The ROAM app released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection lets boaters report their return to U.S. waters by way of smartphone or tablet. ROAM (Reporting Offsite Arrival—Mobile) replaces the Small Vessel Reporting System, which involved filing and registering a float plan, and more, with agency officials. Boaters using ROAM no longer need to register or fill out a float plan with the agency; the ROAM app qualifies as a legal alternative to an in-person interview after visiting a foreign country aboard a boat.
Once boaters use the app to report their return, the agency sends an email with a return authorization. (An official may also request a video call to view passports or get additional information.) Boaters who have registered with the Small Vessel Reporting Service, or with a “trusted traveler” program such as Global Entry, may use those program identification numbers within the ROAM app. Setup of the ROAM app is required prior to leaving the country.
This article originally appeared in the July 2019 issue.