Do you frequently travel to Canada directly from the United States on a small private pleasure boat? If so, the CANPASS – Private Boats program could be for you! The program provides expedited border clearance for low-risk, pre-screened persons entering Canada by private pleasure boat.
Members can call the CBSA to report their estimated time of arrival at least 30 minutes before but no more than 4 hours prior to their expected arrival in Canada.
Members may also be entitled to use telephone reporting marine sites not available to other boaters.
To be eligible for CANPASS – Private Boats, you must meet these criteria:
The boat owner/operator is in charge of the boat and he or she must report all passengers and goods on board the vessel to the CBSA. Boat owners/operators are responsible for reporting themselves, their crew and passengers to a telephone reporting centre (TRC) by calling 1-888-CANPASS (1-888-226-7277) at least 30 minutes before but no more than 4 hours prior to the boat's estimated time of arrival at a designated marine reporting site in Canada.
The TRC allows individuals who enter Canada by private aircraft, corporate aircraft or private boat to report their arrival and make their declarations to the CBSA by telephone.
The 1-888-CANPASS (1-888-226-7277) toll-free line is only available in Canada and the United States. If a trip originates outside the United States, the 1-888 number is not available and the boat owner/operator must call the TRC directly (long-distance charges may apply).
TRC for All of Canada
The boat owner/operator must ensure that all passengers have the appropriate travel documents for entering Canada. He or she must also call the TRC at least 30 minutes before but no more than 4 hours prior to the boat's estimated time of arrival at a designated marine reporting site in Canada.
During that first telephone call to the TRC, the boat owner/operator must provide the following information to the CBSA:
Note: If the ETA changes by more than 30 minutes or if there are any changes to the point of arrival, the list of passengers or their declarations, the boat owner/operator must advise the TRC prior to arrival in Canada.
The boat owner/operator must remain at the point of arrival until the ETA reported to the TRC has elapsed. No second call to the TRC is required. If there is no officer waiting to meet the boat when it arrives at the reported ETA or actual time of arrival, whichever is later, the boat may proceed to the final destination and passengers may disembark.
In addition to the above, the person in charge of the conveyance is responsible for the following:
Note: Any contraventions of the legislation may result in detention, seizure or forfeiture of the conveyance and/or lead to criminal prosecution, monetary penalties and/or imprisonment.
As proof of presentation, the boat owner/operator will be provided with a report number. The owner/operator shall retain the report number for the entire trip in Canada and present the number when requested by a border services officer.
CANPASS – Private Boats membership privileges only apply when all persons aboard are program members. If a non-participant is aboard, the boat owner/operator must follow the procedures for Coming to Canada by Small Aircraft or Recreational Boat.
All travellers aboard must declare any personal goods they are importing, including firearms and weapons, and report currency and/or monetary instruments totaling CAN$10,000 or more. For more information, see Cross Border Currency Reporting. If duties or taxes are payable, the border services officer at the TRC will ask for the traveller's mailing address and Visa or MasterCard number and expiry date.
Although the boat owner/operator is solely required to call the CBSA with the information on each person on board the boat, which includes the declarations of goods, each individual is ultimately responsible for complying with customs and immigration legislation.
Once an applicant has completed and signed the CANPASS application form, the CBSA is authorized to collect personal information such as name, date of birth, address, citizenship, proof of citizenship and residency information.
The information will be used for background security checks and is not shared with a third party. All information is stored in a secure central database, which in turn is protected by various methods, including firewalls. Access to client information by employees is also controlled and monitored.
All personal information provided is protected under the federal Privacy Act.
Participation in the CANPASS – Private Boats program is restricted to pre-approved travellers. Applicants undergo a detailed security clearance check before being enrolled. Every time CANPASS – Private Boats members enter Canada, their membership information is verified against customs and immigration databases to ensure their compliance with the program's regulations. Each member's eligibility is re-assessed annually.
The non-refundable processing fee is CAN$40 for each applicant 18 years old and older. The fee is waived for those under the age of 18. You can pay using Visa, MasterCard or American Express. You can also send a certified cheque or money order in Canadian funds payable to the Receiver General for Canada. Do not send cash.
Your participation in this program is strictly voluntary. The information that you provide will be used to determine your eligibility. If you are accepted into the program, your membership will be valid for five years.
If you are under the age of 18, written consent from a parent or legal guardian is also required.
How to apply
28 176th Street
Surrey BC V3S 9R9
Telephone: 604-538-3689 or 1-866-496-3987 (toll-free)
6080 McLeod Road
PO Box 126
Niagara Falls ON L2E 6T1
Telephone: 905-371-1477 or 1-800-842-7647 (toll-free)
Quebec and Atlantic Canada
400 Place d'Youville
Montréal QC H2Y 2C2
Applicants must provide acceptable proof of citizenship or permanent resident status in Canada or the United States. Please send photocopies of the documents with the completed application form. These photocopies will not be returned.
If you are a Canadian or U.S. citizen, please provide one of the following:
If you are a permanent resident of Canada or the United States, please provide one of the following: