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Can a crew member ineligible to enter the US enter US waters and stay onboard during transit?

  • Combined with your other post, can you not simply fly from Vancouver to Mexico and avoid US territory all together? – user13044 Oct 4 '17 at 1:54
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    No, as entering US territorial waters requires you to be admissible to the United States. – Burhan Khalid Oct 4 '17 at 5:34
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    @BurhanKhalid If you have a reference for that it would be an answer. – DJClayworth Oct 4 '17 at 17:46
  • thanks all. Over $100 extra not going through US, and if B. Khalid is correct I won't be sailing unless Halifax direct to Bermuda then south. – Lloyd MacMillan Oct 5 '17 at 3:08
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    The boats are coast guard, but the agents are ICE + Coast Guard. The Coast Guard doesn't enforce immigration laws. – Burhan Khalid Oct 8 '17 at 5:08
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Whatever it is you're crewing is probably governed by the Pleasure Boat Reporting Requirements, and if not language similar to this would be found in whatever governs it no doubt:

operators of small pleasure vessels, arriving in the United States from a foreign port or place to include any vessel which has visited a hovering vessel or received merchandise outside the territorial sea, are required to report their arrival to CBP immediately ... an application to lawfully enter the United States must be made in person to a CBP officer at a U.S. port-of-entry when the port is open for inspection.

So, no. Entering territorial waters is entering the country far as CBP is concerned.

  • "Entering territorial waters is entering the country far as CBP is concerned." Source? – user102008 Oct 15 '17 at 15:41
  • Read the link. There's no provision for avoiding the need to lawfully enter, the various waiver programmes are for only people prequalified. – Alex Curylo Oct 15 '17 at 21:51
  • It says "arriving in the United States". I don't see anything that defines it as including transiting US territorial waters. – user102008 Oct 16 '17 at 1:07
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    Because that's the meaning of "territorial", that those waters are subject to the country's laws, please refer to the Law of the Sea which is what defines the concept. As you see in the quote, "required to report their arrival to CBP immediately" is the law of the US, there is no granted right of passage. If you need more detail, read UNCLOS the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. – Alex Curylo Oct 16 '17 at 8:50

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