Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 29-06-2017, 18:10   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Boat: Tayana 37
Posts: 25
Avoid Palau

Let me relay a story of the money grabbing the Palaun Customs and Government and why Cruisers should avoid, and boycott Palau. While Palau has some nice places to visit there is nothing on land worth visiting. Restaurants and services are 2nd rate and over priced. Also fees are extracted for every conceivable activity you might wish to do. USD50 to enter with your boat, USD50 per person for a 10 day pass to sail in the Rock Islands, USD20 for a cruising permit for your boat for the Rock Islands, USD20 per persons for fishing. All other destinations in Palau will also incur a additional fees, places such as Kayangel and Peleliu. Recently, in April I bought a sailing boat in Palau and took ownership here, then when clearing out Palau Customs gave me a bill for $6500 being for Water Vessel Tax that should have been paid every year by previous owners. The bill was for 16 years of back tax plus fines of USD2500. I'm still here trying to sort this mess out and Palau Customs are being very uncaring, slow, unfair and grossly unjust. I have been able to get the Attorney General involved and the AG recommendation to Customs was I should be allowed to leave on my boat and NOT pay any taxes that are owed by previous owners. Then I was told this morning by the Customs investigator they are not going to follow the Attorney Generals advice and I will be given a bill to pay before I am allowed to leave. So here I sit waiting with no timeline given by the Customs Office, the only comment from them being "I am writing my report for the Director". So I say Boycott this money grabbing island nation and visit somewhere where you are welcomed and just the fact you spend money in their country at businesses, restaurants, for provisions, etc, is enough for them. PASS BY PALAU AND DON'T STOP
__________________

__________________
Cheers Daz
Daz1964 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-06-2017, 18:51   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Sydney Australia
Posts: 18
Re: Avoid Palau

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daz1964 View Post
Let me relay a story of the money grabbing the Palaun Customs and Government and why Cruisers should avoid, and boycott Palau. While Palau has some nice places to visit there is nothing on land worth visiting. Restaurants and services are 2nd rate and over priced. Also fees are extracted for every conceivable activity you might wish to do. USD50 to enter with your boat, USD50 per person for a 10 day pass to sail in the Rock Islands, USD20 for a cruising permit for your boat for the Rock Islands, USD20 per persons for fishing. All other destinations in Palau will also incur a additional fees, places such as Kayangel and Peleliu. Recently, in April I bought a sailing boat in Palau and took ownership here, then when clearing out Palau Customs gave me a bill for $6500 being for Water Vessel Tax that should have been paid every year by previous owners. The bill was for 16 years of back tax plus fines of USD2500. I'm still here trying to sort this mess out and Palau Customs are being very uncaring, slow, unfair and grossly unjust. I have been able to get the Attorney General involved and the AG recommendation to Customs was I should be allowed to leave on my boat and NOT pay any taxes that are owed by previous owners. Then I was told this morning by the Customs investigator they are not going to follow the Attorney Generals advice and I will be given a bill to pay before I am allowed to leave. So here I sit waiting with no timeline given by the Customs Office, the only comment from them being "I am writing my report for the Director". So I say Boycott this money grabbing island nation and visit somewhere where you are welcomed and just the fact you spend money in their country at businesses, restaurants, for provisions, etc, is enough for them. PASS BY PALAU AND DON'T STOP
The Tayana 37 is a great boat, worth a lot of money, so I would offer, say, 50% of the fine, and get the hell outa there. Then brace yourself for Australian customs and quarantine if you are going home.
__________________

Kudu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-06-2017, 19:34   #3
Registered User
 
hafa's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Saipan
Boat: Hunter Legend 40.1
Posts: 259
Re: Avoid Palau

I visit Palau on a semi-annual basis, as I have both business and personal contacts there. The fees you were charged for destinations are not arbitrary and are well documented. Link Link Link They are directly used to preserve and protect the destinations themselves. Consider their cost compared to other top-tier global attractions, such as the Louvre, the Uffizi, or the Vatican Museum. Palau is a tiny country that depends 100% on tourism and can hardly be classified as "money-grubbing". Visit Indonesia or Cambodia for a bit of that...

As far as back taxes on the boat, not to minimize your pain, but it seems that perhaps a bit of due diligence may have rendered it avoidable.

Doing business in Micronesia is not like doing business in AU. Everything is personal and when you become even slightly confrontational, you make the other person "lose face" and they will then do everything in their power to make your life miserable. Much better to approach others as someone in need of help, which, in most cases, will cause them to bend over backwards for you. This, plus tons of patience and the desire to take folks out to lunch for long discussions...

If you cannot resolve this to your satisfaction, you may consider hiring a local agent to be your representative, keeping the paragraph above in mind prior to engagement.
hafa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-06-2017, 19:49   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Huntington NY
Boat: Tartan 3000
Posts: 264
Re: Avoid Palau

Sail out and sort it at your next stop or sail home to safety
Larry Florida is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-06-2017, 19:55   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Fiji Airways/ Lake Ontario
Boat: Want a B430!
Posts: 1,248
Images: 5
Re: Avoid Palau

You seem pretty peeved. I suspect that shows when dealing with the (probably corrupt) Palauan government officials. That's bad in their culture, very bad. It tells them they can push and push you until you wind up in jail.

Corrupt governments are typical in the third world- countries like United States, Canada, and Australia. Of course, real third-world countries tend to show the corruption up front, while USA, CA, and AUS tend to hide it behind bureaucracy.

Avoid Solomon Islands! Pacificwrecks.com founder Justin Taylan arrived at Ballalae just in time to find wartime wrecks being removed illegal and informed authorities. His "reward" was to be arrested, transported to Gizo on the chartered boat, played by a kangaroo court until the vintage aircraft had been removed. He paid a fine of US$67 and was kicked out of the country.

I too had a run in with the Sol Is Bureau of Criminal Investigations after an unhappy supplier (potential supplier, since I refused to buy his goods) contacted a wontok at BCI and had me held. I kept my cool, I had all my paperwork in order, but they weren't going to let me go. I realized BCI had to save face with family, so a meager payoff satisfied the situation.

Avoid Australia! They won't let you leave until you spend thousands making your boat meet their unique arbitrary requirements.

Avoid USA! A particular US agency had it in for me after they embarrassed themselves (sure, blame me.) I was sidelined, my goods were seized, I was threatened with arrest and incarceration, and I had to pay to have my goods impounded! Agents admitted I'd done nothing wrong, but the upper management had their own faces to save. I paid the price.

Avoid Canada! At the 2001 NOOD races in Toronto, cops with US-supplied lists rounded up critical crew who'd had DUI arrests in USA. They took them by bus to the border and dumped them. The crime wasn't being in Canada with a DUI, the crime was not having paid the $275 to the Canadian government to have the violation excused.

Corrupt government officials are everywhere. I've run into them in Cambodia, Egypt, Fiji, you name it. The worst thing you can do is scream, yell, and threaten them. Face it, once you're targeted, you're not walking scott free. You will have some level of appeasement, typically money, to part with.

And quit whining. $20 for a fishing permit is nothing. I pay that in USA to fish for sport because the fish in my area aren't worth eating. $5/day to cruise the unique Rock Islands is nothing. OMG they're going to charge extra to visit the jellyfish lakes. Please, don't pay to visit Kayangel, they don't need you there nor do I...and if you do go, make sure you place a bet that you'll beat the old ladies in volleyball because they'll kick your butt and take your money. I had THE BEST MEAL IN MY LIFE on Kayangel, and it was worth anything I could pay. What are you going to do at Peleliu anyway? Do you know much of the history beside one paragraph? Can you name one person who died there?

OK, you're upset, I get that. I can bet if I ask the Palauans I know they'lll know about you and have a different angle on things. You need a reset. Not the AG, you need to talk real nice to some locals and find out who's family with who and work that angle. You're going to pay something to take that boat, period. Get a grip and be good and try to get it down to something reasonable.
Tetepare is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 29-06-2017, 20:10   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Fiji Airways/ Lake Ontario
Boat: Want a B430!
Posts: 1,248
Images: 5
Re: Avoid Palau

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Florida View Post
Sail out and sort it at your next stop or sail home to safety

Palau has a patrol boat. Pish poor advice.

Much better to start by greeting the customs guy he hates with "Ali'i" and go on from there. Calm down to earn respect. Culture compassion with bilateral interest: "is it true that the Palauans used to sail all the way to Yap to trade for stone money?" [truth: no, they stole it] "Where is your family from?" "It's amazing that your country has a shark sanctuary and shows such respect for such a significant animal. Why do you value the shark so much?" "Do you know anyone in Philippines I can contact if I have a mechanical problem?" Show respect. Show interest. You don't have to like it, but you'll get much further.

OP is like the guy from the logging company that shows up in Oregon to log old forest hunted for generations. They don't care that you bought the land, they only know you're from outside, showed up, and are going to take their resources. It's all in the attitude. If OP had acted like this on Malaita he'd probably be dead already.
Tetepare is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 29-06-2017, 20:18   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Boat: Tayana 37
Posts: 25
Re: Avoid Palau

Actually all the local Palaun's I speak to, including one in the Customs Office can't believe I'm be ripped off for the incompetence of the Customs Department to collect taxes. It's all about ass covering and greedy departments
__________________
Cheers Daz
Daz1964 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-06-2017, 20:38   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Fiji Airways/ Lake Ontario
Boat: Want a B430!
Posts: 1,248
Images: 5
Re: Avoid Palau

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daz1964 View Post
Actually all the local Palaun's I speak to, including one in the Customs Office can't believe I'm be ripped off for the incompetence of the Customs Department to collect taxes. It's all about ass covering and greedy departments

It's not incompetence, it's corruption and the locals know well enough what's happening because they live with it daily- it's the norm, just as the norm in USA, Canada, and AUS is to live and accept the corruption of law thought of as everyday life. Palauan misuse of government funds is biblical, corruption is rife. They don't even see it. They may "not believe it" but the fact is they see it every day- but don't recognize it elsewhere. The AG and Customs is nothing new, USA deals with this every day- government ignoring government. You tied your horse to the wrong cart, and worst thing you can do is get in the middle of it.

Visitors fees are not material to the discussion. Your focus is the exit fees. You may be best to pretend you want to hang around, and buy the bloody fishing license and tourism fee for Rock Islands and demonstrate you're contributing to the economy. You may be best to hand around a while- the longer you wait them out the better off you'll be. The longer you stay and come-and-go from harbor the best your position to negotiate a settlement. And have some beer on board when Customs shows up. This is nothing compared to having bought a boat in Apia- Palauans are amateurs, Samoan corruption is professional.
Tetepare is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 29-06-2017, 20:43   #9
Registered User
 
funjohnson's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Out cruising again (Currently Norway)
Boat: 37' aluminum pilothouse "Elements"
Posts: 2,277
Re: Avoid Palau

I don't want to belittle your situation, and maybe I don't understand, but what country can you purchase a boat with taxes owed by previous owner and not have to pay?

Matt
__________________
Youtube MJ sailing - Vlog
MJSailing.com - Written Blog
Rebuilt Aluminum Boat Over 2 Years... Now Back Cruising!
funjohnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-06-2017, 20:46   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: san diego
Boat: yorktown custom 40' cutter
Posts: 280
Re: Avoid Palau

yeah, what HAFA said...
robwilk37 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-06-2017, 21:00   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Fiji Airways/ Lake Ontario
Boat: Want a B430!
Posts: 1,248
Images: 5
Re: Avoid Palau

Quote:
Originally Posted by funjohnson View Post
I don't want to belittle your situation, and maybe I don't understand, but what country can you purchase a boat with taxes owed by previous owner and not have to pay?

Matt

On it's face, none I can think of.

Every US government crook should be thinking "how much can I screw this guy without him coming in and filling me with lead?" In Palau and many places that's not an option so the thinking is simply re-distribution of wealth, so the question becomes "how much can I fleece him for, and how much do I want to?"

Even if he comes up with paperwork proving the previous owners paid in full, corrupt Customs will come up with something else. That's reality. He is going to pay something. The goal is to reduce that amount. Having proof of past payment is a start, because negotiation starts near zero instead of $6500. If he has zero proof, negotiation starts at $6500. That area in the middle is determined by his favorable (or otherwise) status in the eyes of the corrupt official. This is called politics and negotiation.

Australia's government presence in Palau is out of Pohnpei. OP could reach out to them, but there is risk in retaliation. I suggest he finds AUS nationals in Palau and ask them for help-government intervention rarely results in favorable outcomes.

This isn't "** I'm going to come down on you like a ton of bricks" it's "my mom wants one more sail before she turns into a shark and I only have $2000 and a half slab of cold beer- hey want a beer?".
Tetepare is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 29-06-2017, 21:14   #12
Moderator
 
Jim Cate's Avatar

Join Date: May 2008
Location: cruising SW Pacific
Boat: Jon Sayer 1-off 46 ft fract rig sloop strip plank in W Red Cedar
Posts: 14,667
Re: Avoid Palau

Quote:
Avoid Australia! They won't let you leave until you spend thousands making your boat meet their unique arbitrary requirements.
Say what????? I dunno about your other examples, but this one is not correct. We've come and gone from Oz many times and there are no such requirements.

Jim
__________________
Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II now northbound, lying Port Stephens over night
Jim Cate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-06-2017, 21:32   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Fiji Airways/ Lake Ontario
Boat: Want a B430!
Posts: 1,248
Images: 5
Re: Avoid Palau

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
Say what????? I dunno about your other examples, but this one is not correct. We've come and gone from Oz many times and there are no such requirements.

Jim
No vinyl covering of lifelines. EPIRB. God knows what else.

Here's NZ, one of my favorite AUS states (kidding guys!) http://www.maritimenz.govt.nz/recrea...g-overseas.asp

NSW http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/maritime/s...ent-table.html
Tetepare is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 29-06-2017, 21:38   #14
Registered User

Join Date: May 2010
Location: Sydney Australia
Boat: Fisher pilothouse sloop 32'
Posts: 1,333
Re: Avoid Palau

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
Say what????? I dunno about your other examples, but this one is not correct. We've come and gone from Oz many times and there are no such requirements.

Jim
+1 I can't help but question the rest of the rant if this little gem is indicative of his knowledge base.
__________________
Rob aka Uncle Bob Sydney Australia.

Life is 10% the cards you are dealt, 90% how you play em
Uncle Bob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-06-2017, 22:05   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Central California
Boat: Samson C Mist 32
Posts: 611
Re: Avoid Palau

You mean Australia is not the same as New Zealand?? Somehow this reminds me of the quote: "War is God's way of teaching Americans geography."
__________________

Steve Bean is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
Palau

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Route from Palau to Darwin nickj Pacific & South China Sea 3 10-06-2010 06:29
Crew Wanted: Palau to Hawaii September to December 2010 pbmaise Crew Archives 0 30-05-2010 04:31
Solomons, PNG & Palau yachtdaemon Pacific & South China Sea 27 10-07-2009 18:01
Long Beach Calif to Palau palauboy Sailor Logs & Cruising Plans 0 13-05-2008 07:05



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:36.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.