Clearing boat out of the USA in the Chesapeake - Page 4 - SailNet Community
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post #31 of 37 Old 01-11-2020
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Re: Clearing boat out of the USA in the Chesapeake

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Originally Posted by boatpoker View Post
I have two American friends who got 1 yr. permits that were then extended to 18 months in Canada then a few hours across Lake Ontario and back for another year..... no taxes, no fees.

Neither are foregin cruisers required to check in with CBP every time they stop the boat as in the US.
The Great Lakes seem to have their own rules, whether written or not. However, even US citizens are required to clear back into the US, when they return from a foreign country. It's no more pleasant an experience for us, if that helps anyone's frustrations.


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post #32 of 37 Old 01-11-2020
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Re: Clearing boat out of the USA in the Chesapeake

Boat,

2 points.

What you described above works in some places, not so well in the Gaspe though.

As to checking in every time you move the boat maddeningly that is a LOCAL level interpretation, such as in the NY district. Baltimore district, last time I got a cruising permit a few years ago, could not care less where you are. The regional variations of the rules are well documented.

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post #33 of 37 Old 01-11-2020
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Re: Clearing boat out of the USA in the Chesapeake

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The Great Lakes seem to have their own rules, whether written or not. However, even US citizens are required to clear back into the US, when they return from a foreign country. It's no more pleasant an experience for us, if that helps anyone's frustrations.
We are currently doing a land cruise in our RV to the Grand Canyon. The thing I find frustrating as a Canadian is that I cross the border in the RV. They ask how long a stay, I say 4 -8 months and they say "Enjoy your vacation". Never have to deal with them again .... Love it.

In our boat it's a different story. Having to call in every time we stop the boat as per Cruising License requirements doesn't sound to onerous, but when you get "this number is no longer in service" or you get some one that says "why are you calling me?" or I'll put you on hold".... some of these calls have taken hours. Or they ask you where you are and you respond Chesapeake Beach they say "no you are not, there is no such place". Or you get "I don't care what the last guy told you, you're dealing with me now" ..... another three hours on the phone.

Please don't take this as a complaint against the US. I've been cruising US waters for 30 years and love the welcoming attitude of the American people. You're bureaucracy I could do without but I'm willing to pay the price (reluctantly ).
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post #34 of 37 Old 01-11-2020
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Re: Clearing boat out of the USA in the Chesapeake

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Boat,

2 points.

What you described above works in some places, not so well in the Gaspe though.

As to checking in every time you move the boat maddeningly that is a LOCAL level interpretation, such as in the NY district. Baltimore district, last time I got a cruising permit a few years ago, could not care less where you are. The regional variations of the rules are well documented.
My experience is bewteen Lake Superior and Florida. Prior to 2016, The rules were frequently ignored by CBP. Since 2016 we have found them to be rigorously applied everywhere.
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post #35 of 37 Old 01-13-2020
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Re: Clearing boat out of the USA in the Chesapeake

I concur. Over the six months May to November last year, we checked in by phone every time we moved location - probably 80 times - and we found universally that CBP were polite, helpful and pleased that we were compliant.

Three times we had to leave messages and two of those occasions they called back to confirm details We were boarded once (again very politely) and they left as soon as they called in to find that we had checked in for the location we were at.

I know lots of people have said it is a nightmare but that was not our experience. Over the past two years, we have noticed a huge change in our interactions with CBP.
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post #36 of 37 Old 01-13-2020
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Re: Clearing boat out of the USA in the Chesapeake

My last experience was in 2016, Baltimore did t care, NY did, and did in 2014.

But things change and I donít know the current situation.

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post #37 of 37 Old 02-13-2020 Thread Starter
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Re: Clearing boat out of the USA in the Chesapeake

I should close this thread off with this post:

I ended up driving into Norfolk and clearing out at the Customs & Immigration office here. Had nice conversation with the officer there. He did say that clearing out was optional and that even with the cruising permit they just want to know arrivals, departures of any type (for another anchorage or another country) weren't relevant.

When I cleared into the BVI I asked them if I would have had any issues if I'd arrived without exit clearance from the USA and they said no, none at all.

And if the BVI would let me in with no issues, then St. Martin would most likely have been even easier.


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