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  • All boaters from the U.S. entering Canada require proof of citizenship (Passport, Nexus) and photo ID.

  • If you are clearing with Nexus by telephone reporting then everyone on board must have Nexus card.

  • If you are staying less than 45 days you are exempt from Canadian safety equipment requirements provided the boat is legally safety equipped and licensed in it's home state.

  • Pets must have current year rabies vaccination certificate.

  • Operator age speed limits, drinking & driving, power restrictions in Canadian Law all apply to visitors.

  • Visitors are exempt from the Pleasure Craft Operating Card requirements provided the visit period is less than 45 days.

  • If you are staying more than 45 days you must have a Pleasure Craft Operating Card (cdn), a Renters Document or any operator card that meets the requirements of your U.S. home state.

  • All boaters must carry some proof of residence.

  • A VHF Ships Station Licence is required from your home country if you are transmitting on VHF radio in Canada.

  • You must declare guns and ammunition when entering Canada or you face criminal prosecution. If you are a visitor to Canada, and do not have a Canadian firearms licence and registration certificate, you are required to declare your firearms in writing.Visitors must declare all their firearms in writing. This can be done by filling out Form CAFC 909 Non-Resident Firearm Declaration and paying a CAN$25 fee. Once confirmed by a border services officer, it has the same effect as a temporary licence and registration and is valid for up to 60 days. If you are importing restricted firearms, you need an authorization to transport (ATT). You can get an application for an ATT by calling the Canada Firearms Centre at 1-800-731-4000. Normally, if you are a visitor declaring your restricted firearms in writing, you should plan to come to the CBSA office between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. in order to apply for an ATT, as you will need a Non-Resident Firearm Declaration confirmation number to apply. If you are unable to come to the office during these hours, please make arrangements in advance by calling the Chief Firearms Officer of the province you will be visiting, as listed in Appendix A. For more information on declarations by visitors, please call the Canada Firearms Centre at 1-800-731-4000, or visit their Web site at Visitors who hold a valid Canadian firearms licence and registration certificates for their firearms must show them to a border services officer.Visitors who hold a valid Canadian firearms licence but do not have registration certificates for their firearms must also complete Form CAFC 909, Non-Resident Firearm Declaration and pay a CAN$25 fee. Once confirmed by a border services officer, the declaration has the same effect as a temporary registration certificate for the firearms for up to 60 days. Visitors cannot, under any circumstances, import prohibited firearms. Visitors who want to leave firearms in Canada must pay duties and taxes and have the firearm registered in Canada. If the firearm is sold or otherwise transferred to a Canadian resident, the parties must meet all the legal requirements associated with transferring firearms.

    JUST A SUGGESTION: Best to leave your firearms at home or at the very least bring only a non automatic long rifle and declare it. Realistically you will not need firearms in Canada for protection.

  • Visitors cannot import controlled, restricted or prohibited animals, plants or goods as described in the publications called I Declare (for Canadian residents) or Visitors to Canada and Other Temporary Residents (for U.S. residents). These publications are available on our Web site at

  • Keep your prescriptions labelled. Don't bring any other drugs.

  • Boats must have holding tanks fitted with a deck based pump out connection (if you have head). Overboard discharge should be disconnected while in restricted Canadian waters.

When Reporting In
border services Don't take diversions along the way once you cross the border - go directly to the nearest marina with a telephone reporting site (TRC). You cannot drop anchor/dock and report at a later date. If you have crossed to Canadian waters but do not intend to land you can report by cell phone while on the water.

The master of a recreational boat is the person in charge. As master of the recreational boat, he or she is required to go to a designated telephone reporting marine site and call the telephone reporting centre at 1-888-226-7277. No one except the master may leave the boat until the CBSA gives authorization. Fly the yellow Q flag while you wait.

To find designated telephone reporting marine sites (TRC) in your area, call 1-888-226-7277.

The master is required to follow these steps:
border services

  • give the full name, date of birth and citizenship for every person on the boat;
  • give the destination, purpose of trip and length of stay in Canada for each passenger who is a non-resident of Canada;
  • give the length of absence for each passenger who is a returning resident of Canada;
  • give the passport and visa information of passengers, if applicable;
  • make sure all passengers have photo identification and proof of citizenship documents;
  • declare all goods being imported, including firearms and weapons;
  • report all currency and monetary instruments totaling CAN$10,000 or more;
  • for returning residents of Canada, declare all repairs or modifications made to goods, including the boat, while these items were outside Canada; and
  • give true and complete information.

If no verification is necessary, the border services officer at the TRC will provide a report number to the master. The receipt of this report number will constitute release unless an officer on-site otherwise instructs the master.

If verification is to be conducted, the border services officer at the TRC will advise the master to remain at the site and to ensure that all goods and passengers remain on board until the verification team arrives. The verification team will conduct the verification and provide the master with a report number.

The master must give this number to a border services officer upon request.

Sounds like a lot but it's pretty friendly and straight forward if you follow the rules. Don't get testy with the Canadian Border Security Agency and don't make snide or sarcastic remarks. Answer all questions truthfully. Give straight forward short answers.

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