Customs and Border Protection Reminds Boaters of Reporting Requirements in Caribbean

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection patch

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has issued a public reminder of the pleasure boat reporting requirements upon return to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. These reporting requirements are essential as CBP and its partners work to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Operators of small pleasure vessels, arriving in the United States from a foreign port or place, must, by law, report their arrival to Customs and Border Protection immediately. After the master of the vessel reports the arrival, CBP officers provide further guidance regarding the next step in the inspection process.

The officers use a combination of traveler history records, officer questioning and observation, and self-declarations to identify arriving individuals who meet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) COVID-19 travel history and screening guidelines.

Individuals who are symptomatic or who otherwise meet the CDC guidelines will be referred to the CDC or local health authorities for additional health screening.

In Puerto Rico, boaters that report their entry in compliance with federal guidelines will be provided the contact information of the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources at (787) 724-5700 or (787) 771-1124.

Roberto Vaquero, assistant director of Field Operations for Border Security in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, said, “CBP continues to work closely with the Governments of Puerto Rico and the U.S.V.I to protect the residents of our islands against this public health emergency.”

To facilitate reporting, the CBP ROAM app is a free mobile application available that provides an option for pleasure boaters to report their U.S. entry to CBP via their personal smart phone or a tablet located at local businesses.

To use the CBP ROAM app, travelers input their biographic, conveyance and trip details and then submit their trip for CBP officer review. The officer may initiate a video chat to further interview travelers. After the officer reviews the trip, travelers will receive a push notification and an email with their admissibility decision and next steps if applicable.

For any questions or concerns about the CBP ROAM app, email [email protected].

If there are problems with ROAM, boaters can still call their nearest port of entry.

Puerto Rico 1 (877) 529-6840

St. Thomas 1 (877) 305-8774

St. John 1 (877) 305-8773

St. Croix 1 (340) 719-2857

Failure to report entry can result in civil penalties as defined in to include a penalty of $5,000 for the first violation and $10,000 for each subsequent violation with the conveyance subject to seizure and forfeiture. In addition to being liable for a civil penalty, any master who intentionally commits a violation will, upon conviction, be liable for a fine of not more than $2,000 or imprisonment for one year or both.

To report any illicit activity in the Caribbean to CBP, call 1 (800) 981-1313.