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New Reporting Requirements For Boats Returning From Mexico

SeaTow Capt. Greg Dreishmeyer Reports

1000px-Coronadobaybridgethorton.jpgCoronado Bay Bridge - San Diego, CA USA

SeaTow Capt. Greg Dreishmeyer reports on the new reporting procedures for boats returning from Mexico. Boaters who do not touch land or receive assistance or contact another vessel are not required to report.

Who must report: Any boat, which has traveled to a foreign port or place, even if landfall was not made or contact was made with another vessel, must report. When a vessel is towed to the United States from Mexico, both the tow boat and the vessel must check in to Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

Where to report: Shelter Island Police dock for San Diego Bay and Dana Landing in Mission Bay. For vessels over 42 feet or that have a 50-foot vertical clearance or bigger will report to Shelter Island.

Boats over 130 feet, call San Diego Harbor Police at 619-686-6272, eight hours in advance; once berthed call US Customs, day time 0600 to 1600 at 619-685-4304. After hours and weekends, call 619-550-9079.

Reporting procedure: For vessels being towed in by SeaTow, the procedure will be quick and simple. For starters, everyone on board should have an ID and a passport! Two forms of ID are required.

Upon being dispatched to Mexico, the SeaTow Captain contacts CBP to alert them of the situation. This message will be related by CBP to the Mexican Navy as is required.

SeaTow will tow to the proper reporting station. Before berthing at the reporting station, the SeaTow Captain will make contact again with CBP and advise of the ETA so that the customs agents will be at the dock waiting; this reduces the lag time checking in.

After SeaTow and the vessel under tow are cleared, SeaTow will continue the tow to the desired destination.

User Fee Decal is required: If any boat is registered or documented, 30 feet or more, it is required to have a CBP user fee red triangular decal. The decal is to be placed on the side of the vessel in a visible location. Go to to avoid a fine.

Fill out the form and you will receive the sicker in the mail. A private pleasure boat is granted a cruising license under 19CFR4.94; it is not required to have a sticker.

For more information, contact John L.Campbell:
or (619) 991-5480.

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