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Homeland Security

Outlying Area Reporting Station (OARS)

U.S. Customs and Border Protection maintains designated reporting locations within the Field Offices that are staffed during boating season for pleasure boats to report their arrival and be inspected by CBP. Typically, the master of the boat must report to CBP telephonically and be directed to the nearest Port of Entry to satisfy the face-to-face requirement, or report to the nearest designated reporting location along with the boat's passengers for inspection. However, the OARS program allows for this face-to-face requirement to be waived, speeding up the processing time for legal travelers.

The OARS program uses videophones, typically located at public marinas, which boaters may use to report to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers. The system is comprised of an AutoDial telephone, a video transceiver, a monitor, a facial camera and a document camera. To operate the system, the traveler either picks up the handset or pushes the call button. This system allows both the traveler and the officer to view one another as the inspection is taking place. Typically, OARS reporting satisfies the in-person inspection requirement, but a CBP Officer may direct a boater to report to a port-of-entry or designated location for an in-person inspection.

This program works in conjunction with the Canadian Border Boat Landing (I-68) program. The Form I-68, after an initial inspection, permits a boater to report their arrival into the United States telephonically without having to appear at a port-of-entry for an in person inspection. The initial inspection involves an interview, checking the individual in the Interagency Border Inspection System (IBIS) and possibly other law enforcement databases, completion of the form I-68, and payment of the fee.

Boaters not in possession of a valid Form I-68 must either report in person for inspection at a port-of-entry or designated location or utilize one of the OARS (Outlying Area Reporting Station) videophones each time they apply for admission to the United States. This allows boaters to bypass a face-to-face inspection unless a physical report is requested by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Any person who does not comply with these procedures may be subject to adverse actions under the provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act and Title 19 of the United States Code.

United States citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents of the United States, Canadian citizens, Landed Commonwealth Residents of Canada, and nationals of designated Visa Waiver Pilot Program countries with a valid, stamped I-94 or I-94W, Arrival Departure Record are eligible to use in OARS. No enrollment is necessary.

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Page last modified: 13-07-2011 12:51:21 ZULU