Passing of Canadian Bill Makes Access Easier for US Boaters

Tuesday July 04, 2017 - 12:07 pm

Published By: Jonathan Lee

Canadian Parliament has passed a bill (S-233) that no longer requires American boaters to report to Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers whenever they enter Canadian waters.

Senator Bob Runciman and Member of Parliament, Gord Brown, pushed for the passing the bill, which is officially known as the Conveyance Presentation and Reporting Requirements Modernization Act. State Senator, Patricia A. Ritchie, also supported the change to Canadian policy, speaking to Canadian Parliament in Ottawa on the subject earlier this year.

“This is great news for boaters and for the tourism industry of border communities across Canada,” says Runciman. “It will help Americans and Canadians alike and I could not be happier that it will become law in time for the boating season.”

The challenge of determining when a boater had crossed the invisible border line between Canada and the US has been difficult to determine, given the complexity of boundary lines.

US boaters will now be exempt from reporting to CBSA, permitting they do not anchor or arrive on shore. With its implementation, American boaters will now enjoy a more welcoming boating environment in Canadian waters, which the Canadian government hopes is positive news for tourism, boating access and the recreational boating industry. In a recent National Marine Manufacturers Association study, it was concluded that nearly 4.3 million Americans boat in the Great Lakes region alone every year.  
For now, the policy is one sided, meaning Canadian boaters must still report into US Customs and Border Protection if entering American waters. However, it does remove the requirement of Canadian boaters from having to report into the CBSA after boating in US waters, so long as they have not anchored, arrived on American soil or made contact with another vessel.