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US Customs & Border Protection: New small boat reporting procedures now in effect

by Sue Richards, 28 Apr 2018 13:21 UTC

The official ROAM (Reporting Offsite Arrival - Mobile) App allows boaters to present themselves for face-to-face inspection with a CBP Officer using Video Chat, for entry into the United States.

A new programme has been launched by US Customs and Border Protection as a possible replacement for the SVRS – Small Vessel Reporting System – Local Boater Option, for yachts which frequently exit and enter the country.

The official ROAM (Reporting Offsite Arrival - Mobile) App allows boaters to present themselves for face-to-face inspection with a CBP Officer using Video Chat, for entry into the United States.

This means yacht skippers now have the flexibility of reporting their arrival into the U.S. from any location.

This is a pilot version only for use in limited areas, meaning it is only allowed in a few places. There does not appear to be a concrete list of areas that the pilot is being tested, however it was first introduced in the Great Lakes for Canada-USA crossings and the St. Lawrence waterways in New England. Cruisers have also reported using it to clear back into Miami. It is also unclear if ROAM is available for non-US yachts (more information when we have it).

ROAM has not replaced SVRS – Small Vessel Reporting System – Local Boater Option yet, although it's likely it will after ROAM is working nationwide. If ROAM is available in your area, you could use it instead of SVRS.

Call your local Port of Entry for guidance.

Cruisers in possession of a Nexus Card or I-68 can still report their arrival by calling 1-800-827-2851 – or use the new ROAM App.

How do I get ROAM?

The exact App name is CBP ROAM and it's available for Android and Apple.

Go to the website:

Once you download the App, you need to create an account. You can then enter crew information (including photos of each passport) and vessel data, all in advance. On return to the US, you select the passengers, vessel and answer a few basic questions about the trip. After submitting the data, a customs officer will initiate a video call inside the app. You will need to show your face and passport. You will then receive clearance confirmation by email.

The whole process is reported to be quick and easy and all information can be easily saved within the App and recreated for future voyages.

If you have cleared back into the US with the new ROAM program, please tell us about it. Simply register on the site and post your feedback below.

For more information follow the link.

This article has been provided by the courtesy of

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