CHAMPLAIN — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will temporarily open its Rouses Point boat processing facility to Canada's commercial vessels only.
Commercial activities are considered essential cross-border trade. Vessels must be operated and imported by individuals working for a commercial enterprise, like a marine transportation or services company.
Pleasure boaters will continue to be subject to ongoing Can-Am border restrictions set at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, barring nonessential travelers. According to CBP, such individuals may not accompany commercial vessel into the U.S.
Importations will be processed Tuesday, May 18 through Thursday, May 20 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., as well as every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., beginning Wednesday, May 26 and lasting through Wednesday, June 16.
According to a CBP news release, commercial importers are required to submit float plans and upload CBP Form 3299 using the CBP ROAM application. Original forms are then required upon arrival. Licensed commercial carriers may continue to temporarily import trailered vessels by land at the Champlain Port of Entry at any time using an ACE eManifest along with a CBP Form 3299.
CBP is conducting outreach with local commercial transportation and marine service providers to inform them of importation requirements.
The CBP Small Vessel Reporting Station in Rouses Point will remained closed throughout the 2021 boating season due to restrictions on nonessential travel.
While Canadian boaters would not have free cross-border access, North Country Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Garry Douglas believed the latest adjustment would create some "welcome business activity" for some North Country marinas who will be part of the transfer.
"We were pleased to reach out to our partners at (CBP) on behalf of our marinas to encourage and support this accommodation, and CBP is prepared to flexibly expand the hours in response to demand," he said.
"We believe this will involve a significant amount of activity for a few months and we thank CBP for its support and accommodation."
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