Reporting requirements for private boaters

COVID-19 Notice: July 26, 2021

All travellers arriving by boat must quarantine, regardless of vaccination status.

Find out if you’re exempt from quarantine.

Travel restrictions remain in place for foreign national boaters. Failure to comply with restrictions may result in severe monetary penalties or criminal conviction and/or imprisonment.

Visit Mandatory quarantine or isolation for more information.

Travel and quarantine

To limit the introduction and spread of COVID-19 and its variants, the Government of Canada has put in place measures that you must follow when entering Canada.

Regardless of citizenship, you must follow all public health requirements (including quarantine requirements unless you are specifically exempt), to keep Canadians safe.

Returning to Canada by boat

Canadian citizens, persons registered under the Indian Act and permanent residents continue to enter Canada by right, and are subject to COVID-19 measures.

If you leave and re-enter Canadian waters, you must present yourself and report your goods to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), and follow mandatory quarantine requirements, regardless of your vaccination status, if you:

If you leave and re-enter Canadian waters without interruption, you do not have to report to the CBSA or follow mandatory quarantine requirements.

Foreign national boaters (non-residents of Canada)

Travel restrictions remain in place. Unless you are exempt, travel to Canada for discretionary (optional) purposes is prohibited. This includes:

For more information, visit Transit through Canadian waters.

Entering Canada by boat for non-discretionary purposes

Foreign nationals may also enter Canada by boat if they meet one of the exemptions for entry under the Public Health Agency of Canada’s provisions (e.g., non-discretionary entry for commercial trade purposes, cross-border workers, etc.).

When entering for non-discretionary purposes, you must report to the CBSA. Please see Reporting Options section below.

Reporting options

As owner/operator of a boat entering Canadian waters, it is your responsibility to report to the CBSA. There are 3 ways to report:

To find a telephone or direct reporting site in your area, visit the CBSA’s small vessel reporting sites.

Telephone reporting centre

Call this number from a marine telephone reporting site to request clearance to enter Canada:

Toll free: 1-888-226-7277

Only the owner/operator may leave the boat to place the call. Everyone else must remain onboard until the CBSA authorizes entry.

Direct reporting sites for marine private vessels

Report directly in-person at one of the marine reporting site locations, which are staffed by the CBSA.

Passenger groups of 30 or more

If you are in charge of a private boat carrying 30 or more people entering Canadian waters, you cannot be cleared by telephone upon arrival.

You must notify the CBSA at least 72 hours before you arrive in Canadian waters in writing, including:

For more information, contact:

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

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

Making your report

All travellers seeking entry to Canada are subject to strict screening and security measures by the CBSA’s border services officers (BSO). BSOs must ensure you understand your quarantine obligations and verify your quarantine plan.

As the owner/operator of the boat, only you can report to the CBSA. You will need to report:

Under Canadian immigration law, foreign nationals, including passengers on board commercial passenger conveyances, are required to always carry proper identification and a valid visa (if necessary) for entry in Canada.

Border services officers may ask other questions in order to complete their assessment. Border services officers remain vigilant and are highly trained to identify travellers seeking entry into Canada who may pose a health and safety risk. Officers will refer any traveller they suspect is ill for a further medical assessment by the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Declarations for all passengers

All passengers must declare any goods being brought into Canada, as well as currency or monetary instruments totaling CAN$10,000 or more. Restricted goods include, but are not limited to:

You must report restricted and prohibited goods on board, such as firearms, to the CBSA and obtain the necessary permits (if required). Undeclared restricted and prohibited goods found on board will be seized and you could face criminal charges.

For information on what you can bring into Canada, visit Bring goods across the border.

Note: Residents of Canada must also provide details about any repairs or modifications made to goods, including the boat, while these items were outside Canada.

Information to provide: Canadian citizens, persons registered under the Indian Act and permanent residents

You must present the following to the border services officer upon entry:

Information to provide: Foreign nationals (non-residents of Canada)

You must present the following to the BSO upon entry:

Your CBSA report number and secondary inspection

A CBSA officer will determine whether further verification or examination is needed. If you do not need further verification, the officer will provide you with a report number. If a secondary inspection is necessary, the officer will advise you to remain at the inspection site, or to go to one if you are reporting from the water, and to ensure that all goods and passengers remain onboard. The CBSA officer who conducts the secondary inspection will provide you with the report number.

Failure to report

Canadian law enforcement authorities patrol Canada's coasts and inland waterways and have the authority to stop any boat that has recently entered Canadian waters. Failure to report to the CBSA may result in detention, seizure or forfeiture of your boat and/or monetary penalties. The minimum fine for failing to report to the CBSA upon entry to Canada is CAN$1,000.

The Public Health Agency of Canada is responsible for the Quarantine Act, including the development of the Emergency Orders. Failure to comply with the Prohibition on Entry orders or the Quarantine, Isolation and Other Obligations order is an offence under the Quarantine Act and could lead to fines, imprisonment or both.

Appealing a seizure or penalty

You have the right to appeal a seizure or penalty. To do so, you must send a written submission to the Recourse Directorate of the CBSA. To be considered, your appeal must be filed within 90 days of the seizure or penalty.

For more information on appeals, visit Appeals/Reviews.

Faster processing with the NEXUS program

COVID-19 notice: NEXUS and FAST enrollment centres remain temporarily closed

NEXUS and FAST enrollment centres remain temporarily closed as long as COVID-19 border restrictions are in place. Please visit changes to travel-related programs and services for more information.

All travellers, including NEXUS members, are subject to strict screening and security measures by the CBSA’s border services officers.

Members can call the NEXUS marine reporting number up to four hours in advance of their arrival in Canada for more convenient processing. They also have access to expedited security screening at major airports in Canada and the United States. Members benefit from expedited border clearance at land, air and marine ports of entry. The program is available by application only and the fee is $50 for five years. The NEXUS program is jointly administered by the CBSA and the CBP. For more information visit NEXUS - Marine.

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

Free and Secure Trade (FAST):
Toll-free: 1-800-842-7647

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