US Customs for vessels returning to the United States

There is a new, easy way to clear customs that is being rolled out on the East Coast when returning to the US .  The procedure involves accessing and downloading the app called: CBP ROAM on your smart phone or going through this link:

The skipper is the only person on the vessel who needs the CBP Roam app.   The skipper sets up an account and enters the pertinent data about themselves and the boat. Then you can list the crew with their passport numbers.  When you arrive back in the US you communicate with US Customs through the app to CBP and you are cleared.  Hope this all works smoothly. 

You can also continue to use the procedure below that you are already familiar with.  


This is a summary of the requirements for entering the United States with your vessel. Please see the applicable Customs and Border Protection website for specific and legal requirements. Note this document refers to the New England area. If you are returning to another area such as Virginia or Florida you will find details for those areas on the website.

To enter a US Port:

  • US vessels must have a Customs User Fee Decal (see below for purchase options)
  • Foreign documented vessels must pay a fee but are not required to have a decal
  • You must check in with the local Customs Officials
  • You must receive clearance to leave the vessel
  • Every passenger must have a valid Passport or Passport Card

There have been several changes in the laws and procurement procedures for Customs decals. Beginning with the 2007 User Fee ($27.50), the Central Processing Center will collect all funds and issue all Decals. You can submit paper applications with credit card information to the address on CBP Form 339V or apply online at

User Fee Decal Request Application forms will also be available at the Marion Bermuda on-site registration desk and after the race from the boarding CBP Officer when your vessel returns and reports in. Save time and buy the decal before the race.

Foreign documented vessels are not required to purchase a decal but should contact the CBP office on clearance/entrance requirements.

All returning U.S. Citizens are required to have a valid U.S. Passport.

All returning foreign nationals are required to have a valid passport and visa.


The master of any American pleasure boat must report to Customs and Border Protection IMMEDIATELY after arriving into the United States from a foreign port or place and must report any foreign merchandise on his/her boat that is subject to duty. The report may be made by any means of communication.

If vessel is arriving into a Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts or Connecticut location, captain must first call the Customs Area Security Center (CASC) 207-532-2131 ext 255.

For those vessels arriving into the New Bedford area a CBP Officer will direct the vessel to an inspection area/dock (Plymouth Town Pier, Sandwich Marina, Marion Town Dock, Mattapoisett Town Dock, New Bedford State Pier and New Bedford Yacht Club). No one shall board or leave the boat without first completing Customs and Border Protection processing. If it is necessary for someone to leave the boat to report arrival to Customs and Border Protection he or she must return to the boat after reporting and remain on board. No one who arrived on that boat may leave until the CBP Officer grants permission. Any questions concerning decals or reporting requirements please call Port of New Bedford 508-994-5158.

Customs and Border Protection 24hr number 1-800-973-2867.