The CBSA reminds private boaters of reporting requirements


April 23, 2024 – Ottawa

With boating season fast approaching, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) reminds all private boaters of their entry and reporting obligations when navigating Canadian waters or entering Canada by boat. Understanding the reportring requirements will ensure a safe and enjoyable season on the water.

These are the top travel tips for boaters entering Canada:

  • Know before you go. Before lifting anchor, be sure to review the CBSA’s Reporting requirements for private boaters. Requirements vary depending on your itinerary, your nationality and number of passengers onboard.
  • Making stops along the way? If you enter Canadian waters and are simply out for a day cruise and making no stops before leaving Canadian waters, you are not required to present yourself to CBSA, but if you land on Canadian soil, anchor, moor or come alongside another boat while in Canadian waters or disembark or embark people or goods in Canada you must report to the CBSA. Also:
    • If you are a foreign national, you must be admissible under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
    • All passengers onboard, regardless of their nationality, should have acceptable identification.
  • Canadian boaters returning to Canada: If you leave and re-enter Canadian waters, you are not required to present yourself and report your goods to the CBSA if you:
    • did not land outside Canada and did not anchor, moor or make contact with another conveyance while outside of Canadian waters
    • did not embark or disembark any people or goods while outside Canada
  • Where do I declare? Most private boaters have two ways to report to the CBSA:
    • If you are at an open designated marine telephone reporting site, you can:
      • call the CBSA’s Telephone Reporting Centre to request clearance toll free at 1-888-226-7277
      • or speak directly with a CBSA officer
    • Exceptionally, private vessels carrying 30 or more passengers must seek clearance at designated marine reporting site at least 72 hours before you arrive in Canadian waters in writing
  • Failure to report to the CBSA, even if it is to refuel, may result in detention, seizure or forfeiture of the boat and/or monetary penalties. The minimum fine for failing to report to the CBSA upon entry to Canada is $1,000.
  • Know what’s onboard. Restricted and prohibited goods include, but are not limited to, firearms and ammunition and weapons; food, plants, animals and related products; explosives and fireworks. Think before you load up your boat as you must report these goods to the CBSA and obtain the necessary permits (if required), even if they meet the conditions for a reporting exception.
  • Cannabis: Don’t bring it in. Don’t take it out. Bringing cannabis across the border in any form, including oils containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or cannabidiol (CBD), without a permit or exemption authorized by Health Canada is a serious criminal offence, despite the legalization of cannabis in Canada. A medical prescription from a doctor does not count as Health Canada authorization.
  • NEXUS members can call the NEXUS Telephone Reporting Centre at 1-866-99-NEXUS. For more information on NEXUS reporting procedures, visit  NEXUS: Trusted traveller program for travel by air, land and boat .



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