Rules for diving in the US Waters
The aftermath of September 11th, 2001 has brought some strict monitoring at US/Canada border.
Documents to carry before going into US territory
Please take note that any person leaving from Canada travelling on a vessel going to dive in US waters (any lake, river or large water bodies like the Great Lakes or territorial sea waters) must comply with the following rulings.
The passengers of any vessel entering, docking or mooring in US water must physically report to the US Customs and Immigration Authorities , failure to report to the authorities with the proper documentation will be of grave consequences to the vessel, its captain and the passengers.
It is the responsibility of the Dive Charter Company or the captain vessel to provide the authorities with a roster of his passengers on every trip to a US site. It is important to be cooperative with the Customs and Immigration Authorities to ensure present and future access to US Dive Sites.
Each diver aboard a vessel bound to a US dive site destination must fully respect the followings:
1. Must have official identities documents
Have a Canadian or an American passport OR
Have 2 government issued ID with one with picture (driver license, etc)
Have one copy of your birth certificate from civil authorities
2. Must be eligible to travel to the U.S.
Have no criminal record
Failure to obey by these rules will result in the cancellation of the US bound destination. If only one passenger does not comply to these rules, the boat will have to come back to Canada with all its passengers.
The consequences for entering the US or Canada illegally are great. It is believed that with your cooperation and some proactiveness your diving adventure will not be affected by these Strict Monitoring Laws.
Please do not hesitate to contact the US-Custom, if you have any questions regarding Diving in US Water.
US Customs procedures
If you dive in US Waters in the Brockville (Canada) - Ogdensburg (USA) region, you have to go to North side the Heart Island located at the North East of Alexandria Bay city (see the map below). PLEASE in any case contact the US Customs before in order to confirm the rendez-vous location.
If you dive elsewhere first try to locate the office U.S. Customs Office location , click "Ports of Entry" link, select the nearest state (with the map) and finally select the nearest office of your dive site.
Passengers must stay in the boat unless told otherwise. When the shipmaster tells you you may get on the deck and go to the customs officers with the proper documents and then get back on the boat.
Going back to Canada after the dives
After diving in the american waters, you must get back to the Canadian Customs. The boat must dock to the quay of the Canadian Customs. All passengers must stay inside the boat during the procedures. Since the american custom officer assigned an entry number to the boat and faxed it to the Canadian custom officer, the shipmaster will have to give it to the Canadian officer. If passenger do not remain inside the boat, the shipmaster may receive a fine of 200$ CAN. Please stay inside.