A few days ago we published an article titled, Hello Canada, I’m Here, about changes in the way boaters can notify our Candian neighbors to the north of their entry into Canadian waters. Here we will concentrate on small vessel reporting into the US.
In the past, it was quite difficult to check into the US after even a short overnight or weekend visit to ports as close as the Bahamas. (Perhaps difficult is not the right word, but inconvenient is).
If for instance you were returning to say Stuart, FL, your options were to show up in person with your boat and crew in either West Palm Beach or Ft. Pierce. Palm Beach approximately 30 miles to the south and Ft. Pierce approximately 30 miles to the North made for a long day before you arrived back at your intended home port of Stuart, FL.
Now however, the Small Vessel Reporting System (SVRS), a voluntary program offered by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), helps boaters report their arrival to the U.S. and it is free.
The program is designed to expedite entry of legitimate boaters, enabling CBP officers to focus their attention on higher-risk travelers and craft.
SVRS is available to: U.S. Citizens, nationals and lawful permanent residents; Canadian citizens; and permanent residents of Canada who are nationals of a Visa Waiver Program country.
Enrolling is quick, easy, and free via the Internet in just three steps:
- Complete application at www.CBP.gov/SVRS
- Schedule interview online with CBP officer
- Receive boater registration number and password by email
SVRS participants report their entry to the U.S. quickly too, by calling a dedicated telephone line and responding to the questions. (CBP reserves the right to hold an in-person inspection if needed.)
The system is currently available in the Southeast at Florida, Puerto Rico, and the United States Virgin Islands. It is also deployed at the U.S./Canada border.
Please share this information with members of the boating community, especially the links below:
- Enrollment page (not case-sensitive): www.CBP.gov/SVRS
- For general information: http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/pleasure_boats/boats/svrs.xml
- Audio of announcement – for sharing or broadcast: http://dvidshub.net/r/6mv47y.