Originally Posted by sailingdog
Are you a participant in the Nexus program? If not, merely calling isn't going to work for you.
Participants in these programs may report their arrival to CBP by calling the number below. Unless directed by a CBP Officer, participants in these programs do not have to report for an in-person inspection.
Sailingdog, the evidence you provided does not support your claim. The fact that members of "alternative inspection programs" may report by calling in does not imply that anybody who is not a member may not report by calling in (even if it does informally hint at the fact).
I make this point, not [solely] out of a desire to be pedantic, but also because it speaks to a situation I was in this morning/last night.
I arrived late at Point Roberts, WA, having sailed from Vancouver, BC. I called the number for after-hours reporting listed on a sign at the marina, and was redirected to another office, which took my information and told me to wait for an inspection at 8am the following morning, because I was not a NEXUS/I-68 member. I called the following morning and was told that they had no record of my entry, so I went through the twenty-questions again, and inspectors arrived at the customs dock at 9pm and issued me a warning.
Apparently, they said, I was not permitted to call in to report. The warning they issued did not say this, however, and upon request they could not show me in the warning where it said what I had done that I was not supposed to do, or what I omitted that was required. They also could not tell me what the correct procedure for non NEXUS/I-68 members arriving after-hours was. They did say that "Point Roberts is not the right kind of port for that," (paraphrased), though PR
is listed as a port of inspection on the CBP website.
The CBP officers were very courteous in a "I don't understand what I'm doing I'm just doing my job" sort of way, and tried to convince me that there was no problem and I wasn't in trouble; I was just being issued a warning. I tried to explain that if you only get one warning for doing something that is not disallowed, then the first warning is half a punishment... but I don't think I got the point across.
Anyway, as much as I don't like sticking myself into one more government database, I will probably sign up for NEXUS, if only to make it easier for customs folks to do their jobs. If anybody happens to know what *IS* the correct procedure for after-hours reporting for non-Nexus members in Washington state, I'd love to hear it. Also, I'll be writing to the CBP to get some clarification, and will post what I find out.