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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

Honorable Candice S. Miller
House of Representatives
10th Michigan Congressional District
508 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Ms. Miller:

I am writing you on behalf of the Lake St. Clair based sailing
fraternity and in particular as a representative of the Detroit Regional Yacht-Racing Association (DRYA). As you know, DRYA is a regional yachting association which administers competitive sailing under the auspices of United States Sailing Association, the national yacht racing authority. DRYA is comprised of several hundred members, thousands of
member club boaters, and is in many circumstances the voice of sailing in southeastern Michigan.

Over the last several years and in particular since eptember 11, 2001 our flag officers and administrators have met with various representatives of the United States Coast Guard (USCG), Department of Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), United States Customs and the Detroit Port Authority. We have been advised of certain initiatives
as a result of Homeland Security measures. In the spring of 2002, the Department of Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) sent agents to several Detroit area yacht clubs for the purpose of facilitating the issuance of CANADIAN BORDER BOAT LANDING PERMITS, commonly known as
I-68. Hundreds of local sailors applied for and received the I-68 cards. At that time there was significant confusion and
misunderstanding regarding who actually had to have an I-68 card. We were never given a clear definition as to what "landing" in Canada actually is. We obtained conflicting answers and the net result was that we should all have I-68 cards. Apparently INS has a different set
of rules than does Customs. The Coast Guard could not answer what should have been simple questions. The 2002 sailing season passed without any incident and I do not know of any local sailors who were boarded or otherwise inspected for I-68 cards. During 2003 there was little talk of I-68 and again no enforcement action was experienced.

We have recently met again with representatives of INS, USCG and the Port Authority. They have told us the following:

o boats will be boarded frequently

o all persons on board must have an I-68 card if they have "been in Canada"

o the burden of "not being in Canada" will be on the skipper and crew

o being in Canada might include sailing in Canadian waters and certainly includes anchoring in Canadian waters and/or touching Canadian soil

o if all persons aboard any vessel do not have I-68 cards the vessel may be impounded and/or fines may be levied

As you may know there is no practical way to "check in" on the American side of Lake St. Clair or the Detroit River. There is no official "entry point" except at the Detroit - Windsor Ambassador Bridge and there are no facilities for landing a vessel at the bridge. The closest "check in" venue is on Mackinac Island or maybe Port Huron. It is
impossible to "phone" in as the INS and Customs do not have personnel to visit the hundreds of vessels which might venture into Canadian waters on any given summer day. Canadian officials have devised a simple, logical and easy to use call in system to land their American friends.

It is difficult to understand why we do not have a system that works so boaters can comply with reasonable rules and regulations.

While we all appreciate the need for HOMELAND SECURITY we have been unable to identify the real purpose of an I-68 card, other than to raise revenue. I-68 cards are very inconvenient to obtain and it is impossible for us to make certain that all of our crew and guests have I-68 cards. The way we understand potential enforcement, I will be unable to invite a neighbor to dinner on my boat unless they have an I-68 card. It is impossible to know who has been in Canada or not and as the burden is apparently on the skipper, the situation becomes dogmatic.

We fail to understand the purpose of the I-68 card. It seems a passport or other positive ID would serve the same purpose. Why do we need something different than what is required to cross the boarder by automobile?

Last year there was virtually no enforcement action. This year we have been TOLD that there will be very active enforcement and everyone is being warned to have everyone on board to have a card or they will be
detained and the boat impounded.

The boating community needs your help. The laws and regulations together with enforcement procedures need to be changed. The law is not practicable or understood.

I would appreciate hearing from you so we might further discuss this issue. Additionally, we would be pleased to provide you with a forum to address this issue publicly. The boating community from the GREAT LAKES
STATE will appreciate your efforts.

Best regards,

John S. Barbour
 

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Be sure to let us know if she gets back with you. As someone that is planning on going to Canada this year I'd sure like to know the status of the I-68 system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Opps, this letter was written by the DRYA and signed by them. I received a copy by being a member of the DRYA and only pasted it to this forum so all can see the difficulties, the current I-68 status, and perhaps help politically.
 
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That letter covers everything I think is wrong with the system. What a mess. I don't want any additional inconvenience when coming back from Canada, but if they are going to say they will confiscate your boat and the burden of proof that you weren't in Canada is on the captain, then they need to do something. When you go to Canada, you know exactly what to do. There are CANPASS phones at every marina or restaurant and signs telling you to call when you land. We have nothing. Wait, that's right, we can tie our boats up to the seawall under the Ambassador bridge in 3-4' confused chop and run up to the bridge to check in. By the time you'd get back, you'd have a couple of lines with cleats hanging from them and a big pile of crumbled fiberglass on the bottom of the river. The border is pretty wide open on the water, but maybe the plan is to use Canada's stricter immigration procedures as a first (or only) line of defense.
 

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As a tournament bass angler I thought that was a great letter. Us fisherman also feel your pain, and are interested in some answers. Phil
 

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"We were never given a clear definition as to what "landing" in Canada actually is."

The I-68 has nothing to do with landing in Canada. That is a Canadian Customs issue. The I-68 program was developed by US Customs to make it easier for boaters who intend to land in the US after crossing the international border. The I-68 permit allows you to land in the US without having to go through Customs each time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
More info. Today I went to the Detroit tunnel INS to get our I-68s. After we had purchased them ($16 ea), the agent made us aware that there was now a "new" option.

This is the NEXUS card. Basically it was originally used for quick bridge and tunnel passage (casino users and commuters), but since a few months ago, boats and airplanes can use it instead of the I-68s. It's $50 for 5 years. It looks like the Canadians got it going first for their people since the web site is a .ca but INS has all the forms, etc.

So, if you're going to the INS get your I-68s, ask to see if I got the right poop and maybe things are turning around.
 

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There is an alternative to the I-68 outlined in the June issue of Great Lakes Scuttlebutt magazine available at most marine stores. The U.S./Canadian program is called NEXUS and allows low risk citizens to cross the border both ways thru NEXUS designated Customs booths at the bridge or tunnel. The NEXUS card also allows boaters to re-enter the U.S. without reporting for inspection the same as an I-68. The article in Scuttlebutt said that an I-68 is not required if you have a NEXUS card. The cost of the NEXUS card is $32.00 and is good for 5 years. The application for the NEXUS is at www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/travel/nexus/menu-e As with the I-68, all aboard must have a NEXUS card. Suggest you look at the Scuttlebutt mag press release on page 44 of the June issue. Looks like a better deal than the I-68.
 

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Your link is broke. Here is the correct link:

Nexus page

I still don't see any mention of boats on it though.
 

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QUOTE(Spider @ Jun 2 2004, 09:55 AM)Your link is broke. Here is the correct link:

Nexus page

I still don't see any mention of boats on it though.
The two parties, U.S. and Canada, were promoting the Nexus program at the Detroit Boat show in Feb. I am trying to locate the paper work. They had planed on incorporating the CanPass program into as well by this summer. Get it all for $50.00 and 5 years. AS soon as I can find my papers, or get more info, I'll post, but yes, it is for boaters as well.
 

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I had heard about NEXUS, too, and was thinking about applying. But first I called CANPASS to see if I would still have to call in when I go to Canada. They said this year, you still have to call in from a land line when you go to Canada, even if you have the NEXUS. They said NEXT year things will probably change, but they could not tell me exactly what the procedure would be if you have the NEXUS card (maybe you will be able to call in before you leave home, like it is now for CANPASS holders?)
it's all so confusing!
 

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We went the NEXUS route -- U.S. told us it can be used for boating instead of I-68. Canadian's told us just what Joyce said about the CANPASS - not until next year. In previous years we went to Algonac to get the I-68 and never had a wait. Took over an hour in Port Huron's Custom's office to get the NEXUS card - that's after waiting about eight weeks for them to process the initial application.

In the long run, it will be cheaper and less time consuming than the I-68 every year.
 
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