WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — Lawmakers have clarified rules regarding water border crossings on the St. Lawrence River.
According to New York State Assemblyman Mark Walczyk and Canadian Member of Parliament Michael Barrett, Americans traveling into Canadian waters for discretionary purposes such as leisure and touring will not be required to report to the Canada Border Services Agency.
This includes boaters participating in pleasure fishing and sightseeing known as loop movements.
If an American boat drops anchor, docks or ties up to another boat while in Canadian waters, they will be required to inform CBSA officials.
These individuals must be fully vaccinated and admissible under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. Boaters are also subject to all of Canada’s COVID-19 border and health requirements.
Canadian entering American waters will also not have to check in with Border Patrol if they are fishing or pleasure boating.
However, similar rules apply if a Canadian boat drops anchor, docks or hooks up with another boat. In these instances, they will be required to inform Border Patrol officials and provide proof of citizenship and full vaccination status.
These rules were clarified in light of the ease of border crossing requirements by Canada and the United States as nonessential travel between the two countries remained restricted during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Both Assemblyman Walczyk and MP Barrett commented on these rules in preparation for the upcoming season.
“The mighty St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario are home to some of the best fishing you’ll find anywhere and are unquestionably a cornerstone of the region’s tourism economy in America and in Canada,” Assemblyman Walczyk said in a press release. “After combatting high water and COVID regulations for the past several years, it’s refreshing to see the long-awaited return to normalcy along our border communities.”
“After the challenges of COVID restrictions from the past two years, restoring leisure access and hope to the region’s tourism economy is encouraging news for Canadians and Americans to be able to enjoy our shared waterways and the excellent fishing found in Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River,” MP Barrett added.