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Last year I got the I-68 form but was never asked for it while fishing on Lakes St. Clair and Erie. Due to the heightened security level currently and several times prviously, I am wondering if I should get it this year. Is anyone else planning on getting one?
 

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As I stated last year, I am not getting one. The only two reasons I can see to have one are IF you touch Canadian soil or if you fish the BFL.

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Don't forget about anchoring. If you anchor you should have one. Like they say a ounce of prevention is WORTH a pound of cure. Don't get your boat confascated. Call customs and talk to them..
 

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The BFL requires that all participants have one. At least they did last year. They cancelled/rescheduled a tournament because of it.

Yes anchoring is considered landing.

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The I-68 program is suspended during "orange" alerts. If you want one, you'll have to wait until we go back to "yellow" or below.

~Christine
 

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Check www.immigration.gov updated Feb 26th, 2003. Do a search on I-68. Go to the first link, and it will say that you do not need one if you are simply crossing the international boundary. This form has nothing to do with Canada or Canadian Customs. It is a US form, mainly for anyone coming from Canada to touch the US shore. If you touch land in Canada (Tie up in a marina, or anchor) you need one to go back to the US. In short, don't land on shore on the Canadian side, and then go back to where you came from without the form. If you do land in Canada, most marinas have a 1-800 to call Canadian authorities, and they will ask easy questions about you and your boat, etc.
 

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Anchoring is considered landing on Canadian soil if you are in Canadian waters.

Canada has their own program and pass called the CANPASS for making reporting to Canadian Customs easier if you anchor, land, or moor in Canadian water/soil. You must call or see Canadian Customs even with the CANPASS. With the CANPASS, you can call in up to 4 hours before you do one of the above and get 'checked' over the phone. I don't get the CANPASS because I normally never land in Canada by water.

If you land in Canada, you must report to Canadian Customs. When you come back into US water, you must report to US Customs before you come onto US soil. You are required to go to a Customs office or call in at one of the phone sites. If you have the I-68 form, it may be easier since that form gives you limited exemptions from some of the reporting requirements. You do not have to report, if you have nothing to report. That is the last I knew, but I'm not the final word by any means. I don't think anyone should take anyone else's word only. I called INS and Customs last year before I decided - and now there whole operating structure has changed since 9/11.

If you do not land on Canadian (don't anchor, step foot on soil or moor at a marina) soil, if you were only on the water, you do not legally have to call US Customs when you return to US water.

BUT, if you cross the international boundary by water from US water into Canadian water, the burden of proof that you did NOT land on Canadian soil is on you. If you are asked - did you enter/land in Canada - by US Customs and you can't prove you did not, then you will be required to report to US Customs and many other 'options' now become a possibility.

How would you prove you did NOT land? I don't know of a way that would be convincing proof to any US Customs officer in any mood, so I will get the I-68 form, just in case. If I show that form and everyone else on my boat also has the form, then I should not have to worry about having to report and should be let go my merry way quickly.

There are no guarantees in this and much confusion, but I think the form provides a level of protection that is worth the cost and time. I've already seen the US Customs patrol on the water this year. If I'm one of the unlucky few who gets stopped, I want to show the form and go. I don't want to be dq'd from a tournament because I was late while being detained by US Customs.

I was told that one bass boat was supposedly confiscated last year because the owner was not real cooperative and didn't like the questions he was asked, and the things he was told he had to do because he was stopped and could not prove he had not landed in Canada, and he did not have the I-68 form. Through a friend who talked to law enforcement he knows, because of the boater's lack of cooperation and attitude, they decided to show him they were serious. I did not ever confirm who this was or talk to anyone who was actually stopped, but local law enforcement I talked to told me boaters had been stopped and some had 'suffered' because of not having the form.

I'd hate to be one of those unlucky few. I'm willing to bet each of them wishes they had the I-68. I'm getting one whether BFL requires it or not. They have not said they will yet. It seems like a hassle and unnecessary expense until you happen to get stopped. Then, you will be very happy. I guess some guys just feel luckier than others. Not sure what that says about me, but I like to try to make my own luck.

BTW, I have also been asked if I had one when I've trailered across the bridge into Canada. The last time, I was pulled over and had to fill out an importation form for my boat the took about 20 minutes. I guess I wouldn't have had to do that if I had the I-68. Again, just luck of the draw.

BTW2, make sure if you trailer across into Canada that you have your positive battery posts covered in your boat. This is a ticketable offense they are starting to enforce more often.

This reporting to Customs issues could get much more interesting in the near future. There have been several reports the US is considering requiring a passport for Canadian landing returns. Could we all be required to have a passport on our person every time we run across Lake St. Clair or Erie or the rivers? Oh boy.
 

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How do I prove that I did not land?

1. I thought I was innocent until proven guilty in this country.

2. GPS trail plot (corse plot) whatever you want to call it.

3. Of the 10 billion (ok I exagerated) times I crossed the border last year I failed to touch Canadian soil at all. I am part Canadian by heritage and have spent alot of time in that great country, but I do not enter the country by boat. IF I did, I would be required to call CANPASS and (I know I am reaching here) if there is no record of me calling CANPASS can they prove that I did actually land in Canada?

I realize that if I am heading back to the weigh-in NONE of that will help insure that I am on time. Neither does an I-68.....it may speed the process, but it still wont help you get away from customs officials if they dont want to let you go.

BTW I think a passport is a good idea as long as we dont have to do the I-68 thing.

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Okay, I thought we hashed this out last year. Here we go again.

Nobody has to get an I-68 form. But if you cross the border from Canada to the US via water no matter where you launched, you are supposed to have that form. You roll the dice and hope for the best. It's likely that you won't get stopped. It's also likely that your house won't burn down. It's also likely that you won't total your car. But almost all of us buy insurance to cover those things.

To me it's worth the $30 (form and photos)and hour of my time to reduce the risk of having my boat impounded to some cranky border patrol officer who doesn't feel like being where he is at that particular time. The GPS track doesn't have to mean a thing to that officer. It might help in court, but it's not the officer's job to judge the case on the water. He could collect evidence which includes your GPS, but he can take your boat if you don't have that form. Like I said, roll the dice, it's your choice.
 

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Oops, already hit the shore at Walepole to pick up a license. I promise I won't do that again, unless I get hungry and stop for lunch or something.

Didn't have one last year, and don't plan on getting one this year. I have never had a problem with crossing the border by water or with boat in tow. One time I was asked for a boat registration to show I didn't buy it while in Canada. I don't remember, but I may not have had plates on the trailer yet.
 

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QUOTE(boatnfish @ May 22 2003, 10:53 PM)I have never had a problem with crossing the border by water or with boat in tow. One time I was asked for a boat registration to show I didn't buy it while in Canada. I don't remember, but I may not have had plates on the trailer yet.
But these times are always changing.....

I still dont think I need one to fish this lake. Is there a concern with this on Lake Champlain? Lake of the Woods? Erie? Ontario? Huron?

I know some of these are more remote locations....


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boatnfish,
you are definitely a lucky person, but should you be asking other people to lay odds on you luck or consider their own? I'm only low-medium, so I'm getting the form as soon as we can again.

In what few times I've crossed, I've been pulled out once for the other form. I don't drink or smoke or buy stuff in Canada, but I did get pulled over to get the 'promise I won't give my boat to a Canadian' form. I've also been pulled over for having water come out of my livewell overflow. That was fun. I thought I was being pulled over for driving too slow on the highway.

I've been detained as part of a bust of another car where my camper and boat helped block the car in while needing to make a BASS Northern Divisional meeting so my whole team wasn't penalized. I've been ordered ashore by a police helicopter while fishing a tournament. I still get nervous everytime one flies right over top of me while fishing.

I was using another boat that had a marina put the wrong license plate on during service, so an officer held us for half an hour while he debated confiscating the trailer and leaving the boat on the lake. I've even had my boat hit-and-run by a police car while coming home from the lake.

Most people have never been stopped and probably never will be, but I'm getting the darn form.
 

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I really wonder what their reaction would be if I asked them about being innocent until proven guilty. Would the US Constitution or Bill of Rights apply to a Canadian? No smart a$$ comments please!!
 

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QUOTE(djkimmel @ May 22 2003, 11:37 PM)boatnfish,
you are definitely a lucky person, but should you be asking other people to lay odds on you luck or consider their own? I'm only low-medium, so I'm getting the form as soon as we can again.

In what few times I've crossed, I've been pulled out once for the other form. I don't drink or smoke or buy stuff in Canada, but I did get pulled over to get the 'promise I won't give my boat to a Canadian' form. I've also been pulled over for having water come out of my livewell overflow. That was fun. I thought I was being pulled over for driving too slow on the highway.

I've been detained as part of a bust of another car where my camper and boat helped block the car in while needing to make a BASS Northern Divisional meeting so my whole team wasn't penalized. I've been ordered ashore by a police helicopter while fishing a tournament. I still get nervous everytime one flies right over top of me while fishing.

I was using another boat that had a marina put the wrong license plate on during service, so an officer held us for half an hour while he debated confiscating the trailer and leaving the boat on the lake. I've even had my boat hit-and-run by a police car while coming home from the lake.

Most people have never been stopped and probably never will be, but I'm getting the darn form.
Remind me to never fish around you!! Don't forget about the person who drove into your prop going through customers.
 

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I received my confirmations for all five BFL tournaments a short time ago and none of them said anything about needing an I-68 form. However, I will still get the form. All it takes is one time, one. Bye, bye, boat. Hello lawyers. Say goodbye to your bank account.

If that should happen to any of us then it would seem awfully stupid in retrospect to not take the time to get the form. It's just not worth the possible consequences. Why take that chance...for $30 and an hour of time? Compared to the cost of participating in this sport, it just doesn't seem all that expensive or time consuming. Consider where we live and the importance of keeping our borders secure at this point in time. Does anybody really think that they are immume to being stopped?

On this and other boards, I've seen a lot of rhetoric regarding the obeying of laws. Usually this is applied to out of season fishing, but many people suggest that one cannot pick and choose which laws to obey. "Who do you think you are...obey the law...obey the law...obey the law" goes the mantra. For some reason, laws that can protect the lives of PEOPLE are readily ignored by the same people who show great consternation over the catching and releasing of FISH. Whoa, hold on, I think I have to go throw up now.
 

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DR P,
The US Constitution and Bill of Rights expressly do NOT apply to anyone who purposely chooses to live with the metric system. Something about being too hard to convert that scales of justice to metric…

madman24,
Unless everyone on a boat has the I-68, it does not apply to anyone. BFL has not said they are requiring the form this year. They normally just say you must follow all laws on your own responsibility and leave it at that. There was talk they might require the I-68 because of all the questions last year. I believe Ronnie talked to Immigration and was told that it was needed only if you land in Canada and come back. There wasn't any discussion about the burden of proof. I haven't heard anything else.

I will get it when we go back Yellow or under, but if you get in my boat and don't have it, mine doesn't do me any good. I'll just have to cross my fingers…and my toes…and whatever else I can.

boatnfish,
It is pretty sad when someone has had so many adventures with law enforcement that he can no longer remember them all. The prop one was one were law enforcement was actually real understanding. I pulled up the Customs booth on the US side of Ambassador Bridge. He asked, "Are you a US citizen?" I replied, "That idiot behind me just ran into my new outboard!!!" He told me to pull over to the side and came back a minute later with the young college student from England's passport and handed it to me saying, "He's all yours."

I keep having a vague recollection of another painful incident, but somehow, I'm blocking it out. I don't know if I'd go fishing with me either if I had a choice!!
 
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