U.S. and Canada Customs

Entering the U.S.

What procedures must a small boat follow when entering the United States? Visit U.S Customs’ website for information and forms.

Contact information

Friday Harbor, WA, (360) 378-2080

Roche Harbor, WA, (360) 378-2080

Point Roberts, WA, (360) 945-2314 or (360) 945-5211

Anacortes, WA, (360) 293-2331

Port Angeles, WA, (360) 457-4311

1-800-562-5943 (Nexus and Trusted Traveler program participants)

Entering Canada

Reporting requirements for private boaters entering Canada, visit their website.

Contact information

Telephone Reporting Centre (TRC):
Toll free: 1-888-226-7277

NEXUS telephone reporting line:
Toll free: 1-866-99-NEXUS (1-866-996-3987)

Border Information Service (BIS):
Toll free: 1-800-461-9999

Making your report

When you contact the TRC, you will be asked about your trip, passengers, and whether you have any goods to declare. As the owner/operator of the boat, only you can report to the TRC. You must collect the information from each passenger onboard and provide it to the TRC.

Requirements for non-residents of Canada

  • Full name, date of birth and citizenship;
  • length and purpose of the stay in Canada;
  • destination;
  • acceptable identification; and
  • visa information, if applicable.

U.S. Customs

Bringing alcohol (including homemade wine) to the U.S. for personal use

Find out more on the U.S. Customs website.

Decals for Private Vessels over 30'

Decal Online Procurement System for private vessels 30′ or more, click here.

U.S Border Patrol History

Read more about the history of the U.S. Border Patrol.

U.S Border Patrol History

Read more about the history of the U.S. Border Patrol.

Travelers bringing food into the U.S. for personal use

You must declare all food products. Failure to declare food products can result in up to $10,000 in fines and penalties.

The following are generally admissible


Pleasure Boats - Obtaining a cruising license after old one expires

Cruising licenses are normally valid for up to a year. These licenses can be obtained from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Port Director at the first port of arrival in the United States. Read more.

Other FAQ

Visit the U.S. Customs website for other FAQs.

Visiting Canada

Join Nexus

NEXUS is a voluntary program designed to speed up border crossings for low-risk, pre-approved travellers into Canada and the United States (U.S.).  READ MORE.  

For Nexus Renewal, click here.

Paying duty and taxes

Duty is a tariff payable on a good imported to Canada. Rates of Duty are established by the Department of Finance Canada and can vary significantly from one trade agreement to another. READ MORE.

Bringing Goods Into Canada

Visit the website for Canada customs to find out more about bringing goods into Canada. READ MORE.

ID Requirements

Learn more about the ID Requirements for visiting Canada. READ MORE.

New Updates for Canada

Find out what is new in updates for Canadian Customs. READ MORE.

Washington State Aquatic Invasive Species Permit for Out-of-State Boaters

Who Needs the AIS Prevention Permit?
Operators of recreational vessels not registered in Washington, seaplane operators, and commercial transporters of watercraft are required to purchase an AIS Prevention Permit. Operators should carry the permit on the vessel at all times. Permits can be obtained online or at any Fish and Wildlife license dealer. Online purchased permits are mailed, and you can print a temporary permit which is good for 10 days. Permits are valid for one year from date of activation.

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Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) – What’s New and What’s Unchanged?

Washington State AIS Prevention Permits or State Registration stickers are now required for watercraft and floatplanes operating on Washington waters. Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife is implementing new 2018 AIS Prevention Permits. Fees from vessel registrations and registration stickers are not new. In preparing our Waggoner eNews article about the new permit, we discovered some implementation questions and concerns, and we asked WDFW to address them. We are happy to report that Allen Pleus, WDFW AIS Prevention Permit Administrator, has been helpful in responding to questions and concerns.

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