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Old 10-08-2011, 06:09   #1
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Cruising Wiki-Spawned Question About Arrival / Departure

Good morning,

I was reading the Cruising Wiki and, as with most knowledge, it induced a desire for more knowledge. I am still a sponge when it comes to the mechanics of operating the small boats.

***********
I Copy/Pasted the following: (I highlighted my question areas in blue.)
Arrival/Departure procedures

Arrival
It is advised to make first landfall at an official port of entry if possible.
A clearance certificate from the last port or country visited must be presented, and be sure that all crewmembers' passports have an exit stamp from the last country.
Clearance must be done in sequence: Port Authority, then Customs and lastly Immigration (all crew to visit Immigration). The port officials visit the yacht on entering Costa Rica.
In subsequent ports of entry, the skipper may go ashore to clear with the Port Captain and present the Zarpe (clearance certificate).
Departure
The port captain at the port of departure will issue an international departure certificate (Zarpe) specifying the country of destination. Immigration must be visited before your departure.

*******
Ok, for now, just a couple questions. 1) Passports need an exit stamp? This doesn't apply to leaving your home of origin does it? If so, how and where do you get this exit stamp?

2) Specifiying the country of destination? That sounds limiting. What if I go to a different place?

Thank you, in advance.
John
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Old 10-08-2011, 08:03   #2
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Re: Cruising Wiki-spawned question about arrival/departure

G'Day John,

My main comment is that entry and exit procedures vary from country to country and often port to port within a given country. NO blanket statement can apply everywhere.

In our years of cruising, Mexico was the only place that didn't expect an exit Zarpe when arriving from the US. We just sailed out of San Diego and turned left (but that was last done in 1989... I believe that things are still the same).

Nowadays, many countries also require a visa in order to enter. Often it must be obtained before arrival, and stiff penalties are applied for non-compliance. Some research on the cruisers part is in order. It is often a PITA...

In our experience it would not be a problem if one arrived in some country not specified on the Zarpe. There may be countries where they would be upset, but we have not yet visited such. What they are concerned about is that you have made a proper departure from your last place. That is, no port dues in arrears, no arrest warrants, no shotgun-waving fathers (ho ho), no issues with immigration and so forth.

Things have become a bit more onerous since 9-11, and there are often lots of forms to fill out upon arrival. Further, even third world customs/immigration folks are in contact with one another, so don't think that your past behavior problems won't follow you as you travel!

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 10-08-2011, 10:34   #3
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Re: Cruising Wiki-Spawned Question About Arrival / Departure

Go to WWW.NOONSITE.COM then go to countries section for entry/exit procedures for the countries you want.
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Old 11-08-2011, 06:52   #4
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Re: Cruising Wiki-Spawned Question About Arrival / Departure

Jim,
Thank you for your insight. I really value the words of experience.

Unicorn Dreams,
Thanks much for that site. It appears to be a wealth of information. I already have more questions, but I will do some more reading and expect they will be answered. If not, I will be a bit more knowledgeable to formulate coherent questions.

John
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Old 11-08-2011, 07:33   #5
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Re: Cruising Wiki-Spawned Question About Arrival / Departure

John,

One comment about Noonsite: the info posted is often woefully out of date. Immigration and Customs rules are frequently modified, and these changes are unlikely to be reflected on Noonsite in a timely fashion.

Sadly, the consulates in minor countries are often not current with these regs either, and this has caused some problems for cruisers. For instance, when Australia instituted the 96 hour advance notice of arrival rule a few years ago, their office in New Caledonia was unaware of the change and gave (expensively) bad advice to cruisers headed there.

Some diligence is in order!

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 11-08-2011, 09:29   #6
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Re: Cruising Wiki-Spawned Question About Arrival / Departure

As Jim stared above.
Noonsite usually has a note about when last updated. Countries can and do change their rules sometimes.
Also, read the articles in the right sidebar of the country page. They will give insights as to the country.
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Old 11-08-2011, 10:40   #7
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Re: Cruising Wiki-Spawned Question About Arrival / Departure

Roger, thanks again, gentlemen.
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Old 11-08-2011, 12:10   #8
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Re: Cruising Wiki-Spawned Question About Arrival / Departure

Quote:
Originally Posted by NJtheteacher View Post
. 1) Passports need an exit stamp? This doesn't apply to leaving your home of origin does it? If so, how and where do you get this exit stamp?

2) Specifiying the country of destination? That sounds limiting. What if I go to a different place?
When leaving on a boat its different than the airport. They normally give exit stamps. However I don't think I remember any place that has looked for the exit stamp, they take long enough to find an empty page.

Specifying the country of destination is a bit more odd. I don't think we have ever changed destinations mid-passage. However they do seem to want to know where you have come from and where you are going. An honest cruiser (ie not smuggling etc) would have a pretty good pile of paperwork on board to be able to show any investigator where he'd been. as the world gets more computerized I wonder how much information is shared? We had a feeling that all the countries across the Pacific shared info and kept an eye on the (few) suspicious boats.

"Clearance must be done in sequence: Port Authority, then Customs and lastly Immigration (all crew to visit Immigration)."
As Jim said, it varies in each country. Some places have knocked the lot on the head and you clear in at a marina (Special places in Egypt, and many French islands in the Caribbean). Some places you need to stay on board till someone comes to see you (Galapagos, Indonesia) other places you tie to the Customs wharf (Tonga, Australia, Grenada), some places you anchor and dinghy in; other places you need to go to the airport! (Nice in France) or a grab a bus to the road border (Malaysia at Singapore).

The only absolute is that every country is different to every other country! far from being a hassle (ok sometimes it is!) its always so weird its a bit of fun.

The photo below is clearing into Tual, Indonesia. (You need to clear in and out of each port) Anyway Tual is far off the cruiser route and the arrival of a yacht was cause for deep celebration. Everyone wanted to be on the Customs boat to inspect us. It was listing about 30 degrees with people even on the roof and mobile phone cameras in full click.
We only let a few on board. After this photo we went down below with the most senior 5,000 officials and did the paperwork. The boss guy looked very stern, but at the end of the paperwork he wanted to have his photo taken with Nicolle on his mobile phone.

The world is bizarre and it all starts when you clear in!


Mark
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Old 11-08-2011, 14:25   #9
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Re: Cruising Wiki-Spawned Question About Arrival / Departure

MarkJ,
I really appreciate the real-life words. The thing I really dig is the 'no big deal' feeling you so clearly expressed. I am disgustingly positive, but the enormity of my inexperience with this is daunting.

Thanks.
John
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