Algoma Sailing Club
St. Mary's River,  Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada

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USA / CANADA Customs

The St Mary's River flows between the countries of Canada and United States, hence creating an International Boarder. When sailing on the St Mary's River within the marked deep water channel, the boarder will criss-cross along your route. Hence you are required to have all proper documentation and equipment to satisfy the requirements of the coast guards, customs, and immigrations of  both countries for everyone onboard.

It is highly recommended to carry documents that apply to you such as; Boaters Card (PCOC), Nexus Card, Passport, USA's Canadian Board Landing Permit (I-68), Boat Registration, Insurance, Enhanced Drivers Licence, and Restricted Operators Certificate (VHF-radio) while out sailing.

There are many different law enforcement agencies or groups within each country that have their own vessels policing the waters. (For example: Sault Ste Marie Police, Ontario Provincial Police, Canadian Royal Mounted Police, Canadian Coast Guard, and Ministry of Natural Resources.)

 US Boarder
Security Alertness

There are also mixed programs that share the same vessel, for example the "Shiprider Program” (coming to the Upper Great Lakes for 2013) that carry officers from both countries eg: RCMP and US Coast Guard & Immigrations.

Note: There are also different rules on food items carried as well.

Canadian Coast Guard

United States Coast Guard

The Canada Boarder Services Agency "NEXUS" is designed to expedite the border clearance process for low-risk pre-approved travellers into Canada and the United States.

  • For arrivals in Canada, the boat must arrive at a marine telephone reporting site and the boat master must immediately call the Telephone Reporting Centre at 1-888-226-7277. Only the boat master may leave the boat until authorization is given by the CBSA.
  • Closest Canadian Nexus Marine Reporting Stations are; in Sault Ste Marie, Roberta Bondar Marina and Bellevue Marina, and over at St Joseph Island are Richards Landing Marina and Hilton Beach Marina.
  • Note: There are different set of rules if everyone has a nexus card onboard or if some don't.
  • For arrivals in USA, only the master or designee may go ashore to report the arrival to CBP either in person or if participating in the I-68 or NEXUS/SENTRI/FAST programs, by telephone, (SSM 1-906-632-2631, 1-906-632-7221)
  • Closest stations are Sault Ste Marie Kemp Marina, Drummond Island Yacht Haven Marina and over at Detour (seaport), Mackinac Island (Seaport). 

What information do I have to have when I call? Vessel masters must have the following information available:

  • Name, date of birth and citizenship of all persons on board (including passport number);
  • Name of the boat and/or boat registration number;
  • CBP user fee decal number (if 30 feet or longer);
  • Homeport and current location; and
  • Return contact number

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Last Update: Updated December 08, 2015
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