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Old 07-05-2008, 17:59   #1
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Sailing to Colombia

Hello,

I'm sailing to Colombia this year from Japan. Does anyone know what the situation is with going through immigration once you get there as there may be a chance we'll not end up sailling to a large port, or at least somewhere that has an immigration office at port?

Thanks, Sean
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Old 07-05-2008, 18:08   #2
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You usually have to clear in at a "port of entry", which has customs and immigrations officers to process your clearance. I don't know about Columbia from personal experience. Check out Colombia in the "Countries" section of Noonsite: The global site for cruising sailors for more information.
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Old 08-05-2008, 15:05   #3
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You usually have to clear in at a "port of entry", which has customs and immigrations officers to process your clearance.

Is this usually a legal requirement in most countries? Is it ever possible to 'clear in' retrospectively? I've never actually sailed before and I'm just tagging along to someone else's journey. Hitching accross the pacific I suppose! There's a small town that I want to be dropped off at along their route, which they've said is no problem, but weren't sure about immigration issues (this town definately won't have an immigration/customs office), so I was hoping I could sort that out once I get to a bigger town nearby. Have you ever heard of anyone doing this? Also, do you think it's problematic not having documentation from the boat I came in on (if it's even necessary)?

Appreciate the help
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Old 08-05-2008, 16:04   #4
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The best thing to do is check with the Colombian Embassy/Consulate in Japan. Here is a link:

Colombian Embassy in Japan

Most countries do have a legal requirement for you to clear in as your first order of activity. Some countries may fine you, or restrict your length of stay, or throw you in jail, or all of the above. In general, most countries want to know how/when you arrived and how/when you plan on leaving. But as I said, check with the Colombian Embassy to get the full story.
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Old 09-05-2008, 04:41   #5
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The Spanish for Cruisers website has some useful information:
Yacht Clearance: Download your ‘Spanish/English Crew List’

see also

Kenoffel's Columbia Coast Update:
Caribbean Compass Homepage

Destination Cartagena:
Travel - Destination Cartagena
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Old 09-05-2008, 05:59   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quasijap View Post
You usually have to clear in at a "port of entry", which has customs and immigrations officers to process your clearance.

Is this usually a legal requirement in most countries? Is it ever possible to 'clear in' retrospectively? ... There's a small town that I want to be dropped off at along their route, which they've said is no problem, but weren't sure about immigration issues (this town definately won't have an immigration/customs office), so I was hoping I could sort that out once I get to a bigger town nearby. Have you ever heard of anyone doing this? Also, do you think it's problematic not having documentation from the boat I came in on (if it's even necessary)?

Appreciate the help
Once again, I don't know about Colombia's procedures, but in the countries I've sailed to, being dropped off in a location that is not an official "Port of Entry" could get you arrested. The boat owner could be arrested, fined, have his boat confiscated, or all of the above. That's a worst case. Fines are more probable.

All countries take their customs and immigration laws VERY seriously, while we cruisers tend to think, "hey, I'm not a smuggler, why the hassle?" These countries are concerned with gun running, drug smuggling and illegal aliens. Serious business to them. The fact that you are an "innocent" boater will not exempt you from their laws. They may decide to "make and example" of you, who knows?

Here is an excerpt from the Noonsite link that I posted:

"Yachts must clear in and out between major ports, and will be given an outward clearance (zarpe) for the next port. Visiting yachts must clear in with the Port Captain in each port. Customs and Immigration formalities are completed only in the first and last ports. Yachts clearing in or out of Colombia must use an approved agent to complete the formalities for Customs, Immigration, Port Captain and Health. On departure, the agent will take the papers and return them with a zarpe."

Here's my interpretation of that statement. You WILL need to go to a Port of Entry to clear in before setting foot on land. The captain should hail the port authorities on the VHF on arrival, and contact the "approved agent" that he has hired to handle the clearance process. Normally, if the captain goes ashore to clear in, all crew members must remain on the boat until clearance is completed. It would be a good idea for the captain to seek out an approved agent to assist in the clearance process before arriving. He could give you the latest details regarding procedures.
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Old 03-07-2008, 15:38   #7
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Boats from Panama to Colombia - Colombia to Panama by San Blas

Hello

I am several months in San Blas, doing a thesis on Kuna Yala and I have known and continuous knowing Captains, some of whom performed with passengers travel between Panama and Colombia, most between Cartagena and Porvenir or Portobelo.

Also I traveled once to Cartagena from San Blas, and again between Portobelo and Capurgana, where I am right now.

There are about 15 boats that make these trips, among which one is around, some captains mad, mad, but others less friendly, and some very good ... always consult with passengers and the captain know personally.

There is a big business in hostels Panama and Colombia, where the Captains charge $ 20 per person ... The result is that we must pay to the master ... $ 20 more.
Of course, if hostels are concerned about contact with good captains ... well, but not, the only thing that interests them are the $ 20 although the boat did not resist the crossing and the captain is a drunk and drug addict. That is the truth. Of course in hostels say they do not charge for it. Of course.
I know very bad adventures of these passengers.


The best is approach where are the boats and ask people for the masters. I can not recommend going into the Club Nautico Cartagena because there not want to passengers and has a boat owner who only wants for he ... said that besides passengers, that he also load other things .... care.
In Portobelo there are always too many boats, not recommend going to Puerto Lindo, there lie a lot and people waiting and waiting, some returning to Portobelo know when the trap.

I have traveled with two captains, boat Stahlratte and Twyla

The first very good, also by boat to be large, but also with many, many passengers
The second is also very very good, the Captain, the ship and the route I am sure is the best, wonderful.
Only I know a sail boat that makes the route of the merchant and is the sailboat Tuyla , captain Javier i wos com from Portobelo until Capurgana in Colombia...nice, very nice!!!

I leave the addres of this Finally, if I write me I can give you other addresses of good captains ... see you soon.

address of the sailboat tuyla is:
http://toputouttosea.googlepages.com

For the other boats or some advise ......write me

Luck

Gringita
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