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Old 02-07-2008, 07:49 PM   #1
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Reported on "Cruiser's Net"

Important - Attention All Foreign Flagged Cruising Craft

Published: February 4, 2008

The situation described below will be a real burden for all foreign flagged vessels cruising in USA waters. Our thanks to Captain Brenda Matzner for researching this developing situation, and allowing me to paraphrase our telephone conversastion!

The long and short of this is that if you are from any foreign country, including Canada, and your vessel is flagged in that country, you MUST NOTIFY US CUSTOMS - HOMELAND SECURITY EVEN IF YOU SIMPLY MOVE YOUR VESSEL FROM ONE MARINA TO ANOTHER, IN THE SAME PORT OF CALL! Otherwise, you might just be slapped with a $5,000.00 fine!

Note that this requirement does NOT apply to US flagged vessels!


Today, I called "Maria" (954-761-2034) at the office of US Customes and Homeland Security in Port Everglades [Fort Lauderdale], and got a clarification of the requirements for foreign flagged vessels to announce their movement from one port or call, or one berth, to another. Recently, I had a buddie who was recently hit with this rule, and suffered a $5,000.00 fine in Jacksonville.

Even if a foreign flagged vessel, including those from Canada, have entered the USA legally, and cleared customs properly, THEY MUST NOTIFY US CUSTOMS - HOMELAND SECURITY if they move their vessel from one place to another. Officer Maria said that even if the vessel is moved just from Port Everglades to Miami, for example, or even from the city of Fort Lauderdale berths on New River to Bahia Mar, the boat owners MUST notify US Customs - Homeland Security IMMEDIATELY, OR BE SUBJECT TO A $5,000.00 FINE!

While it would appear, at least so far, that the enforcement of this provision is lax is some ports, a crackdown could result in some very expensive cruising, very fast for Canadians, or boat owners from other countries. It is my impression that this Department of Homeland Security Requirement is NOT well known among foreign cruisers, and that's why I phoned you today, to help get this word out ASAP!

Captain Brenda Matzner

Full article.
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Old 02-07-2008, 11:37 PM   #2
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Insanity!
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Old 02-08-2008, 08:00 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lighthouse View Post
MUST notify US Customs - Homeland Security IMMEDIATELY, OR BE SUBJECT TO A $5,000.00 FINE!

Full article.
Is "immediately" immediately prior too or after the move? What happens if, assuming it is prior to, you are moving your yacht from point Alpha to point Bravo but because of some circumstance end up at point Charlie?

And why are US yachts not required to report? The regulation is obviously there only as a counter terrorism measure but it won't work. Does the US believe that its own citizens can not be terrorists or that foreign terrorists can't be aboard a US flagged yacht?

I realise the need for security but imho the US is going the wrong way about things. Making life difficult for foreign yachts will just result in fewer yachts turning up and spending their money in the US. I know, for example, the folks at work do everything possible to avoid the US so when flying to St. Johns, Newfoundland, for example, they would rather do the extra flying time and fly via Montreal than via Boston.

Making it obligatory for cruising yachts to report movements, even in the same port, will create a pile of paperwork and will improve security not one iota. This is the way to scare cruisers off, not terrorists.

One further point, the US is very cautious about what comes into the country. Everything has to be properly declared etc. etc. It is just a shame it is not so cautious about what goes out! From Europe, for example, where there are very strict controls over firearms one can order weapons by mail order from the US and have them declared as mechanical parts etc. which makes life difficult for customs officers here and undermines the concept of fighting a war on terrorism.

I hope the US wakes up and decides upon normal relations for citizens of friendly countries before it looses its friends.

Aye // Stephen
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Old 02-09-2008, 09:54 AM   #4
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I wonder why it only applies to boaters and not land travelers? With over 12 million illegals in the USA, why would this be done?

How would one prove that they did or not? Is the man power there to handle such traffic?

I think somebody has a cloged holding tank.
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Old 02-09-2008, 05:53 PM   #5
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It is to give comfort to those that don't think beyond what they read. We have no security, and it is that simple. People are free to move about in so many ways that there are infinite ways to harm us. Any car going over a bridge is potential misery, and from there your mind can imagine anything.

This will only create tons more of paperwork, and frustration for everyone. It is an unsafe world we occupy, and it could be so different if only the big minds would stop thinking so small.....................
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Old 02-12-2008, 10:36 AM   #6
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Thank you for this extremely useful information. I notify that someone is making comments to these new regulations. Send the comments to your local embassy. Just to point me out. I'm not a US citizen, I'm Norwegian.

Nausikaa had a good question.

Is "immediately" immediately prior too or after the move? What happens if, assuming it is prior to, you is moving your yacht from point Alpha to point Bravo but because of some circumstance end up at point Charlie?

I have some additional questions.

When I enter US with my boat, I dock it and clear in by the customs. Shall I the contact US CUSTOMS - HOMELAND SECURITY?


If I do not have a mobile phone, how do I get in contact with the US CUSTOMS - HOMELAND SECURITY
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Old 02-19-2008, 10:13 PM   #7
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The better question is does the US believe that were terrorists to want to bother with water-craft to terrorize the United States (millions of square miles of land locked country) that they would not simply use a boat registered under the US flag?

US Policy is never very sensible...

It also is not so naive as to think that the US just wants to portray an illusion of security - rather it is the fact that most bureaucrats are idiots who got a degree at a community college.

This is what happens when you create such a bloated infrastructure that your legislative officials must rely upon lackies and hillbillies to invent policy.
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Old 02-25-2008, 04:11 PM   #8
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Canada to Bermuda to Caribean. The last time I tried to enter the U.S. it was so difficult I gave up and sailed to Bermuda where they're happy to have you.
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Old 02-25-2008, 07:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IDNeon View Post
The better question is does the US believe that were terrorists to want to bother with water-craft to terrorize the United States (millions of square miles of land locked country) that they would not simply use a boat registered under the US flag?

US Policy is never very sensible...

It also is not so naive as to think that the US just wants to portray an illusion of security - rather it is the fact that most bureaucrats are idiots who got a degree at a community college.

This is what happens when you create such a bloated infrastructure that your legislative officials must rely upon lackies and hillbillies to invent policy.
IDNeon,

Your post is an insult to Hillbillies everywhere!
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Old 06-06-2009, 09:32 AM   #10
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I'm finding real information on this reporting malarkey difficult to find. I'm about to cruise up the East coast in an Australian registered vessel. But I've found only about 4 or 5 postings around the place that deal with it. Is it still in force? Are there any real world experiences of this $5000 fine? I've read lots of 'friends of mine have been fined' comments, but no one has posted who has actually been fined.

cheers

James
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Old 06-06-2009, 07:54 PM   #11
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I would suggest that you go to the people who are the authorities with regard to this issue, The Department of Homeland Security. *The check-in papers when the boat entered the US, and/or the cruising permit, should give you the telephone number and you can ask them directly.*

Safer that way. *And if you get their answer in writing, even better.

Enjoy. * Lots to see here.

Jeanne
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Old 06-08-2009, 02:40 PM   #12
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It would be easy to continue the humor by saying I resent your insult to Community Colleges, etc. But the bottom line to all this is that there are two realities in the world - 1. Physical Reality which is subject to science and logic - and - 2. Political Reality which is not bound any logic, common sense, and has only a minor relationship to physical reality. ** And Political Reality** rules! It is based on power, money and re-election. Bureaucrats don't have to worry about re-election but replace that with "job security." If they do not churn out new rules and regulations they cannot justify their jobs and salaries. Occasionally a "new" politician will try to restore the balance between nonsense and real need - but they do not last long.
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Old 06-10-2009, 06:47 PM   #13
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As someone who is currently cruising the US in a British flagged vessel, perhaps I can shed some light on this;

There is really nothing new. when one gets a cruising permit the ( very nice) officials are quite clear about what one must do; every time one's vessel changes coast guard zones the skipper needs to check in with the local CBP. This can be done by phone, and one is given a list of all the relevant telephone numbers accross the country, and the name of the officer who deals with small vessel reporting. Within different ports there might be variations in local regs. When changing harbours, even within the same CG district one needs to check in with the harbour master ( In annapolis they require that of ALL vessels anchoring out). IF you do not have a cruising permit then one needs to clear in and out every time one moves, even if it is just to change marinas.

The cruising permits are free and good for one year.

None of this is too onerous ( given the security mindedness of the US), and does not detract from the fact that even though the water on the East coast is a little thin ( we draft 2.1 meters) it remains one of the finest cruising grounds in the world, with no outrageous clearing in fees, and a long time given to enjoy the waters of the US.
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Old 06-10-2009, 10:04 PM   #14
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