U.S. Customs and Border Protection today announced the availability of the Small Vessel Reporting System to the northern border, New England, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The online reporting tool is a voluntary program and will expedite the entry process for participating boaters coming back into the United States. The system will be available nationwide in the coming months.
“The Small Vessel Reporting System allows international boaters to preregister with [customs] in order to obtain an expedited clearance upon arrival in the U.S.,” executive director John Wagner said in a statement. “The [system] makes the reporting process easier and faster.”
The system is open to all U.S. citizens and permanent residents, and Canadian citizens.
Once enrolled, boat owners file a small vessel reporting float plan prior to their departure from the United States if the trip begins here or prior to their entry into this country if the trip begins elsewhere.
Upon arrival in the United States, boat masters can then call customs at the closest port of entry with the float plan identification number they received when the plan was filed, answer a few customs questions and receive clearance to enter the country.