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Old 14-02-2013, 12:11   #46
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Re: Bahamas entry fee

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Originally Posted by sestina View Post
Yes. I've done it twice. I wasn't furtive about it; Q flag and courtesy flag flying. The relevant UN regulations are: Convention on the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone 1958 and United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Bit of googling brings them up.

As far as I see, there is no problem with seeking shelter and even refueling without clearing in.
Airplanes do it all of the time without the passengers having to debark and clear customs and immigration. That's the only way I got to see Ireland.
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Old 14-02-2013, 13:03   #47
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Re: Bahamas entry fee

Some ports are using the 35' break and others are using the 30' break. I have talked to different people in the same office of the tourist office who swear that the break is one or the other. The fees are $150 or the $300 depending on the break that particular office is using...same fees that they have been for years. Once you are on the "banks" the Bahamas consider you "in the Bahamas" and they have ham-handedly tried to drill down on boats cruising through, with the Defence Force sending boats back to West End. They say they have stopped doing that, but I would still expect it.
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Old 14-02-2013, 13:18   #48
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Thanks for the insight, I know you talk to way more people than any of us. I'm going in the fall for a couple months and I'm 32'...I'll just plan on paying $300, and if I get lucky, so be it. I'm hoping to sail straight to Morgan's Bluff, so if you hear any specifics about that let me know.
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Old 14-02-2013, 14:05   #49
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Re: Bahamas entry fee

Technically their law in the Bahamas is very clear. A boat is required to check in to the near clearance port immediately upon entering the waters of the Bahamas. Chuck
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Old 14-02-2013, 14:15   #50
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Re: Bahamas entry fee

Mike, I have seen you post this a few times but we have talked to several people on the various SSB nets, the Customs and Immigration folks and the people here in the Miami area that have just come back and everyone is being charged $300.00 over 30 feet. We have friends that live on Bimini and they report the same. I haven't seen any reports from anyone that some places are charging based on the old fees. So how about postin where they are still charging under the old fees. The tourist offices are not the ones collecting the fees. Customs and Immigration will give the straight scoop. If anyone wants to confirm, the number in Nassau for Customs is 242-326-4401 or 325-6551 and Immigrations is 242-322-8504/7530 . Chuck
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Old 14-02-2013, 14:41   #51
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Re: Bahamas entry fee

Much worse than this, I was supposed to go as a team to the Bahamas a few years ago to help with construction of a condo project. The b.s. costs of doing legal business with the Bahamian officials completely killed the project and now everything has sat at a standstill since 2006. A lot of messy political/graft payoff crap and hiring cronyism-- just like east coast mob stuff. Wasteful, unproductive and useless.
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Old 15-02-2013, 17:44   #52
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Re: Bahamas entry fee

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Much worse than this, I was supposed to go as a team to the Bahamas a few years ago to help with construction of a condo project. The b.s. costs of doing legal business with the Bahamian officials completely killed the project and now everything has sat at a standstill since 2006. A lot of messy political/graft payoff crap and hiring cronyism-- just like east coast mob stuff. Wasteful, unproductive and useless.
The slump in the economy hits the development projects in the Bahamas the hardest and the soonest. Once the economy goes south most projects stop. It's not just the beureacracy or graft.
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Old 16-02-2013, 17:25   #53
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I regularly sail from N. Florida directly to Nassau. Never had a problem clearing in in Nassau even though I pass within 2 miles of West End/ Freeport enroute.
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Old 16-02-2013, 17:36   #54
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Re: Bahamas entry fee

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Ah very interesting! I'll have to look into that more, I always assumed "Q-ing through" was a matter of just passing through the territorial waters, without stopping.
Try this "Q-ing through", let's say, as a Canadian, on the way back from the Bahamas, stopping for shelter and re-fueling, in the US.

Good luck.
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Old 16-02-2013, 18:40   #55
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Originally Posted by LeaseOnLife

Try this "Q-ing through", let's say, as a Canadian, on the way back from the Bahamas, stopping for shelter and re-fueling, in the US.

Good luck.
Did you even read what you quoted?
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Old 17-02-2013, 07:33   #56
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Re: Bahamas entry fee

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I regularly sail from N. Florida directly to Nassau. Never had a problem clearing in in Nassau even though I pass within 2 miles of West End/ Freeport enroute.
Last time I entered the Bahamas (November 2010), I sailed from No Name Harbor, past Cat and Gun Cay, spent the night on the Banks, and went to Chub Cay the next day and cleared in.

Despite the horror stories that they were only giving three month visas, I got one for seven and a half months. Part of it was by being friendly, talking to the Customs and Immigration people, not being in a hurry (that's the whole point of cruising right?) and adapting their slo-go attitude as a good thing.

I never had anything but good experiences with every single Bahamian official I interacted with. Much better than any Bahamian would have been treated by our (USA) Customs and Immigration officers, for sure, who was doing the same thing I was doing in their country.
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Old 18-02-2013, 12:53   #57
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Re: Bahamas entry fee

So if you go over to cruise for two months in the Spring, leave for the summer, and return for two months in the Fall, that would be $600 then? If you put your boat on the hard in the Bahamas instead of Florida, would the cost only be $300? In other words, is it where the boat is, or where you are?
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Old 18-02-2013, 17:49   #58
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You get a second entry within 90 days without having to pay the entry fee again.
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Old 18-02-2013, 18:11   #59
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Re: Bahamas entry fee

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I am confused there was a post about these fees being dramatically increased. Are you saying that is not true??
No, just saying that if they have raised the fees they have not updated the website. I checked into Bimini in May, 2012 and was charged $150 at 34'.

While there I did hear about several Customs Officers being fired and charged for pocketing cruising fees and let's be honest - corruption is something that is pervasive throughout the world and the Bahamas is far from immune.

Until somebody here comes up to say they have definitive proof the policy has changed I just consider this another rumor. I'll still have $300 handy on my next visit though - just in case.
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Old 18-02-2013, 19:01   #60
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Re: Bahamas entry fee

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I have been told that one can and cant Q flag it through the bah's, but I would like to know for sure as I am single handing this trip.

Perhaps someone there that reads this forum can find out.

The reason that I need to know is because I am disabeled and need to fill my Rx via CVS pharmacy. In the Spanish VI's this would be no problem. I don't think the the Bahamas have CVS.

Skip A.

sestina... are you saying that you have done a Q flag deal thru the islands... am I reading you right?
When it comes to Customs and Immigration, there are no firm answers. Often it depends on who the official is that you speak with. Q'ing thru by stopping once or twice is not a question I would even ask. Might depend on where you stop. I dont know if I ever saw an "official" boat in the Bahamas ever. Some countries will come aboard to check you in once you request check in, some will not. The determining factor is likely as simple as whether a memo was written lately telling the lower officials to be more observant or fastidious. These things come and go and change often. Thus the confusion over what the Bahamas fees are and length of stay you will be given is. It just isnt black and white. I have stopped overnight several times in various places in the Caribe on my way to a destination further on. For instance: It just doesnt work to stop overnight in Grenada if you are on your way to st vincent etc if you have to chek in and out. ......Because you will spend much of a day doing it. My back up plan, if ever asked, was always to have something "apart", like the engine compartment and claim I had fuel problems. If you arrive at 4pm, you cant get to "check in" in time anyway. If you are gone at first light... who cares? Just roll the dice, be sensible and have a good story.
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