Entering U.S. Waters

Anyone entering U.S. waterways is required to follow a number of strict immigration and boat operation measures.

Before heading to the U.S. by water, it is a good idea to contact the U.S. immigration office or visit www.cbp.gov/travel/pleasure-boats-private-flyers for the latest updates regarding U.S. Homeland Security procedures.


When in U.S. waters :

  • Carry a passport or other document that denotes identity and citizenship;
  • Stay 100 yards away from all military, cruise lines and commercial shipping vessels;
  • Operate at minimum speed (no wake) and proceed as directed by the Coast Guard or the Navy when within 500 yards of a U.S. Naval vessel;
  • Avoid all military, cruise line and petroleum facilities;
  • Avoid areas near dams, power plants and other facilities;
  • Do not stop and anchor under bridges or in channels, as it is prohibited;
  • Immediately report any suspicious activity to local authorities;
  • Never approach, confront or challenge those acting in a suspicious manner; and
  • Always lock, take your keys and secure your boat when leaving it unattended.