EZ Kayak Launch is the quickest, easiest way to reconnect with the nature you love. Our launch
provides security and stability to both seasoned veterans and novice kayakers, getting you into
the water faster and more often than ever before.
nature is waiting.
INTRODUCING THE EZ KAYAK LAUNCH
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Web-based “paperwork” systems being
phased in by CBP can make the bureaucratic process for getting back into the
U.S. easier. (See “Navigating the border” at right.) Go to cbp.gov/travel to
start planning your international cruise
by addressing the legal, regulatory, and
administrative requirements of coming
home again; the site offers a wealth
of information, including printable and
online forms and how-to videos.
Older boaters will likely recall
the Consolidated Omnibus Budget
Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA)
that authorized federal “user fees” –
the most onerous applied to recreational boats already registered, and duly
paid up, under state law. BoatU.S. fought
what boaters saw as nothing more
than a “boating tax” and eventually won
The current law authorizes CBP
to collect fees, including a clearance fee
for private recreational-vessel reentry to
the United States. For today’s cross-
border boater with a vessel 30 feet and
longer, that means paying an annual
fee of $27.50, which CBP acknowl-
edges with an official decal, to be affixed
to your hull, as well as a registration
number. Go to dtops.cbp.dhs.gov and
click “private vessel” to apply and pay for
Have a great trip!
Our goal with this article is to alert you
to issues that may arise as you prepare
for your great adventure. Legal advice
or interpretations of laws or regulations
can only come from a qualified attorney
or directly from the appropriate government agency. Requirements change and
evolve, so be sure to allow plenty of time
to do the paperwork for each country,
and always double-check a country’s
websites and with its authorities before
embarking on your journey.
Ryck Lydecker, retired from our
Government Affairs team, passed his U.S.
Customs in-person Small Vessel Reporting
System interview in Port of Entry-Baltimore last October.
Navigating the border
Federal law requires “operators of small pleasure vessels arriving in the United States from a foreign port” to
notify U.S. Customs and Border Protection
(CBP) immediately, by VHF or cellphone.
CBP then directs the skipper where to tie
up for a “face-to-face” inspection of boat
and crew. In popular American boating
areas during the season, the agency staffs
reporting stations specifically for pleasure
boats and has several advance-registration
programs that qualify as alternatives to
the face-to-face requirement:
NEXUS: This joint U.S.-Canadian registration program clears “low-risk” recreational boaters entering either country
by boat. According to the CBP website
at press time, registration for each crewmember ($50 for those 18 or older) is
good for five years and “satisfies the boat
operator’s legal requirement to report to
a port of entry for face-to-face inspection.” Both countries still require phone-in
on arrival, but with NEXUS, you can place
the call up to four hours in advance, even
before leaving a Canadian port. Visit the