After my last return to the United States I decided to look into the US Customs and Border Protection "Small Vessel Reporting System." The program lets you register as a Master and register your boat. It is also possible to register as a passenger.
Under certain conditions when you return to the United States you can simply call into CBP and report your arrival. This avoids having to report in person. Part of the system is that you need to file a float plan that at a minimum logs your last foreign port and your arrival port in the United States.
What I found interesting about this system is that it is not restricted to US Citizens. In addition to permanent residents, Canadian citizens and Canadian permanent residents the program is also open to members of Visa Waver countries who are Canadian permanent residents - see Click Here for list of Visa Waver countries
Under current regulations in order to bring a foreign national into the United States on a private boat they need a B1/B2 visa. It would appear that if they are members of this program one can bypass this requirement.
The link to information is here:
Small Vessel Reporting System (click)
It takes about 30 minutes to sign up: 15 on the Internet and 15 for the personal interview (OK, plus the time to drive there and get home.
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