You need to pre-clear if you want to clear either U.S. or Canada Customs by telephone. For U.S. Customs, pre-clearance is by Nexus or I-68. For Canada Customs, pre-clearance is by Canpass. Here is a quick comparison of the three programs. For more complete information about Nexus, I-68 and U.S. Customs, see U.S. Customs Small Craft Reporting Requirements for 2006, and the Crossing the Border chapter in the 2006 Waggoner.
1. Nexus permits telephone reporting for small craft entering the U.S. from Canada, but not from the U.S. into Canada by water. (Nexus can be used by car both into Canada and into the U.S.)
2. Those wishing to establish Nexus for B.C. use (i.e. entry into the U.S. waters) must file the application for LAND travel. The Marine application is for the Great Lakes only.
3. The Nexus card(s) will be accepted in lieu of I-68 for entry into the U.S.
4. I-68 pre-clearance, which must be renewed annually, is for entry into the U.S. It has no bearing on entry to Canada.
5. Canpass is needed for telephone entry into Canadian waters. However, unlike entry into the U.S. waters, once telephone authorization is granted by the Canpass officer, you must select an initial entry from a list of “Designated Reporting Sites,” shown in the 2006 Waggoner, and provide an ETA for that site. Upon arrival at the “Designated Reporting Site” you must tie to their dock and check in with the Customs office. If the site is “permit only,” meaning only Canpass clearances are handled there, you must arrive no later than your ETA. If a Customs officer does not appear by that ETA, you are free to go on your way.