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By No owner — last modified Feb 07, 2017 01:44 PM

 Canada - Formalities

Clearance

There is now a pre-registration option when entering Canada in order to reduce the waiting time when contacting the Reporting Station on your arrival. See www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/travel-voyage for the details.

On arrival at a port of entry, Customs (CBSA) should be contacted on Tel: 1-888-226-7277 or 204-983-3500 or 506-636-5064 who will then advise the skipper on the correct course of action.

No person except the skipper may leave the boat until clearance has been granted.

For frequent cross-border boaters, there exists the NEXUS program which is available to low risk, pre-screened Canadian and US citizens and which simplifies the clearance procedures for them. For details of the NEXUS program, see the  Canada Border Services/NEXUS program website.

Last updated January 2017.

Pre-Registration
Use this email address to advise CBSA of your proposed arrival.
For each person on the boat send details of:-
Full name
Date of Birth
Travel document number, type and expiry date.

Immigration

All nationalities need a valid passport, including US citizens.

NOTE: There is a new requirement for all visitors (except US citizens and anyone with an existing valid Canadia visa) to have applied for Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) prior to arrival. See www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/eta.asp to apply online.

Most nationals do not require a visa, but for an updated list of those countries whose citizens do require one, see the Canadian Government web site.

The length of stay, up to six months, is decided by the Immigration officer at the port of entry.

Private Canadian and American citizens can apply to be included under the NEXUS program. This scheme is a joint US/Canadian Customs and Immigration program for frequent travellers between the two countries. It replaces the CANPASS permit. NEXUS is designed to simplify procedures for pre-approved, low-risk boaters who regularly cross the border. It allows such boaters to clear Customs and Immigration of either Canada or the U.S.A. by contacting the Telephone Reporting Centre (TRC) within 30 minutes and up to 4 hours prior to arrival.

See the Nexus Program site for details.

Last updated March 2017.

Customs

All firearms must be declared to Customs on arrival. There are no permit requirements for long guns, such as rifles and shotguns, when imported temporarily for hunting, sporting or competition use while in Canada, or for in-transit movement through Canada, or for personal protection against wildlife in remote areas of Canada.

Generally, restricted firearms, such as pistols or revolvers, may only be imported for gun shows and shooting competitions. If travelling through Canada between mainland USA and Alaska, restricted firearms should be shipped directly by a commercial carrier as a permit to transport is generally not issued in such cases.

Other prohibited items include mace, pepper spray and stun guns.

Many souvenirs made of or containing animal or plant products may be controlled or, in the case of endangered species, prohibited entry into Canada.

Some examples of the types of souvenirs that are not allowed entry into Canada under CITES include: sperm whale teeth, suntan lotion from marine turtles, large spotted cat skins and fur articles, tortoiseshell jewellery, ivory and ivory products, stuffed crocodiles and crocodile leather products, all rhinoceros products, and carapaces from marine turtles.

All alcoholic beverages and tobacco products must be declared on arrival. If you meet the age requirements set by the province or territory where you enter Canada, you can bring in the free allowance.

Non-resident visitors may leave their boats in Canada during the off-season without payment of duties only if repair or maintenance work is to be undertaken by a bona fide marina or service outlet during that time. Before leaving a boat, the owner must advise the local Customs office of the details and produce a copy of the work order, identifying the unit and showing the name and address of the owner, the type of work to be done, and the location where the work will be carried out.

Canada has complex requirements, restrictions and limits that apply to importing meat, dairy products, fruit and vegetables and other foodstuffs. Visitors can avoid problems by not bringing such goods into Canada.

More information can be found on the Canadian Customs site

Last updated January 2017.

Health

Heath facilities are very good. It is essential to have insurance. Any treatment requires pre-payment.

Documents

A fishing licence is required in British Columbia. It can be purchased online as well as at certain Authorised outlets. The cost of an annual permit for non-residents is Can$106, and a 5 day one is Can$33. There are also catch limits. See Canadian Fisheries website for the application form and details.

There is also a requirement for the skipper to hold a Certificate of Competance. It is required by everyone, including foreign vessels in Canada for more than 45 days. See the Transport Canada website for more details.

Last updated March 2017.

Fees

Ports normally have 24-hour service, but some may charge overtime for clearance outside of working hours, which can vary.

At St John's, overtime is charged for Customs clearance between 0000-0800, approximately Can$60 if arrival is after midnight.

In some ports Customs may only come and clear during their working hours (0800-1700 normally).

Restrictions

Traffic: In poor visibility, yachts can contact the local Traffic (VHF Channel 13 or 14) and report their position, route and speed, and receive information on any large ships they may encounter.

Fundy Traffic can be contacted on VHF Channel 11 on the way to St John and will help when visibility is bad. Halifax Traffic on VHF Channel 14 offers similar assistance to yachtsmen.

The Canadian Coast Guard monitors Channel 16.

While in Canadian waters, foreign yachts must comply with the rules governing safety and the protection of the environment. See the Marine Safety website for details.

Pets

Imported dogs and cats require a rabies vaccination certificate or certificate stating rabies-free status. Those from the United States require the certificate to be signed and dated by a veterinarian indicating that the animal has been vaccinated against rabies within the last three years. This certificate must provide sufficient description and detail to enable adequate identification. Rabies Certificate must be valid for 12 months and dated at least 30 days prior to entry. Young puppies must be confined at a place of the owner's choosing until they are three months old, then vacinated and then kept in confinement for a further 30 days

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Val Ellis
Val Ellis says:
Jan 22, 2017 09:45 AM

The best advice is to contact the Canadian Reporting station and ensure that your passports are properly stamped on departure and to have all your official boat papers (including insurance) in order. The USA Customs & Border Protection (CBP) service does not normally issue a zarpe for boats leaving their shores and, conversely, does not appear to expect one on those arriving either.

eonolan
eonolan says:
Jan 11, 2017 11:58 PM

I have a British-flagged vessel, and will be leaving Canada for the US in May. I can find no reference anywhere on Transport Canada, or elsewhere, of 'outbound clearance' requirements. I am familiar with entry requirements for the US.... Is there a zarpe or equivalent, in order to leave Canada?

Paul tudor-stack
Paul tudor-stack says:
Apr 07, 2016 12:34 AM

Regarding pepper spray: bear spray is fine. There is a size limitation and it to be designed for use with bears (it's all in the labelling).

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