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Border crossing with tanks question - Anacortes to Sidney B.C. and back

Posted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 7:14 pm
by Gregp
What are the recommendations for taking scuba tanks between the US and Canada?

Can we take full tanks across the border (we're going by ferry from Anacortes to Sidney BC), or will we have to just drain them for inspection going into B.C.?

I suppose crossing back into U.S. (at Anacortes) is more problem-some than crossing into Canada, and the odds of needed to drain them are higher coming back state-side? Does anyone have experience with needing to drain tanks or not?

I'd like to go to B.C. with full tanks, and come back with 500-700 lbs of air.

Thanks,

Re: Border crossing with tanks question - Anacortes to Sidney B.C. and back

Posted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 7:31 pm
by Scubie Doo
We've gone through with 6-8 tanks with zero issues or problems. Both by ferry and Blaine crossing.

Re: Border crossing with tanks question - Anacortes to Sidney B.C. and back

Posted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 7:32 pm
by GearHead
It really shouldn't be an issue. I've made the crossing many times, including by ferry and never had them ask to empty my tanks. That did include an inspection of my vehicle at the truck crossing prior to taking the ferry over to Nanaimo.
If your tanks are out of sight, they won't even ask.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Re: Border crossing with tanks question - Anacortes to Sidney B.C. and back

Posted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 8:02 pm
by 60south
No problemo.

If you want to have some fun (well sort-of), technically scuba tanks are considered dangerous goods on Canadian ferries. Legally, you must declare them. I've done this, and I got the distinct impression that the management thought it was just a hassle. If your tanks are secure and out of sight, nobody will care.

So why do it? If you're hauling "dangerous goods" they'll put your vehicle at the head of the line... Presumably so they can push it off the ship in case of emergency. But you'll get a front row seat to the ferry crossing and be first off.

:partydance:

Re: Border crossing with tanks question - Anacortes to Sidney B.C. and back

Posted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 9:12 pm
by Magoi
I have crossed while declaring the tanks as dangerous goods and had no adverse response from the border crossing staff. It is a requirement, and there will be consequences if you do not declare them and they are found. You do need to complete the Dangerous Goods form, and you should declare the DG status when you make your reservation. I did not find it very difficult to follow the rules, and, as 60South said, you get to move to the head of the line.

You will need to correct hazard codes and the gross/net weight for your tanks. If you have low P on the return, they may not be Dangerous Goods, so you should check the rules.

Re: Border crossing with tanks question - Anacortes to Sidney B.C. and back

Posted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 9:13 pm
by Magoi
There is no problem whatsoever in crossing the border in either direction - only an issue for taking the BC ferry.

Re: Border crossing with tanks question - Anacortes to Sidney B.C. and back

Posted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 10:13 pm
by Gregp
Seems simple enough: no need to declare tanks for U.S. service ferries, but need to for B.C. service ferries: http://www.bcferries.com/travel_plannin ... cargo.html

Thanks for the clarifications!

Re: Border crossing with tanks question - Anacortes to Sidney B.C. and back

Posted: Thu Jun 30, 2016 6:53 pm
by H20doctor
yep fill out the paper work ...

Re: Border crossing with tanks question - Anacortes to Sidney B.C. and back

Posted: Tue Jul 12, 2016 12:36 pm
by johndo88
I recently went to God's Pocket and I filled out the paperwork both ways. Smooth sailing and I was at the front of the line getting on and off the boats. Check out http://www.nwdiveclub.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=23456

Re: Border crossing with tanks question - Anacortes to Sidney B.C. and back

Posted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 8:32 pm
by johndo88
So last year when I went to God's Pocket, declaring my tanks as dangerous goods was great. This year I went to Hornby Island on the Tsawwassen-Duke Point run. Both times they had no problem with my paperwork, but each time, they held me until everyone else was on the boat. And I mean everyone. Once all the other lanes had been loaded, they had me wait so that those arriving at the last minute could board first. It was only just minutes before the boat was to set sail was I allowed on. Not really a big deal being last on, but it seemed strange.

Re: Border crossing with tanks question - Anacortes to Sidney B.C. and back

Posted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 7:18 am
by 60south
johndo88 wrote:...they held me until everyone else was on the boat.


Well that's new. And a bit worrying.

I wonder if it's because of the type of ferry being used?

Re: Border crossing with tanks question - Anacortes to Sidney B.C. and back

Posted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 8:59 am
by johndo88
There are two boats on this route; Coastal Inspiration and Queen of Alberni. As luck would have it, I was on the Coastal Inspiration from Tsawwassen to Duke Point then on the Queen of Alberni from Duke Point back to Tsawwassen.

Re: Border crossing with tanks question - Anacortes to Sidney B.C. and back

Posted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 9:13 am
by CaptnJack
There are BC ferry limits on how many tanks you can carry per vehicle, additional limitations on nitrox tanks.

Be advised that older PST hp100s were never Transport Canada (TC) approved and cannot be legally refilled in Canada (although some fill stations don't care). You can easily check that your cylinders are stamped TC# on the crown. All worthingtons, fabers, catalinas and luxfers are TC approved.

The border doesn't care about scuba cylinders.

Re: Border crossing with tanks question - Anacortes to Sidney B.C. and back

Posted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 1:47 pm
by johndo88
The limit is 8 per car, I was carrying 4 tanks. None of them marked as Nitrox. There was no inspection leaving Tsawwassen. At Duke Point, he took a brief look to see that the tanks were secure. I had two sets of doubles making them very stable. He took a 5 second look and commented that they were secure. If he had any issues, he did not voice them. :)

Re: Border crossing with tanks question - Anacortes to Sidney B.C. and back

Posted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 6:32 pm
by KneeDeep
Never any problem on ferry and land... I've declared them verbally but haven't filled out the DG paper.

If I remember correctly (from CaptJack), you really only need to declare formally if they are %100 02.

Re: Border crossing with tanks question - Anacortes to Sidney B.C. and back

Posted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:36 am
by CaptnJack
KneeDeep wrote:Never any problem on ferry and land... I've declared them verbally but haven't filled out the DG paper.

If I remember correctly (from CaptJack), you really only need to declare formally if they are %100 02.


You need to be declaring your tanks to the BC ferries every time (the border could care less). If you actually mention it to the attendant you will have to submit the dangerous goods paperwork. If you don't you run the risk of being held back from boarding.

100% is actually easier to deal with than nitrox due to the way UN codes mixed gases.

Re: Border crossing with tanks question - Anacortes to Sidney B.C. and back

Posted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 3:48 pm
by bradmond
Took the ferry today with tanks. Pulled up to ticket booth, paid for the crossing and drove off. No questions, no problem.