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CBSA reminding boaters not to cross borders for recreational use

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is reminding all boaters that crossing the border for recreation or tourism is prohibited right now.

The CBSA says the border measures were put in place by the Government of Canada to limit the spread of COVID-19 in Canada.

With warmer weather here, the CBSA says boat and pleasure craft owners may want to take their boats across the border on inland or coastal waterways, or to come to their cottages in Canada. These activities are considered non-essential travel according to temporary travel restrictions currently in place, and are prohibited.

“Boaters are still permitted to navigate across international waters if needed, but are not allowed to enter Canadian territorial or boundary waters for discretionary, leisure (non-essential) reasons, including entry for touring, sightseeing and pleasure fishing.”

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Penalties for entering into Canada without reporting to the CBSA include monetary penalties, seizure of their vessels and/or criminal charges. The CBSA says the minimum fine for not reporting to the CBSA when entering Canada is $1,000. They also say non-compliance by foreign nationals may affect their immigration admissibility and ability to re-enter Canada in the future.

Also, not complying with the current border entry restrictions is an offence under the Quarantine Act and could lead to up to 6 months in prison and/or $750,000 in fines, according to the CBSA.

There has been a temporary prohibition on all optional travel at the Canada-U.S. border since March 21st. This restriction has been extended until at least June 21, 2020.

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