessel had Nexus cards, but they asked for our BR numbers (Boater Registration). The officer told me that a BR number MUST be associated with the Nexus card. They had a BR number on file for me, but as a passenger on my friend’s boat. Interesting.

The officer told me to call after 5 pm to get a BR number linked to my Nexus, which I have now accomplished. The phone call took a few minutes, but will save time in the future when I call the US Customs Small Boat Reporting number at 1-800-562-5943

If you currently have an I-68 your BR number is on the upper right hand portion of the document, just below your boat’s registration number. In short, if you have a Nexus card simply call the above number and get a BR number linked to your Nexus card.

Here’s what you need to fish Canadian waters and re-enter U.S. waters after fishing in Canadian waters.

Fishing Canada — What You Need To Know

  1. You MUST have a Passport, Enhanced Drivers License, or Nexus Card. Everyone aboard, including kids must have one of these.
  2. If fishing for salmon you MUST register online with WDFW at to retain salmon. If halibut fishing only, you do not register online with WDFW.
  3. You MUST call 1-888-226-7277 CAN PASS if you plan to anchor or go ashore and obtain a clearance number from Canadian Customs. Write this number down, as U.S. Customs will need this number upon re-entering U.S. waters
  4. You MUST have an I-68, Global Entry or Nexus Card to re-enter U.S. waters. When re-entering call 1-800-562-5943 Make sure to get a BR number linked to your Global Entry or Nexus card
  5. Do not have guns aboard your vessel while in Canadian waters.
  6. If you have fish aboard from Canadian waters you can’t fish U.S. waters unless your Canadian caught fish is legal in Washington waters, but you must still clear U.S. Customs before fishing U.S. waters

About John L. Beath

John Beath is a writer, photographer, videographer, blogger, tackle manufacturer & Captain at Whaler's Cove Lodge in Southeast Alaska. He is also owner of and host at Lets Talk Outdoors @
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s