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Old 07-12-2011, 13:39   #1
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Customs Fees for Caribbean

can anyone help me to finish this with updated fees, I have heard several of these islands are coming up with new fees for cruisers.

Anguilla
2 Antigua and Barbuda ??
3 Aruba = additional port fees of $14/hr during checkin process
4 Bahamas = $60 Clearing + $300 cruising permit
5 Barbados ??
6 British Virgin Islands
7 Cayman Islands
8 Colombia
9 Cuba
10 Curaçao
11 Dominica
12 Dominican Republic
13 Grenada
14 Guadeloupe and dependences
15 Haiti
16 Honduras
17 Jamaica
18 Martinique
19 Mexico
20 Montserrat
21 Netherlands
22 Nicaragua
23 Puerto Rico
24 Saint Barthélemy
25 Saint Kitts and Nevis
26 Saint Lucia
27 Saint Martin (France)
28 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
29 Trinidad and Tobago
30 Saint Maarten
31 Turks and Caicos Islands
32 United States of America = No fees I'm aware of for returning citizens
33 United States Virgin Islands
34 Venezuela


Other than fuel and food, I would like a total for the Carribean loop Including anchoring = free, (mooring or dockage if no good anchoring or anchoring not free like a per day charge to be in country).
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Old 07-12-2011, 15:28   #2
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Re: Customs fees for carribean

There is no $60 clearing fee for the Bahamas. The French islands are free, or close enough. The BVI's will suck your wallet dry in no time. You are cruising in Haiti? There really is no cruising on the Carib side of Nicaragua. Columbia is ~$200. Puerto Rico and the USVI is free (US). No sense checking into BOTH Sint Marteen and Saint Marten (the French side is free or close to it, but the anchorage in the Lagoon isn't as protected and safe). I'm assuming you don't really plan on including the Netherlands in a Carib cruise (does this refer to Bonaire, which is not on your list?). You may want to think twice about Venezuela right now. Most of the rest of the countries are pretty reasonable in price for the time they allow and what they have to offer. Belize is the one country that is really changing their fee structure right now, but it isn't on your list.

If you are doing these in a "loop", do you plan to go down the Eastern Carib via Bahamas, T&C, DR, PR, etc, swinging way out East to Barbados on the way to Grenada - across to Venezuela and on to the ABC's - up to Jamaica - down to Columbia - and across and up to Honduras, skipping Panama and the San Blas, but possibly visiting Nicaragua - up to Mexico, skipping Guatemala and Belize? Or maybe skipping Jamaica and hitting it after Mexico, then Cuba and Haiti?

That is a bit of an unusual plan, both for sailing weather, timing and points of interest. I'm sure if you are planning it, you are planning on multiple years/seasons?

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Old 08-12-2011, 04:46   #3
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Re: Customs fees for carribean

bill,

Try www.noonsite.com; click on the "Countries" link there, and you'll find a lot of info under "Clearance". Most is up to date, not all. It'll be a good start.
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Old 08-12-2011, 12:01   #4
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Re: Customs Fees for Caribbean

I did try noonsite. It had clearing instructions for most of the islands, but only listed clearing fees for a couple of the carribean islands. There were several complaints about the clearing fees on these islands and one island that charged an outrageous per day cruising fee. But I wasn't able to find these on noonsite.

Yes I am planning on a multi year trip. I haven't decided a course yet, the cost of clearing in and out of each island will weigh heavily on that decision.

Islands I can clear into and stay a year or at least months with no additional cost, (safe free anchorage), will be preferred. The big reason I want the list is 1. Noonsite is missing some of the information, (or at least I couldn't find it). 2. I need to do some financial planning on how much cash to take with me for an extended trip, (I can figure my food & fuel), it's official "bribage" that concerns me, (I include both legal and under the table costs, either way it will come out of my pocket).

You stated the BVI will drain me dry? big clearing fees? daily permit fees? forced moorage fees?

No I'm NOT planning on Haiti, but is is next to Dominican Republic and included for completness...The fees may well be your boat at knifepoint, but they should be mentioned.
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Old 08-12-2011, 12:18   #5
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Re: Customs fees for carribean

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
There is no $60 clearing fee for the Bahamas.
Mark

I don't know where I got that number I did a search before posting this and that's what I found.

Official Bahamas website I just looked at did state a $20.00 per person departure fee. And I remember paying a fee(tax) when clearing in by cruise ship. And the official website did mention a possible addditional fee at Nasua for customs to come to your boat.

Right now it looks like the main fee is a $150 or , ($300 over 40ft) cruising permit good for up to 1 year, plus a $150 optional fishing permit.
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Old 08-12-2011, 12:46   #6
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Re: Customs Fees for Caribbean

Quote:
Originally Posted by capn_billl View Post
You stated the BVI will drain me dry? big clearing fees? daily permit fees? forced moorage fees?
Forced moorage fees - they put moorings in almost every anchorage and any space still available for anchoring is either going to be dangerous or very rough. The mooring fees are high. Essentially, most of the BVI's is now only charter grounds. On the other hand, you can go over to St. John's and stay on the hook forever in a peaceful, quiet bay.

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Old 08-12-2011, 12:52   #7
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Re: Customs fees for carribean

Quote:
Originally Posted by capn_billl View Post
I don't know where I got that number I did a search before posting this and that's what I found.

Official Bahamas website I just looked at did state a $20.00 per person departure fee. And I remember paying a fee(tax) when clearing in by cruise ship. And the official website did mention a possible addditional fee at Nasua for customs to come to your boat.

Right now it looks like the main fee is a $150 or , ($300 over 40ft) cruising permit good for up to 1 year, plus a $150 optional fishing permit.
We have checked in through Nassau several times with no fee for customs to come to the boat. The departure and fishing permit fees are all included in the $150/$300 cruising permit (boat size dependent).

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Old 08-12-2011, 22:08   #8
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Re: Customs Fees for Caribbean

There are ATM's on every island and most cruising folks just use local currency - of which there aren't that many anyway. So taking "cash" with you - which I think you mean U.S. Dollars - is not necessary unless you do not have any bank accounts with ATM access.

- - The only high cost islands/countries from the Bahamas to Trinidad from my experience are the Bahamas; the Dominican Republic; and the former Dutch side of St Maarten.
- - All the other islands bounce from near zero to about US$40 - the French Islands - free but with an access charge of usually about 6 Euros if you check in at a computer in a commercial store/cafe. I would hazard the average was about US$25 per island country. But the fees were charged and paid in local currency. For 8 of the 9 East Caribbean island countries the ECD is used at an exchange rate of 2.70 to the US$1. The other islands use the Euro or US Dollar.

- - South and Central America are outside my experience but while they use their own currency, it is easily available via ATM's or local banks.

- - The costs for clearing in/out, except for the Bahamas & D.R., were not enough of a budget item to worry about. Fuel, food, water, and boat parts/repairs were major amounts in comparison.

- - As to staying long term in a particular country - or storing the boat there for the H-season - most all of the countries have 30/60/90 day limits on initial entry. Then you have to renew which can get seriously expensive in some places.

- - To be most reasonably "out of the zone" of Tropical Storms/Hurricanes, IMHO, you are looking at Grenada; Trinidad; A.B.C's; Columbia and Panama. Depending upon your boat's insurance (if you have insurance) requirements for "named storm areas" I would put Grenada as my first choice (which I did for 5 years).

- - Grenada has a "renewal" cost of about US$10 per month/person immigration and US$18 (or so) for cruising permit each month after the initial clearance period. Anchorages were still free when I left at the beginning of this year.

- - Trinidad was roughly US$22 for entry for 90 days. (Which was also the my cost of the BVI's for one month.) However, in Trinidad you need to be in a marina or boatyard or the TTSA mooring/anchorage which costs.
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Old 08-12-2011, 22:15   #9
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Re: Customs Fees for Caribbean

Quote:
Originally Posted by osirissail View Post
To be most reasonably "out of the zone" of Tropical Storms/Hurricanes, IMHO, you are looking at Grenada; Trinidad; A.B.C's; Columbia and Panama. Depending upon your boat's insurance (if you have insurance) requirements for "named storm areas" I would put Grenada as my first choice (which I did for 5 years).
Having now spent one hurricane season in Grenada/Grenadines and another in Columbia/Panama, we would put Columbia/Panama as our first choice.

Not arguing - just giving another opinion point.

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Old 09-12-2011, 06:10   #10
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Re: Customs Fees for Caribbean

I did not make it to Panama, although everybody I know who has cruised there raves about the place. One couple I know even spent 2 years in Bocas del Toro (with a couple trips home for a few months). They liked it much better than Fronteras, Rio Dulce, Guatemala.

- - But for the OP's questions, what were the check in/out and extension costs there in Panama? I do remember that it was mentioned that Panama did have a significant change in how long you could cruise there (a few years ago).
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Old 09-12-2011, 06:21   #11
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Check in you need a cruising permit that costs around $180.- or so and is valid for 1 year. Can be exended over and over. You also need a zarpe which is under $20.-
Visa is $10 or so and valid 6 months.

When you fly out, there is a $40 departure tax which is included in ticket cost for all airlines we used (Spirit to Ft. lauderdale, KLM to Amsterdam)

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Old 09-12-2011, 07:51   #12
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Re: Customs Fees for Caribbean

Aruba...$10 fee for docking at the customs office, no fees.

Bonaire...No fee but must use mooring balls to protect the reef at $10/day

Curacao...No fee

Grand Cayman...No fee and free moorings but only 4 available. A friend got fined $200+ for not flying a Q flag

Columbia and Mexico require an agent to get the job done so cost $200+
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Old 12-12-2011, 13:36   #13
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Re: Customs Fees for Caribbean

So, so far

Aruba - $10.00
Bonaire - mooring $10.00/day
Bahamas - $150.00/year
BVI - high moorage fees
Curacao- $0
Grand Cayman $0 (watch for fines)
Columbia - $200.00
Dominican Republic - alot
Grenada - $10.00/person/month - $18.00/boat/month
Mexico - $200.00
Panama - $180.00/year + $20.00 + $10.00/6 months
ST John's - $0
Trinidad - $22.00 for 90 days, but cost for moorage


Most Islands <$40.00 (not much, but if you wanted to see them all $400.00 for 10, etc...), it can add up.

Thanks for the input.
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Old 12-12-2011, 14:57   #14
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Re: Customs Fees for Caribbean

Last time I cleared into St Kitts and Nevis it was about $11 US.

Really, if you're sailing off to see the world, clearance fees are peanuts compared to all the other expenses. The Bahamas are an exception. Bill, your boat will cost $300, not $150. The breakpoint is 35 feet.
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Old 12-12-2011, 15:06   #15
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Re: Customs Fees for Caribbean

For the Dominican Republic the official fees are as follows (but they can be variable, such as "gratuities" for translator, boat boy, and officials):
Governmental Fees are as follows:
Immigration & Customs: US$ 43.00 For Vessel. US$ 10.00 per person.
Navy "Commandante" (Navy on site 24 hour a day) US$ 20.00 per Dispatchio letter
Agriculture / Animal Control: $10 and $10 per animal (a lot times these officials never show up)
Immigration enrollment and disenrollment if crew/passenger arrive or depart by plane: US$ 16.00 each person.

- - For the Bahamas, the fees are US$150 for under 34 feet LOA and $300 for over 34 ft LOA.

- - The British Virgin Islands were US$24.55 for one month for 50 ft vessel and 2 people. There are plenty of free anchorages but since the area is a super major chartering destination "for pay" moorings are in all the "popular" anchorages.

- - SVG (St Vincent & Grenadines) were US$26 last year.

- - Dominica was US$3.70 for 2 weeks

- - Initial check-in for Grenada was US$33.78 and then after the initial month is over the renewal fees apply.

- - St Lucia check in/out was US$20.37.

- - Antigua was US$29.26 for boat and 2 people to check-in and US$25.92 to check-out.

- - French St Martin was 5 Euro service fee for each check-in and out at a computer in a store/cafe.
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