Do I need an operator license to have a marine radio on board?
Industry Canada says:

Marine radiotelephones fitted onboard Canadian vessels, must be operated by a person holding a Radio Operator’s Certificate (ROC-M). Commercial vessels required to fit Digital Selective Calling or a satellite ship earth station must employ radio operators holding a Radio Operator’s Certificate – Maritime Commercial (ROC-MC).

Industry Canada has delegated the ROC-M to the Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons (CPS-ECP) and courses are available in many areas. Further information can be found on the CPS-ECP website

Do I need a radio station license?
Industry Canada says:

Industry Canada has exempted Canadian vessels that are not operated in the territorial waters of another country from the requirement for a station licence. For more information, please refer to Industry Canada’s Licensing Exemptions
I’m planning a trip to the United States. How do I obtain a radio station licence?
Obtain a copy of IC-3020 – Application for a Maritime Mobile Radio Station Licence from Industry Canada.

You should forward your completed application to Industry Canada. A list of Industry Canada offices is provided in Radiocommunication Information Circular RIC-66 on their website.

The U.S. Coast Guard says (emphasis added):
In response to your previous email, requirements for a radio station license are applicable to vessels of 65′ or greater, towing vessels of 26′ or greater and commercial passenger vessels as found in 47 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part 80.951. For example, a 25′ CA registered recreational vessel is not required to have a station license. If you have any further questions please let me know.

Very respectfully,
Ezra S. Graham, MSTC
USCG Sector Detroit
Prevention Department
110 Mount Elliott
Desk: 313-568-9505
Cell: 248-361-8922
Fax: 313-568-9581

If I cross the border but don’t go ashore or dock, do I need to contact US authorities?
This is a little complicated, but here is the best information we have:

Subject: US Embassy responds to the Windsor Star Article on Boater Call In Requirements

Hello Paddlers, Sailors and Boaters

The article in the Windsor Star regarding boater call in requirements has created some good dialogue between the Canoe Club and the US Embassy in Ottawa. I have been contacted by Mr Johnston who is a Customs Border and Protection Representative with the US Embassy. He wanted to clear up the misconceptions of the requirements that we were told at the Windsor Yacht Club a few weeks ago. This article has been a topic of conversation in Ottawa and New York with the CBP. He has already talked to the Detroit area Chief and the New York area Chief to clarify the requirements that they enforce in their jurisdiction. He is also going to update their web site for the requirements for kayakers and canoeist. Their link will be on our new website soon to be released.

The one question I did ask is do we need to report in if we are in the canals of Detroit or Belle Isle. The answer is YES. If we stay in open water and have no intention of landing or anchoring or coming in contact with an American boat, we do not need to call in. It is still a great idea to have proper ID with you at all times in Canadian or US waters. The Nexus card is the best to have but not a requirement. We can still be inspected at any time for safety equipment.

He also indicated that if any of you have an issue with an officer on the water, just comply with the officer then file a complaint with his Chief or the Embassy. The Embassy seems to value a good relationship with Canadians.

I really hope this clears everything up.

Here are the regulations that they will be enforcing.

Roger Chauvin

Here is our official statute:

Under Title 19, the phrase “arrival of a vessel” is defined as, “that time when the vessel first comes to rest, whether at anchor or at a dock, in any harbor within the Customs territory of the U.S.” 19 C.F.R. § 4.0(f). Thus, boaters who are simply crossing international waters, without any intent to anchor or land in the U.S., do not have an affirmative reporting obligation under Title 19 of the customs regulations (19 CFR 4.2). A similar result is reached under Title 8. 8 CFR 235.1(g) provides that ,“Persons aboard a vessel which has crossed the international boundary between the United States and Canada and who do not intend to land in the United States, other than at a staffed port-of-entry, are not required to be in possession of Form I-68, Canadian Border Boat Landing Permit, or evidence of enrollment in an Alternative Inspections program merely because they have crossed the international boundary.” Thus, recreational boaters from Canada who are simply boating in U.S. waters with no intention to land, dock or anchor, do not have an obligation to report their arrival pursuant to Title 19, or to report for inspection or carry an I-68 permit, etc., pursuant to Title 8, although they may still be subject to inspection.

Leonard M. Johnston

CBP Representative

US Embassy, Ottawa

What must I do when returning to Canada after crossing to the U.S.? (click here) This link is not right.

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