ARCHIVED - BSF5058 - CANPASS – Private Boats

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Catalogue No. PS38-17/2014E-PDF
ISBN 978-0-660-02069-3

The CANPASS – Private Boats program is a result of the Canada-U.S. Accord on our Shared Border. The Accord sets out initiatives to promote trade, tourism and travel between the two countries.

If you often travel to Canada directly from the United States on a private pleasure boat, the CANPASS – Private Boats program may be for you.

The program provides expedited Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) clearence for low-risk, pre-screened persons entering Canada by private pleasure boat.

What are the benefits of the CANPASS – Private Boats program?

CANPASS – Private Boats program members have the privilege of calling the CBSA to report their estimated time of arrival (ETA) at least 30 minutes but not more than 4 hours before their arrival at a designated marine telephone reporting site in Canada. They may also be entitled to use reporting sites not available to other boaters.

Who qualifies for CANPASS  – Private Boats membership?

You may qualify to participate in the program if you are a citizen or permanent resident of Canada or of the United States. However, you will not qualify for CANPASS – Private Boats membership if you

  • provide false or incomplete information on your application form;
  • have been convicted of a criminal offence in any country for which a pardon has not been granted;
  • have been found in violation of customs or immigration legislation; or
  • are inadmissible to Canada under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

How do you apply for CANPASS – Private Boats membership?

Your participation in this program is strictly voluntary. Complete Form E672, CANPASS Application Form , and we will use the information you provide to determine your eligibility. If you are accepted into the program, your membership will be valid for five years. Sign the application form and send it, with a non-refundable processing fee of CAN$40 for each applicant 18 years or older, to one of the following Canadian processing centres for Alternate Inspection Services. Parents or legal guardians have to complete the application on behalf of children under the age of 18.

Western Canada
Canadian Processing Centre
28-176th Street
Surrey BC  V3S 9R9
Telephone: 604-538-3689 or 1-866-631-3334 (toll-free line)

Canadian Processing Centre
P.O. Box 126
Niagara Falls ON  L2E 6T1
Telephone: 905-371-1477 or 1-800-842-7647 (toll-free line)

Quebec and Atlantic Canada
Canadian Processing Centre
400 Place d'Youville
Montréal QC  H2Y 2C2
Telephone: 514-350-6137

  • You can pay the processing fee using Visa, MasterCard or American Express, or by sending a certified cheque or money order in Canadian funds payable to the Receiver General for Canada.
  • Processing fees are non-refundable.
  • Do not send cash.
  • Canadian and U.S. citizens have to provide proof of citizenship with their application (e.g. a photocopy of a birth certificate, citizenship certificate or passport).
  • Canadian and U.S. permanent residents have to provide proof of their permanent resident status in either country with their application (e.g. a photocopy of a landing record or valid permanent resident card).

Note: Send photocopies only; we will not return the copies you send. Do not send original documents with your application. However, original documents must accompany you on all passages into Canada.

  • If you need additional documents, such as a study or work permit, contact the nearest Canadian Immigration Centre before applying to the CANPASS – Private Boats program.

Note : We will not process your application until we have all of the necessary documents.

  • If you are accepted into the CANPASS – Private Boats program, you will receive a program authorization.

How do CANPASS – Private Boats members report to the CBSA?

A boat owner/operator is the person in charge of a boat. It is through the boat owner/operator that CANPASS – Private Boats members must present themselves and report their goods to the CBSA. Boat owners/operators must follow these steps:

  • call the Telephone Reporting Centre (TRC) at 1-888-CANPASS (226-7277) at least 30 minutes but not more than 4 hours before the expected arrival at a designated marine telephone reporting site in Canada and report the following:
    • the ETA;
    • the licence or registration number and name (if applicable) of the boat;
    • the CANPASS membership number for each person on-board;
    • the planned initial docking site in Canada (must be one of the CBSA designated marine telephone reporting sites);
    • the final destination of the boat in Canada;
    • the full name, date of birth, citizenship and residency of all persons on-board the boat;
    • the destination, purpose of the trip and length of stay in Canada (for each non-Canadian resident);
    • the length of time away from Canada (for each Canadian resident);
    • the goods being imported by all persons on-board the boat, including firearms and weapons;
    • all repairs or modifications made to goods (including the boat) while outside Canada (for returning Canadian residents only);
    • and all currency and monetary instruments of a value equal to or greater than CAN$10,000.
  • ensure that all passengers have photo identification and original travel documents; and
  • contact the TRC again prior to arrival if the ETA changes by more than 30 minutes or if there are any changes to the list of passengers, their declarations or the point of arrival.

The information provided must be true and complete.

In addition to the above, the person in charge of the conveyance is responsible for the following:

  • ensuring that all persons being transported into Canada on board the pleasure craft are in possession of all travel documents required by the legislation, i.e. passports, visas, or other; and
  • the removal of inadmissible passengers and any associated administrative and medical expenses and fees.

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 a report number by the TRC. The boat owner/operator shall display the report number on the dockside of the boat, present this number when requested to do so by a border services officer and retain the number for the entire trip in Canada.

If a border services officer is not waiting to meet the boat when it arrives at the reported docking site at the ETA or actual time of arrival (whichever is later), the boat may then proceed to its final Canadian destination.

If requested by an on-site border services officer, the boat owner/operator shall present the conveyance, along with all goods and persons for examination.

Note: The reporting procedures outlined above apply only when all persons on-board the boat are members of the CANPASS – Private Boats program.

If a non-member is on-board, the reporting procedures for non-members apply. The boat owner/operator must call the TRC at 1-888-226-7277 upon arrival at a CBSA designated marine telephone reporting site.

No one except the boat owner/operator may leave the boat until authorization is given by the CBSA.

What are your responsibilities?

As a CANPASS – Private Boats member, whether you are the person in charge of the boat, a member of the crew or a passenger, you must do the following:

  • carry with you at all times and show to a border services officer your CANPASS – Private Boats authorization, personal identification and any other documents (original documents) required by the CBSA upon request;
  • not transfer your CANPASS – Private Boats privileges, identification or documents to other individuals;
  • comply with the Customs Act, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, and any other laws or regulations that the CBSA administers;
  • comply with the CANPASS – Private Boats terms and conditions as stated on your program authorization and the procedures outlined in this publication, as well as in the CANPASS – Private Boats Participant's Guide (available to members only); and
  • agree that the CANPASS authorization issued to you is the property of the CBSA and must be returned upon request.

What import restrictions apply?

All persons can import goods for their own personal use; however, the following import restrictions apply:

  • You cannot import any promotional materials, including samples, commercial goods or equipment, using your CANPASS – Private Boats privileges. To import these goods, you have to follow the reporting procedures for non-CANPASS members.
  • You cannot import controlled, restricted or prohibited animals, plants or goods, as described in the publication for Canadian residents entitled I Declare, or in the publication for U.S. residents entitled Visitors to Canada and other Temporary Residents.
  • You cannot import prohibited goods into Canada. These include prohibited firearms and weapons such as mace, pepper spray and stun guns. For information about prohibited goods, see the publications entitled I Declare and Visitors to Canada and other Temporary Residents. If you plan to import firearms or weapons, for hunting or for a competition for example, read and follow the procedures outlined in the publication entitled Importing a Firearm or Weapon Into Canada.
  • There are restrictions on importing alcohol and tobacco products into Canada. For more information, see the publications entitled I Declare and Visitors to Canada and other Temporary Residents.
  • Controlled, restricted or prohibited goods will be seized by the CBSA, and by possessing them you may be subject to criminal prosecution.


Even if we determine that you are low-risk and we grant you a CANPASS – Private Boats membership, you are still subject to random examinations to ensure that you comply with the terms and conditions of the CANPASS – Private Boats program, as well as any other legislation administered or enforced by the CBSA.

Are there any penalties?

Your membership may be revoked or suspended if you fail to comply with the requirements and procedures of the CANPASS – Private Boats program. This includes non-compliance with legislations and laws that the CBSA administers, and enforces.
Depending on the severity of the violation, the CBSA can impose penalties, remove non-residents and seize any goods and any boat used to carry the goods. As well, violators may be subject to criminal prosecution.
The CBSA also enforces violations of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Actfor CANPASS members who are not Canadian citizens.

Need more information?

Visit our Web site or call the Border Information Service (BIS) at 1-800-461-9999 from anywhere in Canada.

Note: If you are calling from outside Canada, you can access BIS by calling 204-983-3500 or 506-636-5064. Long-distance charges apply.

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