Importing a Vessel into Canada

This post briefly discusses the process to follow when entering Canada on board a pleasure craft. A separate post will examine the process and necessary documentation for importing a vessel into Canada from another country.

Please note that during the COVID-19 pandemic, unless exempted, foreign national boaters are not permitted to enter Canadian waters. Failure to comply with the current prohibition of entering Canada for discretionary reasons (leisure, pleasure fishing, sightseeing, etc.) may result in severe monetary penalties or criminal conviction and/or imprisonment.

When these restrictions are lifted, boating coming to Canada or returning to Canada will need to immediately report to the closest CBSA office. The responsibility to report to the CBSA is on the owner/operator of the vessel.

One option of reporting to the CBSA is calling the following toll free number: 1-888-226-7277. Another is option is to report in-person at one of the marine reporting locations. Please consult this interactive map (link to to find a reporting location in your area.

Foreign boaters do not have to report to the CBSA if they do not land on Canadian soil and do not anchor, moor or make contact with another vessel in Canadian waters and/or if they do not embark or disembark people or goods in Canada.

Returning Canadian boaters do not have to report to the CBSA if they did not land outside Canada; did not anchor, moor or make contact with another vessel outside Canadian waters and did not embark or disembark any people or goods outside Canada.

The yacht owner or operator will have to report to the CBSA the reasons for the trip, passenger information and all passengers will have to declare any goods being brought into Canada.

The CBSA always retains the discretion to seek further verification or conduct additional examination of the boat and its passengers.

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