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Local Boater Option/ US Customs

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Local Boater Option/ US Customs

by jusdreaming » Fri Jun 08, 2007 8:38 am

Customs has implemented a program that allows pleasure vessels to pre- register and clear in via a phone. It is called the Local Boaters Option!
After an hour and calling 7 different offices this is what I finally found out.
Basically you and your crew/wife (thanks Jack) go into one of the ports of entry in South Florida and take your boat docs and passports, (mine and wife's'), and pre-register. They put your information in the computer, and give you a registration card. When you return, you then call and clear over the phone. No face to face required, if you clear in at one of the participating ports of entry, (Fl.,PR,and VI.).
I think I have this right, if I am wrong please correct me!
Last edited by jusdreaming on Mon Jun 11, 2007 3:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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by JeanneP » Fri Jun 08, 2007 8:30 pm

Here's the link to the Boat US Goernment Affairs site that reports this: http://www.boatus.com/gov/customsborder.htm

Note that the only Florida ports mentioned are Miami and Tampa.

Here's a link to one boat's experience with the Local Boaters Option in the USVI: http://www.cruiserlog.com/forums/index. ... topic=3974
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by jusdreaming » Sat Jun 09, 2007 8:54 am

when we cleared this year at Lake Worth there was a couple filling out the paper work and enrolling in the program. Our friends from Punta Gorda had enrolled before leaving for the Bahamas and came back with us and cleared by phone at Lake Worth.
When I called for information, I was told you have to register at the ports of entry in South Florida. Basically from FT. Pierce south on the east coast and west coast at Tampa
And by the way Jeanne we were moored next to your new boat, VERY NICE boat!!!!!!!!!!!!
Last edited by jusdreaming on Mon Jun 11, 2007 3:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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by Jack Tyler » Mon Jun 11, 2007 3:00 pm

Denny, the link Jeanne provided us specifies that all persons who will be re-entering the USA must present themselves when registering...so just showing up with your wife's passport won't be enough, apparently.

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by lwjones56 » Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:53 pm

I signed up for the LBO for myself & 5 crew members in St Petersburg before the Regata de Sol al Sol in April. All persons had to be present to present form and passport. At that time, US Customs sent 5 officers to the St Petersburg Yacht Club, and processed close to 200 people. I had my son, who flew down to make the passage back from Isla Mujeres to Key West, go to Jacksonville and get his LBO number.
Upon arriving in Key West last Thursday, I made the phone call (1-800-451-0393), and within 10 minutes the vessel transponder decal, myself and my crew along with our pet parrot (44 days of being aboard ship) had cleared customs, all from the comfort of my cockpit.
The LBO is free of charge, and signup can be handled from Florida Customs location that you would normally check in through on your return.
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by Jack Tyler » Wed Jun 13, 2007 11:33 pm

Larry, your summary is very informative and a great model for others to work off of. If you are an SSCA member, I'd encourage you to write up the same summary with a bit of background and submit it for the Bulletin. I'm betting many members would find it useful information.

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by lwjones56 » Thu Jun 14, 2007 6:30 am

Jack,
Yes we are members of SSCA & I will do that, I already planned on doing a writeup of our visits to Tulum and Punta Allen, and our ill prepared return and boat mishaps between Isla Mujeres and Key West.
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Re: Local Boater Option/ US Customs

by dumitruivanov » Tue Nov 08, 2016 8:44 am

Another viable option for U.S. Customs are the guys from W2C.
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Re: Local Boater Option/ US Customs

by RBEmerson » Wed Nov 09, 2016 10:47 am

Keep in mind the LBO works only in Florida. If you return to the LBO coverage area, all well and good. But if you might return to anywhere outside of that area, it won't apply. You will have to go the nearest customs and immigration facility to clear in. For that reason, look into the Small Vessel Reporting System. The application process is the same as LBO - interview with passport in hand. The coverage is national, not just southern Florida.

BTW, when I renewed my passport, I had to get a new SVRS number and do another "show up with my passport" (no obvious interview). I did it at the CBP office in the port of Palm Beach - Riviera Beach.
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Re: Local Boater Option/ US Customs

by jamesosborn » Fri Sep 15, 2017 11:26 am

LBO is now obsolete, replaced by SVRS. The good news is that the program is valid throughout the US. It requires that a float plan be filed (on a system that is NOT user friendly, and is almost universally hated by CBP officers). Very easy checkin, but you need to have your float plan number. Also, the transfer of LBO participants to SVRS system is/was NOT seamless....mine transferred, but my wife's did not. Also, the familiarity of CBP officers with the system is not uniform in all locations.
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Re: Local Boater Option/ US Customs

by Scott Berg » Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:29 pm

Not exactly replacing LBO; see the UC CBP page on this:


https://www.cbp.gov/travel/pleasure-boa ... cations/fl
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Re: Local Boater Option/ US Customs

by rickgarvin » Tue Nov 07, 2017 2:18 pm

We've used SSVRS a dozen times between BVI/USVI/Puerto Rico. LBO is still alive, just not adding any new participants. You can use LBO numbers on SVRS when you are checking in crew and no will have to appear at customs. If you use LBO to check in, SVRS participants still need to appear in person.

Yes, the CBO folks are not fond of SVRS. For Culebara/Vieques/Puerto Rico check in we are usually required to provide all of your vessel and passenger information on the phone, even with a float plan number. When we get the call back for confirmation, the officer who understands SVRS will ask for our float plan number and provide a confirmation number; "the watch standers answering the phones do not understand SVRS."

Checking into the USVI, we leave a message with the officer who takes the call and we have never gotten a call back with a confirmation number. I have stopped by the customs office next day and been able to get a confirmation number.

Cheers, Rick
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