New US Customs & Border Patrol Reporting System App - ROAM

Joann Mead - May 21, 2018

The US Customs and Border Patrol have announced a new cell phone or tablet app for pleasure boater for reporting their arrival into US.  This app, CBP ROAM (Reporting Offsite Arrival - Remote), can be downloaded from Google Play Store or Apple App Store at no cost.  One will need to set up an account at login.gov to create profiles about the travelers and conveyances. It can be used by all travelers coming into the US via private vessel no matter the nationality of the traveler or the vessel.  Please see https://www.cbp.gov/travel/pleasure-boats-private-flyers/pleasure-boat-overview/roam.  Also, an article on theboatgalley website has additional information: https://theboatgalley.com/us-check-in-via-roam-app/

For a complete review of check in requirements for both US and Canada, please see the revised article by Brad Somers, Rear Commodore (Ret), US and Canadian Boarder Reporting Requirements.

AnglaisInHull's picture

I just checked in the “old-fashioned” way (telephone / NEXUS), and the very strong message from the officer on the other end was that we should use the ROAM app. As he put it, “I can check in five boats with the app in the time it takes me to talk to you on the phone.” Fair enough - easier for us, easier for him. Will try it next time.

mark.gagyi's picture

We have a NEXUS Card with an associated Boat Registration Number. Just "for fun" we decided to try the new ROAM process. Downloading the app and entering the information took a little time but was actually pretty easy. When we returned from a recent trip to Canada we used our app to report our arrival and then waited, and waited, and waited as our cell phone screen kept reporting “Status Pending.” After 45 minutes we called CBP and reported our arrival using our NEXUS/BR Number. An Officer answered the phone right away and we were cleared in just a few minutes. We asked the officer about our ROAM experience. He explained something to the effect that sometimes the system gets a little busy.

We think ROAM has great potential. For us it could be very handy if we take guests back and forth to Canada and they only have passports. But for now I guess if you use ROAM be ready to be patient and give CBP time to grease the gears and work out the bugs.

PS Just to be clear, the ROAM system did work. We eventually were cleared through ROAM and recieved a confirmation number via email.

CBird906's picture

I checked in with the app at Soo, MI after ten days in the North Channel. I expected things to be complicated by having a German onboard. I was pleasantly surprised that when the app declared us “cleared” after ~15 minutes. This program is terrific. I hope it extends beyond this pilot phase.

hoozabum's picture

We successfully used the ROAM app returning to Michigan from Canada. As noted, it does require some advance setup, but was otherwise easy to use. It took about 10-15 minutes for our check-in to be processed and ultimately approved from the time I submitted the "Trip".

rPAD's picture

We used this app successfully when returning from the Bahamas in April. There is a little set up required so have your passport and or Nexus information on hand.