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Reporting requirements for private boaters

This section summarizes important information for private boaters who are navigating Canadian waters or hoping to enter Canada by boat.

Entry requirements for all boaters

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.

Travel and quarantine

You must follow all public health requirements to keep Canadians safe. This includes quarantine requirements unless you qualify as fully vaccinated or are specifically exempt.

This infographic describes the process you must follow when you enter Canada by boat: Entering Canada by water during COVID-19 (infographic)

Pre-arrival COVID-19 testing

You must have a negative molecular test result taken within 72 hours of your planned entry into Canada, or a positive molecular test result taken between 14 and 180 days prior to entry into Canada

Antigen tests, often called rapid tests, are not accepted.

For more information:

COVID-19 testing for travellers

Use ArriveCAN to submit mandatory travel information

You must use ArriveCAN to provide your mandatory travel information, before or when entering Canada, including proof of vaccination, if applicable.

ArriveCAN is available to download as a mobile app or you can create an account and sign in online.

Entry requirements by citizenship and vaccination status

Canadians, permanent residents and persons registered under the Indian Act

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

Interrupted travel outside Canadian waters

If you leave and re-enter Canadian waters, you must report to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), and follow mandatory quarantine requirements (if applicable), if you:

If you are fully vaccinated, have met the entry requirements for all boaters and are asymptomatic, you may not need to quarantine.

Uninterrupted travel outside Canadian waters

If you leave and re-enter Canadian waters without interruption, you do not have to:

This includes leisure and touring, including pleasure fishing, sightseeing and other discretionary purposes (known as loop movements).

For more information:

Fully vaccinated foreign nationals boaters

Fully vaccinated foreign nationals are eligible to enter Canada by boat. All boaters who land on Canadian soil, anchor, moor or come alongside another boat in Canadian waters must be admissible under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, report to the CBSA and are subject to all of Canada’s entry requirements.

If you enter Canadian waters for leisure and touring, including pleasure fishing, sightseeing and other discretionary purposes (known as loop movements), you are not required to report to the CBSA as long as the boat does not land on Canadian soil, anchor, moor or come alongside another boat in Canadian waters.

For more information:

Foreign national boaters (non-residents of Canada) who do not qualify as fully vaccinated

Travel to Canada for discretionary (non-essential) purposes is still prohibited for foreign nationals who do not qualify as fully vaccinated.

Discretionary (non-essential) travel that includes landing on Canadian soil, anchoring, mooring or coming along side another boat in Canadian waters includes:

If you enter Canadian waters for leisure and touring, including pleasure fishing, sightseeing and other discretionary purposes (known as loop movements), you are not required to report to the CBSA as long as the boat does not land on Canadian soil, anchor, moor or come alongside another boat in Canadian waters.

For more information:

While in transit to your destination

You may navigate through Canadian waters while in transit from outside Canada.

If you're transiting through a canal or lock system, you must meet the entry requirements for all boaters.

You can only make essential stops while in transit or doing loop movements, including to use facilities, refuel or for essential supplies. If you make essential stops, you must first report to the CBSA at an open designated marine reporting site. You will be subject to all applicable entry requirements.

You must:

  • report immediately when you anchor in Canadian waters or come to port
  • follow all instructions provided by the border services or quarantine officer
  • quarantine on your vessel and make arrangements for contactless re-fuelling and re-stocking of essential items with the marina operator
  • follow physical distancing practices and wear a mask during these stops

If you make any stops for non-essential purposes, you must report to the CBSA and you will be required to leave Canada immediately.

For more information:

Anchoring and quarantine requirements

You may stop and anchor out of your planned navigation, particularly if it becomes dangerous to navigate at night or if the crew must rest before safely continuing your trip.

If you anchor to spend the night, you must quarantine on your vessel or boat. If this is not possible, you may quarantine at a hotel until you are ready to resume your trip.

If your first stop in Canada is at a place that is not a CBSA designated marine reporting site (in case of bad weather conditions), you must report immediately to the CBSA Telephone Reporting Centre by calling 1-888-226-7277.

Reporting options

Before you travel to Canada, note that you can only enter at an open marine reporting site.

As the operator of a boat entering Canadian waters with the intent to disembark, it is your responsibility to report to the CBSA.

For vessels carrying fewer than 30 passengers, there are two ways to report in order to enter Canada at an open designated marine reporting site.

Telephone Reporting centre

At an open marine reporting site, follow the instructions posted on location to contact the CBSA’s Telephone Reporting Centre and request clearance to enter Canada.

Toll free: 1-888-226-7277

Only the 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 open designated marine reporting site locations, staffed by the CBSA.

Passenger groups of 30 or more 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:

  • the details of your arrival
  • a request for CBSA clearance

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 measures by border officials. They must ensure you understand your quarantine obligations and verify your quarantine plan.

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

Border officials may ask other questions in order to complete their assessment. 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:

Transporting cannabis across the border in any form – including any oils containing THC or cannabidiol - without a permit or exemption authorized by Health Canada remains a serious criminal offence subject to arrest and prosecution, despite the legalization of cannabis in Canada.

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 border services officer upon entry:

Your CBSA report number and secondary inspection

A border services 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 border services officer who conducts the secondary inspection will provide you with the report number.

Failure to report

The CBSA and its law enforcement partners are actively monitoring Canadian waterways. Failure to report to the CBSA may result in detention, seizure or forfeiture of your boat and/or monetary penalties.

If you fail to report, even if your purpose is non-discretionary (non-optional) such as to refuel, you may face severe penalties. The minimum fine for failing to report to the CBSA upon entry to Canada is CAN$1,000.

Failure to report may also affect your immigration admissibility and ability to re-enter Canada in the future.

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.

Foreign nationals who provide false information could also be denied entry and be banned from returning to Canada.

More information:

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 and reviews.

Faster processing with the NEXUS program

COVID-19 update: NEXUS/FAST enrolment centres

NEXUS and FAST interviews will resume at enrolment centres in the U.S. on . Applicants wishing to schedule interviews can now do so at their nearest U.S. enrolment centre through the Trusted Traveller Programs system. Existing members who renew their membership before the expiry date will retain membership privileges until they can complete their interview. Please renew your membership before it expires to avoid losing your privileges.

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:
Toll free: 1-888-226-7277

NEXUS telephone reporting line:
Toll free: 1-866-99-NEXUS (1-866-996-3987)

Border Information Services:
Toll free: 1-800-461-9999

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

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