On June 12, 2017, the Canadian Parliament passed at third reading Bill S-233 “Conveyance Presentation and Reporting Requirements Modernization Act”, which is a bill that already passed in Canada’s Senate on April 11, 2017. What this means is that Bill S-233 will become law as soon as it receives Royal Assent (which should occur soon). What Bill S-233 does is amend the Customs Act to not require certain US boaters out for a pleasant day on Canada-US waters to report to the Canada Border Services Agency (“CBSA”). Boaters cruising the Great Lakes and other bodies of water that are in both Canada and the United States can sail more easily and not worry about a large CBSA fine, seizure of a boat and/or cancellation of NEXUS passes.
As a general rule, anyone coming to Canada must report to the CBSA as soon as possible after arrival in Canadian waters. Subsection 11(1) of the Customs Act sets out the general rule and provides:
“Every person arriving in Canada shall, except in such circumstances and subject to such conditions as may be prescribed, enter Canada only at a customs office designated for that purpose that is open for business and without delay present himself or herself to an officer and answer truthfully any questions asked by the officer in the performance of his or her duties under this or any other Act of Parliament.”
Subsection 11(3) of the Customs Act requires that the captain of the boat ensure that passengers and crew report to the CBSA (in other words, steer the boat to a reporting location) and provides that:
“Every person in charge of a conveyance arriving in Canada shall, except in such circumstances and subject to such conditions as may be prescribed, ensure that the passengers and crew are forthwith on arrival in Canada transported to a customs office referred to in subsection (1).”
Bill S-233 adds the following exception to the general rule: