The I-68

     Thanks to the Grand Marais Border Patrol and Sue Ahrendt for putting together this list of Frequently Asked Questions regarding the I-68.

Outfitter Information and the I-68 Permits  

I-68 Issuing Offices: 


1.         Pigeon River POE, Grand Portage, MN (218) 475-2244

            24 hours a day, 7 days a week

2.         Customs Officer Border Patrol Office Coast Guard Station Grand Marais, MN (218) 387-1148 or (218) 370-0111

            Beginning May 15th, 2008

            Monday-Thursday, 8am-4pm

            Friday-Sunday, 6am-8pm

3.         Midway Airport Chicago, IL (773) 948-6330

            Monday-Friday, 8am-4pm

4.         Humphrey Terminal Minneapolis , MN (612) 725-3480

            Monday-Friday, 8am-4pm

5.         Federal Building Duluth, MN (218) 720-5201

            Monday-Friday, 8am-4pm

Applicants are advised to please call ahead to guarantee personnel are available. 

Applicants should have a birth certificate and photo ID, or a passport to process an I-68.  I-68s will cost $16.00 for individual permits and $32.00 for a family permit.  An I-68 is only valid for persons returning via watercraft and for one year from the date of issuance. 

All persons entering Canada have 2 options: 

1.     Purchase an I-68 permit at the above offices. 2.     Enter Canada without an I-68. 

All persons returning from Canada , via Quetico Park/BWCA:

1.     Persons with an I-68 can call the Customs Officer at the Border Patrol Facility in the Coast Guard Station (218) 387-1148 or (218) 370-0111 and report that they have returned to the US during the hours noted above.

2.     Persons with an I-68 can call Customs at the Pigeon River Port of Entry (218) 475-2244, 24 hours a day to report that they have returned to the US .  

3.     All persons without an I-68 must stop and check in at the Coast Guard Station in Grand Marais to report that they have returned to the country.

4.     All persons without an I-68 returning after hours must call the Pigeon River Port of Entry to report that they are back in the US .  Because these persons do not have an I-68, they may be asked to wait for a Border Patrol Agent for an interview. 


Should weekly fishing guests and homeowners call in to the customs office every time they return to the US from Canadian waters? 

            Yes, this is the main purpose for an  I-68.  Each time a person makes a meaningful departure from the US , he/she will need to call in and report the return.  These persons should have an I-68.


What does “meaningful departure” from the US mean? 

            This means that the person or persons have stopped on Canadian soil, dropped an anchor in Canada waters, or met with another boat in Canadian waters.


What about people fishing in Canadian Waters-i.e fishing guides, guests?              If the fishing guides/guests do not drop an anchor, do not pull up to another boat, or do not step on Canadian land, these folks do not need to call into US Customs and report that their boat happened to be in Canadian Waters part of the time.  There was no meaningful departure in this case.


What if we have a large group of guests returning to the United States —i.e. a big group of boy scouts? 

            If outfitters call the U.S. Border Patrol ahead of time (218) 387-1770, the Border Patrol will make every effort to send an agent to your outfitter or landing to check in the large group and save them a trip to the Coast Guard Station in town.


Do folks returning from Canada require I68 permits? 

   No, not if they physically report their return the Customs Officer in the Border Patrol Office at the Coast Guard station in Grand Marais during business hours.


 What if they don’t have I68 permits and the Grand Marais office is closed? 

             They must call the Pigeon River Port of Entry and report that they have returned to the US .  They may be requested to remain on sight for an interview from a Border Patrol Agent, but this is not likely.

Are these rules going to be enforced in 2008?

            The Border Patrol is striving for 100% compliance in 2008.


            Remember, Customs is the I-68 issuing agency and the Border Patrol is the enforcement agency.  Any and all questions concerning issuance of the I-68 should be directed to,  Customs and Border Protection, Pigeon River Port of Entry (218) 475-2244 or (218) 475-0060.