Small Boat Port Rules
- CBP Announces Small Boat Port Rules
Rules for Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia
May 3rd, 2007
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announces the procedures for
small boats arriving in the United States for the summer boating season.
The private boat clearance procedures are part of CBP's comprehensive
effort to improve security at our nation's borders while enhancing
legitimate travel, including private boaters.
Who Must Report:
All U.S. Citizens and aliens seeking entry to the United States MUST
REPORT their arrivals.
Masters -- The master or person in charge of the boat must report their
arrival to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. For the purpose of these
instructions, the term "boat," means any vessel not engaged in trade or
documented trade (not carrying merchandise or passengers for hire) such
as pleasure boats and yachts, regardless of size. This requirement
applies to all boats regardless of country of registration.
Additionally, boats registered outside the U.S. must contact a local CBP
office for a cruising license.
Aliens -- All aliens (including alien crewmen) who are applicants for
admission or otherwise seeking admission or readmission into the U.S.
must report for inspection by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection
U.S. Citizens -- Persons claiming to be U.S. citizens must report to a
U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer to establish that fact to the
examining officer's satisfaction.
When Reporting Is Required:
Masters must report their arrival to U.S. Customs and Border Protection
if having been engaged in any of the below activities:
-- After having been at any foreign port or place
-- After having had contact with any hovering vessel
The master or designee may go ashore only to report the arrival to U.S.
Customs and Border Protection either in person or by telephone. No other
person may leave or board the boat and no baggage or merchandise may be
removed or loaded until the report of arrival is made and release
granted by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer.
Where to Report:
Reports of arrival may be made at any of the following ports of entry.
Upon report of arrival a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer will
provide further instructions regarding designated reporting locations
and entry processing. The boat must be made available for possible
boarding at the time of the report.
Ports of Entry:
-- Newport News, Virginia
(757) 245-6470 (24 hr)
-- Norfolk, Virginia
(757) 533-4211 (8 am to 5 pm)
(757) 533-4218 (after hrs reporting)
-- Richmond, Virginia
(804) 226-9675 (24 hr)
-- Beaufort/Morehead City, North Carolina
(252) 726-5845 (24 hr)
-- Wilmington, North Carolina
(910) 772-5900 (24 hr)
-- Charleston, South Carolina
(843) 579-6524 (24 hr)
-- Port of Savannah, Georgia
(912) 232-7507 (24 hr)
-- Port of Brunswick, Georgia
(912) 262-6692 (8 am to 5 pm)
(912) 262-1173 (after hrs reporting)
Upon arrival at each port or place in the United States, the master
shall report the fact of arrival to the nearest Customs and Border
Protection port of entry. Foreign flagged yachts in possession of a
cruising license shall not engage in trade or violate the laws of the
United States in any respect. Applications for cruising licenses are to
be obtained from the CBP port director at the first port of arrival in
the United States.
Failure to Report:
Failure to report can result in civil penalties as defined in Title 19,
United States Code, Section 1436 to include a penalty of $5,000 for the
first violation and $10,000 for each subsequent violation with the
conveyance subject to seizure and forfeiture. In addition to being
liable for a civil penalty, any master who intentionally commits a
violation under subsection (a) of this section upon conviction is liable
for a fine of not more than $2,000 or imprisonment for 1 year or both.
All documented or registered vessels 30 feet in length or greater are
required to pay an annual processing (user fee) of $25.00 (U.S.
currency). Payment is required for the vessel at or before the time of
the first arrival for each calendar year. Private pleasure vessels not
required to pay a user fee include vessels less than 30 feet in length
and vessels granted a cruising license, under 19CFR4.94, during the term
of the license.
User fee decals may be purchased by mailing payment and a completed
Annual User Fee Decal Request, CBP form 339 to:
Customs and Border Protection
Decal Program Administrator
P.O. Box 382030
Pittsburgh, PA 15250-8030
Decals may also be purchased via the Internet
If you purchased your decal through the Mellon Bank, Pittsburgh, Pa.,
the U.S. Customs and Border Protection User Fee Administrator will
handle your annual decal mailings/reminders at the Mellon Bank. Please
carry a copy of the decal application for verification if you have
submitted payment to Mellon Bank and have not received your decal.
Statutory and Administrative Authorities:
19USC1433(a)(1) Report of Arrival of Vessels
19CFR4.2 Reports of Arrival of Vessels
8USC1225(a)(3) Inspection by Immigration Officers
8CFR235.1 Inspection of Persons Applying for Admission
19CFR4.51 Reporting Requirements for Persons Arriving by Vessel
Reporting Suspicious Activities:
Please report any suspicious activities observed to 1-800-BE-ALERT
(1-800-232-5378) or the after hours toll free number 1-800-562-5943.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is the unified border agency
within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management,
control, and protection of our Nation's borders at and between the
official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and
terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S.
Source: U.S. Customs and Border Protection
CONTACT: U.S. Customs and Border Protection Public Affairs,
Web site: http://www.cbp.gov/
Homeland Security Coast Guard presumes all are U.S. Citizens, according
to its website.
The States where this cruising fee is being imposed are all former
confederate States, probably considered to be still under
Reconstruction. These fees are going to be reciprocated by foreign
countries, which is a tax on personal liberty. Isn't our Government
"For the purpose of these instructions, the term "boat," means any
vessel not engaged in trade or documented trade (not carrying
merchandise or passengers for hire) such as pleasure boats and yachts,
regardless of size."
So, now we have statutes, regulations, and instructions in writing. Any
ideas on how to challenge these instructions on a personal, not general
(hopeless), basis, without paying a fee, so determinations have already
been made before you encounter a floating gestapo who has yet another
excuse to seize your stuff ?